Cops prevent free speech march

A SMALL group of Singaporean activists who have spent two days and nights on the sidewalk of a busy city intersection after being prevented from holding a protest march were distributing flyers yesterday to promote free speech. 

Encircled by two dozen police, the activists – who have numbered between six and ten – have camped out at a park in central Singapore since Saturday. Police had prevented them from marching to Parliament and then to the convention centre, where the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings are being held. 

Led by opposition Singapore Democratic Party secretary-general Chee Soon Juan, the protesters were handing out flyers, calling for greater freedom of speech and assembly in the city state. 

Police also allowed the protesters to leave the park and walk to Raffles Place to distribute flyers – after they promised not to resume their march. 

“We are protesting against the denial of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. These are crucial in helping to protect our interests,” said Chee.  

The protesters would remain at the park until today, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks at the IMF-World Bank meetings. – AP  

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