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Protesters grab the riot shield of a police officer as the former managed to slip past them for a rally to mark the 24th year anniversary of the termination of the U.S. military bases in the country Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.
Bullit Marquez—AP

Police in Manila arrested 6 demonstrators after they converged on the U.S. Embassy there before dawn local time on Wednesday to protest against the American military presence in the Philippines, the Associated Press reports.

Scuffles took place after at least 50 leftist students disguised as joggers made it past a police cordon to splash red paint on the Embassy seal and decry “continuing U.S. intervention” in the country, according to a statement from Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, an alliance of activist groups. The group planned on marching on the Supreme Court later on Wednesday.

The protest apparently served to mark the 24th anniversary of the landmark senate vote in the Philippines that ended U.S. leases on its military bases in the country — a piece of legislation that has effectively been voided since.

In 1999, an agreement between the two countries permitted U.S. forces to use the Philippines for training exercises. More significantly, the ratification of the bilateral Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement last April has allowed the U.S. military to station troops and stage operations in the country.

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