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Posts published in “Protests in China”

2047 is Now. What is the Future of Hong Kong?

We haven’t posted anything for a couple of days on this site. It seemed nothing more could be said about the brutality of Hong Kong’s police, but no other news seems worth writing about in comparison.

By now, pretty much everyone that has been paying attention at all knows about the police siege of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Hundreds of students are trapped there. The police won’t let them leave unless they “surrender,” which would almost certainly mean being subjected to torture and abuse. Naturally, the students don’t want to surrender, for that reason, and also because they believe they are fighting for their home, their freedom, and their rights. They deserve and need the entire free world’s support.

In 2047, the “one country, two systems” agreement that was negotiated between the U.K. and the Chinese government at the handover in 1997 officially ends, and Hong Kong becomes completely subject to the arbitrary legal system of mainland China, where there is no rule of law, lawyers are regularly arrested and detained, the rights of citizens are non-existent, and people accused of “crimes” are disappeared into black jails, with no contact with lawyers or family.

But today, it is clear that it is already 2047 in Hong Kong.

In the past couple of days, Hong Kong’s highest court ruled that Carrie Lam’s ban on face masks is unconstitutional, violating the Basic Law.

Today, the CCP said that Hong Kong’s courts cannot rule on the constitutionality of legislation passed by the Hong Kong government. Only the CCP can. Read this important thread: https://twitter.com/stuartlauscmp/status/1196565359026999296

[China’s] constitution and the Basic Law jointly form the constitutional foundation of [HK]. Whether HK’s legislation is consistent with the HK Basic Law can only judged and decided by the National People’s Congress standing committee. No other parties can judge or decide.”

CCP National People’s Congress overrules Hong Kong’s High Court

If Hong Kong’s courts cannot decide what Kong Kong’s laws mean and whether or not they are in accordance with Hong Kong’s constitution (the Basic Law), then there is no reason for them to exist. There is no longer any rule of law in Hong Kong.

There is also now evidence that authorities are transporting arrested pro-democracy demonstrators out of Hong Kong. Carrie Lam may have withdrawn the extradition bill that started the demonstrations, but everyone knows that the CCP will do whatever it wants, regardless of what any law says.

If this is actually happening now in Hong Kong, it’s a scene that reminds us of the worst atrocities visited on people in all of human history. It is terrifying. Given what we know is happening in Xinjiang to the Uyghurs, it is certainly possible that these young people will disappear into China’s gulag, where they will have no rights at all. Pray that they will be released soon, unharmed.

It is already 2047 in Hong Kong.

More Unbearable Tragedy in Hong Kong

Less than an hour before this post is being written, the Hong Kong police have again shot a young demonstrator. It was captured on live video. It is clear that the demonstrator was completely unarmed. There was no reason whatsoever for the shooting.

WARNING: This live video is extremely disturbing.

At this point, we have not seen any reports on the identity or the condition of the demonstrator, but judging from the photos from the scene, it looks very dire. Reports are that two teenage demonstrators have been shot.

As if anyone needed more evidence that the Hong Kong police are completely out of control, here is video of them just randomly firing teargas at people as they leave an area.

As ridiculous as this is, it is nothing compared to shooting teenage demonstrators at near point blank range. All of humanity should be outraged at what is happening in Hong Kong now. It is horrific, unleashed by the totalitarian evil of the Chinese Communist Party. Since its founding, the CCP has murdered more people than any other regime in the history of humanity. They would have you believe that they are different now. They are not. If anything, with their increasingly sophisticated use of technology, they have become more adept at oppression and murder. The CCP is a clear and present danger to all of humanity. It must be deposed.

The Price of Freedom

It is a tragic fact that securing and maintaining freedom for people is costly, in time, in treasure, and in life itself. There are always those that for their own selfish reasons – power, money, misguided ideology, or just an evil heart – want to take away the natural, God-given rights of all human beings. In opposing such people, there are some – always too many – that will be injured or even lose their lives; they are martyrs for the cause of freedom and human rights.

Usually, those that pay the ultimate price, losing their lives in the never-ending struggle for human rights and freedom are members of the military and first responders, but sometimes – always too often – members of the general public become martyrs as well.

In the struggle by the Hong Kong people to protect their rights, many, many have been injured, beaten, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, even raped and shot by the brutal Hong Kong police. This week a young university student, Alex Chow Tsz-lok , just 22 years old, died after falling from the 3rd level to the 2nd level of a parking garage, in the midst of the police clearance action. The circumstances leading to his death are unclear. Security cameras video that has been released apparently did not capture the exact moment that he fell. Naturally, the police have denied any involvement. Naturally, the demonstrators blame the police, as almost no one in Hong Kong trusts the police any more. Demands for a completely independent investigation into the actions of the police during the demonstrations have intensified. Few believe that the current mechanisms and organizations for investigating police misconduct and brutality that currently exist in Hong Kong are adequate. They have little or no real investigative or prosecutorial power and are part of the police power structure, so they are not independent and are unlikely to return impartial results from any investigation that they do. The people of Hong Kong are demanding, as they have for weeks now, a completely independent and impartial investigation by an agency that has the power to compel testimony and to prosecute police misconduct.

