Pro-Democracy Leader Smashed in Head with a Hammer



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ORIGINAL POST

Posted by Ed 27 days ago
The convenor of Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) has been attacked by unidentified men with hammers in Kowloon.
 
 
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/10/16/breaking-hong-kong-protest-leader-jimmy-sham-attacked-tai-kok-tsui/
 
 
https://hongkong.asiaxpat.com/Utility/GetImage.ashx?ImageID=ae6ce6c3-615a-46f5-a39b-9060bc69894c&refreshStamp=0
 
 
https://hongkong.asiaxpat.com/Utility/GetImage.ashx?ImageID=84591387-f4d3-42b3-8265-5ecddaaf03ae&refreshStamp=0 

COMMENTS

Ed 27 days ago
The hope of resolving this crisis fades further....
 

zzebra 26 days ago
My theory is that he's done by the PUNISHER(S).

I'm politically neutral. But does he (and his fellow ringleaders) seriously think that by inciting and inspiring widespread violence and destruction in Hong Kong, esp. targeting and against many commercial enterprises / establishments, have no blowback!?

Ed 26 days ago
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s parliament descended into chaos on Thursday, with lawmakers dragged out by security guards for heckling leader Carrie Lam as they demanded an inquiry into a brutal attack on a prominent human rights activist ahead of a major rally.
 
 
 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-protests/hong-kong-assembly-in-chaos-attack-on-democracy-leader-a-chilling-signal-idUSKBN1WW04T

broussymark 26 days ago
We should not judge this early since Lam Cheng Admission refused to set up the in an independent inquiry commission. We smell something fishy.

Lam Cheng had a meeting with over 10+ officials after the opening public discussion with HKers. She explained that the independent inquire commission could not set up ? Why ? Is she scared if all people could find out the truth what China officials instructed or she have arranged ? So they should be the one who need to take all responsibilities for protests ? She has not explained what are the reasons in public, she must knows all issues created by China officials and her administration.

We need to consider China may arrange these attacks. Many mainland Chinese hate China, why ? They may arrange to destroy those mainland Chinese business or pro-China businesses in HK.

Ed 25 days ago
Jimmy Sham has been organizing the multi-million person peaceful marches in Hong Kong.
 
Regarding the violence at the protests, regardless of one's position on these actions,  this is the justification that the protesters are using based on my interviews with many of them:
 
 

AX: You have changed tactics initially using mass rallies to voice your demands and now have turned to violence. Why is that?

Protesters: We tried peaceful protests in 2014 and waited patiently for 5 years and we accomplished nothing. So now we turn to violence. Now we target the Hong Kong economy in the hopes that this will get the attention of the authorities and force them to act.

 
 
They are also aware of the impact of the violence on the Hong Kong economy - this is how they feel about that:
 
 

AX: I am sure you are aware of the collapsing tourism and retail numbers as well as the teetering property market. How do you feel about that?

Protesters: This is success. This is progress. We are hoping this will force the government to respond to our demands.

AX: But are you not concerned that if this continues without them responding that the economy will reach a tipping point and collapse?

Protesters: We are aware of that and hope that the government will respond to our demands before it comes to that. However, if the city’s economy collapses, we are fine with that because that will definitely force change. As it stands, for many protesters, our economic circumstances are already dire. We are living with collapse already.

 
 
 
 

zzebra 25 days ago
To use an analogy: Jimmy Sham = Sinn Fein and the violent protestors = Provisional IRA (however, I respect both the Irish people and its history).

There is nothing "peaceful" about these marches but white terror for anyone who dare to raise a different political inclination. I'd invite anyone who strongly believe in these are "peaceful" to have a civilised debate at the march and then tell me how long the peace last.

Where are the rights of million of other citizens simply trying to go about their daily lives? I thought democracy is a plural term for the voice of the people, and the people is not only about those marching and rioting on the streets.

broussymark 25 days ago
Let me as k all of you. If peaceful protests have never worked on those brainwashed officials, what would the protesters do ?

Are you sure the officials do the right things for all people ? There were not a few protesters in the streets, there were millions of protesters in the streets !

Do you know pro-China activists and officials may arrange the killings ? You have no idea of dark side of China in the history ! You go to China and try to say Xi is a a big asshole then you will see if there is free speech ? You will go top the jail forever or be killed. That's all. Freedom ? You dream of it !

Xi assigned Lam Cheng to be the CEO of Hong Kong, however she has never providing anything better. Why would HKers pay taxes for her HKD 5 millions of dollars salary and benefits ? Why would HKers pay for those useless officials ? Lam Cheng does not want to resign because of tons of money once she finished this assignment ! Be smart ! She only cares for her wallet !

zzebra 25 days ago
I simply failed to understand any of the protestors / rioters' logics.

Let me politely ask whether the protestors / rioters' requests / views truthfully represent the views of as many millions of average citizens sitting at home watching the city descending into mindless anarchy and violence? Also can anyone name one political freedom that you enjoyed in HK before 1997 and it's now been taken away?

Take a simple example of the so called demand for an universal suffrage for election of the CE as the best way to advance a democratic HK!? Nor the US or any other developed Western countries which practice Westminister parliamentary systems elect their leaders in this manner. Not to mention this wasn't the case before 1997 in HK. Hitler and Mussolini were elected by their people on the other hand, Churchill wasn't by way of examples.

I'm not saying which side is right or wrong, but who gave the right to the protestors / rioters to a claim to represent the people of HK (or one has overlooked the inconvenient truth that anyone with a different political inclination got beat up badly by the mobs).

Why can't the HK police act more forcefully and professionally like their colleagues from Ferguson or prison officers from Northern Island in order to calm these social unrest. These would be many of silent majority's requests, can these be heard!? Surely the mob can't critique the conducts of Western democratic professionals.

One should stop hiding behind the hypocrisy of the "people" or "democracy". They're just fascist mobs.

Lastly, so you think the HK / Chinese government is evil and bad with all these trump up allegations, clearly you've equally overlooked Northern Ireland for example by way of a fair comparison. SAS or the British army just shoot you in your face if that makes this more democratic.

Ed 25 days ago
More marches against mask ban in Hong Kong’s commercial districts after police block Sunday protest
 
Police earlier rejected the Civil Human Rights Front’s application for the Sunday march. In its letter of objection, the force cited violent incidents stemming from recent protests.
 
 
 
The thing is....   all of the recent protests for some weeks now have been illegal and all have turned violent ...  and no doubt if this application were to have been approved millions would have taken to the streets peacefully... along with front-liners bent on wreaking havoc.
 
So why not just approve the application ....  perhaps the concern is that if millions were to show up at a legal protest....  that would not be ... shall we say....  a very 'good look' in terms of the optics (I imagine the people of HK are not liking that attack with a hammer and would come out in record numbers if the protest were permitted)
 
 
Let's face reality...  it is not necessary to have millions on the streets for the protesters to be achieve their goal. 
 
There goal is to gut the HK economy unless their demands are met.
 
Last Saturday there was a huge number of protesters in TST (I estimate 2km of people marching)...  but many of them departed from the protests at Prince Edward leaving only hundreds of front liners to continue. 
 
This small group made their way to Lai Chi Kok with groups of them stopping along the way to demolish banks, stop lights, 360 shops and anything else connected to China.
 
They blockaded major arterial roads causing massive traffic jams -- and were not once confronted by the police.
 
Does anyone not think this is enough to effectively strangle the Hong Kong economy if it continues for much longer? 
 
Videos like these are going viral globally :
 
https://youtu.be/cAT5JugSUY4
 
https://youtu.be/DrdxyNTXE8I 
 
 
Does anyone think that Bob and Jenny Smith in California are saying 'Hey honey - look at these awesome hotel deals in Hong Kong.  And I see Cathay Pacific  has half priced flights to Hong Kong.  November is supposed to be real nice weather in Hong Kong.   Let's book this and enjoy a couple of weeks in Hong Kong!'
 
More likely, Bob and Jenny are turning on their teevee and seeing youths rampaging through the streets of Hong Kong bashing in shops and setting fires... and they are thinking...  maybe we'll go to Phuket this year... 
 
 
 
Think of the HK economy as a very large animal... and the front liners as wild dogs or jackals...  every weekend they have a go at the beast...   a slash here...  a cut there...  eventually even the biggest most powerful beast will down under such a relentless onslaught...
 
 
They do not care what the pro-China people think of their actions.  And they believe that large numbers of Hongkongers support them.  And with the US set to pass a bill that supports them, they no doubt believe world opinion is lining up on their side.   
 
Every spiraling retail figure... every report of empty hotels slashing rates... every drop in passengers carried by Cathay Pacific... is like blood in the water to a shark...
 
This excites the front liners ... they can see the panic and fear in the beasts eyes..   they can see the beast's knees trembling...   
 
They know they can take the beast down....  it's just a matter of staying the course.... 
https://youtu.be/l_I-zvtcPqc 
 
 
Will/can Carrie Lam do what is necessary to save the beast?  
 
Let's hope so. 
 
 
 
 
 

Ed 25 days ago
Zebra - polls indicate that the majority of Hongkongers support the violence protests.
 
 
New research shows vast majority of Hong Kong protesters support more radical tactics
 
 
If the police adopt a harder line than they already have I suspect we will experience the following blowback:
 
1.  Current front liners will become more radicalized and might retaliate by killing policemen perhaps targeting off duty officers.   The protesters have demonstrated that they are not going to be intimidated.
 
2.  More peaceful protesters will join the front line ranks.
 
3.  More ordinary Hongkongers will side with the protesters.
 
4. And last but not least an extreme crackdown by the police would make a compromise even more difficult to achieve.
 
This would also push Hong Kong's economy to the brink --  if the serious money begins to believe this crisis is going to go nuclear does anyone not think this has the potential to collapse the stock market and cause massive capital flight out of the city?   
 
All it takes is a few key strokes at some of the large financial institutions and in seconds you've got yourself a full blown calamity.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ed 25 days ago
Hong Kong’s biggest airline recorded its second straight month of falling passenger numbers in September, as a report signalled it could slump into a full-year loss amid violent anti-government protests in the city and severe scrutiny from mainland Chinese authorities.
 
The Cathay Pacific Group also warned of a “significant shortfall” in advance bookings for the rest of the year, reflecting the extent of the impact from the civil unrest.
 
Its passenger numbers stood at 2.42 million in September, down 7.1 per cent year on year, and its planes were only approximately three-quarters full – or down 7.2 percentage points to 73.6 per cent.
 
The Chinese National Day holiday period, which typically means big business for Cathay Pacific, turned into a nightmare as travellers from the mainland avoided the airline and the city amid the violence.
 
Fewer passengers opted to fly to Hong Kong, and the airline saw inbound passenger traffic fall 38 per cent, the same figure as in August. Outbound traffic dropped 9 per cent, compared with 12 per cent last month. 
 
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3033544/cathay-pacific-carried-fewer-passengers-year-year-september
 
 
Anyone think the protesters are not seeing that story? 
 
 
 

zzebra 25 days ago
Initially I thought it’s the same pollsters who predicted a Hilary victory and UK to stay in the EU, then I noticed the poll heading and audience “New research shows vast majority of Hong Kong protesters support more radical tactics” - is this like asking Babe the piglet if he enjoys a wholesome banger and mesh!?

How about let’s poll to show how many citizens would support HK govt to hire Ferguson police to restore peace on the streets?

The fact of the matter is that the protesters / rioters can’t be reasoned and I haven’t seen any one of them to name one political freedom which they enjoyed before 1997 but since taken away.

