If I were Carrie Lam, I would cry too. Yesterday’s short but intense mini-Occupy confirms the Law of Diminishing Puppets – that each Hong Kong Chief Executive appointed by Beijing is a bigger disaster than the previous one. We should probably all weep at the thought of how much worse the next one can be.
The consensus among nearly every sentient being is that the Hong Kong/Beijing government cannot/will not/must not back down on the extradition amendment. Some say Chinese officials will not yield because evil foreign ‘colour revolution’ forces are behind the protests (see delightfully snarky readers’ comments here). Others simply assume that it is a matter of principle that the administration not concede decision-making power to the rabble.
Looks like everything’s calm now, and the excitement is over – but it depends what you’re reading.
Scrapping the plan at this stage would Look Good! But enhancing Hong Kong’s reputation does not seem to be on the agenda, either. Even if it has never exactly been an idyllic Manhattan-run-by-the-Swiss, Hong Kong has over the years successfully built an international image as rich, gleaming, modern and orderly. Now the world is seeing a banana republic with tear gas filling the streets and the thuggish regime’s cops clubbing kids for wanting First World-style rule of law. It’s almost as if someone somewhere wants Hong Kong to lose what made it special.
It seems that little Nury is writing love letters to the Hong Kong police goon squad on his FB page. I don’t have FB and life is too short to read it anyway, but maybe you want to have a look.
The weather is unsettled
Who had thought that Hong Kong lacked
A Fugitive Offenders Act?
But suddenly, an urgent mission:
Change the law on extradition.
Fair is foul, and foul is fair.
It came from nowhere.
In future, helpless people must
Go where justice is not just,
Where fear is rule and rule is fear,
And decent lawyers disappear.
Crimes are laws, and laws are crimes.
These are bad times.
Teargas shoots off with a thud.
A rush, a barricade, some blood.
Rubber bullets, pepper spray.
Indeed, it was a stormy day.
Wrong is right, and right is wrong.
Poor Hong Kong.
Explaining why police smashed the face of a young protestor lying helpless the ground, Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong’s sole delegate to China’s top legislative body, said the police had no choice but to resort to violence to control the situation.
“There are so many protesters. They set up barricades and provoked police with umbrellas,” he said. “They are not just holding silent protests. They are agitated.”
Carrie’s bespoke crying jag advertorial on CCTVB actually begins to tally with reality if you replace “Hong Kong” with “the Chinese Communist Party”:
“I grew up here together with all the Hongkongers. My love for
this placethe Chinese Communist Party has prompted me to make a fair amount of personal sacrifices.”
“I have a husband at home [in the UK] who doesn’t care about politics or global affairs … This was what he said – ‘How could you have sold out
Hong Kongthe Chinese Communist Party? The one problem you have, I would say, is after becoming the chief executive, you have sold yourself to Hong Kongthe Chinese Communist Party.’”
“Clearly, this was no longer a peaceful assembly, but a blatantly organised instigation of a riot. This could not be an act that shows love for
Hong Kongthe Chinese Communist Party.”
“If radical and violent means achieve their aims, these scenes will only get worse, and definitely bring harm to
Hong Kongthe Chinese Communist Party,” she said, urging people to remain calm.
I adore the implicit separateness of: “I grew up here together with all the Hongkongers.” — It just screams disengaged expat trying for the first time to look savvy and integrated: “Some of my best friends are Hongkongers, honest.”
Carrie Lam sacrificed 7 million people for the promise of a peaceful retirement in which her family members get to keep all their money, houses, jobs and it bears saying, lower extremities, when this is all over.
Joe Blow, l’ve just held my nose and taken a peek at little Nury’s FB page.
Pretty gruesome stuff, as you can imagine, and l’m not just referring to the lack of laughs – an odd sort of achievement for a “humourist”.
What really made me lose my lunch, however, was the way in which Nury appears to have transformed himself from a “dissident” (he was always fairly unconvincing in this rôle, l grant you) into a full time government sycophant and HKP groupie.
His future in the exciting new Hong Kong is bright, but as l can’t abide the blighter, l’ve blocked him.
I also have held the theory, for a while, that Beijing would be petty enough to punish the city for being “uppity”, for lack of a better word. Ham fisted or not, the actions being taken on the government side are doing a great job of screwing up the city’s world image.
Mr Javid, if you are not too busy trying to defeat Boris, could you please ensure that Our Dear Leader and her cohorts are never again permitted to land in the United Kingdom.
I am starting a campaign to force Carrie to serve a second term in office. She should not be allowed to enjoy a peaceful retirement amid the green fields of Surrey while the rest of us have to stay in the hell she is creating.
11 total arrested yesterday including 4 at hospitals for suspicion of doing something and 2 HKU students for loitering. If my arithmetic is accurate, that means only a maximum of 5 people arrested for violent offenses. Can someone please explain to me the justification for the violent and seemingly disproportionate police response?
Love the scmp comments: some of the better ones:
“Just shelve the bill. No one dies.”
“Not so sure about that, though! Shelve the bill now. Suspected murderers, robbers, kidnappers and other serious criminals will relocate to Hong Kong, if they are not already here. By then, you will be afraid to come out of your flat after dark, nor let your children go to school on their own.”
@Breakingdown Yeah, Hong Kong is on its way to becoming downtown Juba. Now wipe the spittle off your mirror and have a xanax or twelve.”
another scmp classic commment:
Yes, well said. Plus CE must quit or be fired soon, she’s incompetent, perhaps mentally unstable.
@sarup I am starting to wonder if her family members are now hostages in the mainland
Highlight of the SCMP comments : “One country, no system.” Put that on a yellow t-shirt right now.
