Police go even more nuts, Beijing to follow

This was the weekend of cops invading multiple shopping malls, marching dozens of young arrestees onto buses, stepping up obnoxiousness towards the media and still finding time for some average-scale rampaging around unwelcoming neighbourhoods, though managing to be absent during a pro-Beijing wacko’s ear-biting and stabbing attack. (Badiucao art work on the ear…)

One relatively minor neighbourhood incursion was in my own, when a platoon of paramilitaries with bright lights, gas masks and pump-action shotguns came galumphing along Hollywood Road in a haze of tear smoke. They gruffly demanded that bystanders ‘go away’ (a few retreated a whole 20 feet up the hill outside Marks & Spencers), then proceeded to probe the exotic and mysterious Mid-Levels Escalator for protesters. The dreaded cockroach menace had in fact swarmed down the street 15 minutes earlier and vanished – a couple of them had nonchalantly taken the adjacent table in the restaurant where I had just had dinner.

The Hong Kong Police continue to ramp up their repression-of-everything-everywhere, semi-curfew tactics. The force is presumably under pressure from Chinese public-security advisors somewhere up the chain of command, who are impatiently demanding that the protests be suppressed with whatever ruthlessness it takes. After all, it works on the Mainland, right? The harder the cops try, the angrier the public gets – and so the cycle goes on.

One distinctly possible next step will be to place greater restrictions on media coverage of protests and, particularly, police action. The Mainland advisors must be aghast at how the press here can record and disseminate almost everything the cops do – feeding public alienation and handicapping the authorities in their battle to assert control.

This cycle of repression-resistance-more repression is a microcosm of Beijing’s whole years-long approach to Hong Kong: try forcing the city to conform and obey – and when it rebels, try doing it again, but harder.

In its recent post-Plenum communique, the CCP outlined its intention to do just this. In brief, by ensuring that: Hong Kong’s future leaders are overtly pro-Beijing, the civil service serves the government’s political ends, the legal and law enforcement systems protect the state rather than the people, and schools deliver lots of lovely ‘patriotic’ education. More of which later.

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29 Responses to Police go even more nuts, Beijing to follow

  1. Knownot says:

    “paramilitaries with bright lights, gas masks and pump-action shotguns came galumphing along Hollywood Road”

    A good use of the word “galumphing”.

  2. Knownot says:

    Police stormed into the Cityplaza mall in Tai Koo on Sunday evening. . . . Many shops quickly pulled down their shutters. At a toy store [Toys R Us], around a dozen anxious-looking parents stood behind a plastic barrier along with their children, apparently trying to wait until things calm down. – RTHK

    Mummy, daddy, girls and boys
    Happy in the world of toys:
    Grown-up pleasure, childish joys.

    Mummy, daddy, what’s that noise?

    Look, look, kiddies, this is fun –
    Pop, pop, goes his little gun!
    Police are helping everyone.

    Tearful daughter, fearful son.

  3. Stephen says:

    Media restrictions are the next logical step (CCP logic). Most of the newspapers and woeful TVB will fall into line. Presumably those that don’t need to be intimidated, RTHK gutted and or for the gweilos it’s the Victor Mallet solution. I would have thought it impossible to restrict news to such an extent in Hong Kong but now I’m not so sure. Make sure your online tool kit includes a VPN.

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    Well at least there aren’t any more references to “the beatings shall continue until morale improves” as we’re way past that now.

    If #therealHKpopo aren’t absolutely knackered and demoralized (thinking even the iron rice bowl is dubious) by now, then for sure there are plenty of clandestine “re-enforcements” being shuttled as young, strapping milk powder couriers on daily runs.

  5. Joe Blow says:

    What is a VPN and how do I get it ?

  6. donkey says:

    *Cracks open history book…. reads…..continues to read.

    “I haven’t found an example where that works at any point of history, with any country…”

  7. Even TVB couldn’t make last night’s ear-biting incident look good for the Beijing side – pure savagery posing as patriotism.

