Clashes and tear gas at Jabreya school

Jabreya boys secondary school, located about a kilometre from the capital Manama, is once again the site of violence. On Tuesday, dramatic scenes unfolded as the school was attacked by police firing tear gas against students who were protesting the arrest of a fellow student the day before. Today, protests resumed. An Al Jazeera correspondent reports:

Students have barricaded themselves in, we could see smoke from burning tyres and I’ve seen pictures of tear gas outside classrooms. We’reĀ hearing reports that two students are injured. They are protesting because a fellow student was removed from the school last week by plain clothes police. He is still in custody. This has died down and now we are seeing sporadic clashes with police and protesters.

Photojournalist Mazen Mahdi tried to cover the unfolding events, but authorities prevented him. About 10:30 local time Mazen tweeted:

Police kicking me out from the protest near the school in Manama claiming without police media ID journalist can’t work

Half an hour earlier, Said Yousif Almuhafda, head of monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, tweeted this picture of tear gas being used against the students, sent to him from inside the school:

Jabreya_School_21-4-2013_teargas

Other photographs from inside the school have been posted online by the “Sanabis Revolutionary Movement”.

Said Yousif later drove towards the location of the school andĀ reported that he could see “riot police blocking the road” leading to the school, and a helicopter hovering above it. He took this picture of the police outside:

Jabreya_School_21-4-2013_police

Shortly before midday, local time, one activist, Maryam, tweeted an eyewitness account:

I’m now next to AlJabriya school. Gun shots are being heard non stop. Mercenaries are aiming directly at students while shooting. Toxic gas canisters all around AlJabriya school area. AlJabriya’s school campus is more like a war-zone!

Students are out from the entrance next to the public garden standing at a close range with mercenaries. As we stood next to AlJabriya school, a man was documenting the attack, mercenaries asked him to hand his phone over to them. Mercenaries asked us to leave telling us that the situation is stable & everything is under control! Yet,we can still hear gunshots.

The officer asked who seemed to be the school doorman if he could recognize any of the guys who started the protest earlier this morning. The doorman replied he couldn’t recognize any of them as their faces were covered. The officer replied, “you expect me to believe this?! You’re telling me you cannot recognize not even one of them?” After that, we were asked to leave that area as the officer told us everything was under control and our stand was unnecessary.

This picture, taken by students, reportedly shows the tear gas cannisters collected by students following the police attack:

Jabreya_School_21-4-2013_teargas1These cannisters are most likely South Korean in origin. Another picture reportedly from the school shows a tear gas cannister manufactured by US firm NonLethal Technologies. A cannister from this company was also identified in Sanabis yesterday.

Police attack protest in Sanabis, raid house, beat women

This afternoon, Dr Ala’a Shehabi, an academic, activist and founding member of Bahrain Watch, went to Sanabis to document the protests there. Within an hour, police had arrived. Ala’a took shelter in a house which was then raided by security forces who reportedly beat some of the women up and used CS spray on them. A young man fell from a roof, suffering serious injuries, but there was no access to medical help. The situation is still tense. At 6:45pm local time, Ala’a described Sanabis as a “scene of carnage”.

Below is a edited account of the unfolding events, taken from Ala’as tweets and pictures. All of her tweets can be read in chronological order at this at this link.

Observing protests now which started by setting up road blocks. People on rooftops have prepared sticks and stones to greet police when they raid. This lady in front of her house:

Sanabis_20-4-2013

Hearing sound bombs. The attack has started. Protestors are moving forward. Trying to break out their cages (villages).

Protestors have put nails on the ground as part of Arab hospitality to greet police. Police have raided on foot not by car as too many road blocks. Those nails are good deterrents!

Much stone throwing and various. Birdshot being used. Police are raiding house next door now:

Sanabis_20-4-2013_2Police are in the same building. Hearing shooting. It’s very tragic seeing families terrorised like this. Mother is putting her kids to bed. Mother is telling me she always does this so they don’t panic. Photo of kids in bed:

Sanabis_20-4-2013_3

Police have passed but helicopter monitoring above. Last year I was arrested because of helicopter surveillance.

