https://t.co/3ipZEQCt56 #umhk #OccupyHongKong pic.twitter.com/VErtiDzf5w
— Helen Ng (@helenlena_hk) December 16, 2014
The PRC tanks never rolled in, but eventually the street-clearing trucks did. According to the Washington Post, “Evidence has emerged that authorities have drawn up a blacklist of those involved in the protests, with several young people denied entry into mainland China in recent weeks.” There are rumors that “Beijing has permanently transferred large numbers of security and intelligence specialists to Hong Kong to keep a much closer eye on the Chinese Communist Party’s many critics.” The protestors made it to the website (though not the cover) of the Rolling Stone. And “leading Hong Kong businesswoman & member of the city’s Executive Council… who is also a board member at the prominent bank HSBC” Laura Cha earned brief international noteriety with a bizarre historical analogy: “American slaves were liberated in 1861 but did not get voting rights until 107 years later,” she was quoted as saying by the Standard newspaper. “So why can’t Hong Kong wait for a while?”
Louisa Lim, in the New Yorker, “Scenes from Occupy Hong Kong’s Last Stand“:
… “We don’t want this to be over,” Theresia Hui, a business consultant in her forties, said. She was distributing free bookmarks stamped with motifs of the Umbrella Movement, as the protests have come to be known—a reference to the umbrellas deployed by students to shield themselves from teargas. For her, the tent city, brimming with collaborative creativity, had been a transformative experience. When university students began boycotting classes at the end of September, she decided to stay neutral. Then police fired teargas at protesters, and she experienced a political awakening. “I was white, and then I became dark yellow, even golden yellow,” she says, referring to the color adopted by the Umbrella Movement. “The government made me this way. They pushed me to become deep yellow.” The use of teargas and the subsequent violence in late September has resulted in plummeting public satisfaction with Hong Kong’s police force—once lauded as Asia’s finest. They are now ranked below China’s People’s Liberation Army in popularity.
The sense of disenchantment, fuelled by growing economic inequality, has extended into impatience with existing political channels and increasing support for radical forms of civil disobedience. “I really think the whole method of protesting is changing. We can’t go back,” a twenty-five-year-old named Chrono Yuen said, as he tucked into a last supper of fish-ball hot pot with fellow-residents of a scrappy clump of tents, known as “Tung’s village,” pitched at the peak of a flyover. “If the protesters do things like civil-disobedience acts and the government still refuses to listen, what can people do to make the government listen?”
Future tactics suggested by protest leaders include hit-and-run occupations (an approach they call Guerilla Occupy), refusal to pay taxes, and other methods of insubordinance aimed at making Hong Kong more difficult to govern. Protesters were already trying a new strategy: staging large gatherings in busy commercial districts under the guise of mass shopping or singing outings, tying up police resources. One of the “shopping” protests, in Mong Kok, was declared unlawful….
As the hours dragged on, the authorities slowly dismantled the barricades specified by the injunction, then, after a lunch break, methodically disassembled the remainder of the Admiralty camp with brutal efficiency. A second settlement, in Mong Kok, had already been cleared, leaving one small camp remaining in the shopping district of Causeway Bay. By the end of the day, two hundred and forty-seven protesters in the Admiralty had been arrested for illegal assembly and obstructing police work. They had spent most of the day obediently sitting in Connaught Road Central, waiting to be detained. A local newspaper headline pointed out that the arrest list read like a Hong Kong Who’s Who, including some of the best-known student leaders, the island’s veteran politicians, the millionaire tycoon Jimmy Lai, and a local pop star, Denise Ho. They were subsequently released from police custody; it is not clear whether they will be prosecuted…
Bloomberg, “Occupy Hong Kong’s End Start of ‘Permanent’ Political Unrest“:
… While the protesters failed to wrest concessions from China on their demands for open elections in 2017, students, politicians and analysts say the city is not the same. The rallies — which saw the first use of tear gas in Hong Kong in almost a decade — triggered an awakening across a generation of young people who are now willing to risk recrimination by publicly calling for political change.
“It definitely isn’t the end of Hong Kong’s democratic movement,” said Lester Shum, a leader of the Hong Kong Federation of Students. “It is unrealistic to think a single movement can change everything. Real civil disobedience is long term, so we must equip ourselves so we can organize better and rally more people from different parts of society.”
The tent camps in the shadows of the regional headquarters of some of the world’s biggest banks posed the biggest challenge to China’s authority since the end of British rule in 1997, deepening tensions between those who welcome or at least tolerate Chinese influence and those who oppose it. With the emergence of the students as a political force at the expense of established parties the city risks becoming harder to govern amid legislative gridlock, waning support for the authorities and periodic civil unrest…
The Hong Kong Federation of Students has emerged as the most popular political force in the city, according to a poll by the University of Hong Kong in October. Backing for the five main political parties — both pro-government and pro-democracy groups — slipped to record lows.
