Sunday, 15 September 2019

HK Police Behavour Continues to Spiral


A protester throws back a canister of tear gas back at the police
Although we are not in Hong Kong, we're watching events as closely as possible and the behaviour of the police continue to deteriorate, arresting anyone in their way who haven't even committed a crime. How is this rule of law? It's just creating an administrative nightmare for the legal system.

Tens of thousands marched peacefully in the streets in Sunday
We are mortified to see a young man having lunch with his father in Amoy Gardens in Kowloon Bay and the former is suddenly arrested for what? His father is angry and scared, following the police taking his son away. What did his son do?

Meanwhile another proposed march by the Civil Human Rights Front was banned on Sunday from Causeway Bay to Chater Garden, and yet tens of thousands of people came out anyway, angry about too many things. However, an illegal march just gives the police any reason to arrest anyone or inflict more violence on protesters in the area.

Meanwhile tonight in North Point an unmasked man punched two journalists -- one I know -- and yet the police right there don't even arrest the man who provoked the violence. What is going on?



How does Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor sleep at night?

Oh wait she doesn't consider young people to have a stake in society because they haven't contributed to the development of Hong Kong.

How does Carrie Lam think she can make things fine in HK?
The Hong Kong government is so desperate to tell the outside world that the city is still open for business and yet its call to top global public relations companies to help restore its reputation has gone unheeded.

None of the top four PR firms even offered to put in a bid for the job.

That's how low the Hong Kong government has fallen -- these PR experts think the government's reputation is unsalvageable.

How does Lam think she will ever have control over the city? How does she think she can gain the confidence of investors again? More importantly how does she think she will ever gain the trust of Hongkongers to have honest, mutual dialogue?




Saturday, 14 September 2019

Wandering Around London


The entrance to St Paul's Cathedral
Unlike most flights flying from Hong Kong to China that are only a fraction full, the one on British Airways going to London was completely packed, mostly with students going back to school.

We're staying in a hotel near Heathrow Airport to catch another flight tomorrow morning, but after a short nap we ventured out into town -- or so we thought.

Sausages with potato mash and peas
We mistook the hotel receptionist's directions and took a bus going the wrong way and it took us a while for us to figure that out! We had to get off and go back in the opposite direction again to get to Hounslow West station.

When we finally made it to the station thanks to a traffic jam, there were signalling problems on the Piccadilly line we were on, which meant inching along and it took us a very long time to make it to Liverpool Street station.

That's where Duck and Waffle is, a supposedly 24-hour restaurant on the top of an office building. However, when we got there at 4pm, we were told the kitchen was taking a one-hour break and no food would be served!

Walking along the Millennium Bridge towards Tate Modern
While the view was stunning, we were too hungry to wait and went back down and across the street to a very local pub, King's Arms for some British pub fare and cricket on TV.

For our late late lunch we had fish and chips with mushy peas (peas mixed with potato), and Epping sausages and mash. The sausages were a tad salty, but overall we were sated and refueled with energy.

We decided to walk off our meal by trying to find St Paul's Cathedral which is two subway stops away. Thanks to Google Maps we were able to find it after about a 15-minute walk. Inside a service was already going on and we could hear the choir singing, creating beautiful acoustics, but unfortunately we couldn't take pictures of video of the service.

Blackfriar station on the left and a beautiful sunset
It was fantastic to sit there and take in the numerous mosaics on the vaulted ceilings, but so much detail to try to absorb. 

At the end of the service the Eucharist was performed and anyone attending the service could receive it, and many people of various backgrounds lined up.

Afterwards we filed out and headed to the nearby Millennium Bridge over the River Thames and crossed it where the Tate Modern is. While entrance is free, people are encouraged to donate 5 pounds each, though not many people did that. We didn't quite have the energy to wander around, so after a quick round in the gift shop we headed back across the Millennium Bridge and tried to find Blackfriar station to get back home.

Inside the Tate Modern
It was past dinnertime and people were keen to get home or heading to the airport so the train was packed. Outside the station we managed to catch the right bus this time to get back to our hotel and it was a relief to get back in one piece!

