Monday, June 14, 2010

Men with guns are running at us

I got caught in a riot after tonight's match. Stewards, saying they were offered about $250 for 12 hours work at Durban Stadium, were paid less than $50. They refused to leaved the venue and were chanting and had surrounded a cop car as I came down from the press tribune. Soon after armed riot police came storming in, as I was interviewing a steward. "This is an international event. International! They are supposed to give us 1500 rand, that's what FIFA told us. They give us 190! We are working from 12 o├žlock until now (1am)."
At this moment, riot police moved in. The stewards began to run for the exits and I was caught up in a stampede, caught in the flow of bright ornage vested stewards going one way as riot police with guns charged at us. The cops threw down percussive grenades and two loud booms echoed through the concrete bowels of the stadium. Later, teargas was used to drive the stewards out of the precinct. Some said they faced walks home of up to three hours.


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