Sunday, 25 August 2019

Hong Kong Protests Ratcheted Up

At least three police officers drew their guns tonight in Tsuen Wan
The violence between protesters and police escalated yet again tonight, with the latter drawing their guns and firing a shot in the air in Tsuen Wan.

Later a policeman said his colleague drew his gun as self-defense when he was surrounded by protesters, but when at least three guns were drawn, why kick an old man on his knees begging the officers not to shoot?

Also people are indiscriminately being arrested tonight, such as innocent bystanders and even a 12-year-old. When lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung confronted the police about this, asking what charges they were being arrested for, the officer admitted he didn't know.

Two water cannon vehicles made their debut today
While numerous rounds of tear gas were fired today, two water cannon vehicles were brought into use, though thankfully they were sparingly used and the protesters fled.

When is this going to end?

Perhaps what riled up protesters today was when there was news Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor met with 19 politicians and city leaders to brainstorm how to end the crisis that has plagued Hong Kong for almost 12 weeks now.

Over half of them advised her to withdraw the extradition bill that started the whole mess, and set up an independent inquiry into police brutality at protesters -- two of the demands protesters have been asking for since early June.

"The general mood was that the attendees felt the government needs to give a proper response to the key demands of protesters in order to bring closure to the situation," a source said. "But [Lam] said it is not the time for an inquiry, saying the government has to wait until the situation becomes more peaceful."

A peaceful demonstration in Kwai Fong today in the rain
Another source said Lam admitted there was strong resistance from the police force in having an inquiry, but some attendees gave suggestions of other ways of having public inquiries.

Perhaps more crucially, Lam rejected suggestions of withdrawing the extradition bill.

"She said she cannot spell out that the bill is 'withdrawn'. She cannot use that word," the first source said. "I have the feeling that the matter is out of her hands -- when she said this in front of her ministers."

Even city leaders and politicians have advised Lam to withdraw the bill and she can't do that. What hope do we have of resolving this crisis?

Why does she even bother hosting a brainstorm meeting then?

We all want this to end, but the fact that she cannot or will not meet these two demands by the protesters means more demonstrations, both peaceful and violent.

Carrie Lam's Facebook post this afternoon drew 34,000 comments
This afternoon on her Facebook page, Lam left a vague message, saying how she and her team must engage in direct and in-depth dialogue with the public. She added the platform for dialogue is still being planned out and hoped it would be launched as soon as possible. At the end of her post, Lam invited people to leave suggestions.

They left over 34,000 comments, most of them saying if the five demands are met, then Hong Kong will be peaceful again. Others suggested she look at the Lennon walls all over the city and read the messages people have left there, or complained about the indiscriminate use of tear gas.

What more do people have to do to tell Lam how they feel about the situation?!

It's become exasperating to hear Lam say she wants to talk to the public, and yet for 12 weeks that is what they have been doing in various ways...

And also time's a ticking... she is wasting precious time to get this crisis resolved, or does China want to sacrifice Hong Kong in its bid to bring it closer to the Motherland...


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