Monday, 1 December 2014

Fast Losing Moral Ground

Protesters gearing up to fight with police last night at Tamar
The Occupy/Umbrella Movement's credibility is sinking faster than a lead balloon with what has happened in the last 24 hours.

Around 10pm last night, protesters tried to storm the Hong Kong government offices, particularly the Chief Executive's offices in a bid to paralyze the authorities into having a dialogue.

Not exactly the most diplomatic way of going about things, but perhaps when the government ignores you for more than a month you get frustrated...

But the police were prepared, and armed with batons and pepper spray, they also escalated, and from the footage I saw, they had no mercy in hitting people, spraying them and arresting them.

Some of the young people seemed shocked by what was happening, but should they? The occupation of Admiralty, Mongkok and Causeway Bay has lasted 65 days. The majority of people in Hong Kong have had enough with the protests and want life to return back to some kind of normality.

Protesters running from police on Lung Wo Road
Someone from above had instructed the police officers to do whatever it took to keep Lung Wo Road clear, and also try to clean out several areas including Tamar Park, where several tents had been there for weeks.

The Hong Kong Government is to blame for its inaction, with no interest in having any kind of dialogue with the students. The authorities [Beijing] don't want to be seen as bending to the students' will, so it is a losing battle.

So the clashes in the end didn't make many advances, and it was shocking to see protesters with doors acting as shields, and some kind of metal sticks as weapons as well as bricks. This is not what the protest is supposed to be about.

Meanwhile how many cans of pepper spray have the police used?

Some 40 people were arrested and 58 sent to hospital for injuries.

Protesters are now fighting amongst themselves or angry at the student leaders for not having a concrete plan. Alex Chow Yong-kang apologized tonight, but that won't retain support for the movement anymore. Some people are angry at them -- these protesters have been camping out for two months only to see things devolve into this.

Joshua Wong has started his hunger strike for attention...
And now the latest is that Scholarism's Joshua Wong Chi-fung is starting a hunger strike with two others in a bid to secure talks with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

Really? Is that your solution? No one really cares if you starve... to death... people conduct hunger strikes everyday. And having lost so much credibility, pulling the sympathy card is not going to work this time.

It's conflicting and sad to see the protest movement quickly falling apart now after all this time. And now the government has every reason to shut down the protest sites because people are getting violent.

How much longer will it last? Hard to say but could be less than two weeks now that the movement has lost moral credibility. Who is going to continue to stick it out and at what cost?

Regardless, the Umbrella Movement has made it harder for Beijing to influence the next generation. And for Hong Kong, that's a victory to remember.

2 comments:

  1. I agree with you that it's shocking that the young people were shocked by the aggressiveness of the police. Also, we were both at Admiralty yesterday - we SAW the large numbers of police over there and knew they were expecting things to happen, and were ready to spring to action themselves when the (perceived) need arose.

    All in all, I think the big difference between people's reactions to the events of September 28 and November 30/December 1 is that with the former, people were shocked most by the (over-)aggressiveness of the police, whereas with the latter, people are shocked by the (over-)impulsiveness of the student leaders who sought to escalate the protest.

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    1. Hi YTSL -- You summed it up quite nicely there! Yes very sad how things have been handled. The students can't play the sympathy card much longer... they are just as accountable for their actions in the past two months as everyone else.

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