I don’t disagree that there are deep rooted social and economic issues in HK, so does many other cities. Holding the govt and the citizens of HK hostage to illegitimate democratic demands is in itself undemocratic.

Does those people whose livelihood got ruined because of this have basic human rights to do an honest day of work to make ends meet!?

Ed 25 days ago
Anecdotally.... when I was on following the front liners on their rampage last Saturday....   at one point, as they made their way through traffic, they passed a stopped double decker bus filled with passengers...
 
Just about every passenger on the lower deck stood and put their hands on the window in a gesture of solidarity with the front liners who were walking past... the front liners responded by putting their hands to the window of the bus...
 
 
I know that it is a small sampling ... but I'd estimate that 80% of the people on that bus supported the Men in Black.... 
 
 
And last Friday I shared the lift with a local woman who was in our office interviewing a domestic helper.  She greeted me with 'Happy Friday'...    We shared a laugh about how things were not going to be so happy in HK on Saturdays and Sundays though...
 
She said that she doesn't really go out on the weekends because of the protests.   I agreed indicating it can be very dangerous....
 
Her response:  Yes, the police are so fierce, those protesters are so brave.
 
Again, anecdotal... 
 
 
We lost a chance to get an update involving a huge sampling of the population of HK when the police turned down the application for a protest permit on Sunday.
 
That would have made it possible for anyone and everyone to show up without fear of being arrested.
 
I strongly suspect that if it would have gone ahead we'd have seen a massive number of people show up (as in easily 1 million) - that would have given a true indication of how many support the protests
 
 
 And I strongly suspect that is why the permit was rejected. Millions on the streets would only add fuel to the fire
 
 
This situation is not helpful to my business.   I would like to see it resolved. 
 
 
But all we have so far is a promise of 40,000 flats in 3 years when there are millions on the wait list... with more being added every year...    oh and we have a ban on face masks and now imports of black clothing. 
 
And a protest leader with his head bashed in by hammer-wielding thugs.... 
 
And the beast is staggered and starting to bleed out...  
 
 
 
 

zzebra 25 days ago
Just one observation from history and one question:

- Majority of Nazi Germany’s citizens supported annexation of Sudenteland which preluded WW2 and majority of Brits wanted Chamberlain’s “peace in my hands” appeasement deal with Hitler. These don’t make it right

- Do the other 20% have a say without fear of retribution in public!?

Please don’t get me wrong - if the media were to be objective and titled this as “Rampaging fascist mobs cheering on by busload of jubilant onlookers...” I’d be sadden but fine with this and it’s closer to the truth about this civil society. Just don’t sugarcoat what it really is.

Ed 25 days ago
I have not suggested that they are right or wrong.    
 
What I have suggested is that there is massive support for the violent actions of the protesters.
 
 
Recall the American Revolution which was won by killing British soldiers.  Plenty of Americans supported the crown (and fled to Canada when Britain was defeated) but most supported those who shot and killed thousands of Brits.
 
Not the perfect analogy... but I think that is more relevant than invoking Nazi Germany.
 
Were the Americans justified?   They obviously thought so.   But then the British would have thought them ungrateful bandits. 
 
Again, I seek to understand the situation ---  but ultimately what I want to see is a resolution that gets HK back on track.  
 
I do not see crushing the protests violently as a solution (although I can understand how this would be a welcome course of action by quite a few people).
 
As someone put it to me the other day --- when both sides are completely unwilling to compromise on a deal, then the deal usually does not happen. 
 
Perhaps there is no solution?   
 
 
The protesters seem to think that if they are forced to kill the beast that this is an acceptable outcome ... that is will force the government to come to the table.... 
 
That's definitely one of those 'be careful what you wish for' situations.   
 
Hong Kong is a far bigger animal than Lehman....  and probably Too Big Too Bail..... 

zzebra 25 days ago
To be honest, I’m grateful that a civilised debate can be conducted at this forum.

In essence, the similarities between these mobs and neofascist are striking. Let’s check the boxes:

- ultranationalism (city perhaps) - checked
- racial supremacy - checked
- populism - should I say more
- authoritarianism- not yet in authority thankfully
- nativism - big time
- xenophobia - off the scale
- opposition to immigration - checked

One can easily cite multiple examples of these elements from the current movement.

Yet none of the rioters / ringleaders can articulate based on reasonable terms what exactly they wanted and why what they’re demanding represent a true democracy.

I don’t have a political inclination but I respect the laws of the land and grateful as a guest in HK. These are totally lacking on the streets of MK.

PS. I’m at the epicenter when Lehman collapsed, hence I believe that I’m qualified than most others to share a few words here - there is nothing which is too big to fail, what has led us to this detriment is collective stupidity and arrogance of the few. These are in abundance today on the streets of HK.

PPS. No solution is needed. This will fizzle out eventually. When the “provisional HK govt” was established in a shopping mall, the “city officials” decamped and went home when the mall turned off the air con. Such is the resolve and the staying power of the “new govt”.

Ed 25 days ago
I was told by many when I was in HK in July ... that the government would throw the protesters a bone (as they did in 2014) ... they'd crawl back into their tiny apartments with granny granpa mom dad sis and brother... and we'd be back to BAU in no time.
 
I was also told by many that when the extradition thing was pulled that this would surely be then end of these always bound to fail protests.
 
I was quite keen to get to Hong Kong for this trip because I wanted to get to the protests and speak to those involved to find out what is driving them --- and how committed they are.   My motives are part curiousity and part business intelligence (estimating the resolve of the protesters is useful).
 
I have outlined most of what I have learned here   I will likely be out tomorrow and Sunday checking the pulse again.
 
I very much doubt the protests are going to stop --- unless there is some sort of 'New Deal' type plan put on the table --- I also think that for such a plan to work it will need to come from a new face, as the protesters are unlikely to accept anything put forward by Carrie Lam.
 
We did not get that on Wednesday so I am going to assume nothing on that scale is forthcoming.
 
The protesters have a clear plan and they are executing it --- they went after the airport and inconvenienced huge numbers of people  - that got splashed across the global MSM --- and 'Bob and Jenny' saw that ... and went to Phuket instead.... 
 
And they have relentlessly continued with hit and run actions that Bob and Jenny watch on the CBS evening news...  and now virtually no tourists are coming to Hong Kong (I am in a 30 flr hotel in Central and I doubt there are 10 other people staying here... I suspect the numbers are much worse than is being reported)
 
To reiterate... in discussions with many of the protesters - they see the grim economic data - and they are pleased to see that the economy is sinking.   Mission Accomplished as the saying goes...
 
 
Put it this way, when you are willing to stand in front of hundreds of menacing police armed with tear gas, rubber bullets... who are coming at you rattling their shields on the ground to scare you off....   when you are willing to accept a brutal beating and be jailed....  when you are willing to assault these same cops...
 
You are not messing around.   You very obviously are committed. 
 
I stood by as the police rushed the crowd in Mongkok and it was frightening ... and I had a press pass protecting me...   
 
How unhappy must you be as a uni student to stand in front of THAT?
 
 
Yet they come back ...week after week --- we have seen some of the heaviest violence in recent weeks (particularly the Friday that the anti mask law was introduced).... 
 
Recall after the triads had a go in Yuen Long and then again in CWB... the protesters did not back off...  they went to Yuen Long looking to brawl with the triads...  they went back to CWB and North Point 'hunting for triads.'   
 
Have a look at video of that incident.   You've got to be beyond caring (or perhaps seriously committed to your cause) when you are willing to attack some of the most vicious men in Hong Kong.
 
 
So the question is - will they give up before the economy goes down the tubes?
 
If I were to bet on this I'd be putting the whole lot on the protesters holding firm and bringing the economy to the precipice. 
 
Consider that the US House has passed the HK Human Rights Bill ---  with the Senate indicating that they will stamp it as well.    Effectively the protesters will then have the wind of potential trade penalties against HK/China at their backs.
 
A wildfire driven by heavy winds is difficult to extinguish and usually ends up consuming everything in its way. 
 
In this case the HK economy is directly in the path of the fire.
 
We are 4+ months in and the fire is still raging as intensely as ever.  
 
I reckon we underestimate the resolve of this movement --- at our peril. 
 
 
 

Ed 25 days ago
This is the best documentary I have seen on the protests to date....   
 
https://youtu.be/7g4N6Oe3g2Q
 
 
 

zzebra 25 days ago
My view is that this is not an ad hoc movement, but an explosion of violence fueled by years of HK govt mismanagement (housing policy is a good area to start).

The economic and social divide was building gradually over the past 10-15 years in HK and it will not go away overnight even if the peace is restored.

Lee Hsien Long has summarized the issues quite well in my humble view. If the govt caved, there will be another five demands by Christmas.

Not sure if anyone has watch the National Anthem episode of Black Mirror. It’s exactly the dilemma facing the HK govt.

If HK is to become another Londonderry with police or military check points, why not and at least I don’t have to pay the involuntary toll imposed at the rioters roadblocks! Why the mainstream Western media isn’t reporting that as well as going house to house and extortion of “democratic contributions”.

It’s almost impossible to change people’s mind and way of thinking regardless what the HK govt is willing to do. But there is everything the police can do with 30k well trained and equipped officers vs around 5-10k hardcore rioters.

I sometimes feel sorry for these rioting kids feeling left out by the affluent and powerful and financially stripped, and I wouldn’t mind buying them a meal or a beer just to have a constructive discussion on democracy. What they’re doing is certainly not democratic.

The biggest question is not what happens now, but what then (after either side calls it a day).

zzebra 25 days ago
As to the 4 Corners program, why a fuller story wasn’t told about why the riot police stormed the train carriage and what happened in the 10min in the train carriage before the police arrived.

A fuller footage can be seen here preceding the police’s response:

https://youtu.be/UwVX_T9NMJ0

Whatever happened to the reporter’s professionalism? Or this is the inconvenient and uncomfortable truth about the men in black (sorry many of them actually changed into disguising white shirts before the police arrived).

I also laughed whenever I heard the mobs sung Do You Hear the People Sing. Does anyone of them aware Bastille was stormed for its armoury as the prison has virtually no prisoner at the time, and the revolution eventually led to many of the revolutionary leaders’ heads chopped by the same mobs... then again, one needs to go to school to finish study first.

Ed 25 days ago
'But there is everything the police can do with 30k well trained and equipped officers vs around 5-10k hardcore rioters.'
 
As with the protesters nonchalance about collapsing the economy Hong Kong, I would suggest this is another 'be careful what you wish for' scenario.
 
If the police resorted to gunning down or engaging in mass arrests....  that might get rid of the hardcore protesters ... but it would not solve the underlying problems...
 
When you have 2 million people attend a protest in a city of 7.5 million ....  there are very serious underlying problems.
 
I asked a number of protesters what they thought would happen if the PLA imposed martial law.   
 
They indicated that large number of people would not go to school ... many would call in sick or strike from work ... and that people would simply engage in other passive protests including not shopping for anything but food and avoiding restaurants.
 
Troops can clear the streets - they cannot make people work or buy stuff.
 
Banning face masks and black clothing is like trying to fix a compound fracture with a bandaid.
 
Inequality is a huge issue (particularly the housing situation) but the political situation is also a major point of contention.
 
I have seen no policies from the government that address the underlying issues in a serious manner.
 
40,000 public housing units in the next 3 years?   That is a drop in the bucket....    
 