Regardless of the cause of Alex Chow Tsz-lok’s death, he is a martyr to the cause of human rights and freedom in Hong Kong. The people know that, and are honoring him:

No rational person wishes for violence, but as long as there are those that want to take away rights and freedom, they must be resisted. Let’s all hope that the CCP and Hong Kong government and police regain their senses, and that the people of Hong Kong’s struggle to maintain their rights and freedom is won.

How the Government and Police are Eroding Human Rights in Hong Kong

By now it is well known that the protests in Hong Kong started over a proposed amendment to Hong Kong law that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China for trial. The people of Hong Kong were rightfully concerned – terrified, is perhaps the better word – that this change in the law would allow political dissidents to be arrested for some “crime” and then extradited to the mainland, where they would be under the control of the CCP’s “legal” system – and where they would have no rights whatsoever. Undoubtedly, some, many, all of them would be disappeared into China’s notorious prisons, never to be heard from again.

Now that the extradition bill has been withdrawn, the protests have become primarily a pro-democracy movement. The protesters are demanding universal suffrage as one of their “Five Demands, Not One Less,” as well as advocating for their human rights, which are guaranteed in the Hong Kong Basic Law, but are not respected by the CCP government in Beijing and are being eroded step-by-step by the Hong Kong government and police. This excellent Twitter thread by Elson Tong, a Hong Kong University law student, explains how the Hong Kong police have been further and further restricting the Hong Kong people’s right of assembly. It’s long, but well worth the read to better understand the tactics of the Hong Kong police, no doubt backed and organized by CCP elements within the Hong Kong police:

This kind of clear-eyed view of the strategies and tactics of the CCP and their followers is very much needed. Thanks to Elson Tong for providing this thread. We hope he is okay with us reposting it here. Of course, if he is not, we will take down this post immediately.

It is typical of the CCP to continue to apply pressure until their target capitulates. They almost never negotiate, and even when they do, they do not negotiate in good faith. They will break any agreement they make as soon as they think it is in their interest to do so, and they think they can get away with it. So far the pro-democracy movement has not capitulated to the CCP’s pressure tactics and use of violence as a means of oppression and coercion.

You Can’t Argue About the Law in Here! This is a Courtroom!

One of the primary reasons that China cannot be trusted as a business or trade partner, and also one of the primary reasons that it is one of the world’s foremost violators of human rights, is because China does not have a free, fair, and independent legal system. There is no effective rule of law in China; rather, legal decisions are based on what CCP bosses or other influential people want them to be. Judges are entirely beholden to the CCP, and often do not have any legal training whatsoever. On top of that, the Chinese reliance on guan xi (关系) – a term that is hard to translate, but roughly means relationships, connections, and influence – for solving problems and decision making makes the legal system incredibly corrupt. Declarations of guilt or innocence, who is right or wrong in contract negotiations, and so on, depend as much or more on guan xi as they do on what the law actually says or on the facts and evidence at hand.

To be sure, China does have laws, and when non-Chinese read the laws (translated), they often even sound good and right. The problem is that the laws are not fairly or evenly enforced, not just because of the guan xi issue we described above, but also because lawyers are themselves often charged with crimes for advocating for their clients!

Read this heartbreaking story from the Hong Kong Free Press.

Stories like this are all too common in China. Lawyers who advocate for their clients’ rights are often arrested and disappeared – held incommunicado for months or years, with no contact with their families or their own lawyers.

[Lawyer] Yu [Wensheng] was detained in Beijing in January 2018 in front of his young son after he wrote an open letter calling for constitutional reforms, including multi-candidate elections.
He was later charged with “inciting subversion of state power”.

Hong Kong Free Press article

Human rights lawyers are especially targeted by the CCP, as was the case here, and charged with nonsense crimes like “inciting subversion of state power” or “subverting public order” – the usual kind of things that fascist dictatorships make up to give legal cover to their oppression and abuse. However, lawyers in other kinds of cases, like contract disputes between Chinese companies and western companies, have also been targeted, if they happen to argue too effectively or vociferously for their foreign client’s rights and interests. Western companies doing business in China should not expect to be treated fairly or in accordance with the law if they happen to get into a dispute with a Chinese company.

