Yesterday’s gathering in Central was – by the standards of ‘approved anti-communist rallies’ these days – neither especially huge in size, nor threatening to civilization. But the Hong Kong Police managed to contrive 10 times more mayhem than would have been the case had they stayed away.
This thread asks how and why the police authorize assemblies and then swiftly declare them illegal. It is clearly a pretext to tear-gas and arrest as many people as possible. But what are they expecting to achieve from that? Is it simply to gain approval from Beijing’s officials who demand resolute merciless tough crushing? Or does someone in the local command structure really believe this will convince the public to stay at home? (And if the latter, what will that achieve if it ever works?)
Suggested question for a reporter at the next police press conference: “You have been tear-gassing, pepper-spraying, clubbing, arresting for seven months now – what are you trying to accomplish?”
Suggested answer from a government spokesman: “We have also sent SWAT teams to peel Post-It notes from walls, surrounded university campuses with razor wire, turned pedestrian footbridges into cages, made menacing comments to school principals, tried to ban face-masks, and given a guy a HK$1.7mn six-month contract to run a Dialogue Office. In the circumstances, we feel the police tactics are quite sensible.”