A reduction in the downpayment for first time buyers?    I recently read on Bloomberg of a 198s.f. apartment selling for HKD4,000,000.    If I am a first time buyer forgive me if I am not grateful for a policy that allows me to put down only 400k on a home the size of a carpark.  
 
 
 
Those with money and access to the trillions of stimulus that has been unleashed across the world since 2008 have been gorging on champagne and caviar...  mostly oblivious to the fact that billions have been left behind and are now struggling to pay their bills...
 
The housing bubble in HK and 4M car space-sized homes is just one manifestation of this.
 
Corks are starting to pop ...   unrest is still simmering beneath the surface in France... 
 
And Lebanon is descending into chaos... as is Iraq...  Ecuador was also on the boil recently...
 
 
But the stimulus cannot stop otherwise interest rates spike... consumer demand crashes .. and we pick up where we left off in 2008.
 
 
Perhaps there is no solution for what ails the protesters in Hong Kong? 
 
 

zzebra 24 days ago
Frankly I think we are beyond conventional crowd control or CRW measures in today’s HK. What’s needed is both strategic and tactical approaches in my humble view:

- International media has to be informed and objective in order to turn the tide and public “mid-information”. Every Ted Cruze interview needs to be accompanied by equal coverage of the reality such as this:

https://youtu.be/IDGL30Qvoos

- The men in black are certainly not afraid of the triads because they’re worst than the triads. For all the years in HK until today, I’ve never heard about illegal roadblocks and house by house extortions; a restaurantor friend in MK was told to go on “strike” on certain date to avoid an expensive “renovation” bill; kangaroo court and public trial being held at the airport

- Money laundry and terrorist financing investigations to cut off the external institutional sponsorships

- All underage rioters to receive parental fines and restricted overseas travel except to the mainland. And confiscation of their smartphones, they’d be prohibited to own any other than an old Nokia analogue phone

- All incl students breaking the law such as the face mask ban to receive verbal warning for the first offense, and summary judiciary procedure for repeat offense. I am not supportive of harsh penalty for non violent offenders, but simply a stamped ID card or student card indicating they’ve been convicted of such offense

- Financial recourse for all convicted rioters (not just for public infrastructure damage also private properties). Appropriate penal measures for the convicted rioters (Spain has set a good example recently, personally I think the Spanish judges are a bit harsh...)

- Riot police should plan and score a couple decisive arrests during the riots. Come on, basic police / military line formation tactics haven’t changed much since the Roman legion days. Apply them - flank, encircle and arrest

- Step up raids on cottage armory and suppliers

These are not intended to arrest every rioter in sight but it’d reduce their ranks dramatically down to perhaps 1-2k eventually. Can you imagine the impact on most HK youths to live without a smartphone or able to holiday outside of HK! I don’t think this is a joke but I do believe it will put off 80-90% of the protesters.

Since various Western flags were flown during the riots, all the airlines and foreign immigrations of these countries would be informed in advance of future rioters traveling to these countries (I do believe behind the international hypocrisy which would “welcome” the select few, rioting ranks and files are considered Persona non grata).

After the law and order is restored, it’s then time to turn to housing and other social economic issues. Any talks in this regard is empty when you’ve rampaging mobs on the streets. This is an enormous topic for another day.

Nor that the PLA would ever come, what sets this apart from 30 years ago is that a regime’s legitimacy and preservation are not threatened (Chinese citizens overwhelmingly support the HK / Central govt this time). HK may be an embarrassment but far from a critical situation which necessitates a heavy handed approach.

If one looks beyond the international political rhetoric, legitimacy and preservation of a political regime are of the utter most importance to Trump, Putin, Xi, Boris, Morris, Cai, Lee... in fact every single global leader. Would any foreign govt genuinely welcome an insidious advocate of political instability in their country with opened arm. Don’t bet on it! This is the hardest part the mobs would have to swallow one day.

broussymark 24 days ago
All countries should take actions against pro-China (the community party of China) officials in Hong Kong and China, do not allow these pro-China officials and their family members to have overseas passports and share the database of these official names (Pro-China) with US government and EU countries when they do not respect 1 country 2 systems, democracy, human rights and freedoms. They should stay in China forever.

HK policemen and Lam Cheng administration are murdering Hong Kong people. All presidents and prime ministers must stay strong with Hong Kong protesters ! Teresa Cheng and Carrie Lam are crazy, people fight for Justice ! Teresa Cheng are not the right person at DOJ that a lot of lawmakers, lawyers, and barristers agreed !

Ed 24 days ago
Add Chile to the list of countries where the people are rebelling as their costs of living spiral out of control..... 
 
 
Chile declares state of emergency amid student riots
 
 
Protests and rioting have intensified in Santiago, where students are opposing a hike in the price of subway fares. Authorities enacted a state of emergency after a night of vandalism and violence.
 
The protests appear driven by multiple grievances over rising costs of living, including public services, healthcare and education, sparked by a recent rise in metro fare, which reportedly enraged the nation's large demographic of university students.
 

Students set up barricades and started fires at subway entrances on Friday afternoon and evening, prompting transportation authorities to shut down all lines. Thousands of commuters were stranded on their way home from work.
 
 
https://www.dw.com/en/chile-declares-state-of-emergency-amid-student-riots/a-50896834 
 
And Brazil....
 
Clashes break out at Brazil public transport rally
 
Police have used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse a violent demonstration in Sao Paulo over fare hikes. Some protesters started throwing rocks at security forces and caused damaged to banks and offices.
 
On Saturday, public transport fares in Sao Paolo will rise the equivalent of seven cents to 3.80 reais ($0.94), which officials say is below the rate of inflation. But opponents claim the price hike is unaffordable in a worsening economy. In Rio, the price increase is slightly steeper. 
 
https://www.dw.com/en/clashes-break-out-at-brazil-public-transport-rally/a-18968593 
 
 

Ed 24 days ago
In #Santiago, Chile - foreigners, civilians, and many Americans are on lockdown unable to leave or go anywhere due to the riots.   Tanks & forces seen driving up streets just feet from where American/Chilean and other foreign students are studying.
Students have burned down buildings and torched subway cars....
 
https://youtu.be/DaYjEitSLy4

Ed 23 days ago
The massive turnout (350k) in TST yesterday in spite of the fact that the protest did not receive a permit... is a firm indication of how much support there is for the movement.
 
One of the people I spoke to was a 70 yr old grandfather -- who was there with his two granddaughters who were 13 and 11 (who were head to toe in black) -- he said they have been attending on most weekends.
 
I also spoke to a 36 year old teacher who opined that solving the economic issues will never be enough to stop the movement.   
 
A couple of comments on the deportment of Hong Kong's 'finest'
 
I was just up the street from the TST Mosque (which apparently now resembles the blue mosque in Istanbul)... and there were absolutely ZERO protesters in that area.  The vast majority of the peaceful protesters remained in the TST area --- there were front line protesters further up the road but they were all focused on the TST police station which is hundreds of metres north of the mosque.  So why the water cannons targeted the mosque is beyond me ---  perhaps a fat finger error? 
 
As the evening wrapped up just after 11pm, after many hours of futility trying to catch mice, the troops clambered back into their vehicles to drive away -- I was standing on the sidewalk next to them along with dozens of press and some local residents (who were shouting 'go!' in Cantonese as they slowly crawled past and one cop opened the window and let lose a massive spurt of pepper spray into the crowd.   That absolutely incensed the crowd who screamed profanities.
 
Soon after another cop past the enraged crowd in a smaller van and he too opened his window and shouted obscenities at the crowd followed by a middle-finder salute.
 
 
The gulf got a little bit wider last night..... 
 
 
 
 

zzebra 23 days ago
Incidentally I was in Brazil, Chile and South Africa during the past year. It’s quite a statement to say that I feel safer when driving through the fervela or downtown Joburg than TST HK!

To anyone with half ounce of common sense would know what transpired at TST yesterday was never about any reasonable democratic demands but a planned and organized assault on the establishment and police.

The “blue” mosque may well be a fat finger mistake, should equal attention be paid on the burning down of Mi store and bank branches?

On Broussymark’s earlier points and let’s not dance around the elephant in the room. Can I respectfully ask anyone to answer:

- What political freedoms have been taken away since 1997?

- What human rights are being infringed in HK today when compared to other Western developed countries dealing with similar situations?

- How should the HK riot police react differently when compared to say Barcelona or São Paulo riot police? Let’s not even mention Ferguson or Londonderry

- How exactly China has violated one country two systems principles?

- How many local citizens have the HK police “murdered”? Should they be entitled to a trial in a court of law? Instead of the kangaroo court of the mobs at the airport?

- How do you define pro-China / HK govt? Why should those affiliated with these accusations be blacklisted?

- How would the so called democratic demands advance HK people’s livelihoods?

There is not a shred of objectivity or sensibility in any of this nonsense. One should expect the same empty minded and totally irrelevant slogans being chanted again and again by the mobs without any reasoning.

Or the level of articulation and political reasoning of the mobs are quite limited to their self inflated narcissism and a healthy disrespect for democratic values ironically. They just sounded like a broken record with Molotov cocktails in their hands. The same msg / posting simply demonstrates these points amply.

I was told by a very wise man that beyond the international political rhetoric and the politicians paying lip service, the mobs are just mobs with destructive and anarchy intentions as considered by various foreign intelligence agencies, homeland, immigration... dream on. Hope none of them is planning a Spanish holiday any time soon.

Ed 22 days ago
I don't want to get into the politics of this but keep in mind when you cross the border you cannot open just about every western media site.   You cannot even watch Miley Cyrus twerk on youtube (which is probably a good thing....) 
 
The people of Hong Kong are apparently not keen on the same rules applying to HK.     
 
Safe to say when you get 2 million people on the street, there is a problem.
 
 
If you really want to find out what they are so upset about, the best thing to do would be to attend one of the protests and speak to the people involved.     
 
Yesterday, it was completely safe to wander through the massive crowds in TST... there were no police and the protesters are very polite and very open to discussing what they are unhappy about.    They will tell you when the police are on the way and you can easily get away without getting caught up in the chaos.
 
Alternative just speak to some random locals that you encounter.  They will fill you in.  
 
Whether one agrees - or not -with them....   really does not matter.   They have an agenda that they are willing to promote even if it means taking violent action.
 
 
What we need is for both sides to come to the table and work things out so we can get back on track.   
 
That is looking like a more remote outcome as each weekend passes. 
 
 
 
 

zzebra 22 days ago
I get it, there are deep rooted social and economic issues with millions who are prepared to get on the street to literally fight for their causes. I don’t have any quarrels with thousands of youngsters engaging with police in street battle if this is what they wish.

I simply wish to share my opinions without lynch by the rioting mobs:

- The rioters are not advocates of democracy but fascist mobs, really. The Western media and self interested international politicians should have a conscience to point this out and it’s a blasphemy to associate the mobs with the term democracy

- The basic human rights of the non rioters are being infringed and violated (assaulted literally) everyday

- Reinstatement and respect of public law and order (not that I’m an advocate of draconian measures but to contain and pacify) which is totally lacking in a civil and democratic city

Now, why I’m making these points:

- I’ve a conscience and believe a true democracy is never about who’s numerical superiority or loudest voice

- In fact, I’ve spoken to a wide range of people locally (some random and some not so random), without putting a finer point to it as to turn this into a class warfare, the opinions I heard are far from universal support for the rioters. Can the other HK people’s humble wish to do an honest day of work as before be heard and respected?