  8. Twocisterns says:

    I was at Union Hospital’s Emergency Medicine Centre on Sunday and there were only a total of 3 patient’s in the queue. Public hospitals are also now less crowded. It’s an ill tear gassy wind that blows nobody any good.

  9. dimuendo says:

    I get most of my viewing news from channel 32 terrestial (ie RTHK)
    By 2-30pm on Sturday the police on the Central library side of the road, as the corner with Mot reton Terrace and along in drnt of the libray were clearly hyped up. At about 3-30pm they fired off loads of tear gas, from three different directions (west, east and south). At that tiem ber maximum of 300 people on Victoria Park Football pitches, at end or before Central libray, not the the thousnds reported.

    Clearly an unauthorised gathering cannot go undistrubed. Why could they not simply sit in their riot vans and buses , in the Central library car park as they used to do, and only get out if (not when) something kicked off?

    My ex military firends keep saying the police are a disciplined service, and so their “brutality” on occasion is as a result of poor leadership. I have no doubt that the police have been poorly led, but am not so forgiving. Much of what we see is also a combination of being directed and the belief of self entitlement of the police (as displayed by the 30,000 gathering at the judge having the audacity to convict and jail the Ken Tsang assailants). They have really regressed. There was an accident last night in front of Central Libaray when a pedestrian was hit by a taxi. My friend heard it. Said took 10 minutes for the ambulance to turn up. I then passed by while lady being loaded onto the strencher. As the ambulance went the police wailed up: motor cycle and squad/traffic car plus initially a van. Seemingly they feel they cannot now go anywhere unless mob handed. They may wish to reflect on why.

    We now have the situation where
    – every officer is allowed to carry an extendable baton when off duty;
    – every officer can carry pepper spray when off duty, if trained to use it (how many are trained and how many are not?);
    – detectives are allowed to carry their revolvers when off duty (long standing practice);
    – police are allowed to be anonymous, to wear sun glasses, to wear masks, to wear goggles, to wear visors, to use very strong torches to effectively “blind” etc etc;
    – none police are NOT allowed to wear masks , certainly if in a group, or young or wearing balck or he policeman does not like the look of you;
    – thirteen (13) categories of information about the police may not be accessed nor published;
    – the police may demand to see for no reaosn whatsoever your ID card;
    – they cab in rality paw thourgh your possessions
    – they can search you, on the street or in detention, including “intimate” searches;
    – they can paw though your wallet, not merely view things you extract;
    – they lie, with impunity, without even seriously trying to justify some of their more egrgrious actions, eg kicking of a yellow object. Ok, some police have always kicked “suspects”, from time immemorial. But where caught, completely, do not lie. Accept some of your members were wrong on that occasion. To not admit what eveybody can see is both stupid and indefensible. It casts doubts over everything else you deny.

    I believe certain , fairly high ranking, former police officers are among Hemlock’s readers, and even posters. Are you proud of what the current police force is doing, and how they are conducting themselves?

  10. dimuendo says:

    I thought I had proof read! My eyesight is obviously worse than ever. My apologies for the many typos, but I think my points are still understandable (and valid).

  11. babycart_of_sherdog says:

    Very sad. These folks (and everybody in the whole world) should heed these words:

    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/deng-xiaoping/1974/04/10.htm

    “If one day China should change her colour and turn into a superpower, if she too should play the tyrant in the world, and everywhere subject others to her bullying, aggression and exploitation, the people of the world should identify her as social-imperialism, expose it, oppose it and work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it.”
    – Deng Xiaoping

    But aside from Hong Kongers and a few grassroots people around the world making noise, everyone’s sitting on their fat asses doing nothing to help.

  12. MoeFoeux says:

    @Stephen “Media restrictions are the next logical step (CCP logic).”

    I think you are 100% on-the-money with this prediction.