This is all part and parcel of the CCP’s oppression of human rights in China. It is why the people of Hong Kong are so vehemently opposed to the (now withdrawn) extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China for “trial.” The CCP simply cannot be trusted – for many reasons, not least of which is that there is no rule of law in China. China’s abominable treatment of lawyers is one more proof of that.

Happy Halloween? Hong Kong Police Say No.

Today is Halloween. It’s supposed to be a happy, fun, and perhaps a little bit silly day for people to celebrate with costumes, candy, and parties. But by now, we know that’s not possible in Hong Kong. Not with the brutal monsters in the Hong Kong police making sure that no one has fun.

Just keep scrolling and viewing the videos and pictures, if you have the stomach for it. The behavior of the Hong Kong police is sickening.

He committed the crime of honking his horn. Clearly a dangerous criminal.
Absolutely egregious abuse and brutality. Pepper spray directly into this man’s eyes, for no reason whatsoever. He is a Hong Kong citizen, though, so he’s automatically guilty of something or other.
Committing the crime of being on the sidewalk on Halloween night. Shoot them!
Watch out Hong Kong police. Next time they may throw spit wads!
We cannot be sarcastic about this one. The Hong Kong police abused an American woman. A MOAB directly onto HK police headquarters might be an appropriate response. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-43/B_MOAB
Beautiful? Well, not sure about that, but the HK police seemed to like it.
He committed the crime of talking while wearing a suit. The problem, obviously, is that he wasn’t wearing a tie.
Don’t let anyone tell you that the police just attack and arrest young protesters. Everyone, no matter how young or old, is in danger from the police brutality.
They were committing the obvious crimes of walking and doing journalism. Pepper spray them!
No entertainment allowed! Tear gas all the things!

We really hate to and don’t want to turn this site into a daily commentary on Hong Kong police brutality. This writer feels actually heartbroken that so many posts have been written here about it. But there just is no other honest choice, if we are to follow our conscience. The brutalization and oppression of the Hong Kong people by the Hong Kong government and police must be exposed and brought to light as widely as possible. We know that this site doesn’t get many readers, but if we can help in even this small way, we will continue to do so.

We sincerely hope that in the very near future, the rights and freedom of Hong Kongers will be secured, and we will be able to focus our attention on more positive developments in Chinese communities around the world. #FreeHongKong

Will the Hong Kong Police Ever Face Justice?

At this point, can anything more be said about the Hong Kong Police Force’s brutality? They are simply out-of-control thugs. Any resemblance to an actual police force is merely coincidental. They are targeting not just demonstrators, but passers-by, journalists – even elderly people and families – for beatings, pepper-spray, bean-bag rounds and rubber bullets. And the Hong Kong government has issued a broad injunction making it illegal to publish any information about the police that might in some way identify them. They wear masks and remove any identification from their uniforms. Who knows if they are even actual police officers?

These tweets showing what has been happening are just from today.

Journalist committing the crime of journalism, according to HK police. Foreigner committed the crime of being foreign. Obviously they are spies.
These girls committed the crime of walking while drinking something. What were they thinking?
This man committed the crime of getting his face in the way of a tear gas round. After that he committed the crime of being injured, leaving his face bloody, burnt, and smoking.
HK police said she committed the crime of taking pictures they don’t like. She looks dangerous. Arrest her!
Brave HK police punish the crime of walking on the sidewalk by pepper-spraying regular citizens, children, and the elderly. They obviously deserved it.
A kid commits the crime of carrying his books and homework in a backpack. Despicable!
These people committed the crimes of buying and selling medicine in a pharmacy. Only terrorists need medicine!

These kinds of incidents have been happening for weeks, with no end in sight. The Hong Kong police are supposedly trained professionals, regarded as the best police force in Asia. What has happened to them? They’ve turned into a gang of undisciplined thugs, and despite clear evidence of their brutality, the Hong Kong government and police leadership continue to deny there’s any problem. It’s gaslighting.

It’s tiresome to keep on repeating this, but we must: the Hong Kong police must be held accountable for their brutality.

China Gets a Lesson on the Streisand Effect

One of the emergent behaviors that has come about as a result of the rise of the Internet and social media is the “Streisand effect.” If you haven’t heard of it, this is how Wikipedia defines it:

The Streisand effect is a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.[1] It is an example of psychological reactance, wherein once people are aware that some information is being kept from them, their motivation to access and spread it is increased.[2]

Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

On October 4th, 2019, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey posted a tweet that said “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” That’s all. A short, simple tweet in support of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. It didn’t disparage or insult China or the Chinese leadership in any way.

Despite the fact that the tweet itself is basically innocuous and was posted by someone that is pretty much unknown outside of Houston and hardcore basketball fans, China (the CCP) went crazy over it, cancelling appearances by NBA players in China, citing it as evidence of US meddling in China’s affairs, and severing ties with the Houston Rockets, among many other completely over the-top reactions to what should have been a very, very minor incident. If China had simply ignored the tweet, it would have amounted to nothing, and by now it would have been largely forgotten.

