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    Posted May 18, 2014 by
    nesmith
    Location
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Demonstrations in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     "The atmosphere was tense," said nesmith. "I believe there were people there who had come to demonstrate, but the police presence was so thick, they couldn't do anything collectively." Protests erupted in Vietnam over a China-owned oil rig last week.
    - rachel8, CNN iReport producer

    Following covering the protests and burning factories in Binh Duong Province on Wednesday for AP, I went to District One in Ho Chi Minh City this Sunday (18 May) to get more shots of demonstrations. The word on the street was that several protests were planned.

     

    As of 10 a.m., there were reports on Twitter that two demonstrators had been forceably removed from the area surrounding the Notre Dame cathedral. In the hours following, the city was quiet. People gathered in the park across from Diamond Plaza. A cameraman from Korean Broadcasting System and I talked to some local folks there, and he explained to me that they had been dispersed and unable to organize demonstrations, due to the immense police presence.

     

    I spent several hours downtown waiting for a shot, but the security was tighter than I've ever seen in town. From Dong Khoi to the Chinese Consulate—and in surrounding districts—three to ten police/security officers occupied every corner. In some areas, up to 20 or more officers, many in riot gear. I cannot confirm the reports of protesters being "dragged" from the scene, but I can tell you that security was much higher than normal for this town.

     

    Keep an eye on this story. While the demonstrations and activism may have slowed for now, the larger issue of the Chinese oil rig in the South Sea, and the implications therein, are not going anywhere for awhile.

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