    There’s already a lot of support for your argument in the form of (a) police injunctions against people and media preventing the reporting of nearly anything that could be construed as “harassing” the police or their families; (b) the police outright targeting reporters on the street with tear gas, arrests, and general brutalising; and (c) calls from Mainland Chinese propaganda organs to local Hong Kong media outlets to be “responsible” — i.e. be self-censoring — in their reporting. No doubt there are many more examples that could be added to this list, too.

    However, the one piece of support for your prediciton that I think is undervalued, is the comment comment sections of major (local) news organisations which are frequented by Mainland Chinese “wumao” who, for the uninitiated, are commenters paid by the CCP specifically to spread disinformation and propaganda. As one would expect from a state-sanctioned propaganda apparatus, wumao comments tend to be centralised around certain themes that are cultivated by higher-level party apparatchiks.

    Judging from their English-language comments on local news outlets such as the SCMP, the irresponsible Hong Kong news media, and the urgent need for blanket censorship, has lately become one of the wumao’s most central, oft-repeated messages.

  13. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    Can we blame the poor mainlander for taking a chomp out of Andrew Chiu’s ear? He must have been famished after so many pigs have either been killed off by Swine Flu or transferred to the Hong Kong PF.

  14. @Joe Blow – a VPN is a Virtual Private Network – it makes it harder for authorities to track your online activity, hides your IP address (your computer’s unique identifier), and may help you to circumvent restrictions on access to certain websites. I think we’re all going to need one in future. A quick Google found this site, tthough I don’t vouch for its accuracy: https://bestvaluevpn.com/comparison-chart/

  15. PaperCuts says:

    I love the way the stormtroopers back out of shopping centers in tight formation to the cheers and jeers of locals…aiming their pepper spray cans and waving them around in threatening arcs as if a movie goer is about to assault them with his ticket stub…and the double fisted horizontal baton hold at arm’s length to ward off potential charges from window shoppers is a classic too.

  16. Knownot says:

    dimuendo:
    You wrote here once that you use a phone. With respect: why not use a computer (as I do)? Even a laptop has a very much larger screen, and it’s very easy to increase the print size.

  17. Penny says:

    @Private Beach
    “Virtual Private Network – it makes it harder for authorities to track your online activity, hides your IP address (your computer’s unique identifier), and may help you to circumvent restrictions on access to certain websites.”

    So the authorities can still track your online activity? And access to websites not guaranteed?

    Just tried to download “Express VPN” – apparently my router is not supported and need to buy one of those on their list. Not clear from the outset do I cancelled.

  18. odaiwai says:

    Dimuendo, I was in the park on Saturday near the central lawn on the Causeway Bay side. The central lawn was quite full – certainly *far* more than hundreds, and the northern part of the park (towards the harbour) was pretty busy. You can’t really see the Central Lawn from the Library side with all the surrounding trees, but there were a lot of people there.

    We started moving East around 15:45 or so when the first Tear Gas went off, and the crowd was moving slowly, but around 16:00 or so, when the Police charged, there was almost a panic. Tear gas was affecting some of the crowd even across half the park. We did manage to keep things under control and everyone got out at the Tin Hau side, either through the gates, or climbing fences (even knocking some down) to get on to the Central Wanchai Bypass and escape through Tin Hau / Fortress Hill.

  19. @Penny – I’m afraid you’ll have to address your questions to someone more technically qualified than I am. My understanding is that a VPN can deter most intrusions, but I wouldn’t assume that the CIA or its Chinese or Russian equivalents can’t find a way around it.

  20. Mark Bradley says:

    You don’t need to run express vpn on your router. You can just start it locally on your pc or phone. Also a vpn will absolutely prevent the local government from knowing what websites you view due to the encrypted connection between you and the vpn. Your isp will know you are connecting to a vpn but that is about it, they won’t know what you do inside your vpn.

  21. YTSL says:

    @Dimuendo. Like odaiwai, I was in Victoria Park on Saturday. In my case, I was on the northwestern section of a pretty full Central Lawn — so far away from the football pitches that I actually didn’t hear or smell the tear gas fired in that area but around 4pm, there was indeed quite the stampede of people determined to get out of the park.

