But this was on a different scale of magnitude.
As they drew near, they were met first with tear gas and then with bursts of live ammunition.
Many fled the first salvoes, scrambling down empty streets as the shots rang out behind them.
As they ran, terror and disbelief flashed across their faces. One man shouted: “They are killing our people! They are killing our people.”
Cowering behind a wall, a woman wept, her body shaking in fear.
But many refused to run, initially at least, determined to defy the violence being visited upon them. Some held their hands in the air and shouted “Peaceful! Peaceful!”