It was a great success despite the tight lock-down of K.L by the police, blocks on all roads leading into the city, outstation stage buses and the LRT prohibited from entering K.L, police arrests and threatened arrests of any found wearing yellow, hotel raids to flush out supporters and the threat of emergency rule, the rally participants out-foxed the authorities to come out in the tens of thousands, IF NOT MORE, to demonstrate.
Participants gathered at several locations in the city for the rally, including, Sogo, Pasar Seni (Central Market), Klang Bus Station, Masjid Negara (National Mosque), Bukit Bintang and PuduRaya, all planning to converge on Stadium Merdeka where they were supposed to hold the rally but were denied a permit by the authorities even though PM Najib had originally agreed to let the rally organisers a stadium of their choice following the intercession of the king.
Many Malaysians felt cheated and let down by the PM.
As expected, police water-cannoned and tear-gassed the rally participants. Some went home bloodied, others were rattaned and beatened especially those at Sogo, still others were injured including Anwar Ibrahim who had to go for a CT scan.
Many were arrested including Anwar and his two daughters, Lim Kit Siang of the DAP and Hadi Awang, president of PAS, not to mention the chaiperson of the rally herself, Ambiga Sreneevasan.
At least a total of some 1400 people were arrested including several children. Nobody knows for sure how many turned up for the rally, but at one point of time the number of demonstrators at PuduRaya itself was said to be in the 50k.
What the Bersih2 rally has shown is that no matter what the authorities will do to try to stop the people's wish for free and fair elections, the rakyat will find a way to express their sentiment.
The ball is now in the Najib adminstration's side to heed the people's wish for free and fair elections. But Malaysians are not too optimistic that anything significant will change.
What Najib did do after much flak from the public, was to postpone his trip to Europe for an audience with the pope.
For pictures and reports on the rally click here