Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Into the ninth consecutive week of protests in Hong Kong

Protest art at Shau Kei Wan's Lennon Wall

Young but determined

The morning commute was made more difficult than usual for many people in Hong Kong today when protesters disrupted MTR train services: initially on the Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O lines but then also on the Island and Tsuen Wan lines.  There also were reports that some bus drivers were driving slower than usual, to add to the transportation problems that saw bus routes altered and such in my part of Hong Kong along with the local MTR station temporarily closing off its entrances and exits.

All this might be repeated on a larger scale on Monday, August 5th, as there have been calls variously made already for a transportation gridlock, social workers strike and general strike to take place that day.  Despite my having already seen posters online and at my local Lennon Wall for a general strike that day, I do wonder what are the chances of a general strike actually taking place in Hong Kong.  Frankly, this seems hard to imagine -- but, then, so many events have occurred over the past weeks (e.g., central Hong Kong being turned into a battle zone, a protest march with some two million participants, riot police invading a shopping mall and thugs attacking train passengers at a train station) that truly would have been beyond my imagination just two or three months ago.    

Before then though, more protests are expected to take place.  And, indeed, there's one taking place as I write this blog post over in Kwai Chung, where people have gathered to voice their support for 44 individuals charged with rioting last Sunday (including one who's just 16 years of age) and their dissent at the gravity of their charge (which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years). 

Amidst all these riot charges (and talk), here's pointing out that not a single shop has been looted, not a single shop window broken, etc. by protesters over the course of this summer of discontent in Hong Kong.  And while a small number -- especially relative to the number of people who have gone out and marched on the streets -- of protesters have acted violently, there really shouldn't be any dispute as to who the real thugs in this whole affair are: and, sadly, I don't just mean the Triads either -- as can be seen by videos such as this one and this one that I do not believe were "doctored" in any way.  But what do you expect of a police force for which there is so much damning evidence of their having colluded with organized criminal gangs? :(

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