Picture of the Day: Mid Autumn Festival 2019

Brilliant shot of Lion Rock for this year's Mid-Autumn Festival
While it was Mid-Autumn Festival on Friday, many protesters did not take a break to celebrate the full moon with family and friends around the dinner table and eat mooncakes.

Instead they gathered in shopping malls, again to sing the newly-adopted anthem, Glory to Hong Kong, as well as chant various slogans, and raise an outstretched hand to show the government needs to meet their five demands.

Others took advantage of the Mid-Autumn Festival to create lanterns, some yellow with the umbrella on it, or even Pepe the Frog, or even protest slogans on them and walked around parks and streets displaying their lanterns.

The more sporty or adventurous ones headed to Lok Fu and then climbed up to Lion Rock to shine some lights. There some got out their mooncakes to share with friends and fellow protesters.

What a memorable way to spend Mid-Autumn Festival!

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Red Versus Black


Mainland Chinese waved flags and sang the national anthem at IFC mall
Tensions are heating up between Hongkongers and mainlanders.

After seeing Hongkongers singing Glory to Hong Kong every night in shopping malls, mainlanders felt it was time to stand their ground.

Before 1pm today at IFC mall in Central, a group of mainlanders gathered in the atrium and displayed a few Chinese flags and sang the national anthem and other patriotic songs. They also chanted slogans like "Hong Kong is China's", "China-Hong Kong add oil", and "support Hong Kong police".

 

This Chinese flash mob was soon after countered by smaller group of anti-government protesters who started singing Glory to Hong Kong. They also chanted "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times", that has been a rallying call that is now going into four months of protests.

Anti-government protesters saying five demands must be met
After that a shouting match erupted between the two sides, which ended at around 1.30pm with pro-China supporters leaving the area.

What mainlanders don't understand is that most Hongkongers don't expect independence -- but that they want what was promised to them in the Basic Law, which is universal suffrage.

The Hong Kong political system is broken and it can only be fixed with direct elections for people to vote for the leader of their choosing, not a committee of 1,200 pro-Beijing people.

In any event, the protesters returned at 7pm this evening round at the same place with many more people, singing the unofficial anthem and chanting slogans for about an hour.

 

This sense of unity is heartening, seeing clips of people all over the city singing and joining hands making human chains. This anti-government protest is not going to end anytime soon.

The ball is back in Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's court.

What's your next move, Carrie?

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Hong Kong's New Anthem


Singing has become another creative way to protest against the government
Moderate protesters have found another way to gather and voice their demands to the government -- by singing.

People gather nightly in malls to sing Glory to Hong Kong
In the last few nights people, mostly in black, head to shopping malls in the city and sing Glory to Hong Kong, apparently written by a local composer.

They have sung this unofficial anthem in places like Amoy Plaza in Kowloon Bay, Plaza Hollywood in Diamond Hill, Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong, Moko in Mongkok and New Town Plaza in Sha Tin.



《願榮光歸香港》
何以 這土地 淚再流
何以 令眾人 亦憤恨
昂首 拒默沉 吶喊聲 響透
盼自由 歸於 這裡
何以 這恐懼 抹不走
何以 為信念 從沒退後
何解 血在流 但邁進聲 響透
建自由 光輝 香港
在晚星 墜落 徬徨午夜
迷霧裡 最遠處吹來 號角聲
捍自由 來齊集這裡 來全力抗對
勇氣 智慧 也永不滅
黎明來到 要光復 這香港
同行兒女 為正義 時代革命
祈求 民主與自由 萬世都不朽
我願榮光歸香港

New Town Plaza in Sha Tin this evening
Why are the tears flowing in this land again?
Why is something causing everyone to be angry?
Chin up. Don't be silent. The sound of shouts fills the air
Hoping for freedom to return to this place.

Why can't this fear be wiped away?
Why do the faithful never retreat?
Why does the blood flow but the advancing sounds fill the air?
Build freedom. Bring glory to Hong Kong

The night stars fall. Darkness fills the air
In the fog, the sound of horns billows from afar.
Defend freedom. Come gather in this place. Fight with all your strength.
Courage and wisdom will never be extinguished

Dawn has come. We must bring glory to this Hong Kong
The children that walk with us, for justice we have a revolution now
Pray for democracy and freedom everlasting
I wish for glory to return to Hong Kong.

