Hong Kong Protests

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Skarjo
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PostHong Kong Protests
by Skarjo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:12 am

I don't know what coverage has been like in the UK but blimey it's getting a bit spicy out here.

Protestors have shut down the airport grounding all flights in and out.
The police have removed their name tags and ID numbers in increasingly violent conflicts with protestors that have resulted in a woman being blinded after she was shot in the face with a 'non-lethal' round at close range.
There's strong evidence that police numbers are being bolstered by mainland Chinese who are more 'sympathetic' to the police cause than the local force.
There's some evidence of triads being sent in to stir up trouble for the police to respond to.
2 Tube stations were flooded with tear gas to disperse crowds, even though there's evidence the gas was expired.
There's as many as 4 people dead, though how strongly you can tie that directly to the protest is up for debate.
Xi Jinping has directed amassing PLA troops in Shenzehn, just across the border into mainland China.

There's no end in sight neither.

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Green Gecko » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:23 am

On the radio a Chinese spokesperson said they were now using lethal force in response to molotovs etc. But just looks like a normal protest from those pictures. Any reliable sources of violence?

Is it mostly students again?

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Skarjo
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Skarjo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:38 am

No, it's the whole damn city. Honestly I've never seen turnout like it. One of the biggest marches was something like 2 million people, which in a city of 7 million, once you discount the children, elderly etc is basically everyone who could have possibly attended.

As for the police - strawberry float them. They're deliberately provoking the protestors in order to get an excuse to crack down on them. They've been allowed to take off their ID badges and ID numbers, wear face masks etc so that when, for instance, one is caught on camera trying to gouge out the eye of a protestor or another slams a 65 year woman into the floor and shatters her arm or another strawberry floating blinds a girl in one eye with a close range headshot from a bean bag - no one gets held accountable.

It's gonna get ugly, coz Winnie the Pooh is itching for a chance to play the strongman.

EDIT; As for the molotov cocktails, there's a lot of evidence that the guys who threw them were triads. Not to get too far down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole, but during conflicts in Yuen Long, there was reports of the Triads working alongside the police trying to cause more issues to provoke a stronger response from the police, and it's been suggested that mainland Triads are orchestrating the worst of the attacks through their HK branches. But I'll readily admit that could all be tinhattery.

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Green Gecko » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:02 am

Wow. That's huge. I've heard it growing in sound bites on the BBC news, but had no sense of scale with only audio.

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massimo
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by massimo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:49 am

Have just seen this on Twitter…

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Knoyleo
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Knoyleo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:27 am

I was going to say I thought the coverage had been pretty good, then realised it's because I follow a few social media channels with a Hong Kong presence, and am in daily contact with our HK office at work. I think it's only sporadically on the news here, moreso now it's escalated the way it has.

This video I found especially good for clearly explaining, from the perspective of a Hong Konger, just what's going on, and he also speaks about triad involvement, saying they were attacking protesters travelling back through a certain train station, and the police held off intervening:



The situation has been tragic so far, but has the capacity to get so much worse.

The other thing that has fascinated me though, has been the protest tactics used out there. There are some twitter threads floating around disseminating protest tactics, and general tips for the crowd, pulling in some real expertise, too. Obviously I can only link to English language summaries but hey...





I picked up Antony Dapiran's "City of Protest" about the modern history of dissent in Hong Kong, and this high level of orchestration on part of the protesters has always been there since long before handover, but now with the mass communications and tech available, there's some mad stuff going on. Mass ordering Ubers in order to block traffic in main roads to obstruct police, using spotters on social media and hashtags to alert large numbers of people to police movements instantly.

I can't see Beijing holding off much longer before taking more direct intervention, and that video above is seriously worrying. I just hope they'll have the sense to show some restraint, but I really doubt that's at the forefront of their mind.

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Drumstick
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Drumstick » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:09 am

What are they protesting against?

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Preezy
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Preezy » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:10 am

Haven't been following this at all, what are they protedting about?

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Cuttooth
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Cuttooth » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:13 am

Drumstick wrote:What are they protesting against?

Proposed Chinese extradition laws.

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Squinty
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Squinty » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:15 am

Seems to have been started over one issue (extradition), and then a lot of other democratic issues have been added.

From what I understand of it, Hong Kong will eventually be rolled into China, people are worried about freedom of speech amongst other things. They see the extradition laws as a way China could assert more control over Hong Kong, and potentially get rid of critics of that regime (which by all accounts seems to already be happening).

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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Knoyleo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:58 am

Squinty wrote:Seems to have been started over one issue (extradition), and then a lot of other democratic issues have been added.

From what I understand of it, Hong Kong will eventually be rolled into China, people are worried about freedom of speech amongst other things. They see the extradition laws as a way China could assert more control over Hong Kong, and potentially get rid of critics of that regime (which by all accounts seems to already be happening).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causewa ... ppearances

Between October and December 2015, five staff of Causeway Bay Books went missing. At least two of them disappeared in mainland China, one in Thailand. One member was last seen in Hong Kong, and eventually revealed to be in Shenzhen, across the Chinese border, without the travel documents necessary to have crossed the border through legal channels.

