Tuesday, 8 October 2019

For Hong Kong demos nerds -- the full story

“It’s’ you who taught me peaceful demonstrations are no use"

A reader sends link to “One Hundred Days of Protest in Hong Kong” [PDF] by Bernhard Zand in Germany’s Der Spiegel that gives a blow by blow (as it were) account of the lead up and background to what’s been happening here.

I’ll quibble with the characterisation of the police.  The way Zand recounts the storming of the LegCo building on 12 June -- “... they stormed the building and police responded with arrests, pepper spray and tear gas” -- is as if it happened at the same time. It did not.  We remember watching in disbelief as they stormed LegCo, trashed and defaced it, and the police were nowhere to be seen. There we were, yelling at the Live Stream, where are the cops? And so were many others, no doubt. This was a gross breach. Imagine the storming of the US Congress, or Westminster, or Canberra’s Parliament House, by a bunch of black clad rioters out of control (out of their minds....).

So the next day the police were there and then they used the pepper spray etc... It was, in short, in response to provocations.

And since then, we’ve seen the police often and always if there’s any baton wielding, it’s after a provocation. Agree they shouldn’t’ have gone into the MTR. They made mistakes, early on. They’ve learned.  This article lists as a specific tactic of the rioters to goad the police “until the hit you' (Chan Ho-fai in NYT on June 30).  Is this supposed to be something to laud??  In any case, compared with US cops, these guys are panda bears....
CE Carrie Lam and co have certainly mishandled a lot. But we are now in thrall -- the west seems to be in thrall -- to a narrative of "Free Hong Kong, Promote Democracy", by people who have no idea that independence is just not on the cards. And by people who we’d never want to be in charge.  If you want that joker, Joshua Wong running your country, good luck to you and I’m outa here.
Meantime, with their antics they endanger the Seven Freedoms we already have. These freedoms are not some fantasy of our imagination. They are real and precious. And these guys, and the likes of the rather admiring article here, are on the way to ruining them.
Please let’s remember: we are not Syria, we’re not Haiti, we’re not Iraq, we’re not Iran, or Tunisia, or Egypt. We don’t have, never had, any of the serious issues those places have and which promoted their own colour revolutions.  And see how they turned out.

I’ll also quibble with the sub-heading of the article that the protests are in response to “Beijing’s heavy handedness”. We don’t see that. Whenever I’ve asked “when, why, how?” there’s no answer.  The article itself makes clear that there are other issues.