On Tuesday, while most protesters were gathering around the Japanese embassy, about 50 people splintered off toward the US embassy, where they happened to catch Ambassador Gary Locke in his official black embassy car. Police very quickly came streaming in from two directions and walked the car down the street, where it took the next left and disappeared. The vehicle sustained minor damages. All else was peaceful.
China has since expressed “regret” for the incident, according to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
UPDATE, 2:12 pm: Via LA Times: “Locke told reporters that he was on his way to the Japanese Embassy when his car was surrounded by a few dozen protesters who chanted slogans and briefly blocked his vehicle. ‘It was all over in a few minutes, and I never felt in danger,’ he said.”
UPDATE 2, 2:36 pm: Of course Ai Weiwei took the original video. Details — plus Ifeng video for those in China — after the jump.
Via NY Times’s The Lede blog:
Video of the incident, recorded and uploaded to YouTube by the dissident artist Ai Weiwei, showed that the protesters arrived at the embassy’s gate, with remarkable timing, at precisely the same moment as the ambassador’s car. A line of police officers appeared, running in formation, seconds before the protesters blocked the car.
Writing on Twitter, Mr. Ai reported that dozens of protesters had arrived at the embassy at about 4 p.m. chanting, “Pay us back our money!” and “Down with U.S. imperialism,” perhaps in reference to American support for Japan.
— 艾未未 Ai Weiwei (@aiww) September 18, 2012