CARRIE! Are you listening???

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Shocking Claims Condoned


Almost half of all the people in anti-government protests are women
At this morning's weekly press conference, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she and her administration had noticed there was a lot of "fake news" on social media and cautioned people to be careful about what they read.

"Everyone of us, including government officials... have to be extremely cautious in ascertaining whether it is accurate," Lam said.

Carrie Lam says Fanny Law's views are her own
If people suspect people have broken the law, they should tell the police, she added.

What about her own advisor on the Executive Council, Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, who yesterday went on a radio talk show on RTHK and made the shocking claim that teenage girls were offering sex to frontline protesters, and gave the example of a 14-year-old student who later became pregnant.

"People are free to decide whether or not to believe it," said Law. "Of course, I can trace the origin of the information through a trusted friend's friend who knows the girl, but to reveal more details would be traumatic."

A friend of a friend? Isn't that second-hand information? Why didn't she check with the source to make sure the information was correct or not?

Fanny Law (left) with lawmaker Avery Ng (right) on RTHK
But Law claimed: "We have confirmed this is a true case. I am so sad for these young girls who have been misled into offering free sex."

When Lam was asked about Law's assertions, the chief executive replied: "Those comments are representing her own personal views."

These are highly speculative comments. How can the Hong Kong government allow a senior advisor to the administration to say such disparaging things publicly that may not even be true?

If this is Law's idea of trying to divide protesters, if anything it strengthened their resolution to stick together to unite against a government that seems completely out of touch with its own citizens.

An administration with integrity would have already fired Law from its inner circle, but Lam seems to think it's fine for Law to give her own comments.

Law's comments have only inflamed protesters' resolve
How is this crisis ever going to end when disparaging remarks are made and supported?

 


Monday, 9 September 2019

Students Keep Protest Momentum Going


Even Mickey Mouse with an eye patch was out protesting this morning
Early this morning before class, thousands of students from at least 100 schools joined hands in front of their institutions and chanted slogans in a bid to get attention from Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

Much like the human chain that spread across Hong Kong on August 23, the students joined hands -- or if they were too shy to hold hands, they held a pen or poster between them and shouted, "All five demands, not one less!" that is one of many slogans in the anti-government protests.

Students hold hands outside St Paul's Co-education College
The students were from such schools as St Paul's Co-educational College, St Stephens College, Pui Ching Middle School, Wa Ying College, King's College, True Light Girls' College, Heep Yunn School, Wah Yan College and Diocesan Girls' School.

The largest student chain was made up of students from 18 schools in Yau Ma Tei, Homantin, and Tokwawan, while others were from Wong Tai Sin to Tsz Wan Shan, from Yau Ma Tei to Prince Edward, and in Central and Western District.

A student surnamed Li said: "We must protect our home despite our limited strength. Therefore we launched an action called 'The Road to Freedom' connecting a 5km chain through Tokwawan, Homantin and Yau Ma Tei. When injust is a fact, revolution becomes a right. We must stand with Hong Kong pople and never stand down until the five demands are achieved.

Students in Wan Chai formed a human chain
It wasn't just students taking part, but also parents and alumnae of the various schools.

Parent Sammy Lee said he had to support his son, as it was his first time taking part in a social movement. "I think in the future, as a Hong Kong resident, he will understand there are various ways to pursue justice. Don't look down at the subtle power of students. They can also express their demands intelligently."

One male student who wore a tear gas mask, goggles and helmet wasn't optimistic that Lam would give into the other four demands, but felt protesters should continue to do whatever they can for now.

But even younger kids have taken part too. This was from the rain-soaked August 18 march when 1.7 million people took part. Love this kid.


Sunday, 8 September 2019

Chaos Continues on Sunday

Protesters carrying American flags as they march to the US Consulate
 
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's announcement on Wednesday didn't quite temper protesters' frustrations today. Tens of thousands marched from Chater Garden in Central to the United States Consulate on Garden Road.

Thousands of people descended on Central this afternoon
They completely blocked traffic and the surrounding areas. It is quite obvious people are not satisfied with just a formal withdrawal of the bill, as expected.

