Police to protestors: boss is getting impatient

After being repelled by protestors the first time round, police last night took control of Lung Wo Road – the strip linking Central and Admiralty that starts with the much-photographed skateboarders’ tunnel…

OC-tunnel

…now sadly returned to vehicular traffic. This follows firm action yesterday to remove barricades and reclaim road space from the pro-democracy Occupy Central crowds. The cops didn’t spare the pepper spray – liberally smothering reporters and activists alike with the stuff – and were filmed taking a guy in handcuffs round the corner for a kicking. (Police report being poked in the eyes with umbrellas among other things.) Though hardly Rodney King, this is shocking by Hong Kong standards, and highlights the way Beijing’s disastrous handling of local affairs is tearing the community apart.

The immediate mess still has some way to go. There was talk of some sort of anti-Occupy delivery drivers/United Front /‘logistics’ procession of trucks taking place today – not sure if it’s going ahead. The protestors still blocking streets, notably in Mongkok, may prove particularly unwilling to leave peacefully. Beijing is making it clear that the reform package (remember the reform package?) is the only one on offer, thus tying the Hong Kong administration’s hands. As an almost inane sideshow, the latest (presumably leaked) details about Chief Executive CY Leung’s DTZ business deal could be interpreted as suggesting that he shafted other stakeholders in no uncertain terms, not that there’s necessarily any law against it.

CY, his Chief Secretary Carrie Lam and a few other officials are taking an inordinate amount of heat right now. That’s partly because of their incompetence and because SCMP-OC-SkyHighPropertyit’s their hapless lot to do the bidding of a Chinese government that – reading between the lines – seems to treat them as contemptuously as it treats the other 7 million of us. But it’s also because many of their fellow members of Hong Kong’s establishment are mysteriously, all of a sudden, nowhere to be seen.

Keeping their heads down at this time is smart. Not one but two op-ed articles in today’s South China Morning Post address the role of the Big Lychee’s tycoon-‘elite’ in creating and prolonging the social ills now apparently coming to a head. Ever-quotable economist Andy Xie pins the blame squarely on the parasitical pyramid-scheme scam that passes for the city’s private residential property market. Another writer looks at Beijing’s unfortunate strategy of favouring a few families of landlords and inherited wealth over the interests of the aforementioned 7 million; it’s pretty scanty, but hey – it’s in a newspaper owned by one of the tycoons.

Our plutocrat-bureaucrat ruling caste may console themselves with the thought that when the protestors have finally gone home, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp will be at least as divided as it has ever been. It will therefore fail to take the opportunity to turn its sights on the feudal nature of the system and launch Occupy Park N Shop to skewer the rent-seekers and the rulers here and in Beijing who feel this curious need to protect them.

I have a nasty feeling that they are right. But then, this whole story of political reform/Occupy Central is one of arrogant and inept holders of power repeatedly provoking citizens into doing amazing things no-one ever saw coming. The best could be yet to come.

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26 Responses to Police to protestors: boss is getting impatient

  1. Maugrim says:

    Ever wonder where band 3 and 5 kids get respectable jobs? That’s right, the police. All that’s missing is a policeman moonlighting as a taxi driver and ripping off tourists to pay his gambling debts , but oops, we’ve already had that one . Cynicism aside, surely after having observed HK Chinese for so long, you’d have to know that when they blow, they blow. If I was the Government, I’d be letting people get rid of a bit of steam, because of they don’t , as Hemmers suggests, who knows where it will lead or what questions will begin to be asked?

  2. Oneleggoalie says:

    …the addictive poison that masquerades as food sold in ParknShop…will keep the general masses from any boycott…
    …better to just demand independence and wait for the tanks…Oneleg is drinking all the Molotovs…so make it quick.

  3. Dan the Man says:

    Surprised TVB was 1st to show the video. Who authorized airing it on TVB? I wouldn’t be surprised if he is fired for authorizing the airing of it.

  4. john says:

    Saw a video where police was acting more like US fascist cops serving a protester with leg kicking & swinging arms in a dark hidden corner. Such, intentional brutality is not acceptable

    And is about time to clear roadblocks, students with solid idealism cannot prevail in conditions where authorities rule runs supreme – from 90+ recent civil obedience to riots worldwide, only Iceland won

    Messages of elections/grief is planted. Hope peace prevails and small, small changes in due course

  5. Scotty Dotty says:

    I watched the eviction live on telly during the night. Even RTHK pre-announced it at 2:50. “BREAKING NEWS: The police are looking to dish out a kicking at 3am on Lung Wo Road. All welcome.”

    You could see straightaway the police had come out pumped this time.

