Spontaneous protests of various intensities against the police shooting of a teenager took place in Hong Kong yesterday – during office workers’ lunchtime and in residential areas (‘angry mobs’) in the evening.
Here’s a Chinese U public opinion poll on who’s to blame for violence. It’s a snapshot from one month ago, so doesn’t show a trend over time, but judging by that other poll on collapsing trust in the police (also on that thread) and recent events, the government is probably not winning new friends.
One finding: 56% agree and 27% disagree that violence is ‘understandable’ if the government fails to respond to peaceful protests. This is possibly the most un-Hong Kong statistic I’ve ever seen.
For another illustration of public support for the movement, here’s a great thread on how protesters manage to disappear when the police are approaching from three sides. (Basically, you shelter them in your buildings. How the French Resistance started*.)
While we’re at it, 360-degree footage of October 1 on the streets.
With all this happening, Hong Kong’s establishment should be feeling under siege. Beijing has shoved the local officials to one side and started to pick on the property tycoons, while the aforementioned angry mobs are torching Bank of China, Starbucks and Yoshinoya.
My own impression, from a limited sample, is that they are in serious denial. Landlord Allan Zeman recently suggested ‘someone’ must be backing and organizing the movement because vans are delivering supplies to the protests. He is obviously bewildered that the rabble can do logistics (one of our pillar industries, by the way), or that the Hong Kong middle class might have more cash than the CIA. Another sign of denial is all the well-meaning moderate establishment types wringing their hands about ‘reuniting’ our divided society. Or… perhaps they know society is more united than it has ever been, and seek solace in wishful thinking.
In case you missed it, here’s the Hong Kong government’s particularly putrid, if mercifully brief, PRC 70th anniversary video. It has a slight touch of ‘afterthought’ about it, and is clearly aimed at pleasing higher-ups somewhere rather than stirring the hearts of ordinary folk. Lots and lots of Zhuhai Bridge, High-Speed Train and Xiqu Centre, but not much in the way of actual Hong Kong people (other than simpering actors). Presumably, citizens were otherwise engaged.
Ah, here’s what they were doing: the Alternative 70th anniversary video – same soundtrack, but with more pertinent visuals.
*On the subject of the Resistance, an excuse to recall the most amazing album cover ever.
Your blog will end up being one of the most lucid historical accounts of the change in Hong Kong. I am so glad you have stuck through this for more than a decade, or is it two?
I could be wrong, but I think the CUHK researchers surveyed people taking part in demonstrations and not the general public. I would call them to check but I found a nice spot to laze in the sun so sorry.
In the past I have called on fellow citizens to boycott Lan Kwai Fong. No more! In order to make my contribution to re-unite our divided society, I call on all of you to go and visit LKF. Should you just happen to carry a molotov or two in your backpack feel free to toss them at the entrance of that tall building in the middle. Don’t worry about visitors: nobody goes there anymore. The place is as empty as Starry Lee’s brain.
Please be aware that the edifice is protected by triads. If you remember the parking valets in front of California ‘in days of yore’, they were all triads. My old friend Blond Hair Mongkok Keung used to work there too. But he was, what they call in the trade ‘a no show’ employee. But he did get paid, of course. So the connection to the patriotic brotherhoods goes way back.
The Pro China Morning Post has broke that the puppet administration will announce a new law banning masks during public assemblies. It would seem that this legislation will not go through the (increasingly rubber stamp) Legislative Council but through the Emergency Regulations Ordinance.
So that’s the end of the touchy feely dialogue platform and now the stick to beat Hong Kong into submission. What happens when this doesn’t work ?
We now know how the government works.
Someone in the police union writes a letter.
Laws are changed without any discussion or public feedback process.
Police enact the new ‘Law” by shooting a teenager.
Someone in the police union writes a letter.
The EC meets privately, passes a “law.”
We are not allowed to hide our identity.
We will then be led to believe that public order has now been maintained.
The police will go back to regular pay, having raked in at least a good three years of salary from the riots.
Then, we will forget that, in fact, what has happened is exactly as some predicted, a CCP-imposed change to the legal operation and the legal framework of the city has been finalised and we are now no longer a common law domain. And ever shall it be so.
Regarding today’s breaking news…. So…. I guess Xi Jinping didn’t like our Hong Kong parades to celebrate National Day? Maybe next year. Onward.
@Stephen: don’t know about the SCMP being pro-China, as the many pro-China readers on its comments sections have accused it of being too anti-China. But they’re also cheering its developing story of the government preparing to ban masks.
Personally, I doubt that such a law will work. Most protestors will defy the ban, which likely won’t be enforced on the police and pro-China mobs. Then there are people who need to wear masks because they are sick. The police would suffer a PR disaster if they arrest them.
A ban will probably escalate the violence.
All in favour of ALL masks being banned, certainly in the street, or a public place. No exceptions for any reason.
Mandatory penalty applicable to all.
Including the police.
Will the police be also banned from wearing masks and obliged to show their ID nos…??
China has a long history of devouring it’s youth to protect that status quo.
Here we are yet again
Monk! The great graphic designer John Berg, who spent most of his career at Columbia Records, won a Grammy for the “Underground” cover. (Great music inside the sleeve, too, of course.)
Berg also was art director on the covers for “Blonde on Blonde,” “Cheap Thrills” (hired Robert Crumb, who refused payment, for that one), and “Born to Run,” among many others.
And while our city is going up in flames, Secretary for Justice is busy feathering her post retirement nest. https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3031322/new-pact-strengthens-arbitration-role-city. Note the description ‘industry’.
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, herself a specialist in arbitration in international commercial or investment disputes before joining the government, calls it a game-changer for the city’s arbitration industry.
But, hey, let gets our priorities right at a time that A&E wards are coping with increasing numbers of serious injuries and the courts are busting at the seams.
That the duties of the Secretary for Justice as ‘the head of the Hong Kong Department of Justice, the chief legal advisor to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, and the chief law enforcement officer of the Government of Hong Kong’ are being completely sidelined is glaringly obvious.
That’s right…just look a little further into the Korean War than Wikipedia allows and you find out that China used children soldiers to “find” land mines and barbed wire, allowing subsequent troops to push American forces back into the sea.
Thousands of children were sacrificed in this way.
LKF is a first class shithole.