Many waved American flags as they asked Washington to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in support of the protesters.

However, the rally later became violent again, with protesters trashing Central MTR station exits, setting a fire along Pedder Street, in front of The Landmark shopping mall, and digging up bricks along the sidewalk.

Is that really necessary? We understand the frustration of the MTR having to kowtow to Beijing, but trashing MTR stations doesn't achieve much, except create more damage that us taxpayers will have to shell out.


Several exits in the Central MTR station were destroyed
This is totally playing into China's narrative that protesters are rioters... this is not a smart thing to do.

Another propaganda initiative is having two daughters of tycoons speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday. Macau casino heiress Pansy Ho Chiu-king and daughter of Maxim's founder Annie Wu Suk-ching are giving a speech on behalf of the Hong Kong Federation of Women, a pro-government organization that will present its political views on the protests that have impacted the city.

In their speech which was already released on the UN Human Rights Council website says: "The views of a small group of radical protesters do not represent the views of all 7.5 million Hongkongers. The systematic and calculated violent acts of this group have never been condoned by all Hongkongers."

Pansy Ho will speak at the UN Human Rights Council
Ho is chairwoman and executive director of MGM China Holdings in Macau, and a standing committee member of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference. Wu is the founder of the first mainland-Hong Kong joint venture, Beijing Air Catering, and is also a standing committee member at the national level.

Since when do these two women, who are the top 1 percent of the 1 percent, represent the views of 7.5 million Hongkongers? They have no idea what it's like for a fresh graduate to earn HK$12,000 a month and have no prospects of ever being able to own a 300 square foot flat that's now at HK$5 million.

They only see the protests as impacting their businesses and not seeing how the political system needs a complete overall so that everyone can have one vote for the leader of Hong Kong.

An amusing respite tonight was when Cantopop star Aaron Kwok Fu-shing was caught up in the protests in Causeway Bay in his customized black matte Ferrari.



"I'm on my way to buy diapers for my daughter!" he reportedly told reporters and then inched his way out of the street.








Saturday, 7 September 2019

Seniors Protecting the Kids

Uncle Chan is out tonight in Mongkok to protect the kids
I am not out on the streets like tonight running from the police who are chasing down protesters in Mongkok or building barricades or treating people who were sprayed with tear gas.

But it is amazing to see more and more elderly people out to "protect the children".

Some feel they have to do their part and literally stand in the front line.

Many seniors have participated in protest marches
Tonight it's 73-year-old Uncle Chan. He is from a group called "Protect the Children" with a vest that has this name on it. This is not the first time he's come out.

"I am not afraid of the danger. If young people are willing to come out to defend the rule of law and the city's core values, then I am willing to come forward as well," he says.

While he doesn't fight against the police, he just tries to help the young people have a bit of extra time to get away.

"We have a responsibility because the current government is destroying the future generations. We can't bear it so we have to come out and do something for the young people," he says. 

Many other seniors who have been interviewed at protests have also said the same thing.

Grandpa Wong takes a break from last week's clashes
Chan takes it literally though. Tonight on Nathan Road in Mongkok, when the police started running to catch the protesters, Chan and others tried to create a human barrier to slow down the police, but they ran right past him.

Others like an elderly couple tonight, bickered with a police officer, who soon threatened to check their IDs to get them to stop.

Last weekend a senior who called himself Grandpa Wong is also part of the group called "Protect the Children" and the oldest in the group at 82 years of age.

He says: "Our job is to stop the police from beating the protesters. The protesters are Hongkongers. They're my kids."

The fact that these seniors are actively out there literally trying to protect the protesters just shows how united they are in the cause no matter how old they are. Everyone is doing their bit.

When will Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor see that she's not just dealing with who she believes are unruly children, but also people like Uncle Chan and Grandpa Wong? She really should listen to her elders...

Friday, 6 September 2019

Loss of Trust

Protestors set fires in Mongkok tonight, angry at police brutality
The problem with Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor finally announcing she will withdraw the bill after three months of protests is that all the trust in the government and the police is completely gone.

Tonight the MTR stations at Mongkok and Prince Edward are shut down and tear gas has been fired yet again because people are surrounding these stations and demanding answers about how the police brutally beat people up on August 31. They also believe a person died in Prince Edward MTR station, which the railway operator denies.

