Saturday, 15 June 2019

Vancouverites Protest Extradition

Hundreds of people on Granville Street in front of the Chinese consulate
Early this afternoon there was quite a sight along Granville Street in Vancouver between Angus Drive and Marpole Avenue -- several hundred people wearing black T-shirts and carrying yellow umbrellas stood in front (or as close as they could get) of the Chinese consulate.

Although earlier this morning Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor made an announcement saying the controversial extradition bill would be postponed until a later date, Vancouver media say some 1,500 people still came out to voice their protest.

They were also condemned the Hong Kong police's use of excessive force against the protesters on June 12 at Tamar in Admiralty.

As they gathered on the narrow sidewalk along the very busy thoroughfare, the protesters sang, "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from Les Miserables and some cars honked their horns in support as they drove by.

They protested the extradition bill and excessive police force
The protesters in Vancouver say the extradition bill should be withdrawn.

"Even though she came out to announce she will defer on this bill, we can see this evil bill will be sitting there and waiting for (an) opportunity to suppress Hong Kong, to threaten Hong Kong people," said Ken Tung, of the Civic Education Society in Vancouver who gave a speech to the crowd.

"Right now we have some people wounded by the excessive police force. These people were arrested in the hospital, totally against the freedom of speech and assembly in Hong Kong. We are here to protest."

Natalie Woo also expressed her concerns about how the Hong Kong police reacted to the protesters on June 12.

"Our police forces have been eroding for the past couple of years, in the sense that they have been acting very violently against protesters. We're not satisfied with Carrie Lam's answer to suspend the bill, because we don't trust the government enough to act in good faith."

Woo says rallying in Vancouver sends a message to the Chinese government and people of Hong Kong that there is a global solidarity for those who protest the bill and violence.

Pretty impressive turnout this afternoon and people will be out in force later today in Hong Kong for yet another march, this time calling for Lam to step down.

Friday, 14 June 2019

San Francisco's Chicago-Style Pizza

My very stringy slice of spinach and mushroom pizza at Zachary's

On our last full day in San Francisco, my cousin took us to the botanical garden there, and for lunch we stopped at a nearby pizza place called Zachary's Chicago Pizza.

I was told this is no ordinary pizza joint and it's an institution since 1983 with several locations in San Francisco.

It serves Chicago-style pizza, which is a deep-dish pizza so that there is a very high crust, and this allows for even more toppings to be put on the pizza (more like a pie) and then it is smothered in a chunky tomato sauce.

Check out how thick this pizza is! It's more like a pie!
We didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into until my cousin highly suggested one large pizza would be good for five of us. It took 30 minutes for the pizza to arrive so we had a large plate of Caesar salad to start and my cousin and I sipped on Moroccan mint iced teas.

When the pizza arrived, it was placed on the wooden stool next to our table and the server immediately started serving the slices which were very thick!

We ordered two flavours, spinach and mushroom with three cheeses blended together, and Zachary's Special, featuring Italian sausage, green peppers, onion, mushroom and Mozzarella cheese.

Needless it's really difficult to pick up the pizza slice -- you really have to eat it with a knife and fork! And after one slice, you're practically full!

Zachary's Chicago Pizza
1853 Solano Avenue
Berkeley, CA
(510) 525 5950

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Extradition Protest Aftermath

When police fired teargas into the crowd yesterday afternoon in Admiralty
I was glued to my phone watching the video clips and Twitter updates of the violent clashes yesterday in Admiralty and Central that I couldn't stop watching until 2am Pacific Time.

The one thing the protesters achieved was the Legislative Council postponing the reading of the extradition bill. It was postponed again today without a new date set... yesterday pro-Beijing lawmakers were not spotted at all near Legco -- probably too terrified to be confronted by angry protesters.

A lone protester is water cannoned and tear gassed by police
Perhaps this contentious bill will make them too scared to be associated in passing it. Or will they be willing to take the risk for the love of Beijing?

The Hong Kong Police should be ashamed of themselves for their excessive force exerted on the protesters. One video showed a man carrying a box of water bottles only to be attacked by several policemen who beat him up. Another was of a middle-aged woman trying to talk sense into the police, asking them why they were beating up young people in their teens who have not done anything wrong. What did the police do? Attack her.

It's the return of the yellow versus blue... did they not learn anything from 2014?

Meanwhile the protesters left Admiralty and Central in a mess -- but some of them came back today and CLEANED UP the debris on the streets. Where in the world have you seen angry protesters return and clean up the mess they made?

Tens of thousands showed up near government headquarters
Only in Hong Kong.

The ball is now in Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's court. She has made the world terrified of what is happening in Hong Kong and will be scared of visiting the city or think twice about doing business there, with images of what look like a police state being implemented. Is this the impression she wants the rest of the world to have of Hong Kong?

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Hong Kong's Last Stand

Thousands of people are gathered at Tamar in Admiralty, a repeat of 2014
There are dramatic scenes unfolding at the government headquarters at Tamar in Admiralty as we speak as thousands of protesters have gathered there and are clashing with police, who have retaliated with tear gas.

Some protesters have dug up bricks from sidewalks to literally build a wall for protection, others stole metal barricades to stop police from advancing. Many of them are wearing face masks, goggles, and protective gear as well as umbrellas to shelter from the rain but also the tear gas.

This feels like a repeat of 2014, and it's a sad state of affairs to see history repeating itself.

While the one good thing is that the debate on the extradition bill has been delayed until further notice, the police are having a difficult time breaking up the protesters and telling them to go home.

They won't listen because this is the last stand.

Hongkongers have not been given a say at all about the extradition bill and the government has made a serious miscalculation in trying to force the bill through instead of the proper due process.

A friend from New York emailed me, asking if there was any hope, and I replied there isn't, which is why Hongkongers are out on the streets, fighting to the bitter end.