Damn those sounds bombs. They give one hell of a fright. Sanabis people young/old putting up a fight. Man just threw a saucepan.

They’ve arrested a boy. All the women heading

Help

Shit

Police attacking us

Police have locked us up in a room. Women got beaten up. Used CS Spray. Can hear screams upstairs. Shooting from upstairs. They raided the house cos they saw someone filming upstairs. Police still all over the building. We are stuck in a room & getting insulted. It’s chaos. Police have arrested one boy and tear gassed the house. Women sprayed faces. One injured man.

We have a serious injury but stuck in house. Can’t go to hospital. I don’t have first aid training. Guy can’t move. Can’t post picture. Guy fell from the roof. Feeling pain across body and can’t move. Can’t get access to doctors. Don’t know if anything is broken. What to do?!

[30 minutes later]

We got first aid through Skype. Still stuck. This is the scene outside. Police still shooting.Too dangerous to leave. Meanwhile this adorable kid says he doesn’t want to live in this house any more. We’re hearing of birdshot injuries.

A scene of carnage in Sanabis now. Going to see other injured people hit by tear gas canisters and shotgun pellets:

Sanabis_20-4-2013_4Next door this 13 year old was hit directly by a “C4” tear gas canister in an awkward part of the body:

Sanabis_20-4-2013_5Now going around examining the wreckage. Here are the weapons used today:

Sanabis_20-4-2013_TeargasThe tear gas photographed here comes from two different companies. US firm NonLethal Technologies is the manufacturer of the tear gas in the left hand picture, which is the company that manufacturers the cannister labelled “MP-3-CS” in the right hand picture. The other cannister, with red markings, is manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munition, a company located in South African, but controlled from Germany.

New creative resistance against the F1

Since the beginning of the pro-democracy uprising in February 2011, creativity has been a key means of protest and resistance. A range of examples of creative resistance can be seen in blog posts by Marc Owen Jones and @chanadbh. See also the collection of Bahrain graffiti at the site Rebellious Walls, along with the examples cited in Amal Khalaf’s great article on Pearl Roundabout. Anti-F1 examples from last year can be found in posts by Justin Gengler and EA WorldView. See also these posts on recent anti-F1 graffiti and an anti-F1 campaign video by Bahraini activists. Some new examples were shared on social media today:

An F1 car made from tear gas cannisters, shared by Ahmed Alghasra (@A7mdG):

F1 Car from teargas cannisters

Protesters in Nuwaidrat village held a “Flame Race” earlier today. Dressed as members of an F1 pit crew, they raced a model car carrying tires around a track, before setting it on fire (pictures via Nuwaidrat News Facebook page):

Nuwaidrat "Flame Race"Nuwaidrat "Flame Race"Nuwaidrat "Flame Race"

Update: 18th April 2013

Russia Today have uploaded footage from the “Flame Race” to their YouTube channel. Watch it at this link. (h/t @marcowenjones)

Police attack boys school with tear gas

Dramatic scenes unfolded earlier today as police raided Jabreya boys high school, attacking it with tear gas:

The BBC reports:

Officers stormed the Jabreya school for boys after students staged a protest demanding the release of a colleague arrested on Monday, activists say.

(…)

One father, Mohamed Jaber, went to the school to collect his son but was told by police to leave, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The Ministry of Interior said on its twitter account “police dealt with a group of thugs outside Jabriya school according to legal regulations”.

The clashes erupted when police went to break up a protest calling for the release of 17-year-old Hassan Humidan, who was arrested at the school on Monday.

Activists shared the follow pictures online, showing part of the attack and what are reportedly tear gas cannisters collected afterwards:

Jabreya School Attack

More footage from the school:

UPDATE – 17 AprilThe Telegraph reports: “a journalist from Monte Carlo was threatened with having her permit revoked for reporting the incidents.”

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights releases a statement on the attack.