- In fact, non of the “pro democracy” advocates I spoke to can give an educated answers of the questions I raised based on reasons and logic. But I respect them and no names calling here

I may be on the street battling the police if I face similar dire social and economic predicaments facing many of the rioters. But I wish to point out these can’t rationalize what’s happening in HK today. By staying silent I feel that I’m an accomplice to a destructive anarchy.

How long does one thinks he / she can seriously last at yesterday’s TST with these opinions voiced? “Peaceful” march or just sheer white terror!? Is this a democracy?

An objective international journalism is a good starting point

broussymark 22 days ago
There is a long list of issues that the community part of China, Pro-China officials and those mainland Chinese immigrants bought into Hong Kong ! I do not think that HKers would like to accept and see !

China GDP is getting worst. I have no idea how could Xi could handle it. I do not understand how the pro-China officials and Pro-China people say 'China is the best country !' It seems they could believe the facts and features.

I have chatted with pro-China Chinese immigrants in HK, they thought that China is the richest country of the world. They do not accept when you say anything against China ! I am sure the community party of China used brainwashed education system into young kids and people in China.

zzebra 22 days ago
BROUSSYMARK:

How does any of these relating to advancement of a democratic HK? So HK is a democracy by stopping the inflow of mainland immigrants? Please enlighten me the political freedom that China has deprived HK since 1997 from the long list by way of an example.

Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t have any issue with what you say. But please don’t sugar coat the rioters as freedom fighters.

Based on what I saw and what you wrote, I’ve no gripe if it’s reported objectively, say, Xenophobic (neo fascist / nazis, please pick one) thugs reduces HK to ashes while calling for mass expulsions of immigrants (esp from mainland China). This is not how a democracy works.

Ed 22 days ago
China's debt to GDP is off the charts...
 
China’s total debt rises to over 300 per cent of GDP as Beijing loosens borrowing curbs to boost growth
 
The figure has risen to over US$40 trillion, some 15 per cent of overall global debt, according to data released by the Institute of International Finance  Source
 
I think that the average person in China is completely unaware of the situation ... just as the average American was unaware of the situation there in the run up to 2007. 
 
Irrational exuberance is off the charts in China... everyone is 'getting rich!'....   they are in for the shock of their lives.... 

zzebra 22 days ago
I don’t disagree there are many economic and structural headwinds facing Chinese economy today.

In my humble view, nor that I’ve a macro economic degree, the Chinese govt realized the debt issue and implementing policies to address the issue.

To break this down in layman terms one initiative, the mitigation factor may lay in the Triffin Paradox and China’s belt and road policies. By effectively “equalizing” capital inflow and outflow through “quasi internationalization” of RMB and trades with belt and road countries, China’s capital accounts would balance (hopefully). Then the debt leverage would not be as much of an issue. USD is a good example of the Triffin Paradox.

Then again, I don’t expect too many of the China nay-sayers in the street of MK to understand this... (no disrespect to the economic majors from HK’s fine tertiary institutions present there, they’re as clueless as the rioters thrashing their classrooms, probably beat up their economic professors for dare to teach the truths - this I thought would make an interesting news story).

As to every Chinese is getting rich and they’re richest in the world claims... these would be another discussion for another day. Only if the rioting students bother to attend their classes, they’d have some intellectual things to say for a change.

Ed 22 days ago
 
 

No comprehensive, citywide opinion poll has been conducted yet that could claim to authoritatively reflect exactly how much support there is in society for the protest movement – and how much acceptance of the chaos that often accompanies it. 

 
Smaller polls have been attempted – Lee and his colleagues contacted about 750 individuals aged above 15 years in a random telephone survey in October.
 

More than 70 per cent said they would understand if protesters wanted to escalate their actions because the government had failed to respond to their demands for an independent inquiry into police conduct, amnesty for all those arrested so far, an end to the characterisation of protests as riots, and a revival of the city’s stalled political reform process with universal suffrage as the goal.

 
But when asked whether there were actions they found unacceptable, more than a fifth cited vandalism at MTR stations. Nearly 15 per cent disapproved of shops being targeted, and 7 per cent were upset about petrol bombs being thrown.
 
But when asked who should be held responsible for the violent clashes between protesters and police, more than half named the government. Only 9.6 per cent blamed the protesters. 
 
 
 
Meanwhile ... it's full on rebellion in Yuen Long tonight as thousands of angry residents are confronting the police... the streets are being bombarded with tear gas.   
 
 
https://hongkong.asiaxpat.com/Utility/GetImage.ashx?ImageID=b7436679-bbe9-4c91-ae27-8d177bd8bcac&refreshStamp=0 
 
 

zzebra 22 days ago
Adding to the anti establishment theme of the month, Barcelona burns too:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/the-latest-spain-says-ex-catalan-leader-has-no-immunity/2019/10/18/d239f9a2-f189-11e9-bb7e-d2026ee0c199_story.html

Spanish state will “apply to violent separatism the criminal code with all its force.” Quoted by Wapo for a democratic EU state.

Why should the mobs in HK get off scot free?

Ed 22 days ago
To date over 2000 mostly young people have been arrested and face serious jail time.   So unless they are able to force an amnesty at some point, nobody is getting off without a stretch in prison/a criminal record.
 
I suspect the demand for amnesty will be a high priority for the protesters in terms of their demands (if a solution can be forthcoming) as they will not take kindly to allowing their mates burn in prison.
 
There appear to be fewer arrests over the past couple of weeks as the black shirted front-liners have stopped confronting the police and instead block the streets with rubble then race off to side streets.  The rubble backs up traffic preventing police vans from accessing these areas.
 
In Yuen Long last night I noticed from the live TV coverage that only two teen girls were captured and one man in his early 20's.
 
It's like an elephant trying to catch mice....  there are thousands of mice who are quick and run as soon as they hear the clumsy bellowing elephant approach...    this must be frustrating as not only are the black shirts mocking them so too are the residents who heap abuse and profanity on the cops. 
 
The strategy last night seemed to be to bombard the mice with endless rounds of tear gas.   That has minimal effect as they retreated and just moved to other streets that were not gassed yet.
 
Whac-A-Mole.... 

Ed 22 days ago
I have found a survey that is some months old but has a bigger sample size...   
 
 
Center for Communication and Public Opinion Survey - HK Chinese University 
 
Onsite Survey Findings in Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Bill Protests
 
As of August 4, the team has conducted a total of 12 onsite surveys, with a total sample size of 6,688 respondents. Excluding the Yuen Long rally on July 27, which took place under exceptional circumstances, the overall response rate is 87.6%.
 
 
 

Executive Summary

  1. In general, participants of the anti-extradition bill movement were mostly young people, aged between 20-30. Their education level is high, with the majority of them having university qualification. More respondents identified themselves as belonging to the middle class than as belonging to the lower class. But in some specific protests, especially those with a more confrontational atmosphere, the ratio of middle-class participants to lower class participants was close to 1:1.
  2. Participants exhibited a wide range of political orientations. “Moderate democrats” were the core participants of the movement, followed by those who regarded themselves as “localists” in a broad sense. It is worth noting that the proportion of participants who identified themselves as “centrist” or having “no political affiliation” was also significant.
  3. “Calling for the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill” and “expressing dissatisfaction with the police’s handling of the protest” were the two most important motivations for protesters to participate in the protests throughout the movement. On the contrary, “calling for the resignation of Carrie Lam and major officials” was not their major demand. It is notable that “striving for Hong Kong’s democracy” also became a key motivation for protesters since July. Overall, police power and the failure of the government to completely withdraw the bill were the two key reasons why protesters continued to participate.
  4. Around 80 percent of the participants believed that the protests should continue if the government did not make further concessions other than simply suspending the extradition bill. Among them, about half supported escalating their actions, while the other half believed that the current form and scale of the protests should be maintained. Suspending the protests, however, is an unpopular option.
  5. Over half of the respondents also participated in 2014’s Umbrella Movement. Along with the June-Fourth vigil, these two events were the “first social movement experience” for the one-fourths of the respondents, respectively. At the same time, the anti-extradition bill movement was also the first social movement for more than one-eighths of the respondents.
  6. Half of the respondents in the June protests believed that peaceful, rational and non-violent protest was no longer useful. On the other hand, more and more participants considered radical protests to be more effective in making the government heed public opinion. The majority of participants also agreed that radical tactics could alienate the general public. This finding shows that the participants were still concerned about the attitude of the general public towards the movement.
  7. A popular slogan in the movement was “climbing mountains together, making your own effort.” It conveys the idea that supporters of peaceful and radical tactics each have their role to play in the movement. The survey findings also provide evidence of the strong solidarity among the protesters. Most of the participants agreed that “the maximum impact could only be achieved when peaceful assembly and confrontational actions work together”. In the July protests, it is interesting to note that more and more participants agreed that “the use of radical tactics by protesters is understandable when the government fails to listen”.

 https://sites.google.com/view/antielabsurvey-eng
 
 
 
The only true survey of how many people support the ongoing protests and violence would be to approve a protest application.   Then estimate the numbers who show up.    

Ed 21 days ago
Taking aim at China: why Hong Kong ‘radicals’ have turned on mainland Chinese targets
 
 
> Businesses and people with ties to mainland China have been in the firing line of a nativist group of protesters, observers say
 
 
> But it’s no coincidence to see an ‘anti-China’ sentiment in the city, given various factors from a loss of autonomy to high housing prices, others say
 
 
 

When Chen, a banker from mainland China, left his home on Hong Kong Island with his family for dinner earlier this month, he was alarmed to come across a makeshift roadblock in Wong Chuk Hang near Aberdeen.

 

There, a few men in black and armed with sticks were stopping motorists and demanding that they show them their mobile phones.

 

Spooked by an attack on another Mandarin-speaking banker in the city that day, Chen feared that what was on his phone could endanger his family.

 

“I use WeChat [a messaging app popular in China] to communicate with my mainland clients,” Chen said, refusing to identify himself by his full name. “If they read my messages they would know that I’m a mainlander.”

 
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3033909/taking-aim-china-why-hong-kong-radicals-have-turned-mainland 

Ed 21 days ago
Why protesters are on the streets worldwide
 
 
In recent weeks, mass protests have broken out in countries from Lebanon to Spain to Chile. All are different - with distinct causes, methods and goals - but there are some common themes that connect them.
 

While thousands of miles apart, protests have begun for similar reasons in several countries, and some have taken inspiration from each other on how to organise and advance their goals.
 

Here's a look at the issues at stake - and what binds many of those taking to the streets.
 

Inequality - Many of those protesting are people who have long felt shut out of the wealth of their country. In several cases, a rise in prices for key services has proved the final straw.
 
 
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-50123743 

Ed 20 days ago
In Chile, a familiar refrain...  we conducted peaceful protests but the government ignored us....  so we turn to violence:
 
https://youtu.be/btzXtBB-Bu4 

Ed 17 days ago
A million Chileans march in Santiago to protest inequality
 
 

SANTIAGO – As many as a million Chileans protested peacefully late into the evening on Friday in the capital Santiago in the biggest rallies yet since violence broke out a week ago over entrenched inequality in the South American nation.

 

Protesters waving national flags, dancing, banging pots with wooden spoons and bearing placards urging political and social change streamed through the streets, walking for miles (km) from around Santiago to converge on Plaza Italia.

 

Traffic already hobbled by truck and taxi drivers protesting road tolls ground to a standstill in Santiago as crowds shut down major avenues and public transport closed early ahead of marches that built throughout the afternoon.

 

Santiago Governor Karla Rubilar said a million people marched in the capital – more than five percent of the country’s population. Protesters elsewhere took to the streets in every major Chilean city.

