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Discussion Starter #1
Any MTFers see this?

Fans sprayed as Australian Open erupts in anger
Scott Gullan and Annalise Walliker

January 16, 2008 12:00am
THE Australian Open erupted in ugly violence last night as police doused tennis fans with capsicum spray. Panic gripped Margaret Court Arena as spectators gasped for air after coming into contact with the spray.

Many ran for the exits and the match had to be stopped.

Police used the spray to try to subdue fans of Greek player Konstantinos Economidis who became upset when police tried to evict members of their cheer squad. Police believed they were leading racial chanting against Chile's Fernando Gonzalez.

But women and children were also hit by the spray. One woman said she had suffered an asthma attack and at least six people, including a mother and her two children, were treated by St John Ambulance for eye soreness and breathing problems.

Last year's Open was marred by crowd violence involving Serbian and Croatian fans, and tournament director Craig Tiley had warned there would be "zero tolerance" towards unruly fans.

But shocked fans accused the police of being heavy-handed, saying the use of the spray was totally unnecessary.

Supt John Cooke defended his officers, saying they'd feared for their safety and used the spray to keep aggressive patrons at bay.They had "acted with restraint and professionally in a very difficult situation" and had defused a hostile situation without injury.

He said three men were ejected and interviewed for the offences of assaulting police, disobeying lawful direction and indecent language.

Supt Cooke said complaints had been made to police about offensive chanting, and warnings from officers had been ignored.

Gonzalez, who later won the match in three sets, admitted being scared when the police used the capsicum spray. "I was scared because the wind, it could come into my face," he said.

He said one or two things chanted by the Greek fans had been slightly offensive, but nothing serious. "It was fun, and it was actually a nice atmosphere."

Economidis said he was saddened by the security scare and disappointed his fans were involved. "It was sad that it happened. Nobody likes to see that.

"It was completely sudden."

Economidis said both he and Gonzalez were affected.

"It was unpleasant, because we had never seen something happen like this in the past. Not in my career," he said. "It was very disappointing for both of us."

Witnesses said the incident happened midway through the second set, when police tried to eject two unruly Greek fans.

Herald Sun Online reporter Patrick Horan said things turned ugly when nearby fans objected.

"The crowd piped up a bit and started to yell out at the police, and all of a sudden a couple of officers have pulled out their capsicum spray and unloaded all over the crowd," he said.

"About three rows of people just scattered all over the place."

Elena Arapu, from Noble Park, said: "A few of my friends couldn't breathe. We all got it in our mouth and nose.

"We were all running out the doors to get away. There were little kids in the crowd and they copped it," she said.

Jess Reid, of Wonthaggi, who is asthmatic, said, "I have been down with St John of God for 45 minutes because I needed the mask to control the asthma".

Christian Colangelo, who was with Ms Reid, said a young family also was treated.

"There were two young kids, probably five and six years old. They were with their mother, and they were shaking," he said.

Greek fan Anna, 22, from Brunswick, said:

"All we were doing was cheering on our player. It was completely unnecessary, and very scary."

Chilean supporter Manuel Munoz said: "All the Greeks did was chant the same way we did, and the police went totally overboard. If they thought they were doing the wrong thing, we were doing the wrong thing too."

A group of 15 Chileans later approached a group of about 20 Greek supporters, shaking their hands and hugging them, chanting: "We are friends."

The Metropolitan Ambulance Service said five fans were treated at the scene after being sprayed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The first night I was in Paris, on my first trip to France, a group of Japanese tourists got sprayed with pepper spray by some kids who stole their cameras and camcorders when the Japanese were incapacitated by the sprary. The spray wafted back to where I was with my family and were all blinded for several minutes. It was a HORRIBLE experience. I can't believe that security didn't realize (or care) that the spray would affect other people, including children!
 

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I was 2 rows back from where this all happened.

No need to spray us at all.

It was pure bullshit.
 

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How can it be so hard to distinguish between loud cheering and shouting insults? Sure, some Greek dude said 'maricon' like... once (was it you Xristos :D?), Feña wasn't even bothered...no need to spray the group for that...a little talk with the guy would have been enough. That's the problem with these 'cero tolerance' policies...they can end up being more problematic than the problems they are trying to solve.
 

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I was there too. It was nowhere near as bad as the news report.

"Panic gripped Margaret Court Arena as spectators gasped for air after coming into contact with the spray.Many ran for the exits and the match had to be stopped." Bwahahahaha!!!

Yeah right! 3/4 of the spectators were sitting down just waiting for the silliness to be over. 1/4 were standing to see what was going on. There was no 'mad rush' or 'panic' aside from the handful who were involved. Love how the media just makes it sound a million times worse than it actually was.
 

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If Gonzalez, the 'victim' of the 'racial chanting' didn't give a crap, why should the police?!
 

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I'll say arrest them and deport them. If you can't cheer like a tennis fan than wtf are u doing on tennis match. I don't know what happened so i apologize if i'm wrong, but i was soccer fan on stadium for few years and i know that usually we fans are guilty for incidents, not overreaction from police. It's better to stop it now, becouse it can only get worse... Can't believe that Serbian fans sings war songs on tennis matches... so your parents fled away when it became ugly, and now you cheer for another war in MY country. Come live here for 15 years in war and post war period, be a looser in all of them, work a month for 5$, under sanctions, be the only side accused for atrocities, no electricity no food no oil.. Where war criminals are heroes and Paris Hilton clones are role models. Come live in a country that managed to gather whole world against you, dropping bombs on you for three months at the and of 20th century and than sing that songs you pathetic morons. Be happy that you've spent your childhood in civilised country far away from this europian black hole and shut the fuck up.
:eek::eek:

By the way, the highlightted part is simply wrong.
 
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