As everyone predicted, other than the completely clueless Carrie Lam, the ban on masks in Hong Kong has only led to more protests and violence. The only thing more predictable was that the Hong Kong police would use the mask ban as an excuse to brutalize even more people, whether involved in a protest or not.
The Hong Kong police are out looking for people to beat. This young couple is walking down the street minding their own business, not protesting, not in a large gathering, completely innocent. The mask ban allow police officers to ask people to remove their masks for identification in such a situation. What is does not allow police to do is to tackle them to the ground, injuring them, and putting their knees into their backs. And look who is wearing masks and in a large group. Yeah, it’s the Hong Kong police. But of course, the mask ban doesn’t apply to them. It’s too ironic.
What’s worse is that when the Hong Kong police leadership is shown this video, they will shamelessly deny that there is any problem at all with the behavior of the police. Since they know they will never be held to account, the police act more and more brutally. It is time for sanctions against members of the Hong Kong government and police leadership. The U.S. needs to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act as soon as possible and invoke the Magnitsky Act against them immediately.
Within hours of the ban being introduced, there were massive protests involving thousands of people – most all wearing masks.
It is just unfathomable just how stupid the Hong Kong government and police are. This wasn’t a hard call to make. Everyone knew this would happen – except apparently, Carrie Lam. Once again, she’s proven how out of touch she is. She doesn’t understand the thinking and motivations of other people at all. At this point, the whole Hong Kong executive council, starting with Lam, should resign in disgrace. At every turn, they’ve just made matters worse. Can they really not understand that more oppression only leads to more resistance? Can they really not understand that more harsh tactics and brutality by the police just leads to more violence from the protesters as they fight back? The people of Hong Kong will not be intimidated into silence – that’s clear to anyone observing what’s been happening that has any critical thinking ability and an open mind.
The pro-democracy demonstrations and protests will not end until the Hong Kong government responds in a positive way to the Five Demands, or the CCP kills thousands or tens of thousands in the streets of Hong Kong. What will the CCP choose to do?
UPDATE: The anti-mask regulations have been enacted. Carrie Lam has learned nothing, and she simply is unable to understand the effects that her actions will have. She clearly does not understand the thinking or motivations of other people.
We think the law will not have just the opposite effect and predict that there will be more protests with people continuing to wear masks. Hong Kong is becoming more and more a police state. People with money in Hong Kong markets and businesses would be well-advised to move their investments elsewhere.
There are reports today from various sources saying that the Hong Kong legislature will pass regulations banning people from wearing masks at protests.
Of course, the Hong Kong police are behind this repressive and ill-advised scheme. They’ve completely lost their minds.
It is common in Asia for people to wear masks when they have colds or for other reasons. The new regulations will allow the police to make people remove their masks whenever an officer asks them to and completely bans wearing masks at large gatherings. Will the police stop thousands and thousands of ordinary Hong Kong people to make them remove their masks? Will they arrest thousands and thousands of people even at completely peaceful demonstrations?
Of course, the Hong Kong people will have their say about the matter.
This is a great idea!
As we’ve said here before, the Hong Kong government has no idea how to handle the protests. They want to hold “dialogs,” but they won’t listen to or consider the pro-democracy demonstrators’ demands, so the dialogs are useless. The police only know how to ratchet up the violence to higher and higher levels, even to the point of actually shooting demonstrators, trying to intimidate them into silence. It isn’t working, and just makes the demonstrators more and more angry.
The Hong Kong government, and by extension the CCP, has to realize the until they are actually willing to negotiate in good faith (not their usual “say one thing and do another” negotiating tactics, i.e. lying to get what they want), the protests won’t end. The police force has to be brought under control, police brutality must be independently and fairly investigated, and officers perpetrating acts of brutality must be arrested and prosecuted. The police must follow the law, wear identification and show warrant cards as required by law, and they must behave professionally and use the minimum force required to discharge their duties. If those things are not done, the protests will go on, unless thousands or tens of thousands of Hong Kongers are murdered in the streets. Carrie Lam, is that what you want?
This kind of thing is becoming pretty much an every day occurrence, sadly.
Agnes Chow Ting, one of the leaders of Hong Kong’s Demosisto, a pro-democracy organization founded by students, including Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and others, posted this on Twitter today (in Japanese).
The video shows someone having a discussion with Hong Kong police officers. The discussion appears somewhat heated, but peaceful. The person is not violent in any way, but suddenly one of the officers sprays him directly in the face with pepper spray.
What isn’t clear in the video, but is said in Ages Chow’s post, is that the person that was sprayed is Eddie Chu, a lawmaker in Hong Kong!
Translated (by Google):
While Hong Kong legislator Eddie Chu was discussing police power abuse with police, another police officer put pepper spray on his face. Violent response to peaceful discussions. This is the Hong Kong police.