    Mind you, that Ken Tsang beating… pffft, hardly much more than old school rugby rucking, even though the police knew they were crossing the line, hence the pickets to watch out nobody was filming. Good job on that one, Einsteins. Ken probably got their attention because some Plods reckoned he was chucking piss at them from that bottle

    Yes, I agree with Hemmers. A few more Ken Tsang’s and this is going to change Hong Kong forever

  6. Not In My Backyard says:

    As bad as economic inequality is in Hong Kong, it’s much worse in the mainland. This rot in China is going to go even faster under the most recent round of market “liberalizations” (read neo-liberalism) issued by the last NPC. One of Deng Xiao Ping’s famous dictum need a re-write to reflect current CCP thinking: It’s clear Xi isn’t rooting out nepotism, rather, like the ICAC, he’s trying to make it harder for the grass roots to lick the cream so that more rises to the princelings

    贫穷不是社会主义。致富是光荣的。
    “Poverty is not socialism. To be rich is glorious.” now aught to read: “Poverty is a crime. To be rich is to be the life(blood) of the party.”

  7. Wan Chai Wanderer says:

    F*ck the police. They’ve lost themselves. But shame on Beijing and the government. These people are pushed to the frontline to do all the dirty work and take the blame. I can’t help but feel sorry for them. For these not exceptionally brilliant kids who once might be on the verge of joining triads for good, being a policeman is probably what makes them most proud and feel they’re still useful to the society. Now Beijing has come to take the pride away from them and turn them into mindless man-eating zombies. What the f*ck?!!

  8. Stanley Gibbons says:

    Hong Kong Barricade…

    http://i.imgur.com/NNZaKz3.jpg

  9. PHT says:

    Perhaps now would be a good time for the protesters to stand down a bit and perhaps go home for a while. If they play their cards right and highlight all the examples of bad behaviour by the police (and by extension the government they work for) – pepper spraying a defenceless old man who was trying to defuse a situation, colluding with the triads and sending them home by taxi after they did their job, beating up someone already in restraints, etc…- they may win some points in the PR battle.

  10. nulle says:

    Regina Ip on police beating video of Ken Tsang (for throwing water at the cops) by uniform and plain clothes police.

    “No One should draw any conclusions before an investigation is complete…The police are under immense pressure. They were even forced to take shelter in a tunnel at one point.”

    I am under immense pressure right now…maybe I should go stab Regina Ip and CY Leung’s entire family a bunch of times (or just grab a few elephant guns and snipe all pro-Beijing groups including members of the DAB and CCP Macau/HK Affairs)

    ***I don’t know what angers me more, the HK/CCP gov’t or the people of HK just sitting there doing NOTHING. Is EVERYBODY in HK turning into a bunch of ECONOMIC SECURED COWARDs or WUSSes?***

    Please pass the world worldwide and make a case for sanctions on China!!!

  11. Hills says:

    No pearls of whisdom from LKS, or that other Great Mind, uncle Four?
    Normally they are all over the press, now we only here that annoying voice of Regina. And what a voice that is.

  12. Scotty Dotty says:

    @ Wan Chai Wanderer

    I think you’re rather overstating the Police size. There are only 20k police total and their retention rate is high (for now) because the British put in such high pay and perks. So each year the Police only take in a few hundred new recruits.

    Most of these protestors would not look at the police for a career – not because it’s no good but because there’s more on offer elsewhere. Sad to say but most of them will grow up to be property flippers, conveyancing lawyers, middle managers in banking, tedious sorts

  13. Gooddog says:

    What a cathartic fortnight. It is now really clear who are the heroes and who are the fascist boot-lickers who sell out their fellow Hong Kongers for cash (and I don’t include the generally excellent HK Police in this category).

    Heroes: Martin Lee, Benny Tai, Joshua Wong, Cardinal Zen, Audrey Yu, Jimmy Lai, Anson Chan, Edward Chin

    Traitors/Boot-lickers/Benedict Arnolds: CY, Vagina, Ambrose Lam, Derrick Pang, Carrie Lam, Robert Chow, Rita Fan, every grovelling tycoon that went up to the Great Hall

  14. Cassowary says:

    I see the pro-Beijing trolls are out in force on the SCMP’s comments section, supporting police brutality. I think someone needs to make a parody charity benefit anthem in their honour, one of those treacly numbers with multiple celebrities and a soaring feel-good chorus. With lyrics going:

    We love Hong Kong so very much,
    We show our love with kiiiiiicks,
    We beat our kids in the name of peace,
    And for the sake of traaaaffick!

  15. Joe Blow says:

    If the Boneheads In Blue can use pepper spray on protestors, why can’t they use them on the DAB / People’s Party hooligans blocking Apple Daily’s printing plant in Tseung Kwan O ? (who are actually defying a court order)

    If democracy protestors are illegally blocking the roads for a couple of weeks, and must be cleared with violence, then why didn’t the police unblock the roads of Central that have been occupied by double-parked Alphards over the past 20 years ?