    The wave of people I ended up flowing out of the park with ended up exiting onto Gloucester Road, passing riot police stationed outside a public toilet near a park exit before being blocked by still more riot police — these ones stationed by the World Trade Center.

    Fortunately for us, the World Trade Center security guards beckoned everyone they saw in the vicinity into the. After another encounter with a cordon of riot police on Lockhart Road, we turned onto Hennessy Road in time for the start of another tear gas buffet.

    I would like to know how many cannisters of tear gas they fired in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai on Saturday. At the very least, I can see the answer being “a shit load”.

  22. A Shot in the Dark says:

    @ dimuendo
    an interesting crossover on two of your points:
    Vasco Williams of the “Yellow Object obvious lie” fame was previously in the limelight for nearly shooting himself at home with his Sig Sauer 9mm handgun in Ma On Shan by unloading it the really stupid way. Marine Police obviously kicked him out to the NT and upstairs to greater and more embarrassing mistakes.

  23. dimuendo says:

    Knownot

    As I type I am on the computer but cannot alter font size on Hemlock’s provison. Suppose I should be disciplined and type separately then copy and paste. Plus improve my typing!

    Odaiwai

    No issue with what you say. My comments were confined to the concrete football pitches being part of the Park(!). However at most 300 people where I said, loosely gathered. Suddenly lots of tear gas, landing in empty areas of the football pitches.
    If they want to move people from Central Lawn (why?) then aim in the right area. Also note that the police have still not learnt from WW 1 and ignore the wind direction

  24. Cassowary says:

    Beijing is certainly delusional. They’ve essentially announced that their solution to being completely blindsided by their bootlicking echo chamber is to reinforce the echo chamber. Now surely no more seditious ideas can seep in! What could possibly go wrong?

  25. PaperCuts says:

    Seems to me like if you were an intelligence agency of some kind and you wanted to track what people do online…you’d set up a few commercial VPN software options. That way the rubes can actually pay you to spy on them.

    But I’m sure intelligence agencies around the world are far too stupid to ever come up with an idea like that.

    😉

  26. dd says:

    RE: how to VPN … sign up with Nord VPN … https://nordvpn.com … download the app and run it on your PC / Mac / iPhone / Android phone. For US$3~4 a month there is no simpler easier way to obfuscate your web presence. Techy people can go one step further and connect Nord with OpenVPN compatible routers but for the average Joe, just run Nord’s apps.

    Also while you’re at it — delete WeChat and get all your friends & family onto Telegram, or better, Signal. Encrypt your conversations because why not.

    I’d also suggest deleting WhatsApp but thats only because I hate all of FaceBook’s intrusive products and with Zuckerberg’s desperation to crack the China market … he’ll eventually sell everyone out.

  27. Reactor #4 says:

    You’ve gotta the love the rioter monkeys. The Citiplaza staff have just saved their assess by banishing the cops from the mall, and within minutes they turn on their defenders like vicious crybabies. Imagine hundreds of Jim Breaks (the 1970s grappler) clones dressed up as the Phantom Flan Flinger and all stoked-out of their eyeballs on speed. With such lunatics to contend with, why on Earth would Beijing give these simians any sort of say in the way that HK is run? If HK does ever get universal suffrage, let’s hope it is restricted to those who are 45 year or older.

  28. Ann Williams says:

    Knowit – I have to confess to not being a fan of your verse (too long…), but I loved today’s piece. Short, pithy… and sad. Thank you!

  29. A Poor Man says:

    Cassowary – speaking of a reinforced echo chamber, go check out PE MTR Exit B (NE corner of Nathan and PE). My guess is the HK government is trying to suck up to the Emperor and is preparing a crypt for him that will be nuclear bomb proof by the time they are finished. They seem to add a layer of steel plating every week or so.

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