Hong Kong in shock as flag thrown into harbour again

Yesterday’s ‘general strike’ initially involved: lots of people late for work; a fair number of staff taking sick or other leave; some shop and business closures; reduced movements at the airport, including suspension of the Airport Express rail link; suspension of services on (at least parts of) seven other MTR rail lines (can you name seven MTR lines?); and peaceful gatherings in around half a dozen parks and other places, including Shatin’s New Town Plaza (site of the Odessa Steps-class iconic imagery of this revolution for our era).

That was the warm-up. By the afternoon, it moved on to: blocked roads and tunnels; around half a dozen highly mobile ‘like-water’ street assemblies and marches in Admiralty, TST and elsewhere, some entailing police tear-gas barrages; sieges of eight police stations (Tin Shui Wai, Tai Po, Sha Tin, Tsim Sha Tsui, Wong Tai Sin, Sham Shui Po, Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan) along with a marked increase in projectile-throwing and fire-setting; and, by evening, scattered ‘clearance’ mayhem leaving some neighbourhoods looking like the Gaza Strip or somewhere; attacks on protestors by pro-Beijing groups in several locations; multiple arrests, and amazingly not many serious injuries.

Let’s say (conservatively) that we could identify 20 events yesterday as separate outbreaks of disruptive ‘anarchy-chaos’. If just one of them had happened three months ago it would have been a major shock-horror news story on its own.

In the absence of any other sentient life-form performing a role that vaguely equates to ‘government’, the police have become a main target of the protests and broader public antipathy. Apparently relishing the chance to trash their once-decent reputation, the cops have, among other things, now fired 1,000 rounds of tear gas at what they consider cockroaches in the last two months. (More on CS here.)

In the midst of all this, rarely sighted Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her team of utterly depressing and worthless sidekicks appeared at a press conference to confirm to the community that, for all practical purposes, they are not here.

At some point, scoundrels pulled the Chinese flag down and dumped it in the harbour – again. Perhaps it is all jumbled up in my mind, but it seems that shortly after this outrage against sovereignty, the Chinese government announced another of its exciting press conferences on Hong Kong for this afternoon. Supposedly, they ‘may announce something new but their position is unchanged’.

Where does Hong Kong’s spiral end?

It should be pretty clear by now that Beijing has no idea what to do. Any and every option is unpalatable (as with other crises on Xi Jinping’s plate – like retaliating against the US tariff hikes with a symbolic RMB mini-devaluation).

A logical, objective view is that Beijing’s choice is between giving Hong Kong functioning engaged leadership to pull the city out of this mess or, as one analyst says, imposing a major clampdown on civil liberties. In practice, it is hard to see the Leninist paranoiacs trying to reconcile fears of color revolution and big economic doo-doo doing anything decisive. As a diversionary stunt, they might defenestrate a few local zombie-officials or drop hints of sending troops in. (Any chance of Taiwan-style no-more-tourists-for-you punishment? Please?)

Whatever they announce today, Beijing officials will reiterate it with extra finger-wagging at a pep-talk for local loyalists (NPC/CPPCC members) in Shenzhen on Wednesday. That suggests we can expect a classic CCP blend of dull but at the same time nasty.

The best we can hope for is a few quiet and restful nights for everyone before the weekend.

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15 Responses to Hong Kong in shock as flag thrown into harbour again

  1. Wolfie Smith says:

    I think you need to remove the words “little by little” from your header.

  2. old git says:

    her appearance would result in increased insurance premiums and manpower needs

  3. I would like to put it on record that a policeman was polite and helpful to me yesterday. Let us not forget that they are human too (except perhaps for a few emotionless androids at the top). It can’t be much fun for them trying to clean up the mess created by a CE who hides her face from the public for two weeks during the biggest crisis Hong Kong has faced in half a century.

