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Photograph by Mark Vallen

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When I first saw this puppet during one of the week's mass demonstrations, it instantly introduced humor into an environment that was quite tense. Thousands of riot police were blocking every side street along this particular march route... they were dressed for combat and heavily armed. Suddenly the demonstration turned a corner and there stood this enormous puppet!

A few yards behind it stood the real riot police... but somehow this papier mache officer made everyone feel less threatened and the marching protesters broke out in laughter and smiles. The creators of this huge puppet made it's pepper spray canister fully functional... it actually sprayed a stream of water, and as the huge crowd passed by, the puppet would shoot spurts of water at the demonstrators!

Photograph by Mark Vallen