As expected, protesters marched again today in Hong Kong. There are reports (and video) or protesters throwing “petrol bombs” (Molotov cocktails), including throwing them at the HK legislative building. There are also reports that police charged a subway/train station and fired pepper spray, resulting in numerous injuries, at least some to bystanders not part of the protests. The video is horrifying. Hong Kong police board a train, beat passengers with their batons, then get off the train without making any arrests. It appears to be totally unjustified violence.
The South China Morning Post has posted a timeline of the events as they are happening. They have also reported that at least two live-round warning shots were fired by the police into the air. Hong Kong police have also infiltrated the protest groups, arresting some protesters, but also causing fights between undercover officers and protesters.
The Hong Kong government has issued a statement condemning violence by the protesters. Of course, they have not, and will not, condemn unjustified violence by the police.
The Hong Kong government is said to be considering invoking emergency powers legislation. This will no doubt incite even larger protests. The HK government’s intransigence and unwillingness to negotiate the protester’s demands in any way, and unjustified violence by the HK police, is making the protesters more and more angry, and making the situation worse and worse.
The situation today in Hong Kong is extremely chaotic and dangerous. The HK police appear to be out of control (or perhaps beating protesters and bystanders is a deliberate tactic to provoked a confrontation). Will Beijing respond by sending in the PLA and People’s Armed Police to occupy Hong Kong? A large-scale, violent crackdown, with martial law imposed, could very well be the next step. When the government flatly refuses to consider the protester’s demands in any way, and the protesters will not back down, what other path forward is possible?