Thursday 14 November 2019

‘City crippled for third straight day’

Post, 14 November 
So again no going in to town for me...
“Radicals”, as the Post calls them online (“vandals” or “rioters” also works) have torched toll booths, taken over roads in ten districts, blocked the cross-harbour tunnel and vandalised train stations. It’s a clear escalation. And it can’t end well (as I’ve said before). It’s impossible for it to end well.
So I’m kind of stuck here in my Discovery Bay bubble.
ADDED (2;00 pm HKT): Office workers in Central (Pedder and Connaught Roads) are holding hands and handing out umbrellas, supporting the protesters.  So the idea -- which I also had -- that Hongkongers are getting sick of it all, seems to be wishful thinking. For whatever weird (as I see it) reason they’re supporting all this self-destructive stuff.
True to the neutral stance of the Post, which I’ve praised before, it has articles and letters supporting both sides, the “blue ribbons” (pro-government and support police) and “yellow ribbons” (pro-protesters).  Me? I’ve tried all along to see both sides, but have certainly trended blue in recen months.  Ever since it got violent.
Not that I support the government necessarily, as they’ve made a real dog’s breakfast of the whole drama from day one. But the escalating violence of the protesters is something I just can’t abide.
Today there’s news of a 70-year old, just like me, who was hospitalised by a protesters who smashed him on the head with a brick. He’s fighting for his life. His crime? He was trying to clear up the road that the “radicals” — the vandals! — had torn up. And the guy who was set ablaze by protesters lies in a critical condition in hospital, forgotten by the media.
The police enter Chinese Uni (my alma mater Class of ‘77), where protesters were barricading roads and tossing petrol bombs, and it gets labelled: “Beijing backed police invade university”.
Want to see a trove of fake news? Go into the social media of protesters’ choice: LIHKG.
And I’ve had enough of the likes of Michael Chugani weeping for the brave, the caring protesters, as he frets over the “popping sounds” of the tear gas canisters. (Some comments).
I lean to Alex Lo’s Take:
It’s an unmistakable worsening of violence from targeting public to private property to people.
Rioters are now at the Rubicon as they prove ready to cross the line separating assaulting people to killing them. Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu was stabbed near the heart. A man angry with rioters for trashing his neighbourhood was set on fire and left in a critical condition.
All sorts of businesses, people and their families are being labelled by the protest/riot movement. If they express the “wrong” opinion, donate to the “wrong” cause, or support police, they may be attacked. These can range from online harassment such as doxxing and school bullying to assaults and attempted murder.
Some radical elements of the movement are starting to resemble extremism. Still, you can’t blame everyone in it. The trouble is, many peaceful protesters are sticking to their “no splitting and no condemning” position, which means they will continue to tolerate the most extreme violence.
Clear example of the “no splitting, no condemning” position, the Joey Siu interview I posted the other day. The more I think about that position the less I think it’s principled and the more I think it’s morally empty. I mean: Joey, are you not going to condemn setting a man on fire?? You’re not going to split from those who bash and hospitalise a 70-yo man?
Democracy and Freedom. Yay!

ADDED: also cancelled: Happy Valley horse racing last night. That costs $160 million to charity (the Jockey Club is the biggest contributor to HK charities). HK Cyclathon, also a charity event, cancelled. And next weekend’s world-famous Oxfam Trailwalker, which I did in 2002 with a team from our company. Trailwalker also raises money for charity and will be a big disappointment for the 16,000 registered participants — all the training, all the money raised for Oxfam. So, big losses to charities.  But, you know… Freedom and Democracy. Yay!