The demonstrations had limited economic impact. Retail sales gained in both September and October, though at a slower pace than previous years. The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 1.6 percent since the protests began in late September, less than the 3.4 percent decline in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index…
Yahoo News Digest, “Hong Kong Leader Declares Occupy Protest Over“:
…“Other than economic losses, I believe the greatest loss Hong Kong society has suffered is the damage to the rule of law by a small group of people.” — Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying
Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying is vilified by protesters who cast him variously as a wolf and a vampire and have repeatedly asked for him to step down. But Beijing has backed his administration throughout the occupation. Students who spearheaded the street protests were among the sit-in group in Causeway Bay Monday. They were joined by a 90-year-old campaigner surnamed Wong who was later led away by police, walking slowly using a cane.
NYMag, “10 Images From the End of Hong Kong’s Protest Movement.”
75 Days of Occupy Hong Kong. A great video capsule of what the HK protests mean for the future http://t.co/EZ5FW3gS8u
— Paul Beckett (@paulwsj) December 15, 2014
Some great shots by my good friend @Alex_Ogle well worth a look: Occupy Hong Kong in 140 pics http://t.co/3XJlTdK816 pic.twitter.com/DaRzqD4ZBr
— Neal Mann (@fieldproducer) December 12, 2014
See photos of the 79 days that shook Hong Kong http://t.co/jIobJl6rFg Photo: Xaume Olleros—AFP/Getty Images pic.twitter.com/WQqeVhpbxW
— TIME.com (@TIME) December 15, 2014
The good news, presumably, is that patients in desperate need of new hearts or lungs of kidneys will enjoy an unprecedented bounty of donated organs as the protesters are quietly identified by the PRC, interned in various “re-education camps,” and their organs harvested by the Chinese government.
Why didn’t we just fly in some folks from #Oakland?
Fuck Kiev and a Russia. Who wants to go there? HK is where it’s at.
Another Holocene Human
Did anyone else watch James Mitchell’s VICE video?
As the wags on RawStory said, it didn’t take torture to make sing like a bird (just news cameras).
Somebody called him a psychopath (also a Mengele) so I just had to watch. I think something isn’t quite right with him, although I wouldn’t put my money on psychopathy. I’m not a psychologist so I am not betraying any professional standards by armchair analyzing.
He laughs at the reporter’s waterboarding and missed details (such as the reporter being restrained), his only ability to put himself in the reporter’s shoes is an unrealistic fantasy of revenge, odd for someone who ordered this for others
He equivocates frequently. At one point when asked if waterboarding shouldn’t be done he carefully states that it was legal from 2001-2006. Legal and moral/desirable aren’t the same thing
Again he has trouble conceptualizing the suffering of others. He knows intellectually that people really hate being waterboarded but waves this off because it doesn’t break any bones. At another point he says killing somebody with drones is so much worse than torture. Actually, it is not always clear if a quick death or extended torture is preferable. But to him it is clear because he somehow completely fails to account for suffering.
He makes everything all about him.
He is excessively concerned about self-image, rambling on about his wikipedia entry and the supposed “lies” on it.
He exaggerates his experience and accomplishments.
He displays a bit of victim complex, for example talking about his friend who was killed.
He is clearly very intelligent–he’s not some ignorant wingnut spewing rambling conspiracy theories and Dr Google facts–which is what makes his attention-seeking and bizarre affect all the more noticeable.
I can’t help but wonder how much the omnipresence of security cameras, combined with massive databases, and facial recognition technology, is providing all repressive governments abilities that Stalin or Mao would have drooled over.
Then again, why just governments? I could easily see Exxon Mobil or the Koch Brothers employing the same technologies during various American protests, and putting people on blacklists that limit their employment opportunities in the future.
Not a coincidence. Corruption is built into the Chinese governmental system on a scale that makes ours look pure and perfect. Presumably in Hong Kong Beijing moved some of the major players in to smooth transition, but local magistrates have absolute economic power, and use that to make sure they get a big, fat piece of the pie.
Looks like democracy in Hong Kong is a thing of the past.
Yep. In the end, the oligarchs need to fracture and divide if they can’t be crushed. That isn’t going to happen in China for awhile. The old Hong Kong elite who didn’t want to merge into the party 20 years ago is permanently gone. They got old.
We’re watching that transformation with one of our own parties now. There are actually republicans who probably think that every councilman or congressional candidate shouldn’t have to run through the Koch brothers selection machine first. If only we didn’t have to live with the results.
@Patricia Kayden: Hong Kong has never had a democracy, so it’s not even a thing of the past.
@Suffern ACE: The Hong Kong elite have been running Hong Kong for decades; the British didn’t really do much governing themselves despite appearances. The current and proposed system continues that state, which is why the Hong Kong elite are just fine with Beijing’s plans. What they feared in the handover was being replaced and their supreme power taken away. Since Beijing has made clear that it has no interest in replacing them, the Hong Kong elite are just fine with no democracy. Indeed, it’s pretty clear that they have more to fear from democracy than Beijing (democracy might produce a government that would want to do something about sky-rocketing inequality).
@Frankensteinbeck: It’s funny how you seem to think it doesn’t work that way in the US too.