  4. Chris Maden says:

    I wonder when the police will run out of tear-gas. And Hong Kong out of Chinese flags.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    “And in New Zealand, the University of Auckland has launched an investigation into a videoed confrontation between three male mainland Chinese students and a female Hong Kong student, who was shoved and fell to the ground.” ~Frank Ching

    Those CCP loving, loyal and patriotic locust drones going to FOREIGN schools in FOREIGN countries but still retaining the knuckle dragging, thuggish CCP-like tactics of three (for sure “incel”) males picking on one most likely very diminutive HK lass.

    Keep it classy, China.

  6. bagesty says:

    @old git … The ‘insurance premium’ angle caught my attention too. Carrie is, literally, a liability.

  7. Stanley Lieber says:

    @Private Beach

    If the protesters had a strategy, they’d try to peel off all decent, ordinary policemen who are not happy about clubbing members of the public by welcoming them warmly into the protesters’ ranks, either openly or anonymously.

  8. @Stanley Lieber – it would be very interesting to see police resignation figures over the past couple of months. It would not surprise me if a lot of the more decent cops are deciding this is not what they signed up for.

  9. odaiwai says:

    The 1,000 tear gas grenades was up to Sunday. They launched another 800 yesterday:

    “#HongKong police say they arrested 148 #ExtraditionBill protesters on Monday and fired around 800 rounds of tear gas – almost as many as they fired during the whole of the previous two months”

    Source: https://twitter.com/rthk_enews/status/1158672712409079808

  10. Ask and you may well receive says:

    @Private Beach

    No need to wonder — Here’s the form. Here’s the contact:

    Personnel Wing Access to Information Officer: SEO HQ P
    Telephone No.: (852) 2860 3368
    Fax No.: (852) 2200 4422
    Email Address: [email protected]
    Address: 37/F Arsenal House, Police Headquarters, No.1 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (follow the shouts of “Triads! Triads!” and the smell of rotting eggs and tear gas)

    Share the results on your blog: it’ll either be interesting or funny or both.

    Or you can wait until October and see how the 2019-09-30 figure has changed from the 2019-06-30 figure of 30,886 disciplined officers and 4,600 civilian officers on the organisation structure page of the police website (www.triads.gov.hk).

    NB. Don’t forget that the Police are notoriously bad at counting people and drugs’ street values. Insist they verify that any figures supplied are correct by asking them: “Did you remember to take away the number you first thought of and carry the 7?”

  11. Gerald Simmonds says:

    Very few policemen would leave – many have quite lowly educational qualifications and even a newly recruited constable receives about $24,000 per month. No comparable salaries are available to such a cop with few qualifications who leaves the force. And now how much are they now earning as overtime pay? (I remember meeting a group of UK cops here years ago who were having the times of their lives blowing away their overtime pay after the Miners’ strike).In addition many, if not all, get police accommodation as well. Not to mention all those ‘bonding exercises’ – firing tear gas guns, facing off protestors etc which likely engender a certain ‘esprit de corps’ nest-ce

  12. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Private Beach: Wouldn’t be surprised at all if A) Popos aren’t allowed to resign during “times of crisis”, B) resignation numbers small due to the fact that it is a secure, union protected civil service job with good (for minimally educated individuals with no driving ambitions) salary, and C) elevated status amongst parents’ peers in the housing estates and plebs trying to ingratiate themselves due to perceived “guanxi” advantages.

    In other words, not much different than being a PSB thug on the mainland. Remember, being a Popo worldwide now is NOT a calling (as they’d have you believe) but rather a pretty secure job with decent bennies for this day and age.

  13. Stanley Lieber says:

    @ Private Beach

    We know there is dissension in the ranks. The Junior Police Officers have expressed their disagreement with the Force’s practices and tactics.

    Resignations would be good to know.

    A phalanx of 50 officers marching with the protesters would be better.


  14. hank morgan says:

    Re-reading Terry Pratchett’s ‘Night Watch’ while noting the similarities and differences …

  15. Guest says:

    @Gerald Simmons: $24,000/month to man the frontlines every day and brave public anger and projectiles thrown at you while you defend senior government officials who make more than the President of the United States, but hide safely in their secured bunkers when things get hot. What’s not to love?

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