At 7am this morning a woman dressed in black and wearing a hat and mask, sat down by the control booth at Prince Edward MTR station and had a sign demanding the staff release the CCTV footage in the station and she would start a hunger strike.

A quiet protest crowd gathered at Prince Edward MTR station
Even though she left at noon, by late afternoon a large crowd had filled a good part of the station with other people sitting there quietly.

While people accuse the police of treating people brutally in the station, the force claims its officers only chased after those radicals they believed changed their clothes after trashing the station.

The police also pushed journalists aside whenever they were beating people up, the authorities claiming they were concerned for their safety, but really they didn't want more video footage of them excessively hitting people.

And now people want CCTV video footage in the Prince Edward and Mongkok MTR stations to be made public. They don't trust anyone anymore.

That also means protesters still want Lam to agree to their other four demands; one is far from enough.

A statue symbolizing the Hong Kong protests up in Central
Every evening at 10pm, people can be heard doing "shout protests", calling out for the five demands to be met. Even this evening as I came out of the MTR station, there was a young woman in black standing across the street, shouting out slogans.

Perhaps Lam doesn't hear them, but surely she must know people are not satisfied with just withdrawing the bill.

If she really wants to stop the violence and help start Hong Kong heal, then she really must also conduct an independent inquiry. The more she refuses, the more the violence will escalate again.

How does Lam think she and the police will build up trust again with the people when they are skeptical of anything she or her administration say?

Thursday, 5 September 2019

More Questions than Answers


Carrie Lam addressing the media today to clarify last night's video message
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor made yet another appearance before the media this morning before taking the high-speed train to Guangxi.

She wanted to clarify her pre-recorded speech from yesterday, but this only led to more questions than answers.

A lot of media want Lam to further clarify her remarks
Lam explained withdrawing the bill next month when the Legislative Council resumes will not involve a vote or debate. Skeptics question whether the government will put forward this motion, but she says this is the administration's goal.

While she pledged she and her team will meet with people of "all walks of life" and listen to them air their grievances, Lam still insisted on going forward with Independent Police Complaints Council investigating into the police use of force on protesters.

However the members of IPCC are appointed by the government and the watchdog has limits on how far in depth it can investigate. Lam also appointed former Bar Association chairman Paul Lam Ting-kwok SC and former deputy ombudsman Helen Yu Lai Ching-ping to the body, both of who are considered pro-establishment, and reporters asked why no pan-democrats were added.

Police brutality needs to be independently investigated
"IPCC is an independent body. The members appointed need to meet their statutory duties and to be fair in any investigation," Lam explains. "So we should not doubt them. We believe adding members to the IPCC will be helpful. And the appointment of members should be neutral without any political background."

But the media were not satisfied with her answer.

When asked why it took her three months to finally decide to withdraw the bill, Lam was unrepentant, even admonishing reporters.

"There is one purpose for the actions, which is to help Hong Kong move on with the first step. It is incorrect to question why we do these actions now."

How is it incorrect to question why she is doing this now?

The public do not trust the IPCC to be fair in its investigation
We have every right to ask!

She reiterated the government did not see it was necessary to set up a commission of inquiry.

This will not go down well with the majority of protesters.

Then she was asked if withdrawing the bill was her idea of Beijing's, but she says she did not change her mind.

Lam replied that she had never changed her mind, that she has kept the same position all along.

Huh?! That makes no sense. For weeks she stood in front of the media and basically said she was not budging at all, but suddenly yesterday she announced the government would withdraw the bill.

Carrie what happened to your hair here?
How is that not a change of mind by someone? She would not say who.

Lam did not help to clarify much at all, leaving us with many more questions.

One burning question we have is -- why did she have a strange hairstyle in her pre-recorded message. Was it a sign she was trying to tell us?

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Major Concession That's Too Late

Carrie Lam gave a wooden performance and sported a new hairdo today
After lunch we were shocked to find out Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was going to say the W-word -- withdraw the extradition bill.

The shock announcement was followed by disappointment
Was this really true? It was confirmed by a government source and she made a prerecorded message that was broadcast just before 6pm.