Agnes Chow – automatic translation by Google
Imagine the outrage if the police anywhere in the U.S. pepper-sprayed a lawmaker (state or U.S. representative or senator) without provocation. The police officer would be almost certainly fired and probably prosecuted. The police in Hong Kong are out of control. An independent investigation of the Hong Kong police is absolutely required.
Today Carrie Lam, chief executive of Hong Kong, held the first of her “dialogues” with about 150 citizens/residents of Hong Kong. These dialogues will accomplish little or nothing, as the Hong Kong government has already ruled out any concessions to the pro-democracy demonstrators remaining demands, especially their demand to an independent investigation into the actions of the Hong Kong police. Recent events have shown that an independent investigation by someone with powers of prosecution is desperately needed. Despite clearly documented evidence of police misconduct and brutality, the Hong Kong government and police ridiculously deny that there are any problems in their policing policies or use of force.
Police tactics were a common theme at Thursday’s dialogue. Many speakers demanded tougher action against what they believe to be police abuses of power, such as excessive violence against antigovernment protesters and perceived leniency toward pro-Beijing groups who have attacked demonstrators.
But of course, despite many people speaking directly to her about the problem with the Hong Kong police, and thus proving that the “dialogue” is a sham, Carrie Lam refused to even consider the idea:
Mrs. Lam stuck to her view that an ongoing investigation into police actions by Hong Kong’s independent police complaints council is sufficient. Critics have objected to its lead role, as the body doesn’t have investigative power, can’t summon witnesses and comprises many pro-government figures.
Wall Street Journal
The Independent Police Complaints Council is not independent, and it has no power to prosecute, so what is the point of its “investigation?” There is none. Carrie Lam is just trying to buy time with these so-called “dialogues,” hoping the protests will die out on their own. We think she is mistaken.
The people of freedom-loving countries around the world are more and more fed up with the CCP’s totalitarianism, lack of respect for the natural rights of all people, bullying, and brutality. Demonstrations will be held in cities throughout the world to reject totalitarianism and stand with Hong Kong. Please attend one if you can!
Again, clear video evidence of police brutality by the Hong Kong police:
In the video above, you can clearly see a person being held down by a police officer, fully restrained, while a second office hits the person in the head twice with his baton. There is no reason for that officer to hit him at all, let alone deliberately in the head.
The Hong Kong police must be held accountable for their brutality. There is absolutely no question that they are out-of-control thugs. An independent investigation into the Hong Kong police must be held, and officers that have brutally attacked protesters must be prosecuted.
The New York Times has produced this video report on the Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrations and the brutal police tactics being used to oppress them. Please watch. It is extremely important that the world see clearly what is happening. Pressure must be put on the Hong Kong government and police to protect and uphold the rights of the Hong Kong people.
Numerous videos, like this one, have also documented without ambiguity, brutal and unwarranted beatings and use of pepper spray by the Hong Kong police:
Earlier today, Hong Kong police beat and arrested a volunteer from the “Protect Our Kids” group – an organization that tries to mediate between the police and protesters. Although, the video isn’t really clear (mostly because HK police shine their flashlights into the camera to hide what they are doing), it is clear that officers surrounded and beat a person in a yellow shirt. Spokespeople for the Protect Our Kids group later said it was a member of their organization.
We are infuriated by this incident of police brutality. Our member did not resist arrest nor in any way attack the police,” said preacher Roy Chan, also a member of the Campaign. “We have contacted our member’s legal representative, and learned that his gums and teeth are bleeding and that he is experiencing dizziness.
Protect Our Kids member Roy Chan, quoted in Hong Kong Free Press
But as usual, the Hong Kong police have denied any wrongdoing, and claimed that the video only showed a “yellow object.”
This is exactly why the pro-democracy demonstrators do not trust the police and insist on an independent investigation.
Time and time again, the Hong Kong police have brutally attacked protesters; it has been clearly documented on video and by eyewitness accounts. But when confronted with the evidence, the police shamelessly lie and claim that the attacks were appropriate use of force and were completely justified. It’s horrifying and maddening. Police are supposed to protect people’s rights, uphold the law, act professionally, and behave with honor and integrity. In most places that claim to uphold human rights, and in most circumstances, they do. But the Hong Kong police, once regarded and respected as one of Asia’s best police forces, have completely lost control and have lost all sense of honor and integrity. How can this police officer, Acting Senior Superintendent (Operations) Vasco Williams, and the many other Hong Kong police officers that have done so, sit in front of journalists and lie with no sense of shame? He asks “would any police officer be so stupid as to assault anybody in public?” Yes, Officer Williams, they absolutely would be so stupid. It’s been documented over and over and over again, and it’s enfuriating.