 

An online poll conducted by local company Activa Research of 2,090 people between Oct. 22-23 found 83% of respondents said they supported the goals of the demonstrators, but 72.5% opposed violence as a method of protest.

 

The principal causes of the protests were low salaries, high utility prices, poor pensions and economic inequality, it said.

 
 
 https://santiagotimes.cl/2019/10/26/a-million-chileans-march-in-santiago-to-protest-inequality/
 
 
https://hongkong.asiaxpat.com/Utility/GetImage.ashx?ImageID=edf58c5e-cdcc-455c-821e-7b28cc7c0a0d&refreshStamp=0 

Ed 17 days ago
Shots fired in Lebanon's Tripoli as army clashes with protesters
 
Video from Tripoli's Beddawi area posted on social media on Saturday appeared to show protesters standing in a street about 100 metres from soldiers as shots ring out, after which a man can be seen being carried away.
 
 
 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/shots-fired-lebanons-tripoli-army-clashes-protesters-191026162304116.html

Ed 17 days ago
At least six protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces in Iraq, officials said, pushing the overall death toll in this month's anti-government protests to more than 190.
 
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/killed-iraq-anti-government-protests-continue-191026155414026.html 

Ed 17 days ago
From Chile to Ecuador and Bolivia to Haiti police and protesters are clashing on the streets, but what are the common threads and will they lead to change?
 
Tanks on the streets in Chile. Barricades and bloodshed in Bolivia. Weeks of unrest that have pushed Haiti to the brink and forced Ecuador’s president to relocate his government.
 
 
 
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/24/latin-american-spring-protests-chile-ecuador-bolivia-haiti 

Ed 16 days ago
https://youtu.be/FPJofPh8LXo

zzebra 16 days ago
Good documentary.

The kids may want to note 2 things, the medieval dark ages lasted 1000 years, and whatever it’s they think that they’re fighting for is irrelevant by 2047 or in less than 30 years time

Ed 16 days ago
Parallels between HK and Spanish protests (although the HK protesters are not demanding independence)...  there are a few common denominators but the key one is the impact that the protests have on the economies of each place.
 
If a large enough number of people have reached their breaking point and feel that they have nothing left to lose if they tip over the economy.... and are willing to protest regardless of the measures taken by their government to try to stop them....  then we have a very big problem.
 
The governments cannot take the heavy hand and smash the protests because that would only accelerate economic collapse.   And it would seem the protesters are well-aware of this. 
 
So they continue to pile on pressure expecting the government to eventually give in to their demands knowing full well that the government and elites have a great deal to lose if the economy blows up.
 
Will governments and elites blink as the abyss approaches? 
 
  
 
 
 A key passage in the event’s joint manifesto hinted at why the crisis shows no sign of abating: “It is the responsibility of politicians, and not the justice system,” to find an “effective and decisive” solution to this conflict. Unfortunately, political dialogue and negotiation have been sorely lacking in relations between Barcelona and Madrid for a number of years. And there’s little sign of that changing.
 
On Monday, Oct. 14, the day the sentences were announced, thousands of protesters surrounded Barcelona airport, preventing many travelers from catching their flights and leading to over 100 flight cancellations. The police used tear gas and rubber bullets (whose use has been banned in Catalonia since 2013) to try to disperse the crowds.
 
 On Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct 15 and 16, pockets of protesters, mostly young, engaged in pitched street battles with riot units of local and national police forces in the Eixample district of Barcelona.
 
But roads and train lines continue to be blocked and spontaneous protests continue to sprout up across the region on an almost hourly basis, all made possible by encrypted social networks such as Telegram.
 
As each day goes by, the risk of damage to Catalonia’s economy rises. One sector that’s already being affected is the tourism industry, which generates more money than any other regional sector in Spain. The governments of the UK, France and the U.S. — three countries that account for roughly 40% of all foreign visitors to Catalonia in an average month — have already warned their citizens about the risks of visiting the region.
 
On the ground, businesses and the associations that represent them are sounding the alarm. They fear that the longer this conflict drags on, the more entrenched and radicalized both sides will become. Eventually, investors, particularly from overseas, will begin to get cold feet.
 
As action begets reaction and repression fuels further polarization and radicalization, it’s only a matter of time before local businesses begin to feel the effects, if they aren’t already.
 
 
https://wolfstreet.com/2019/10/27/the-crisis-in-catalonia-what-i-saw-in-our-neighborhood-in-barcelona/ 

Ed 16 days ago
To restore peace to Hong Kong, big business, developers, homeowners and the taxman must all accept the pain of drastic economic reform
 
  • High land prices, the currency peg and low taxes are flaws in Hong Kong’s deeply unfair economic system, which needs to be overhauled
  • Big businesses and existing homeowners are among those who must make painful sacrifices if the city’s problems are to be solved
 
Hong Kong must reform its economic policy to restore social calm. While political issues are important and should be addressed, economics is critical to any lasting peace. The essence of Hong Kong’s current economic policy, which is billed as a laissez-faire nirvana, is a regressive tax in the form of high land prices. It strangles the middle class.
 
When economic growth is fast, it obscures the negative impact of the policy. But prolonged slow growth exposes the corrosive effect the policy has on wealth equality and labour income. As young people’s aspirations are extinguished, a social explosion is inevitable.
 
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s policy address, while delivered under difficult circumstances, was very disappointing content-wise. A new initiative to allow homebuyers to borrow up to 90 per cent of the value of flats is sugar-coated poison. Under current circumstances, is a 10 per cent drop in property prices imaginable?
 
 
https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3034626/restore-peace-hong-kong-big-business-developers-homeowners-and 

Ed 15 days ago
Hong Kong enters recession, official says, as protests again erupt in flames
 
 
“The blow (from the protests) to our economy is comprehensive,” Paul Chan said in a blog post, adding that a preliminary estimate for third-quarter GDP on Thursday would show two successive quarters of contraction - the technical definition of a recession.
 
He also said it would be “extremely difficult” to achieve the government’s pre-protest forecast of 0-1 % annual economic growth.
 
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-protests/hong-kong-enters-recession-as-street-protests-erupt-in-flames-idUSKBN1X706F?feedType=RSS&feedName=newsOne 
 
 
The protesters march the economy another step closer to the brink.... 
 

Ed 14 days ago
You can say today, even more than 2014, even more than 30 years ago in Tiananmen Square, that's what the protesters are doing.
 
But the fundamental difference is the protesters, the mentality and the courage. Thirty years ago, we were fighting for something in our dream. We never knew it — we never tasted it. If we didn't get it, then we didn't really lose anything.
 
But nowadays, these people, from my observation in the streets, every major protest, I can see a determination from their face, from their body language, and especially, this is joined by man and woman, young man and woman and woman are not following the man and women are on their own.
 
So, all over and in the street, they — in their face, in their body language — you can read, they are ready to burn together if it burns.
 
https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-10-28/tiananmen-leader-hong-kong-protesters-they-are-ready-burn-together 
 
 
https://hongkong.asiaxpat.com/Utility/GetImage.ashx?ImageID=dff1a4ce-32a1-4dea-9dc8-ceff7af4ac6b&refreshStamp=0 

Ed 14 days ago
Carrie Lam points to protests as ‘root of problems’ as economy slumps
 
The city’s leader says government relief measures would only ‘cure the symptoms, not the roots’ of the issues hurting the city’s economy.
 
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3035305/chief-executive-carrie-lam-points-violent-protesters-root 
 
 
Well ....   the protester are not burning out... in fact they look to be filled with endless rage....   
 
And they are confident that if the government attempts to 'burn them' that 'we all f$%#@ing burn with them' ... and they know full well that their actions are bleeding out the HK economy....
 
 
So what are we going to do here...   is a solution possible ... or do we watch it go up in flames?
 
 
The tipping point gets closer by the week.  

Ed 14 days ago
Meanwhile....  in Chile:
 
Chile: Protests and looting erupt despite president's new Cabinet
 
Protesters in Chile are angry over high inequality, low wages and a thin social safety net. According to a recent poll, some 80% of Chileans did not consider President Pinera's new proposals to be adequate.
 
https://www.dw.com/en/chile-protests-and-looting-erupt-despite-presidents-new-cabinet/a-51029509 
 
 
 

Ed 14 days ago
Lebanon 'days' away from economic collapse if no political solution to protests found, says central bank governor
 
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/28/middleeast/lebanon-salame-economy-collapse-intl/index.html 
 
 

zzebra 14 days ago
As an anecdotal story while I was visiting a number of cities in Australia over the past week, I was asked about the current situation in Hong Kong and the subject of the 4 Corners documentary come up a lot.

Based on the people that I’ve met and spoken to on this subject, their perception and opinions are mixed after watching the documentary.

However, after I explained and showed them the unedited video (including the footage before the police stormed the carriage), the reaction which I’ve got is almost universal and overwhelming endorsement on the police’s actions and level of their response.

Without bringing any politics into this debate, this demonstrates a total lack of objectivity in many of the Western media, and how quickly international public opinions and perceptions can turn one way or the other.

When people open their eyes to the truth, it’d be devastating and interesting to know how much international support the mobs they think they’ve (or deserve).

https://youtu.be/08GDQCiU8uU

Seeing (the whole truth) is believing, or you (the journalists) are just another Ted Cruze.

zzebra 14 days ago
One John Smith I met in Melbourne sums this up succinctly after watching the full video footage: “they (the men in black) are lawless thugs, democracy my ars)$”

The general response here was that this kind of behavior in HK today won’t be tolerated in any Western democracy with the police coming down and crushing the mobs with full force of the state.

Ed 14 days ago
In  the west there is a ballot box.... in Hong Kong people vote with bricks and Molotov cocktails.... 

zzebra 14 days ago
Ballot box doesn’t necessarily equate democracy or political freedom and vice versa...

I’m an admirer of the work done in this area by the late John Rawls, an advocate of social justice and political liberalism. There is an inherent instability and paradox in any democratic system and the way (including the election process) it works. The put it simply, there is a debate to be had what constitutes a modern democracy. Basically things I don’t expect any of the thugs or overage high school students to understand (LOL).

Ed 14 days ago
It is my understanding that the violent protests started soon after this:
 
https://youtu.be/GvWnEU_PW6M
 
 
And this: 
 
"All of you are my heroes": Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho appears to applaud, give a "thumbs up" & shake hands with men in white. It came as 100's of masked men in white shirts assaulted anti-extradition protesters & MTR passengers in Yuen Long.
 
 

zzebra 13 days ago
Firstly, there is absolutely no justification or excuse to the level of street violence in HK today in my view.

As to the the Yuen Long MTR incident In late July, this was PREDATED by weeks of street riots including storming and thrashing of HK legico building on July 1, as well as massive disruption to public transportation system already.

https://youtu.be/j9p4YpN0srE

By way of an example, is this considered peaceful?

I don’t judge, but what might happen to the anger and frustration of those whose livelihood destroyed by the mindless anarchy created by men in black?

One fact about the men in black which actually surprised me was the large % of students. But the 18 y.o. overage From 5 student speaks in volume about the level of political intellect (or just intelligence in general...) and the ease of which they can be incited!

Ed 13 days ago
Let's examine the big picture here. 
 
Protesters have told me that one of the goals they have is to target the HK economy and one of their methods is to create chaos which is then broadcast globally destroying the tourism industry in HK.  The violence (both from the protesters and police) also makes HK people reluctant to shop and go to restaurants.
 
Some people overseas may believe the protesters are rioting barbarians,  but will they take a vacation in HK now?   
 
