Police in the Philippines hurled tear gas and rammed a van into a crowd of anti-U.S. protesters on Wednesday, injuring at least three student activists gathered outside the American embassy in Manila.
Television footage showed the van driving recklessly back and forth through the crowd, as protesters variously surrounded it and scattered away.
“There was absolutely no justification for it,” organizer Renato Reyes told media.
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A firetruck also sprayed water at the crowd to break it up before protesters got hold of the hose. Police also used tear gas when protesters managed to break through a barricade and wrote “U.S. troops out now” in red paint on the embassy fence.
“Even as the president vowed an independent foreign policy, Philippine police forces still act as running dogs of the U.S.,” Reyes continued.
The activists, part of a leftist umbrella organization known as Bayan (Nation), were calling for American troops to leave the country’s southern island of Mindanao. The demonstration comes as controversial Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte visits China after indicating he would seek to strengthen relations between the two countries.
However, the protesters made clear they were against that effort as well. “The Philippines will not be dictated on, whether by the U.S. or China,” they said in a statement.
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