Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Sweet Smell of . . . Teargas

It sounded like fireworks being launched. It was coming from the other side of campus, where my Spanish classes are each weekday evening. I had just gotten off the bus and was headed to class. I walked around the campus perimeter and as I got closer my eyes started burning and watering. The air in Bogota isn’t the cleanest but that couldn’t be it. As I neared the entrance, I saw the reason. Two armored police trucks periodically shot teargas over the entrance onto the campus property. Pieces of bricks and stones lay near the entrance and along the puddle-filled road leading to it. Another protest.

I looked on from a distance as students chanted something as two of them walked up to the entrance and pulled down their pants, bent over and smacked their bare behinds. I laughed. But I was also upset. Why another protest? What did this accomplish? Why did they have to vandalize their own university’s property? Despite my frustration I squeezed through a hole in the campus fence and shot some photos as the trucks shot teargas canisters near myself and the protestors. Granted, everyone ran. Teargas is no picnic. I’m still not sure where the firework sounds had came from, the police or the students. Unfortunately, I think I’m going to hear those sounds again.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn son, Be careful over there..... U want me to send you a flak jacket? - M. Wicker

Brett Garamella said...

Maybe a gas mask would help... but really, it wasn't that bad.

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