Pro-Democracy Leader Smashed in Head with a Hammer



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ORIGINAL POST

Posted by Ed 53 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 53 days ago
The hope of resolving this crisis fades further....
 

zzebra 52 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 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 51 days ago
This is the best documentary I have seen on the protests to date....   
 
https://youtu.be/7g4N6Oe3g2Q
 
 
 

zzebra 51 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 51 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 50 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 50 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 50 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 49 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 49 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 48 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 48 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 48 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 48 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 48 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 48 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 48 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 48 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 48 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 48 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 47 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 47 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 47 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