What’s been happening in Hong Kong recently?
It’s been a while since I wrote about the Hong Kong protest, the last one was over two months ago. So what’s been happening in Hong Kong recently? Things haven’t gone quiet, and things haven’t improved either. Here are some of the things that have been happening in Hong Kong that may not have been reported in the international news.
POLICE BLAST THE MOSQUE
There was a march in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon yesterday (21st October). The police deployed a crowd management vehicle equipped with a water cannon containing blue chemical water. When it arrived outside the Kowloon Mosque (the main mosque in Hong Kong), it stopped and aimed the cannon directly at the mosque. Then it blasted the front entrance and the handful of people outside.
Source : Epoch Times
According to the Hong Kong Police on their Facebook page:
At around 4 PM today (20 October), the Police deployed a Specialised Crowd Management Vehicle to disperse rioters gathered on Nathan Road. As the vehicle approached Nathan Road outside the Kowloon Mosque, coloured water was used for effecting the dispersal, which accidentally affected the entrance and front gate of the Kowloon Mosque. It is most unfortunate that the dispersal operation has caused unintended impact on the Kowloon Mosque. Following the incident, the Police have immediately contacted the Chief Imam as well as Muslim community leaders to clarify the situation and to show our concern.
In the video, you will clearly see that the vehicle paused and positioned itself directly outside the mosque. There were no crowd to disperse. Accidental, and unintended? What do you think?
FACE MASK BAN
Many protesters and people who have attended the marches in recent months wear a face mask to protect their identity. They also wear it to protect themselves from the tear gas fired by the police.
Two weeks ago the Hong Kong Government passed an emergency regulation, commonly known as the face mask ban law. The law makes it illegal for people to wear a face mask or any face paint during assemblies such as rallies, marches, and riots. This was seen as a step towards draconian laws and intrusion of privacy. The Education Department even went as far as requesting schools to report how many students wore face masks at school. Some of my friends who have young children at kindergarten received a school letter asking them not to let their child wear a face mask to school despite there being a foot and mouth disease outbreak.
Source : Hong Kong Free Press
Looks like Halloween parties are out of the question this year in Hong Kong.
TRUE OR FALSE
Here are some statements, perhaps you want to guess which are true and which are false.
- a taxi driver said he lost control of his vehicle and rammed into a crowd
- he hit a a female protester and broke her leg
- he is dragged out by pro democracy protesters and beaten up
- he claims he lost USD2.5k and a watch worth nearly USD18k during the incident
- a man at the scene was arrested and charge with rioting
- the taxi driver has not be charge with anything as he lost control of his vehicle
- anti democracy organisations have donated over USD66k to the taxi driver to support him
Source : Image and video from Hong Kong Free Press
All of the above statements are true.
So what else has been happening in Hong Kong?
In order to stop people coming out to protest in the evening and weekends, the MTR, the subway system shuts down at 10 pm everyday. Over the weekends and public holidays, many stations also remain closed. However, this doesn’t stop people from coming out to make their voice heard. Instead of everyone going to one big rally, they do local flash protests. That’s why there is a new phrase called ‘blossom everywhere‘ just like flowers blooming all over the city. Smaller groups of people protest in local shopping malls or public area as this makes it easier for them to return home afterward on foot or by bus.
Apart from shutting down the MTR, the authorities have restricted access to the airport. No one is allowed inside the terminal unless you have a valid ticket to travel. That means you can no longer meet a friend or see them off at the airport. Friends traveling recently said the airport is a lot quieter than before. This photo was taken by my friend last week.
Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city and these unreasonable measures are clearly doing the city more harm than anything. You’d think that it is under marshall law or curfew if you didn’t know. If you are planning to visit Hong Kong in the near future, please be aware of this. And please accept our apologies for any inconvenience whilst we fight to make Hong Kong a free and more democratic city for our future generations.
I won’t sugar coat things. The protests aren’t as peaceful as four months ago. Several factors have contributed to this. Exactly three months ago today, a group of thugs beat people indiscriminately inside a train station. I wrote about it here. To date, I believe no one has been officially charged. Secondly, if you are a young male wearing black, standing on the street eyeballing the police, there is a pretty good chance you will being questioned. You might even be arrested and beaten by them. Thirdly, the police have deployed decoys, dressed in black like protesters but their cover has been blown many times. They are sometimes even more violent than the real protestors and have been caught on camera vandalizing the subway stations where shut.
With all these brutal actions, plus the fact the government is doing nothing to resolve the situation, some of the front line protestors have become more aggressive. They have fought back when being hit by anti-democracy demonstrators. They have burned objects on the road, and vandalized pro China shops. These front liners are prepared to be caught, and I fully agree that if they have committed a crime they should be punished. Provided, they get a fair trial. Likewise, the same should apply to the police decoy, as well as the Hong Kong Police Force who have used excessive force during the protest. There should only be one law that applies to everyone. No one is above the law.
This is just a snapshot of things that’s been happening in Hong Kong recently. Although I’m not physically in Hong Kong, I keep up to date with the news every day. I run a WhatsApp group for a group of friends, some have a lot of pressure at home and work and can’t speak freely about how they feel. Recently, I had a Whatsapp conversation with another friend whom I’ve know for over 20 years. She mentioned the violence from the protestors and how wrong that was. When I reminded her about the police violence, she immediately said let’s drop the subject, became annoyed with me and said she won’t speak to me anymore. That’s one friend I don’t mind losing.
Sad, but that’s the state of things in Hong Kong right now.