It was widely believed that the booksellers were detained in mainland China,[1][2] and in February 2016 Guangdong provincial authorities confirmed that all five had been taken into custody in relation to an old traffic case involving Gui Minhai.[3] While response to the October disappearances had been muted, perhaps in recognition that unexplained disappearances and lengthy extrajudicial detentions are known to occur in mainland China,[4] the unprecedented disappearance of a person in Hong Kong, and the bizarre events surrounding it, shocked the city and crystallised international concern over the possible abduction of Hong Kong citizens by Chinese public security bureau officials and their likely rendition, and the violation of several articles[clarification needed] of the Basic Law. In his report to the British government and parliament in early January 2016, foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the incident was "a serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong and undermines the principle of one country, two systems".[5][6]


Hong Kong people are naturally worried about the transition to becoming fully integrated into China in 2047. The 1997 handover agreement from Britain to China guaranteed them status as a special administrative system, but the idea was always that the 50 years would be a transitional period for them to adjust and align with China. Understandably, a lot of Hong Kong people want to remain autonomous, and see a lot of the electioneering and legislation carried out in recent years as attempts by Beijing to accelerate that process towards total control by China.

The latest extradition bill is seen as a way for Beijing to exert control over Hong Kong citizens, as they can subject them to Beijing laws, from across the border, and simply request to have them shipped over the border.

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Minty14
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Minty14 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:19 am

The mainland's attempts at tighter control of Hong Kong has accelerated over the last few years due to the economic growth there. I believe I read that in 1997, HK made up something like 25% of the economy of the whole of China, but with the rapid growth of mainland cities, and the booming economy, it's now a much smaller %. This means the Chinese government has less reason to keep Hong Kongers happy and allow them to self govern.

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Pedz
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Pedz » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:19 am

This how the UK will look come November the 1st?

Seen a fair bit ifnthisnkn the news, it's usually showing quite a bit in the morning (around 1am or later) on BBC1. Pretty shocking how many people are protesting.

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Minty14
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Minty14 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:21 am

There's nowhere near enough political engagement in the UK for protests like this here imo.

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Knoyleo
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Knoyleo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:35 am

Oh look, the police are dressing up as protesters and carrying out violent arrests.

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/08/12/v ... rotesters/


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Squinty
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Squinty » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:49 am

Well......that's an interesting tactic.

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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by jawafour » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:59 am

I wasn't quite sure what the protesters' aims are but The Guardian reports them as being:

What do the protesters want?
The extradition bill was suspended by the territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, in mid June, but protesters want it officially withdrawn. In addition to demanding Carrie Lam’s resignation, the protesters are calling for:

> The complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill
> The government to withdraw the use of the word “riot” in relation to protests
> The unconditional release of arrested protesters and charges against them dropped
> An independent inquiry into police behaviour
> Implementation of genuine universal suffrage


As an outsider, and being unfamiliar with much of the background, it's tough to fully understand those goals. Of the six aims listed, three appear to be related to the act of protesting itself; whilst the other three (Lam, the extradition bill and universal suffrage) seem tricky as I assume the point comes down to the fact that the folk don't want to follow laws of mainland China. Can any part of a country be run under differing laws to other parts? I guess the USA does this to a certain extent with individual States having law variations, but it doesn't feel like China would take that approach.

I wonder if Hong Kong people are divided on the issue; it is clear that some wish to be apart from China but do others want to join up?

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Minty14
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Minty14 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:11 am

After the handover from the UK to China, the agreement was that HK would not come under full Chinese rule until 2047.

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Drumstick
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Drumstick » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:21 am

I recommend a referendum, they solve everything.

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Knoyleo
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PostRe: Hong Kong Protests
by Knoyleo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:25 am

jawafour wrote:I wasn't quite sure what the protesters' aims are but The Guardian reports them as being:

What do the protesters want?
The extradition bill was suspended by the territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, in mid June, but protesters want it officially withdrawn. In addition to demanding Carrie Lam’s resignation, the protesters are calling for:

> The complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill
> The government to withdraw the use of the word “riot” in relation to protests
> The unconditional release of arrested protesters and charges against them dropped
> An independent inquiry into police behaviour
> Implementation of genuine universal suffrage


As an outsider, and being unfamiliar with much of the background, it's tough to fully understand those goals. Of the six aims listed, three appear to be related to the act of protesting itself; whilst the other three (Lam, the extradition bill and universal suffrage) seem tricky as I assume the point comes down to the fact that the folk don't want to follow laws of mainland China. Can any part of a country be run under differing laws to other parts? I guess the USA does this to a certain extent with individual States having law variations, but it doesn't feel like China would take that approach.

I wonder if Hong Kong people are divided on the issue; it is clear that some wish to be apart from China but do others want to join up?

That's what currently happens in Hong Kong under the one country, two systems principle.

Its important to look at the history of Hong Kong when thinking about this as well. The island has been used as a pawn in international "diplomacy" between Britain and China for nearly 200 years. As a key trading port, it was a flash point in the opium wars, and captured by Britain. Eventually Britain and China signed a treaty, meaning Britain would maintain ownership of the territory until 1997,at which point handover to China would begin. China has changed a lot in the intervening years, and so the China that Hong Kong is returning to its very different than the one it was taken from.

Most important of all is that Hong Kong people have never had any say in their own destiny. The current arrangement sees the territory bestowed with the most autonomy it could have, but it's being eroded, and people aren't happy.

There are some pro Beijing voices within Hong Kong, but they're far outnumbered by those who do not want to become just another part of China.


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