  16. Joe Blow says:

    This from Wall Street Journal:

    “Hong Kong security chief Lai Tung-kwok said the six policemen who allegedly beat up Mr. Tsang have been “reassigned”, but reiterated that police showed restraint and that the incident will be investigated fairly.”

    …police showed restraint…. (apparently he was beaten up again at the police station)

    If this is “restraint”, then how do we define ‘brutality’ ? Answers on a postcard, please !

  17. Joe Blow says:

    Li Ka-shing made an announcement today:

    “I have never had it so good. So why don’t you all just go back to work”.

    And Jacky Chan said:

    “Here is Hong Kong ?”

    (Jacky Chan has an IQ of 71)

  18. Sage of Mui Wo says:

    When a person in HK is offered a place in the HK police force, their acceptance follows the following oath:

    I, .. .. (swear by Almighty God/ do solemnly and sincerely declare) that I will well and faithfully serve the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region according to law as a police officer, that I will obey uphold and maintain the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region that I will execute the powers and duties of my office honestly, faithfully and diligently without fear of or favour to any person and with malice or ill-will toward none, and that I will obey without question all lawful orders of those set in authority over me.

    Despite the sentence being 99 words long, the key bit for me is “execute the powers and duties of my office honestly, faithfully and diligently without fear and …….malice or ill-will toward none”.

    Ken T may have appeared to have acted like an ass in the run-up to his kicking, but in a civilized society the police should not knock ten barrel-loads of crap out of a guy whose hands are tie-gripped behind his back. If you choose to join the police, you have to accept that you have to behave responsibly. If you can’t deal that, then don’t join. Furthermore, don’t take the super-fat benefits that come with the job.

  19. gweiloeye says:

    I was looking at the SCMP website (about 11.55pm) and I could swear there was a side link about the Aussie journalist Garnaut being told by CY office to not publish. But when I refreshed it was gone. Anyone else see something about that?

    I checked the Age and SMH websites but nothing – not a page one story in Australia unless the tear gas gets pulled out again!

    I have sent an email to Garnaut – will pass on the response if I get one.

    I just reading his reports and love this line from an interviewee:
    “”It was like ‘here’s all my losing lottery tickets, could you buy them’,” says one party to those negotiations in November 2011.”

    Brilliant.

  20. John says:

    I say strike against the MTR and bus companies. No pay Mondays…just jump on the bus and don’t pay. This could prove to be a very effective tool in this battle. Can you imagine how much money the bus company would loose if even 10% of the riders decided not to pay every Monday? How are they going to police something like that?

  21. pcatbar says:

    For how long will our police put up with being abused and exploited by the Govt. Taking all the heat of civil unrest while our ‘leaders’ do sweet fuck all for their bloated salaries?

  22. nulle says:

    I can’t believe that beating the stuff out of someone when handcuffed goes under “I will obey without question all lawful orders of those set in authority over me.” especially for the 5 HK Police constables following this illegal order of the HK Police (Senior/Chief?) Inspector.

    remember, the HK Police is held to a higher standard, unless whatever liquid Ken Tsang allegedly throw at HK Police are acidic/caustic chemicals. the HK Police can’t justify their brutality toward Ken Tsang.

  23. Interesting to see the protesters’ tactics evolving. The umbrellas are now being inverted – thus rather than merely repelling the pepper spray, they are bouncing it back at the police. And more are making the connection between electoral reform and the influence of the tycoon elite – a painted slogan on Nathan Road urges readers to “support local shops – not chain stores”.

  24. Brob says:

    Joe Blow – “…police showed restraint…” – to Ken Tsang’s hands, definitely.

  25. Cassowary says:

    Even if he threw acid at them, the proper thing is for him to be arrested, tried, and sentenced. Not to have crap kicked out of him because the police were pissed off.

  26. Cassowary says:

    Private Beach: A lot of the people at the speakers’ corners do draw the connection between the cartels and lack of democracy. I listened to one man in Mong Kok go on about how Hong Kong society is based on the lie that if you study hard and work hard, one day you’ll get rich and own a home. It’s just a fairy tale to keep people complacent, he said.

    One woman ranted, “C.Y., you won’t let us watch TV (reference to the HKTV controversy), we’ve got no homes to go to, and now you say we can’t even sleep in the street. What exactly do you expect us to do?”

    And a lot of the students are saying they want a future that’s more than working 11 hour days at a soul-sucking job for 30 years to own a tiny concrete box.

    The links are being drawn in ways big and small. It’s up to the idiot democrats in LegCo to catch up.

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