This Now News footage shows who started what and when….
Realistically, the Now TV footage starts at least 22 years too late to show that.
On rubber bullets and “bean” bags:
People often have a very naive view of these less lethal rounds. Partially because rubber bullets sound like silly toys (they’re actually extremely dangerous*) and bean bags sound like the old bag of beans toy — they’re not: they’re lead shotgun pellets in a kevlar bag. The toy names are marketing 101: shooting children with bags of lead shot and plastic not-always-lethal rounds and gassing them with chemicals would make it sound like the police were the baddies.
Here’s a quick vid of Americans shooting things with them. You will note “when officers are trained, they are told to shoot for the belly button” so that headshot we saw may not be SOP.
* those squidgy rubber ones from shotguns will kill you, but there are far more lethal sorts with metal cores for proper rifles.
Hans, etc, realistically the NowTV footage is accurate and clearly shows a section of the protesters were out to initiate violence. The Police response was justified and proportionate.
It is very interesting that the attempt to storm LegCo didn’t start until after it was announced that the session had been abandoned for the day – a battle, though not the war, won – so why the violence?
The rounds are indeed dangerous, they are referrred to as “less lethal” and you can actually see on some of the footage that the Police shotguns loaded with those rounds have those words stencilled on them. However, nasty as they are, they are a level below the “live”rounds which were used in the past. The HKP are indeed trained to aim at the centre of mass of the target presented, it should be noted that the shotgun is not a very accurate weapon and that headshot was in all likelihood not aimed at his head.
In the same vein, footage from the aftermath of the peaceful march on Sunday clearly shows that a section of the protesters had come out prepared and equipped to cause trouble.
I am as much against this stupid proposed legislation as any of the protesters and fully back the million marchers, but the high profile supporters of the marchers do themselves and, more importantly, the cause no favours by their refusal to acknowledge that there is an element set on violence and to condemn them.
On the other hand, is Carrie really just totally out of touch/ stupid/ completely under orders from people in Western who are totally out of touch/ stupid/ paranoid? Coming out at at 2300 hrs on Sunday, when a lot of the marchers (which would obviously include the “hard core”) were still around to say, effectively, that “I’ve seen your million and I don’t care” was incredibly provocative. Deliberate or stupid?
I saw a clip of one lady protester saying to the Police “you are us, why are you beating us?” , the Police can also justifiably ask “we are you, why are you throwing bricks at us?”
@ Hans I know about the weapons logistics and capabilities and the cops could have aimed lower. Watch the video. Who was on the (very) offensive for nearly an hour, late afternoon? I was there all morning and all was calm. There was no particular trigger that started that melee except the stuff you see on the video. Also, the 3 water cannon vehicles were kept in Fanling garage. Are you Fxxxing blind?
Claw and others
Lobbing bricks is certainly not right, if it was done, and anybody who did that needs to go to jail.
However, firing rubber bullets was certainly NOT justified adn proportionate. You have afew violent yobs in an otherwise peaceful crowd. You have a (supposedlY) highly trained police force, who fire off rubber bullets seemingly indiscriminately and so frequently that the police still, as far as I am aware, cannot acount for how many were fired. What are their rules of engagement? Wertehy complied with? I doubt it, unless very slack.
As to “less lethal” rounds, the clue is in the second word, the first merely qualifies.
Max, thank you for the clip. Informative (I did not previously know what was a bean bag, sounds very innocuous!)
what do you mean “if it was done” ? It was certainly done and is shown clearly on the NowTV clip above.
In all the hysteria it is notable how few people are prepared to accept that there is an element of the protesters which is bent on violence, never mind condemn them. To accept this is not a refutation of the vast numbers of peaceful protesters but rather supports them in separating them from the violent few.
You have three demonstrations, two essentially utterly peaceful, the police in normal gear. The middle one the police are all in riot gear, before anything kicks off. Your now tv does not show how things started, it shows some demonstrators lobbing bricks, which is totally wrong, but does not show what went before.
There have been many demonstrations in HK, almost all of which are peaceful. Even the WTO in 2004 with the dreaded Koreans was confined just at the front to a bit of pushing and shoving.
Clear occupy Monkok (my office overlooks) was only poor when rent a mob from the NT was brought down.
Occupy only became serious the police decided to let tear gas off. That alone brought many people out, in sheer disbelief, and engendered suport for what became occupy.
The police on wednesday were looking for a scrap. They got it, to a degree. Look at the disparity of casualties. Look at the march this Sunday just gone (16) for where public sympathies lie.
So while I take your point in part for Wednesday, that does not justify what the police did. Why cannot they say how many rubber bullets were fired? What are their rules of engagement? Do they have any?
Sadly the police in HK are now no longer well trained nor are they well managed/led.
They are increasingly losing public support. Some arrested people have always, and sadly probably always will be, beaten up in cells. But seven officers take a guy who is hog tied and beat him up, in effect in public view, deny it and are craven enough to cover their faces going to court, does not impress. However many officers it was holding a protest meeting at the prosecution and conviction of said officers does not impress (I have no idea whether their appeal has been heard but hope it was dismissed).
Two petrol bombs “coincidentally” being thrown just befoere the 9th, and the police saying “this is a declaration of war”.
I have been toldby two HK chinese, both very reserved, both very conservative, they believe the police were told to go in hard on Wednesday, which they did by HK standards.
The police are increasingly forgetting they are a part of the HK community, and that they have largely been supported by the community. Sadly that is changing, and at least part of it is due to the deliberate actions of some of the police.
Sadly, all will suffer, including the police.