However, in the video her hairstyle was very different from the day before, and she acted and sounded like a robot, going through the motions.

There was no apology or sincerity, just an attempt to reason with protesters that violence was not the answer.

Lam said she will formally withdraw the bill when the Legislative Council resumes in October, and that the government-endorsed Independent Police Complaints Council will include two more members in it to make it more objective.

Protesters say Lam's concessions are not enough
She and her senior officials will start dialogues with the different communities and hear what people have to say, acknowledging there are serious political, economic and social deep-rooted problems.

While withdrawing the bill is a huge concession on her part -- and getting Beijing to agree to it is massive -- for most protesters, this is too little too late.

Many on social media have said this is like going to a restaurant and ordering four dishes and a soup, and only the soup arrives -- cold.

The hard core protesters continue to press for all five demands, whereas moderates are pushing for withdrawing the bill and an independent inquiry into police brutality.

Hang Seng Index did rise over 800 points, how about more?
Will this divide protesters? Not really because the latter aren't happy with Lam's current proposal of continuing to use the IPPC to investigate the police. The protests will continue, but will they continue to be violent? That will be revealed this weekend.

So it's a start, but a start to a long journey ahead that should have been taken almost three months ago. Better late than never, but at what cost?

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Carrie Refutes Resignation


Today Carrie Lam denies that she even wanted to resign
This morning in her weekly briefing with the media, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor categorically denied she or her staff had leaked the recording of her to Reuters. She was angry her remarks were recorded in a closed-door session when she thought Chatham House rules apply.

Who can resist not recording her speech when she says if given the choice she would resign?

However this morning she was defiant and said, "I have never tendered a resignation to the central people's government. I have not even contemplated to discuss a resignation with the central people's government," she said. "The choice of not resigning is my own choice."

Police brutality gets more violent as each week passes
While resigning would be an easier way out, Lam says she didn't choose that option, or rather she didn't give herself that option.

"But I told myself repeatedly in the last three months that I and my team should stay on to help Hong Kong in a very difficult situation, and to serve the people of Hong Kong," she said. "I have not given myself the choice to take an easier path and that is to leave. I'd rather stay on and walk this path together with my team and with the people of Hong Kong."

But Carrie, what makes you think people want you to walk on the same path as them?

As you said so yourself, you have created this "unforgivable havoc" on the city and yet you have done nothing to try and fix it. Instead whenever you speak, you further infuriate people to come out to protest.

Meanwhile you hide behind the police who are doing the dirty work for you, beating people up, arresting them for no specific charges and you quietly condone the police's violent actions towards protesters, from those as young as 12 years old to seniors.

The police are eroding rule of law in Hong Kong
So far to date, over 1,000 people have been arrested. The more people who are convicted and thrown into jail, the more they will become radicalized while serving prison sentences of up to 10 years for rioting.

Is this the mess the Hong Kong and Chinese governments want to deal with five to 10 years from now? 

Monday, 2 September 2019

Leaks on Carrie Lam's Frustrations


A recording reveals Lam's inability to resolve the crisis in Hong Kong
Another explosive report by Reuters reveals a taped recording of one of Chief Executive Carrie Lam's recent meetings with business people where she admits she is between a rock and a hard place.

In a speech in English, Lam says she made a serious mistake in putting forward the extradition bill, but now the crisis has become a national security and sovereignty issue, and so it is beyond her ability to control the situation.

She says, "... the room, the political room for the chief executive who, unfortunately, has to serve two masters by constitution, that is the central people's government and the people of Hong Kong, that political room for maneuvering is very, very, very limited". 

She claims the PLA will not come into Hong Kong
Wait a second -- when has she served the people of Hong Kong? She can also show some integrity and quit even if Beijing does not accept her resignation, but no she is still very much at Government House.

Interestingly she lets the business sector know in a closed-door meeting that while the National Day celebrations are less than a month away, there is "absolutely no plan" to deploy the People's Liberation Army on Hong Kong streets, as Beijing knows this is bad optics.

While we might be able to breathe a sigh of relief on this one -- might is the operative word -- Lam says Beijing is willing to play the long game in quelling the protests, even if it meant a drop in tourism, loses in capital outflows and IPO cancellations.