But instead, the CCP turned it into an international firestorm, forcing the NBA commissioner to issue a statement that was a half-apology that then had to be walked back after he got criticized in the U.S. media. NBA stars were asked for comment and subsequently made fools of themselves. Chinese Internet trolls (五毛党 – the wu mao dang – literally translated as the “50-cent party”) even issued death threats over this innocuous tweet, saying it threatened China’s sovereignty and disrespected the Chinese people. Joe Tsai, owner of the Brooklyn Nets, issued a widely-ridiculed statement “explaining” why the Chinese were so sensitive to the tweet.

And in the end, what was the result of all of the uproar? More people than ever in the United States and internationally are aware of what is happening in Hong Kong and support the people of Hong Kong in their fight for human rights and democracy. At a Brooklyn Nets basketball game at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, hundreds of people wore black Stand With Hong Kong tee shirts and face masks mocking Carrie Lam’s ridiculous ban on face masks in Hong Kong:

In addition, more and more people are aware of and speaking out against the CCP’s other abuses of human rights. At the same game, demonstrators protested China’s long-standing occupation and subjugation of Tibet:

The backlash against China’s completely over-the-top reaction to Daryl Morey’s tweet perhaps doesn’t exactly fit the Wikipedia definition of the Streisand effect, but the principle is the same: attempts to suppress information – in this case, the CCP’s attempt to suppress support of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement by anyone associated with the NBA – just leads to more and more people wanting to know why it is happening and being interested in it. A minor incident that would have been nothing quickly turns into a major, widely known and discussed issue.

The CCP’s over-reaction to Daryl Morey’s tweet and the backlash to it is an example not just of the Streisand effect, but also of an “own-goal.” Here’s another similarly embarrassing one:

Japanese butt own goal

The CCP has an incredibly thin skin, constantly over-reacting to minor slights and insults, which shows their lack of maturity and self-confidence. Will they learn a lesson about the Streisand effect and own goals from this incident? Doubtful.

Support the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

The U.S. Congress is set to debate (and should pass) the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy act soon (tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives). Today, massive rallies were held in Hong Kong in support of the bill.

Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Hong Kongers took part in the rallies, asking for U.S. support of the bill.

As we’ve said before, the U.S. Congress should pass the bill as soon as possible, and President Trump should sign it into law. In addition, we strongly urge President Trump’s administration to designate members of the Hong Kong legislative council, including Carrie Lam, and the entire Hong Kong police force under the Global Magnitsky Act. Further measures should also be taken to add some Hong Kong individuals and companies to the Entities List by the U.S. Commerce Department, preventing them from doing business in or with the U.S. Twenty-eight Chinese companies and organizations were added to the Entities List a few days ago for their part in oppression of the Uyghurs and other Chinese Muslim populations. The people of Hong Kong are also suffering human rights abuses by the Hong Kong government and police, so the Hong Kong government and police, and their supporters in the Hong Kong business community, should be similarly placed on the Entities List.

Senator Ted Cruz Visits Hong Kong

Today, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in Hong Kong investigating what is happening there and supporting the pro-democracy demonstrations.

Senator Cruz was apparently scheduled to meet Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, but when he arrived in Hong Kong was told that the meeting was cancelled.

Cruz said, and we agree with him:

What I have encouraged the protest leaders with whom I have spoken is to embrace non-violent protest, to follow the tradition of Gandhi in India and Dr Martin Luther King in the United States.
That can be difficult to carry out, it can be particularly difficult in the face of violent oppression by government forces, of police beatings and shootings.

Senator Ted Cruz, speaking to the South China Morning Post

We are gratified that prominent members of the U.S. government are standing with Hong Kong’s fight for human rights and freedom, and encouraging non-violent protests. We believe that much of the violence that we’ve seen in Hong Kong has been encouraged, if not out-right committed, by CCP agitators embedded in the protests and in the Hong Kong police force.

As Senator Cruz said during his interview:

There is a reason the Communist Party in China wants the Hong Kong protests to turn violent because the Chinese Communist Party very much wants to characterise these protests as violent acts of terrorism rather than democracy protesters standing up for human rights

Senator Ted Cruz, speaking to the South China Morning Post

Violence at the demonstrations plays into the CCP propaganda machine’s hands, and Beijing’s propagandists have made use of the violence that has occurred to try to paint the protesters as rioters destroying Hong Kong for no rational reason. Anyone paying attention knows that those accusations are false, but the CCP cares nothing for the truth. If a lie promotes their agenda, they will use it.

We again encourage Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the TAIPEI Act as soon as possible. The CCP’s assault on freedom and human rights must be halted.

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