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By this point, Christopher already had his rollerball pen out. "No swastika can go unchallenged" he announced before reaching up and writing "No, No, No, F**k You," across the bottom of the sign. "I hope this is indelible ink" he said as he finished. Totten looked stricken. Hitch had hardly put the cap back on when a young man in a leather coat appeared and grabbed his sleeve with one hand while talking into a mobile phone on the other. Christopher pulled his arm away.

The young man remained calm and continued to talk insistently into his mobile. Totten averred that we should get away quickly. As we walked swiftly down the almost deserted street - it was a holiday because of the political rally - the young man caught up with us and grabbed Hitch's arm again, ignoring demands that he leave us alone.

It was then that we saw a policeman standing on a nearby corner in a blue camouflage-pattern uniform. We asked him for help in English, saying that we were foreign journalists being harassed. The young man said something to the policeman in Arabic that we couldn't understand - all three of us have only a few words of the language - and the officer seemed to back away.

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