Saturday, 18 October 2014

Establishing Dialogue At Last

Sketcher-Kee founder Kay Cheung's drawing of Mongkok early in the protests
Is there finally some progress?

After the violent clashes in Mongkok last night that saw police using pepper spray and batons on protesters, the Federation of Students called for talks with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

It will be held on Tuesday at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in Wong Chuk Hang and moderated by pro-Beijing Lingnan University president Professor Leonard Cheng Kwok-hon.

Each side will have five representatives and the dialogue will be televised. Wonder if it will be a situation of who blinks first. While the Hong Kong government has made a series of missteps dealing with this now three-week-old occupation of streets in the city, it will be interesting to see what, if anything comes out of the talks.

Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung
Will Lam reiterate the Basic Law again and lecture that there is no room for negotiation about civic nomination for the next chief executive? And will the students be persuasive enough to make Lam realize they are serious about their intentions and not a bunch of hooligans Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung is trying to make them out to be?

Today almost three weeks later he finally made a statement angrily condemning the protesters, which just inflames the situation.

"Police strongly condemn those who participated in the unlawful assembly, charged police cordons and illegally occupied major thoroughfares in Mongkok earlier this morning and last night. Such behaviours are neither peaceful nor non-violent," he said.

"The police have been extremely tolerant of the unlawful acts of the demonstrators in the past two to three weeks. We did this in the hope that they can calm down and express their views in an otherwise peaceful, rational and lawful manner. Unfortunately these protesters choose to carry on with their unlawful acts... which are even more radical and violent.

What the protesters think about the Hong Kong government...
"To these protesters, you may think that your illegal acts have prevented the police in going about our duties, disrupted our deployments and even forced us to retreat. Superficially that may be the case. But let me tell you this: these illegal acts are undermining the rule of law, undermining [what] Hong Kong has always been relying on to succeed," Tsang continued.

"If, from now on, the police fail to uphold law effectively, who is there to benefit? And what is there to gain?" he said, then turned and walked away without taking questions from the media.

Reporters probably wanted to ask him, if the police are so tolerant, then why did seven of them beat up Ken Tsang who was already detained? Why were police dogs used on Lung Wo Road last night? And does he not see it is the police that have provoked the protesters to be defensive? Who are the ones with more weapons?

Yes the students and protesters are occupying the streets, but that's because the government refuses to have a dialogue with them.

It's pretty simple really. And they should not be talked down to. They are the future leaders of Hong Kong.

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