Macau unemployed clash with police

The Straits Times, 3 July 2000

MACAU—Police hurled tear-gas canisters yesterday at about 200 unemployed people protesting against the hiring of foreign workers in the fourth large-scale demonstration in less than two months.

The violence flared when the protesters tried to break through a police barrier during a march to a park near the government headquarters. The demonstrators, carrying placards and chanting slogans, threw bamboo poles and rocks at the baton-brandishing police.

Police warned the protesters to disperse before resorting to tear gas—the first time in such protests. The pandemonium sent people fleeing. Police said there were no reports of injuries but they detained 10 people.

The demonstration was organised by the Macau Unemployed Workers Self-Help Association.

Macau, with a population of 450,000, employs about 30,000 foreign workers. Many of them come from the Philippines, Thailand and the Chinese mainland. Macau's Chief Executive Edmund Ho said last week the government would take steps to help the unemployed. --AP, AFP