At China Daily News, we have written several articles on the brutal tactics used by the Hong Kong police. We believe that the Hong Kong police are no longer being directed by the Hong Kong government; it is likely that they are being managed directly by the CCP, and it is also likely that elements for the CCP’s People’s Armed Police have infiltrated or have been embedded into the civilian Hong Kong police force. That would explain the increasing unprofessionalism and brutality of the Hong Kong police, and their seemingly complete disregard for the rights of the Hong Kong people as guaranteed by the Basic Law.
Now, Amnesty International has released a report on their investigation into the Hong Kong police used of brutal and indiscriminate violence against the Hong Kong people, and it supports what we have said here several times.
This is serious business. The Hong Kong police have denied any wrongdoing in their policing practices during the protests. Now Amnesty International, a well-respected human rights organization, has called them out, accusing them of the very things that the protesters have said all along and has been documented on many, many videos. How will the Hong Kong police and government react to this? Will they accuse Amnesty International of lying or bias?
The CCP’s lapdog media (China Daily, Xinhua News, CCTV, etc.) of course will do just that, and they will accuse Amnesty International of “interfering in China’s internal affairs” per their usual, unoriginal, ridiculous playbook. No one need take any of that seriously. But the reaction of the Hong Kong government is a different matter. They have an opportunity to use this report as a springboard for an independent investigation into the police, as the protesters have demanded. Will they take it? Very, very doubtful. Carrie Lam seems to be utterly tone-deaf and uncreative; it is much more likely that the Hong Kong government will play to Beijing’s unoriginal, uncaring, totalitarian tune.
Today, Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Denise Ho, Sunny Cheung, and Joshua Wong testified before the U.S. Congress on the Hong Kong protests. The South China Morning Post has an excerpt of their power testimony on YouTube:
We understand that the Trump administration wants a trade deal with China. President Trump is a businessman, and it is likely that he identifies with U.S. business leaders that want a deal. The U.S./China trade war is affecting the world’s economy, though it hasn’t so far impacted the U.S. economy much. On the other hand, it seems to have affected China’s economy, which was already facing a slowdown for other reasons, including the swine fever epidemic, which has increased pork prices in China. Beijing does not want the trade war to continue, so no doubt is willing to negotiate an end to the tariffs.
But some things are more important than profits – and the plight of the Hong Kong people is one of them. Beijing has broken the treaty that was negotiated with the U.K. establishing Hong Kong’s Basic Law guaranteeing the rights of the Hong Kong people. The Hong Kong police are increasing violent and are cooperating with triad gang enforcers to oppress the pro-democracy movement. The Hong Kong government led by Carrie Lam is incompetent and ignores and denies the movement’s demands and concerns.
The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong in China can only succeed if it has the backing of powerful allies (just as France backed the Americans in our revolutionary war). The very least that the U.S. can do is pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. President Trump should not let the Chinese hold the Act hostage to passage of a trade deal.
Several media sources are reporting on clashes between pro-democracy demonstrators and pro-CCP agitators in Hong Kong.
Pro-CCP agitators attacked random passers-by – it appears just about any young person – and when Hong Kong police arrived, none of the blue-shirted agitators was arrested. The Hong Kong police appear to be cooperating with pro-Beijing thugs (triad gang members?). Note also that some of the police are in plain clothes and are not carrying identification. When asked by reporters to show identification, as they must according to Hong Kong law, they threatened the reporters. Are they actually Hong Kong police, or are they mainland China People’s Armed Police that have infiltrated the Hong Kong police?
Kids as young as 11 years old were arrested by the Hong Kong police.
All of this happened in the past day, and it is intentional.
These are not, for the most part, random Hong Kong people that are “pro-Beijing.” They are paid agitators, triad gang members, perhaps even People’s Armed Police agents, and the Hong Kong police are cooperating with them. Despite all of their rhetoric about returning Hong Kong to normal, stopping the violence, and so on, Beijing is ramping up the violence on purpose. They want to violently crack down on the pro-democracy movement, but they also don’t want to be seen as overtly doing so, so they resort to covert tactics like these to give themselves plausible deniability. Arresting and beating children and teenagers, even when they aren’t taking part in any protest, is intended to scare these kids and their parents from participating in demonstrations or supporting the pro-democracy movement. Using triad gang members and plainclothes People’s Armed Police agents as provocateurs and shock troops allows Beijing and the HK government to deny responsibility for the violence. But it is Beijing and the Hong Kong government and police that are responsible. At this point, we are speculating that the Hong Kong government may have entirely lost control of the Hong Kong police. The police no longer care about the law; they are openly beating people in the streets, violating Hong Kong law, arresting people for no reason whatsoever, and even arresting young children. Has someone from Beijing taken direct control of the Hong Kong police?