Violence And Chaos As Hong Kong Protest Continues
Protest in Hong Kong has continued to escalate as police crackdown on protesters. “Police and protesters clashed in multiple districts, with the latter throwing petrol bombs and setting fires as the authorities responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Protesters largely avoided pitched battles with the authorities, however, retreating and moving around the city quickly,” CNN reported on September 22nd as the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong reached their 16th consecutive week.
Pro-democracy protestors have long decried the actions of Hong Kong police, and the lack of accountability Chief Executive Hong Kong Carrie Lam has placed on the police force. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) gave an extensive report on the events of September 22nd, which saw the anger of protestors bubble over.
Anti-government protesters went on an escalated rampage across Hong Kong on Sunday, taking over shopping centres where they targeted mainland Chinese-linked businesses and vandalised shop fronts, trashing metro stations, blocking roads, hurling bricks and petrol bombs at police, setting fire to barricades and desecrating China’s national flag.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at them and made several arrests, but diehard activists mostly stayed one step ahead of them, descending on one location and swiftly retreating to strike at the next, as the city marked the 16th straight weekend of Hong Kong protest chaos.
Police claim protestors in Mong Kok, in Kowloon threw bricks and set fires in clashes with police. However, the majority of protestors were peaceful despite the growing agitation among smaller factions leading to violent interactions with police, and one individual they thought to be a spy for mainland China.
Carrie Lam’s Words May Be Too Late
“On September 26, a total of 110 days after the extradition protests began, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-
to ask a question which Lam could choose not to respond to. And even when she did respond, the responses were not good enough or even acceptable for most Hong Kong people.”
The pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong have made their disapproval of Lam and her administration known since the beginning of the protests over four months ago. Most of the angst against Lam comes from her refusal to meet the ‘five key demands‘ laid out by the pro-democracy force including: the withdrawal of the extradition bill, an independent probe into the use of force by police, amnesty for arrested protesters, a halt to categorising the protests as riots, and the implementation of universal suffrage. As of now, only the withdraw of the extradition bill has come to light.
Lam’s decision to hold a phantom dialogue session has not placated protestors, nor was it viewed as an attempt to reach a real solution.
Journalist Blinded By Police In One Eye
She was taken to hospital where, on Wednesday, doctors confirmed she would be permanently blind in one eye. The journalist, who works for Indonesian-language newspaper Suara, had been wearing a high-visibility vest and helmet marked “press”.”
According to the outlet Indah stated she heard another journalist scream, “Don’t shoot we’re journalists” before being shot. The incident shows police officers have been reckless when handling the protests, and mainland China placing full blame on protestors is a strategic ploy to control messaging surrounding the protests.
Hong Kong FP (HKFP) reported on the issue including comments from the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA):
We are particularly concerned by reports that the injury was caused by a rubber bullet or bean bag round and that the journalist was not in the immediate vicinity of protestors at the time of the incident, she was clearly identifiable as being a member of the press and was with a number of other journalists at the time also wearing high visibility press markings.
Indah’s lawyer Michael Vidler commented on his clients situation, “We can also confirm that we have received evidence from a third party, which indicates that the projectile that blinded Ms. Veby was a rubber bullet and not a beanbag round as originally thought.”
The recent clashes point towards a solution being far from reality in the current climate.