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EMBASSY WARNING: Avoid anti-American protest on Friday, January 20

US citizens in the Philippines have been advised to avoid a political demonstration in front of the US embassy in Manila on Friday, January 20.

A travel advisory issued by the Department of State today (Thursday) said: “The US embassy informs US citizens that a demonstration is expected to take place in front of the US embassy tomorrow, Friday January 20.”

Obviously, the warning should be heeded by any foreign nationals in the Ermita area who could be identified as Americans.

The demonstration has been organised by the political group Bagong Alyangsan Makabayan (BAYAN). Other, unconfirmed, groups are expected to attend.

Local media has reported that activists are protesting at efforts to re-establish US military bases in the Philippines.

The police expect as many as 1,000 people to attend the demonstration, which is expected to begin between at some time between 10am and 1pm.

The State Department warned that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn violent, and encouraged US citizens to avoid the demonstration area and exercise caution in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.

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The last demonstration outside the embassy, angry crowds attacked a police van as it ploughed into the crowd. Miraculously, nobody was seriously hurt.