This weekend’s events in Hong Kong were sort-of unremarkable. A ‘stress test’ of airport transportation to which few protesters needed to turn up because the police and MTR engaged in pre-emptive disruption. A march perhaps naively asking the US Consulate to send the Cavalry, followed by closure and partial torching of Central MTR station. The usual outbreak in and around Mongkok, plus one in (of all places) Whampoa Gardens, and an above-averagely pointless tear-gas salvo outside Sogo in Causeway Bay. And some mall sit-ins and probably others I’ve missed.
Yet among the mayhem we detect an increasingly clear pattern: in their supposed attempts to curtail disorder, the Hong Kong Police and the MTR are pro-actively maintaining the cycle of violence. This has been happening on occasions throughout the last three months, but it has now obviously become their default operating procedure.
You can see why conspiracy theorists think this is deliberate, though more likely it is just stupidity. While the bureaucrats in government grasp for some way to appear vaguely conciliatory to mainstream public opinion, the cops are obsessively focused on a mission to crush and punish demonstrators at all costs – further alienating the wider community. Assuming that Beijing officials are directly barking demands down the phone to the Security Branch, this looks like a mismatch straight out of ‘One Country, Two Systems’.
(Here’s a timeline of yesterday in Central.)
…I hope this doesn’t put ideas into people’s heads.
Similarly on the subject of flags/ideas/heads – there’s this.