I had a discussion with a front line police officer as he took a break at the TST protests last Sunday and he mentioned that if this continues for much longer 'all the shops here will go out of business' 
 
At the end of the day,  it does not matter if one believes the protesters are thugs or not....   what matters is that they have a goal.... and that goal is to use violence to tank the economy and force the government to address their demands.
 
What matters is that, from what I have observed and heard, the protesters believe they have 'nothing to lose' if they eviscerate the HK economy.   They believe they have no future so why not smash Humpty Dumpty to pieces.   Whatever opinion anyone has on that does not matter - it is what they believe.   
 
'We Burn - You Burn with Us'  ----  I do not believe that is an empty threat. 
 
 
Again...  I see this as a be careful what you wish for situation ....  recall the aftermath when Humpty fell off the wall and busted up... 
 
But then what I think does not matter.    

zzebra 13 days ago
I can’t agree enough on the impact on HK economy.

Without sounding rich and what really concerns me is a whole generation of HK youths is lost.

This was to a large extent fanned by a deeply flawed education system. I was stunned by the words coming out of some of the “educators”. How would one categorize the barbaric actions against a police officer of the 18 y.o. overage Form 5 students based on prima facie evidence? Do they really think a police detention camp is Club Med? Have they been inside a supermax before?

As an anecdotal story and I was at a business function the other day with various “captains” of the local industries. Heated debate and words about the current HK situation were thrown across the table. The moment of truth come when someone asked the table “would you hire these kids into your company?” This was followed by deafening and embarrassing silence!

https://youtu.be/anjAg6nb_JY

Would you like to hire any one of these students into your kindergarten, restaurants...?

The ramifications are long dated and huge. Even calm is restored to the street today, there is likely to be a generation of “underprivileged” HK youths who would find employment and economic opportunities even harder to come by because of their own actions today. They will be punished one way or the other... Personally I don’t think this is how social justice should work and democracy is also about equal opportunities.

Sadly, this could well be the future which lies ahead for many of the rioters.

If my eyeball index of tear gas canisters fired (from the TV) is any guide, the “revolution” is fizzling out. But would the wild fire be re ignited 20 years down the road, your guess is as good as mines.

Ed 13 days ago
The protesters know that prison is a bad place and that they jeopardize their futures by committing these crimes.   In fact, just showing up at one of these protests can mean a criminal record gets attached to your name.
 
Yet they continue to take these risks.  
 
One can stand in judgment of their actions --- or one can make use of that knowledge to make personal and business decisions.  
 
 
 
Ironically, these 'captains' of industries are the ones that are going to be looking for jobs if there is not a near term proper fix to this crisis and the protesters throw Humpty from the overpass onto Connaught Rd.
 
As an aging captain it can be difficult to find a job.... 
 
The protesters have demonstrated that they are willing to rot in prison  for their cause --- so I suspect that if the protesters were aware of these comments that they would not change course.   
 
And at the end of the day, if this does get resolved, odds are these captains will hire some of these students --- because HR will have no idea if a candidate was a front-liner at the protests as they cover their faces --- and are seldom captured.
 
 
Meanwhile.... 
 
 
Hong Kong to enter recession after protests destroyed retailers and brought the city's tourist industry to its knees
 
  • The number of visitors into Hong Kong plunged in the first half of October 2019.
  • Average hotel occupancy rates have also fallen in the same period.
  • The total sales volume among retailers decreased by 25.3% in August, compared to last year, becoming the steepest year-on-year decline for a single month on record.
 
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/hong-kong-recession-protests-damage-retail-tourism-2019-10?r=US&IR=T 
 

zzebra 13 days ago
I think it’s more likely that the “captains” would laugh all the way to the bank instead while treading over street lined with (fill in the blank)...

When CIA can track Baghdadi through his underpants, one doesn’t think the police can finger the masked thugs!? One wise man once told me that it’s 8k camera that the police is holding in their hands when confronting the masked thugs; and since 911, facial recognition algo is one of the areas where the most of the R&D is spent. So go figured.

Or quite simply, HR can easily flag an overage high school graduate... or check the applicant’s IG account.

Yooey 13 days ago
Jesus that's horrific. Absolute madness.

Ed 13 days ago
Why are the police wasting my tax dollars on expensive cameras that can see through masks when they can purchase X-ray glasses on Alibaba for just a few dollars each????
 
 

zzebra 13 days ago
I think you’ve watched too much God of Gamblers...

https://youtu.be/JyCuFPYldHk

Ed 12 days ago
Hong Kong slips into recession as economy shrinks 3.2 per cent in the third quarter
 
I am wondering if that figure is not massaged (faked) given the trade war and protests are hammering the economy.
 
'If we burn, you burn'...    I'm starting to break out in a sweat...  better turn up the AC a little...  

Ed 11 days ago
‘Crazy night’ at party hub Lan Kwai Fong as sales slashed amid Halloween protests
 
Police block access to nightlife district fearing protest chaos during anti-government march on Thursday. LKF founder says it was worst shock to business since at least Sars outbreak
 
 https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3035901/crazy-night-hong-kong-party-hub-lan-kwai-fong-halloween
 
 
 
Hong Kong retail sales drop 18.3 per cent as slump continues
 
Consumption drops to HK$29.9 billion for September after a record 22.9 per cent fall in August.
 
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3035929/hong-kong-retail-sales-drop-183-cent-ongoing-protests-and 
 

zzebra 11 days ago
When a Halloween night out means you are “shocked” quite literally with an electric stun gun by the thugs, no wonder people is not spending...

https://youtu.be/uGmcbiSWpKk

zzebra 8 days ago
What’s wrong with this picture?

https://youtu.be/C476JXKrycQ

The truth and the inconvenient truth

Ed 7 days ago
Not the Michelin guide: Hong Kong restaurants branded 'yellow' if they support protests, 'blue' if they don't
 
 

Protesters have also declared many food and drink establishments “yellow-ribbon” or “blue-ribbon”, based on the businesses’ known political stances and ties.

Detailed lists are circulated on social media sites, with map applications showing the colour of restaurants in different districts. One map has labelled more than 1,700 establishments as “yellow-ribbon” and over 1,300 as “blue-ribbon”. 
 
Protesters patronise yellow-ribbon outlets, while shunning the rest.
 
Owner Wong Lee-lee, 37, a widow and single mother of two, says she has paid the price for supporting the police and being branded “blue-ribbon”.
 
She says her business has dropped by 40 per cent since June, and she has had to fork out HK$10,000 to HK$20,000 every month since then to cover her operation costs.
 
https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/world/not-the-michelin-guide-hong-kong-restaurants-branded-yellow-if-they-support-protests-blue-if-they-dont/ar-AAJIST3?li=BBr8YXK 
 
 
As some protesters have informed me, if the heavy hand attempts to smash them and impose martial law, 'we will stop shopping'   
 
They might take that further and stop anyone from shopping or at least make it politically incorrect to buy anything but the basic necessities (e.g. food) until the crisis is resolved. 
 
 
 
 

Ed 7 days ago
A sharp fall in the Hang Seng last quarter and downgrades from Fitch and Moody’s – which still leave Hong Kong’s credit rating firmly in upper-investment-grade territory – are not going to make the protesters think twice about challenging the government. Neither are they sufficient for public opinion to turn decisively against the activists.
However, a sudden run on one of the city’s large banks, or a serious challenge to the peg, could change the dynamics of the crisis, significantly increasing the cost of further unrest and putting the protesters, the government and Beijing under more pressure – domestically and internationally – to ease tensions.
 
 
https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3036164/hong-kong-protests-could-financial-crisis-be-jolt-brings-unrest
 
 
Wrong.   
 
If the economy tumbles towards collapse the protesters would absolutely NOT change course to save the day.   
 
I would expect them to double down on their actions because 1. they believe they have nothing to lose and 2.  they know that the elites and the government have everything to lose if the economy implodes - and they are hoping the government will respond to their demands as things deteriorate.

zzebra 7 days ago
The protestors sounded as “intelligent” as the 18 y.o. overage Form 5 student... have they heard about HKTVmall or net-a-porter?

Most of them (bulk of which are students) have little discretionary purchasing power anyway. It’s discomforting to say this, but the glitzing malls are not really build for the men in black.

Agreed that consumer sentiment is a different animal. Though with HSI clawing its way back to 28000, hard to see how the thugs would put a dent on HK’s financial stability.

A wise man once told me that torching a few bank branches hardly push HK’s financial system over the edge. Btw, a bank run nowadays isn’t about the men in black withdrawing a hundred bucks or not from the ATMs/branches they haven’t burned yet, this would need to be a systematic collapse or illiquidity in the inter-bank borrowing market and the failure of HKMA acting as the lender of last resort. Don’t expect the thugs to understand this... Get real and go back to school to learn something useful (before they torch the schools too).

Ed 7 days ago
A few thoughts on your comments...
 
Students have little spending power but one must keep in mind that the vast majority of Hong Kong people support the protesters.  We have even seen doctors and financial services people protesting.
 
And they do have spending power.  Drop in martial law and I would imagine they would pull back on spending both to oppose this measure and because when times are uncertain, the last thing people will do is blow their paycheck on conspicuous consumption - instead they would reign in spending and save their dollars.
 
Also, tourists are not coming to HK especially those from the PRC.    Martial law would not turn that around.
 
And martial law would need to remain in place forever --- because if there is no solution then as soon as the troops march off the streets, the black shirts would swarm back onto the streets.
 
 
Stock markets are mostly fake.   They are propped up by Plunge Protection Teams  and massive share buy-backs (nearly a trillion USD worth last year)
 
 
Hong Kong is in a deep recession  with a -3.2% GDP print.  That is the worst quarter since the GFC.

Businesses are closing down - thousands are already losing their jobs.    Retailers make most of their profits in November and December with Christmas gift sales.   Stay tuned in Q1 for a retail Apocalypse as sales will be brutal in Q4.
 
Laid off people buy very little.... so that will sink the economy into an even deeper recession.
 
Eventually the 'thugs' will push the economy over the edge.   
 
 
"How did you go bankrupt?" Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly."   Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
 
 
If this crisis continues without a good solution .... the big money will start to get nervous.... nobody will want to be long HK when 'suddenly' approaches...  which will of course accelerate the approach of the 'suddenly' phase. 

Ed 7 days ago
RED ALERT!!!!
 
Hong Kong business activity contracts at fastest pace in 21 years
 
Hong Kong Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) fell to 39.3 in October, down from 41.5 in September and signaling the worst deterioration since November 2008, during the global financial crisis. 
 
A survey reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a figure below 50 denotes contraction.
 
 
 
Almost all growth engines in the Asian financial hub stalled over the summer as stores, shopping malls and restaurants shut to avoid clashes between riot police and protesters, while the Sino-U.S. trade war intensified. Hong Kong is one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations and a bustling container port.
 
 
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-economy-pmi/hong-kong-business-activity-contracts-at-fastest-pace-in-21-years-idUSKBN1XF06Z
 
 
 
https://hongkong.asiaxpat.com/Utility/GetImage.ashx?ImageID=dff1a4ce-32a1-4dea-9dc8-ceff7af4ac6b&refreshStamp=0 

Ed 7 days ago
The thing is...
 
In 2008 the Fed rode to the rescue ...   but who rides to the rescue now?  And how? 
 
The Big Money will be eyeing that horrific PMI number.... and like buffalo looking to cross a river in Kenya.... at some point something triggers them.... and the stampede for the exits is on...
 
