Swaziland protests overwhelmed by violence

AP News
|
Posted: Apr 14, 2011 3:08 AM
Swaziland protests overwhelmed by violence

Swaziland's pro-democracy campaigners are urging determination in the face of police who used water cannons, tear gas, beatings and arrests to put down demonstrations this week.

Labor leaders involved in the protests called them off late Wednesday, the second of what would have been three days of demonstrations to demand reforms in sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy. But other organizers are pushing for more.

In a statement Thursday, the Swaziland Solidarity Network said ending protests would tell Swazi authorities all that is required to stop them "are a few blows to the head."

Police presence was heavy with no signs of demonstrations early Thursday on the streets of Manzini, the economic hub where activists have tried to protest.