- Hong Kong protesters are battle-hardened from learning to survive in a city that is tough to live in. If the government thinks the people can be scared off by thugs, beaten down by force and willing to have their voices silenced, it is mistaken.
Do Beijing and Hong Kong officials really know what they’re up against?
Those millions of people who have taken to the streets over the past seven weeks aren’t ordinary protesters. They are the product of a city that is tough to live in, that was created and shaped by forebears who were even more resilient.
Given what they’ve endured and been forced to accept, only the foolhardy would fail to take them seriously now that they have decided enough is enough.
Pampered senior officials with luxury government-provided housing and cars, hefty salaries, reasonable working conditions and generous pensions aren’t likely to relate to ordinary Hongkongers.
The squeezed living, unaffordable rents, crowded commutes and long working hours of the majority are foreign to those who formulate the policies that govern Hong Kong.
They would therefore have little, if any, comprehension of what is driving people onto the streets and the anger that has been mounting. Ignoring and doing nothing to placate is bad enough; trying to shut down avenues of protest and silence will only lead to disaster.
Government attention has been on the minority who have crossed the boundaries of peaceful protest to clash with police and vandalise.
But while the actions of the mostly young protesters – glaringly the breaking into and trashing of the Legislative Council chamber and spraying graffiti on the walls of Beijing’s representative office in the city, have been condemned by authorities – they generally have the SUPPORT of their fellow demonstrators.
That is a sign of just how much trust and respect have been lost by officials and police. Winning back faith will take more than vague promises or a policy address by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor that involves cash handouts.
There is, after all, a list of demands that remain unanswered. Withdrawal of the extradition bill that is at the root of the crisis is just one among many; Lam having declared it “dead” is not assurance enough that it won’t be revived. Independent inquiries have been called for over alleged police excesses at protests and into the events at Yuen Long MTR station on July 21, when 45 people were injured in an attack by dozens of white-shirted men said to have triad links.
These are easy enough to accede to, but the other requests can’t so easily be granted. They include Lam’s resignation, amnesty for arrested protesters, universal suffrage and affordable housing.
The freeing of two police officers and reduced sentences for five others by an appeal court judge over the beating of an activist involved in the Occupy movement in 2014 only adds fuel to the fire.
It may be tempting for authorities to continue on their path, condemning the violence and disregarding the peaceful protesters and their demands.
But that is a recipe for disaster, given the backgrounds of the demonstrators. They are from all walks of life, but they know the challenges and difficulties of Hong Kong living.
They don’t want to give up what freedoms they have and expect the government to use its wealth – technically, their wealth as taxpayers and citizens – to improve circumstances and lives.
Hongkongers are resourceful and ingenious.
Those characteristics come from present circumstances, but also history – a society devastated by Japanese occupation during the second world war, that absorbed a flood of refugees from China’s civil war, and through hard work, created one of the world’s great (world) cities. They deal with what life throws at them and, while they like to complain, are tolerant.
But abuse and misuse of power by authorities is not something they will stand for.
Beijing is fond of warning that there is a line that can’t be crossed; for Hongkongers, Lam’s administration crossed a line by trying to force into law the extradition bill.
If the government thinks citizens can be scared off by thugs, beaten down by force and willing to have their voices silenced, it is mistaken. Hong Kong people are simply too resilient for that.
By Peter Kammerer is a senior writer at the Post
#RobertReview (Hong Kong Protests): 9.5 | 10
They Can’t Kill Us All
They Can’t Silence Us All
Published: 29th July 2019.
Updated: 11th August 2019.
SIDENOTE about violent HK Youth Activists:
There are many judgmental remarks from Foreigners about the violent HK Youth Activists. Many are offering their Strawman logical fallacies and chose to focus mainly on the BAD APPLES than the 2 Million + HK Protesters (i.e. 30% of the whole population).
YOU are most welcome to throw THE FIRST STONE at Hong Kong Protesters IF your Country has NO RADICALS AND NO VIOLENCE in history.
Read more about the massive atrocities (over 50 MILLION) by the Totalitarian Communist Party of China >> https://tinyurl.com/yyq6kb8h
In comparison, Foreigners shouldn’t focus on the violent BREXIT protesters, Neo-Nazis, trouble-makers, or immigrant haters; you should focus on the real issue and majority Brits at hand.
Foreigners focusing on these BAD Apple distractors are truly missing the BIG picture.
Read related articles >> #EducateYourselfAboutHongKongProtests >>
From the Hong Kong perspective, China hasn’t lived up to its promises – that existing legal, economic and social systems would remain unchanged for 50 years. CE Carrie Lam should at least be held accountable for the chaos.
Chinese diplomatic missions support Mainland Chinese international students (a subject of scorn) and robust rebuttals to those who disagree with China’s stance and international scrutiny of Beijing’s Communist policies.
Hong Kong Volunteer First-Aiders: The Unsung Heroes
Watch video from the eyes of First-Aiders on the injuries inflicted by the excessive use of force and over 2,000 rounds of tear gas by the fully armored HK Riot Police.
Can you IMAGINE what will Hong Kongers do IF there was a P.L.A. Crackdown IN HONG KONG? Hong Kongers are the only people who dare to commemorate Tiananmen Square JUNE 4th 1989 MASSACRE and fight The Totalitarian Communist Party of China over this for the last 30 years.