Capital flight is often sudden.... when confidence in a solution to this crisis goes...and the economy continues to crater....  all it takes is a spark... 
 

zzebra 7 days ago
Firstly, one would need to qualify “the vast majority” support for the thugs, and without turning this into a class warfare, I just shouted loudly in our open planned office floor for a show of hands of a dozen people from all walks of life, can’t find any vote here...

In fact and taking this further, NONE of the expat friends I’ve spoken to is supportive (ranging from primary school teacher to the “captain”)...

Biased sampling, may be. Vast majority, I think not.

Ed 7 days ago
Yes that is not much of a sampling and it does not involve locals so it is of little relevance ....   this is a much larger sampling:
 
 
 
Petrol bombs and vandalism may not be popular in themselves, but public opinion is still firmly on the side of the democracy movement’s key demands
 
This in turn helps explain why the public so strongly support several of the movement’s core demands, among them universal suffrage, amnesty for arrested protesters, and the guarantee that the protests will not be classified as “riots”.
Another demand, the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to look into police misconduct as well as the protest movement at large, was supported by 80 per cent, 80 per cent, and 88 per cent of the respondents in the August, September, and October surveys respectively.
 
 
Overall, then, the public are still remarkably amenable toward the protesters’ radical tactics. In the October survey, 59 per cent of respondents agreed that “when large-scale protests cannot force the government to respond, it is understandable that protesters would take radical actions”.  
 
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/hong-kong-protests-police-violence-public-opinion-polling-support-a9158061.html 

zzebra 7 days ago
Fake or not, these companies which make up HSI (as well as other financial products) would need to fund your retirement one day through cap gain, dividends etc. that’s real, not Monopoly money.

The thing that the thugs need to get their heads around is that they’re simply choking the livelihoods of average Joes in HK, whether they’re spending or not is almost economically irrelevant to the ruling elites (most of their business activities are offshore, money in Swiss number accounts, holding multiple passports, kids at Oxbridge... I think you get the picture). They’re simply destroying the future that they think they’re fighting for, and it will be them, their parents and potentially kids bearing the consequences (it’s safe to assume the VAST majority of the thugs don’t pay any tax).

Does any one, or just me, notice the curious silence from the business and ruling elites?

Personally, I don’t think HK is going to be Northern Ireland-ised. Why stop now!?

zzebra 7 days ago
I respectfully disagreed on the sampling. 100% of the sampling population on the floor just now is local Chinese from all walks of life.

https://youtu.be/zbodDR96gks

If this is not riot, then what is!?

As I asked the questions before, can anyone even remotely associate the thugs with democracy?

What’re they suppose to be fighting for which was taken away from them since 1997?

I have NOT heard any sensible answers to these basic questions. Because most if not all of them have the political awareness / intellect of the 18 y.o. overage Form 5 student. And this is not a biased sampling but a matter of fact.

Ed 7 days ago
'We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.'
 
I am reminded of this quotation when I have been at the protests and observed expats clearing road blocks. 
 
They seem to be oblivious to the danger that they put themselves in ...  because they do not be appear to understand that the protesters are desperate and have demonstrated their willingness on numerous occasions to beat people to an inch of death, those who have opposed them.
 
This is the reality of the situation.    
 
So far the protesters have attempted to reason with these expats.  Or they simply allow them to move the rubble then they immediately throw it back on the road.
 
There is zero upside to getting involved and confronting the black shirts like this.... 
 
As this escalates and these angry young men in black may not have a problem with attacking an expat who opposes them...  
 
And then the consequences of ignoring reality will involve some hospital time - or worse. 
 
Ignoring the depth of support for the protests also carries consequences....
 
 
 
 

zzebra 7 days ago
I agreed wholeheartedly what's a smart thing to do or not...

Again, I don’t have any issue with the men in black and what they’re doing, but one gripe - I distaste associating the thugs with the word democracy. It’s a blasphemy.

Ed 7 days ago
Initially, protesters solely demanded the withdrawal of the extradition bill. Following an escalation in the severity of policing tactics against demonstrators on 12 June and the bill's suspension on 15 June, the objective of the protesters has been to achieve the following five demands:[64]
 
  • Complete withdrawal of the extradition bill from the legislative process: Although the Chief Executive announced indefinite suspension of the bill on 15 June, reading on it may be quickly resumed. The bill was "pending resumption of second reading" in the Legislative Council. The bill was formally withdrawn on 23 October.[65]
  • Retraction of the "riot" characterisation: The government originally characterised the 12 June protest as "riots". Later the description was amended to say there were "some" protesters who rioted. However, protesters contest the existence of acts of rioting during the 12 June protest.
  • Release and exoneration of arrested protesters: Protesters consider the arrests to be politically motivated; they also question the legitimacy of police arresting protesters at hospitals through access to their confidential medical data in breach of patient privacy.
  • Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into police conduct and use of force during the protests: Civic groups felt that the level of violence used by the police on 12 June, specifically those against protesters who were not committing any offences when they were set upon, was unjustified; police performing stop-and-search to numerous passers-by near the protest site without probable cause was also considered abusive.[66] Some officers' failure to display or show their police identification number or warrant card despite being required to do so by the Police General Orders is seen to be a breakdown of accountability.[67] The existing watchdog, Independent Police Complaints Council lacks independence, and its functioning relies on police co-operation.
  • Resignation of Carrie Lam and the implementation of universal suffrage for Legislative Council and Chief Executive elections:[68] Currently, the Chief Executive is selected by a 1,200-member Election Committee, and 30 of the 70 Legislative Council seats are filled by representatives from different sectors of the economy, forming the majority of the so-called functional constituencies, most of which have few electors.

 
It is my understanding though, that there are also economic demands that include affordable housing. 
 

zzebra 7 days ago
I still fail to understand 1) how any of these relate to calling this a “democracy” movement? 2) how any of these is different to pre 1997 in terms of deprivation of political freedom previously enjoyed?

Economic demand, hell yes, where is a petition I can also sign!

zzebra 7 days ago
This, in my humble view, sums up everything that is wrong with HK today. You can decide for yourself:

https://youtu.be/PN4MvOrPotk

- 18 y.o. overage Form 5 student (the intellect and political awareness of the “vast majority” named by the “survey”)
- Police officer brutally attacked (the explicit violence and anti establishment)
- Shot fired (the govt’s line of last defense)
- Tsuen Wan where it took place (the social economic representation of the “movement”)
- Ted Cruze didn’t see any violence (hypocrisy of some of the Western politicians)

I don’t judge, but where is democracy in any of these?

Ed 6 days ago
The Cursed Generation
 
A bunch of 22-year-olds from Hong Kong explain why they are cursed and what that means for their and Hong Kong’s future. 
 
They explain why they are using violence... and what they want. 
 

zzebra 6 days ago
I must said that I’ve listened to the interview with great patience, but have to say that there is a hundred better reasons to say why the 18 y.o. overage Form 5 student is the perfect embodiment of the “democracy” movement and there is not a shred of objectivity or reasoning in what they said.

Let’s pick some bones:

- Has anyone watched the unedited videos of the thugs’ street violence BEFORE the first tear gas canister was fired by the police?

- Was there ever a debate why universal suffrage for the election of the CE is the best way to advance a democratic HK?

- Does she know how many middle class parents actually want Mandarin classes for their kids at school? At least as of half of a year ago...

- What political promise has been broken by China under the one country two systems?

- How does anything they think might or might not happen in HK in the future justify the level of violence in HK today?

The list goes on and on... and I still don’t get a reasonable or sensible answers on the basic questions I raised earlier.

Personally I’m against the extradition law, but yet the most “democratic” country in the world has extra rendition for its / US citizens, which are denied basic human rights and regularly waterboard or tortured in Egyptian jails say. This makes the Xinjiang re education camps look like Bayan Tree resorts. Or does the extradition law make HK any less “democratic” than the US?

This doesn’t make any of this right, so let’s not sit on a moral high ground and brand these kids “freedom fighters” but naive brainwashed thugs.

zzebra 6 days ago
Well said well put (though the debate is in Canto):

https://youtu.be/Ab-6rArUwpA

Being the loudest or having the perceived numerical superiority doesn’t make the thugs righteous.

Also the way that each of them carried themselves says a lot about who’s the class and who’s a thug (at heart).

PS. As a caveat, regardless of one’s political inclination, please just watch the debate objectively if you understand Cantonese and then check out the numerous “survey” about this great debate, then please tell me this is really what the “majority” of HK people think (based on the “survey” results). Are we that gullible to believe the “vast majority” grassroots support for the thugs!? It doesn’t take a statistician (although I was one... back in uni) to spot the hole which you can sail Titanic through it.

PPS. As to Natalis Chan (the gent in white), I was never a (movie) fan of his until now, great respect for sharing the truth and having a clear conscience.

Ed 5 days ago
A tragic outcome ...
 
Hong Kong university student injured during car park fall fighting for his life as two tests find him unresponsive
 
A Hong Kong university student who suffered a serious brain injury after a fall in a car park over the weekend was fighting for his life on Tuesday, as medical sources confirmed he was unresponsive in at least two tests.
 
Sources had said overnight that Chow could not be saved and that removing him from life support was only a matter of time. Chow had two operations on Monday to remove part of his brain tissue and to stop the swelling in his head but separate sources said neither had helped to reduce the damage.
 
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3036470/hong-kong-university-student-injured-during-car-park-fall 
 
Students at HKUST are claiming that police fired tear gas into an enclosed space (car park) and that this is illegal.   
 
Quite possibly this student, in an attempt to escape the fumes, fell and critically injured himself. 

zzebra 5 days ago
A classic Greek tragedy... but the truth is out there. Link the car park operator has released the full video:

In light of public concerns, Link releases footage taken by relevant CCTV cameras at 3/F of Sheung Tak Car Park A through their Twitter account:

C34 0039-0139 bit.ly/2rkpkrZ
C34 2330-0039 bit.ly/2qv1Gbz
C35 0039-0139 bit.ly/36E6kVv
C35 2339_0039 bit.ly/2WLRZla

As sympathetic as we are to this tragedy, should one also post the questions back to the “students”:

- What’s illegal about the police when using the tear gas? Which law has the police broken?
- Where is the tear gas (anywhere) in the car park?
- Why running a few floors up an empty car park when you’re simply taking a “stroll” in the middle of the night in a strange neighborhood?
- What happened to the 2 men in black captured by the CCTV?
- What’s the dress attire and personal belongings of the fallen student when he was found? Was there a mask of some sort?

Should these questions be also asked and answered? We are talking about a real life here and is the public entitled to the (inconvenient) truth?

zzebra 3 days ago
When a well respected former judge isn’t one of the “vast majority” surveyed, what ills HK?

https://youtu.be/u4NrAq6H960

Ed 3 days ago
An entertaining performance...   but whenever a squad of riot police on patrol passed near, sporadic shouts of 'black police' were heard...  as a reminder that the never-ending crisis continues to fester... 
 
 
https://youtu.be/ab2kuqIhhNM
 
 

Ed 3 days ago
A conversation with a front-line police officer last night:
 
Police - hey, I recognize you from Friday night.  How's it going?
 
Ed - tired.  Aren't you guys tired?
 
Police - not really, you get used to this.  So what do you think of all of this?
 
Ed - I think that the protesters are never going to stop... that they have some legitimate grievances (particularly the lack of affordable housing) and they they have very strong convictions and that they are taking down the HK economy.  I think that you are fighting a losing battle.
 
Police - I agree with the housing problem.  
 
Ed - I also think some of your colleagues are out of control and have acted quite brutally at times.
 
