We were just headed out a few blocks for a beer when we noticed riot police suiting up all around a neighborhood at the east end of Parque Forestal. Considering that, we decided to check out a circle of a couple hundred people nearby holding signs and banners. A person with a microphone was speaking about cases of police violence. A nearly naked woman with pitch black skin danced while rubbing white paint over her body. A large portion of the crowd was tangibly angry.
The mass of humans headed for the roadway while ringing bells and chanting in unison, determined to march. Within a minute of the first feet leaving the sidewalks, a military-green water cannon the size of a bus moved into the intersection. The powerful stream of water was aimed above the people's heads, but the crowd nearest the machine was soaked immediately from the chilly drenching mist. The retreating protesters collided with a nearly equal number of passersby and people exiting a subway station. Those talking on phones and listening to music found themselves inexplicably under the potentially dangerous stream of a water cannon, and surrounded by protesters who were now throwing anything they could get their hands on. More machines moved in, the sprays crisscrossing in the air above the plaza.
And so began the 30-minute battle shown in the video below: