The first rule of covering any protest is that the security forces always win. At the end of the day you want to be on the winning side no matter whom you are cheering for. I failed to adhere to that rule and paid for it this afternoon.
We covered an illegal student protest just outside of the one of the major Caracas universities. Hundreds of students marched out from the campus gates and blocked a busy highway, all in full view of the awaiting and ultimately well prepared Venezuelan National Guard.
The security forces, after watching the students rant and rave for an hour or so, decided enough was enough and let fly several volleys of tear gas followed by blasts from a mobile water cannon. At that particular moment I was standing on the student side of the protest and got severely gassed and then hammered with stream of water.
I made my way back to the ranks of the police only then to be pelted by large rocks and bottles being thrown by the offended, albeit hastily retreating students. I’ve had better days.