Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah insists that members of the electoral reform group have “held resolute” to their principles and have not caused any trouble on their recent roadshows.
Chin was responding to police warning that “tougher action” will be taken to maintain public order.
“I hope police will bring to justice those Umno Red Shirts gangsters, especially when one of them was identified by reporters as the one who had rudely asked them to delete their photos from their phones,” Chin said, adding that the man was arrested for getting physical with policemen.
Chin also said the arrested man and others must be charged with harassment and violence against Bersih 2 supporters who were only distributing leaflets.
“We thank the police for carrying out their duties in ensuring the Bersih convoys were peaceful in all states. However, having a peaceful assembly is primary to Bersih and we have been able to hold resolute to our principles.
“We have to thank our supporters who not only cooperated with us but bravely faced the Umno Red Shirts in a peaceful manner.”
Bersih 2 activists have gone on several road convoys of late to highlight the need for reforms and for a street rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 19. They are however facing challenges from the Red Shirts movement, who has issued a warning that a counter gathering will be held. This has raised concerns about clashes between the two groups.
Recently, several incidents have occurred in which both sides have collided.
Last week, several journalists were harassed and roughed up when a scuffle broke out during a Bersih 2 road convoy in Kuala Selangor.
According to reports, a Malaysiakini reporter was punched on her shoulder, a videographer and woman reporter with The Star were forced to delete photographs and video footage, while a male reporter was roughed up when he tried to help his colleague.