In other words this probably means even more arrests and prosecutions, not to mention more violent altercations with the police.

She also told her audience of her frustration at not being able "to reduce the pressure on my frontline police officers" or to provide a political solution to "pacify the large number of peaceful protesters who are so angry with the government, with me in particular".

Thousands of students protest at Chinese University campus
Her inability "to offer a political situation in order to relieve the tension," she said, was the source of her "biggest sadness".
 "For a chief executive to have caused this huge havoc is unforgivable," Lam said.

In her speech she added how this crisis has impacted her personally. "Nowadays it is extremely difficult for me to go out. I have not been on the streets, not in the shopping malls, can't go to a hair salon. I can't do anything because my whereabouts will be spread around social media."

If she were to appear in public, she said, "you could expect a big crowd of black T-shirts and black-masked young people waiting for me."

Has she even tried? The claim that she can't go to a salon these days doesn't have any sympathy from anyone.

And as if it wasn't obvious by now, Lam is now the least popular of all the chief executives since 1997. Veteran pollster Robert Chung of the Public Opinion Research Institute says her success in pushing through several controversial proposals bolstered her belief in believing she could ram through the extradition bill.

"All these things made her feel so confident, and when we had the first demonstration, she still thought, 'Don't worry, I'll get through in two days and things will be over,'" Chung said. "But she was totally wrong."

Dr Sun Yat-sen prepared for battle!
Lam again reiterated to her audience of business people that the extradition bill was of her doing, and that it was not instructed or coerced by the central government.

She admits it would be naive to paint a rosy picture for the near future, and said the government originally projected arresting 1,000 to 2,000 people.

"Hong Kong is not dead yet. Maybe she is very, very sick, but she is not dead yet," she said.

And who's fault is that?

She will have more to answer to tomorrow in her regular weekly news conference.

Earlier today several university campuses and secondary schools held protests on the first day of school.

It was very thoughtful of the students to prepare the father of the revolution, Dr Sun Yat-sen with a helmet, gas mask and gloves...

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Police Brutality Knows No Bounds


A couple begging the police not to hit them anymore in the MTR carriage
This weekend has been too depressing news-wise. I cannot erase the horrific images in my mind of the young couple in the MTR carriage at Prince Edward who were mercilessly beaten by riot police. The couple was cowering in fear and afterwards were clutching each other so hard, in shock at what had just happened to them.

Will the police ever apologize for how they have terrorized them?

Riot police indiscriminately attacked people in MTR stations
And the rest of us for that matter? For that it has made a number of Hongkongers hate the police even more.

How can they just randomly beat people with batons on a wild rampage?

Just as shocking was the police not allowing first aiders to help those who were injured in the various stations. There's a heartbreaking video of a young first aider who is begging the police to allow him in, even saying they can beat him up, that he only wants to treat people.

When his pleas fall on deaf ears he sinks down on the ground and wails. There isn't much anyone can do to comfort him. In another station, three first aiders were forced to stand with their face to the wall and not help anyone. It's shocking and outrageous.

Moments before the police attacked the young couple
As far as I know there are no rallies planned this week, but perhaps someone will organize one to condemn such insane police brutality. July 21 we saw white-shirted men attacking people in Yuen Long MTR station and not a police officer in sight. And now on August 31 scores of riot police on a mission to hit anyone in their way, even slamming a young woman into the wall at Kowloon Bay MTR station.

It seems the MTR is now the new battleground ever since the public transportation network was criticized by Chinese state media for aiding and abetting protesters. This is hardly true. They are providing transportation for everyone.

But now that so much violence has happened in the MTR, will people be terrified to take it?

Tonight after the MTR shut down the line at Tung Chung (because protesters had vandalized it), they were were forced to walk from the airport to Tsing Yi, a four-hour walk, that some journalists had to do as well as they followed them.

Thousands make the long march from the airport to Tsing Yi
Along the way some people with cars handed out food and water to the protesters and some offered rides. At Tsing Yi scores of people with cars came out and gave some of them rides to where they needed to go.

There is one month to go before Xi Jinping's big 70th anniversary bash for the People's Republic of China, but protesters are far from ready to give up their fight...