Police - what do you mean?
 
Ed - a couple of weeks ago I was standing with a few other press and some residents at the end of the night when officers were loading into the vans and one officer turned and pepper sprayed us for no reason. 
 
Police - no response.
 
Ed - also I've seen some protesters beaten very badly and pepper sprayed when they were already subdued.  I don't think that was necessary.  Some of the officers are out of control.
 
Police - yes but some of the protesters are out of control too.
 
Ed - yes but you are supposed to be the good guys enforcing laws not breaking laws - police are not supposed to beat up people who commit criminal acts...  and usually the ones I see being brutalized are not even front-line protesters... they are not the ones who are destroying shops and the MTR....
 
Police -  no response... 
 
Ed - thanks for speaking to me... stay safe.
 
Police - you too.
 
 
 
We are so terribly lost.... with no apparent way back....
 
 

zzebra 2 days ago
Regardless of one’s opinion on the measured response of HK police (when reacting to rioting thugs), they demonstrated remarkable restrained compared to modern US policing when dealing with similar riots:

https://youtu.be/8mFLZ750ZxM

Or the Brits in Londonderry:

https://youtu.be/paoXAB16x8M

Whether HK police’s actions are called for or not, to be debated... But what I can say is that I am certain that in almost all the situations, abusive provocation (verbal or otherwise) was involved. Let’s play the tape!

Try to talk down to a Ferguson police officer and see what happens, democracy or not.

Ed 2 days ago
End of the day the comparison with the US or London are irrelevant.
 
Otherwise why stop there --- in Cairo the police opened fire on protesters a number of years back reportedly killing 600 people.  In the past month the police in Iraq have killed 300 protesters - 6 yesterday - and wounded many more.
 
Just because other forces behave brutally does that excuse the HK police?
 
If someone commits a criminal act should the police beat them senseless?
 
If so, then it's a very slippery slope - and don't complain if you are caught speeding and dragged from your vehicle and pounded senseless.  And if you dare struggle or open your mouth enjoy the pepper spray.
 
Under no circumstances can we condone acts of police brutality.    When they commit these acts they commit crimes. 
 
And because there are no consequences there are two outcomes:
 
1.  We get more acts of brutality 
 
2.  The protesters become more radicalized.   It is not difficult to imagine them at some point waiting for officers to go off duty then ambushing and seriously harming them.
 
If the point of the brutality is to intimidate the protesters, very obviously that is not working - and it is not going to work.
 
 
And meanwhile.... the economy continues to inch towards collapse...   the protesters believe they have 'nothing to lose'....  Carrie Lam and the elites have everything to lose...  as do many of us.

zzebra 2 days ago
I respectfully disagreed and I see the relevance and connections. Does one need a comparative yardstick to contextualise and measure the level of violence and the police response?

The point I'm trying to get across is that there is a fine difference between saying that I'm the best cross-country skier in Jamaica or Norway (until the Jamaican skiing team pleasantly surprised me one day).

Given the obvious, US and UK flags are regularly flown by the thugs during violent riots as "beacons of democracy", one would expect that law enforcement in these countries could readily be compared to the conduct of HK police when facing similar (if not more violent) rioting situations in a developed and democratic suburban city.

The response of HK police, thus far, is measured, restrained and far below the level of violence exercised by that of their US and UK counterparts. I haven't even get to the conducts of riot police in Barcelona or Paris yet.

Before we get to the level of violence needed, I studied physics well and can see action and reaction, when there are no thugs roaming the streets, there won't be any police "violence".

As to the level of violence required, how does one to judge what is necessary or not when you're not at the receiving end of Molotov cocktails or brutal beating, not to mention routine verbal abuse and harassment. Do you really think that we're living in an utopia (HK as well as Barcelona, Paris... etc.) where police is your neighbourhood pet handler?

https://youtu.be/3lKwkn6JT74

This is what you get (in NY), and yes, you'd be dragged out of your car and got a few footprints on your butt. I do see a direct correlation between the level of provocation and the police response. I’d be quite shocked and quick to condemn if one were to get this treatment in HK for a parking ticket. The following isn’t the finest hour of the HK police...

https://youtu.be/lfm5dtDtsIo

Lastly and to quote Nath Chan, the police officers are just salaried employees, I don't see why they need to intimidate through violence. They know (we know), the thugs' "jihad” won't be stop by a show of force on the street today or tomorrow, but more strategical and tactical approaches (which I've shared my humble views earlier) are required.

Ed 1 day ago
Another protester shot.  
 
https://youtu.be/acYz0ZTAtyE
 
Legal heavyweight calls for review of shooting incident
 
Criminal barrister Philip Dykes says police need to “thoroughly review” the incident in Sai Wan Ho earlier today in which a protester was shot, adding that the situation may not be as life-threatening as the force claims.
 
“Everybody has seen the video ... The firearm was discharged at an unarmed [protester]. Police should give an explanation.”
 
The Bar Association chairman, stressing he is speaking in his personal capacity, says police guidelines and UN standards only allow officers to use lethal force “when other means are ineffective”.
 
He also says that after such cases, the officer involved must submit a “detailed report promptly”.

Ed 1 day ago
Hong Kong police officer who shot protester receives death threats against children after personal details released online, force says
 
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3037245/hong-kong-police-officer-who-shot-protester-receives 

Ed 1 day ago
For those who I have seen clearing protester roadblocks....  it is a dangerous game as the violence escalates:
 
 
https://youtu.be/faO3o0T84Qs 

Ed 1 day ago
'I respectfully disagreed and I see the relevance and connections. Does one need a comparative yardstick to contextualise and measure the level of violence and the police response?'
 
If you want to benchmark this then here's a benchmark - let's just do what they do in totalitarian states ---  put a bullet in your head and send your family the bill for the bullet.
 
Problem solved?
 
 
What the police do in America or London or any number of totalitarian states where they simply shoot people dead if they oppose the government, is not relevant.
 
We are in Hong Kong and Hong Kong law is what is relevant    If America or London has the same laws but the police are allowed to violate those laws, then that's their problem.  It does not mean we should follow their lead.
 
It is illegal for the police in Hong Kong to assault someone even if they are accused of a criminal act.   
 
it is as simple as that.
 
And for the most part they are just randomly grabbing people who have illegally assembled -- and pounding them.   They seldom capture anyone committing a violent act.
 
This played out in Sai Wan Ho today - this boy ran and was trapped - and pinned by a number of cops --- he was going nowhere --- and still they beat him with batons.... I have seen far worse:
 
https://youtu.be/Y4OK7lZG0Yc 
 
 
And as we are seeing as things are spiralling completely out of control (I was in Sai Wan Ho this morning and Central this afternoon then over in CWB - and I am looking at Mongkok on the Now live feed --- and this is on the verge of total chaos)....
 
Beating protesters does not discourage them --- it enrages them and it brings more people onto their side.  
 
This ill-conceived strategy is not working.   All this has done is made the people of HK despise the police  
 
This is not bringing us anywhere nearer a solution -- it is making things worse.  

Ed 1 day ago
Scenes from HKU today:
 
https://youtu.be/48aJjLuZjXc 

Ed 15 hrs ago
‘Burn with us’: Long day of unrest as Hong Kong protests continue to spiral
 
A long day of unrest left several injured on Monday as protesters attempted to disrupt the morning commute as part of a plan to mobilise a mass general strike.
 
They urged students to boycott classes, business owners to close shops and employees to skip work, in keeping with the city’s 24 weeks of civil resistance calling for democratic reform and accountability for the police handling of the ongoing crisis.
 
One black-clad protester was shot by a police officer, whilst a man was set alight by demonstrators in Ma On Shan. Clashes and tear gas continued into the night. 
 
 
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/11/12/burn-us-long-day-unrest-hong-kong-protests-continue-spiral/ 

Ed 15 hrs ago
Will the US Senate step in?
 
The House has already passed this bill....
 
 
https://hongkong.asiaxpat.com/Utility/GetImage.ashx?ImageID=b012c2f1-f887-42f4-bc39-855975bb3321&refreshStamp=0 

zzebra 9 hrs ago
I just asked two simple questions 1) which law exactly has the police broken? 2) can we please replay the tape for the 5 minutes before every “alleged” police brutality?

Can this be entertained!?

Ed 6 hrs ago
Anti-government protesters vow to stick with new strategy after increased weekday violence brings Hong Kong to partial standstill
 
In what they dubbed as Operation Dawn, the radicals called on each other to disrupt traffic all over the city in small groups at 7am, to force a citywide strike.
 
To ensure minimal time for police to plan ahead, they only announced the list of gathering spots an hour in advance, through encrypted messaging channel Telegram, calling on others to block roads once they could form a group of 20.
 
On Reddit-like site LIHKG – the de facto virtual command centre of the movement – users were excited about the disruption they had brought and quickly planned a similar operation for Tuesday morning.
 
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3037272/anti-government-protesters-vow-stick-new-strategy-after 
 
 
A few comments on this:
 
1.  The political scientists who suggest the protesters will lose support by shutting down the city on weekdays obviously were not in Central on Sunday - there were many thousands of office workers there on Monday...
 
https://youtu.be/EjV_j2bOgD0 
 
2.   If the protesters continue to hit the universities that keeps them shuttered - and students will have nothing to do on weekdays... so they'll be on the streets.
 
3.   If the transportation system is regularly paralyzed and offices unable to operate properly (our office has been operating on skeleton staff today and yesterday with some people also working from home)....  then the economic decline of Hong Kong will dramatically accelerate.
 
 
Will Carrie Lam blink? 

Ed 6 hrs ago
The 25-year-old says protesters have tended to take the streets over the weekend and blocked roads in the late afternoon, but the new approach involves obstructing the heart of Hong Kong’s commercial district at noon on weekdays.
 
“It’s more effective because office people in Central could come down to join,” he says.
 
Among them is investment banker Jackie Cheung, wearing a black mask with his brown suit.
 
He says protesting in Central is a good move because it draws international attention, but acknowledges it could hurt the very industry he is in. “But the impact is minimal,” he says.
 
“That is what you need to do when you are going up against a regime which is trying to scare you by using force.”
 
 
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3037264/tear-gas-fired-hong-kong-chaos-returns-streets-second 

Ed 3 hrs ago
 Online message threatens to escalate action at university
 
A message from “CUHKers” emerges online, threatening to escalate actions if police do not retreat from the Chinese University campus and release all arrested students by 9pm.
 
“We have nothing to lose. Even if we see real guns, we don’t feel afraid. Even though we have to make a sacrifice, we need to fight until the end. Use one life to exchange 100 lives of black cops.”
 
It urges people outside the university to cause chaos on the streets, so that no more officers can arrive at the campus.

zzebra 2 hrs ago
I think the CUHKers really meant to say “...Use 100 lives of black cops to exchange one life...”

edlam93 17 mins ago
Ed, you’re a blatant shill. You refuse to answer any valid questions, and keep posting one sided stories to support your flawed arguments. The freedoms I’ve enjoyed in Hong Kong is comparable if not greater than the country of Canada I was born, raised, and educated from, but not any more since these black clad “freedom fighters” have come out to fight for my “freedom”.

I’ve never really felt any hindrance on my freedom of speech before, until now. These protesters have become the very thing that they were fighting against.

zzebra 10 mins ago
EDLAM93

You are making me sounding like a broken record...

PS. Honestly, I was not being sarcastic, I genuinely think the CUHKERs made a typo seriously. I was an analyst for something for a wise man, I meant this.


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