Scene in Causeway Bay, on the way to Victoria Park,
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam issued her "most sincere apology" to the people of Hong Kong for her role in causing "controversies, disputes and anxieties in society" earlier today. Rather than placating, I found this act (in more ways than one) of hers to be absolutely infuriating -- and I'm pretty certain that's how the rest of the some two million people who were out in the streets publicly and loudly calling for her resignation on Sunday feel too.
For one thing, she still has not offered her resignation -- nor that of any members of her government. For another, she still has not withdrawn the much dreaded extradition bill she proposed that got her into this mess and threatens the city's political and economic future. And while she's backpedalled somewhat from her previous description of protesters having rioted, her suggestion that she did not have the authority to judge if this was the case not only doesn't clarify matters but also sounds pretty ridiculous. Furthermore, she still has not condemned the shocking police brutality that was on full and open display last Wednesday.
Coming on the day after Demosisto leader Joshua Wong was released from prison and there came news of Hong Kong's high court considering an election petition by his party's Agnes Chow, who was barred from running in a Legislative Council by-election last year, Carrie Lam's latest press conference served to bring people back down to earth and remind us that there's still a long way to go before the Hong Kong government is going to give Hong Kongers what we want. But while it's easy to feel despondent and despair that our goals will never be achieved (not least since it can feel like this terribly arrogant woman can never be made to acknowledge that she's really erred badly), it's worth remembering that just two Mondays ago, 777 had firmly stated that she was committed to seeing the extradition bill become law!
Since then, we have seen the suspension of that controversial bill which now has seen protest marches against it involving unprecedented numbers of people and more backpedalling by "Beijing's puppet" in the past week than she's done in ages. And unless she actually wishes to increase the ire of the people (who can't vote for her but certainly can make -- and have made -- their disapproval and lack of confidence in her very clear) and risk further -- and more damaging -- shows of their utter contempt and distrust of her (and her government), she surely must go -- or be removed from office by her boss in Beijing whose many problems she now has added to.