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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fighting Protesters With Colored Water

You must have seen photos of protesters being doused with colored-water cannons by the police. Using water canon is understood as it's an easy non-hazardous way to disperse mob, but why would police spray protesters with purple and pink water? Simple: to identify and arrest them later. Many water cannons on the market today come with a tank specially designed to store a semi-permanent colored dye. If police decide they want to "tag" protesters with the dye, they can press a button to inject it into the main water stream. Once the water cannon is trained on a crowd, anyone hit by the spray will be easily recognizable by police.

Police spray Ugandan opposition party leaders with colored water during demonstrations in the capital Kampala, May 10, 2011. President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to crush the protests and blamed rising food and fuel costs on drought and global increases in oil prices.

During the last 15 years, protesters in Hungary, Indonesia, Argentina, Malaysia, India and Israel have all been showered with colored water. In Uganda last year pink dye was employed to humiliate protesters. In Israel, Palestinian rioters were sprayed deep blue, the colour of the Israeli flag. The Hungarian police use green, the Koreans orange. Indian police is particularly fond of purple.

Police use a water cannon during a demonstration on the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 5, 2011.

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