Author Topic: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched  (Read 2675 times)

Offline LondonRapLondon

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Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« on: September 28, 2014, 01:59:11 PM »
All this unrest in HK is something to keep tabs on

The leader of Hong Kong's Occupy Central pro-democracy movement has announced the launch of a mass disobedience campaign. Benny Tai addressed thousands who had gathered outside government headquarters in central Hong Kong.

It comes a day after the arrests of more than 60 protesters who had entered a restricted area on the same site.

Students and activists oppose Beijing's decision

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-29397738

Offline mercury

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2014, 02:23:21 PM »
It's really a sad state of affairs

Offline kopindian

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2014, 02:54:17 PM »
Hong Kong Rising: An Interview with Albert Ho

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/jul/16/hong-kong-rising-albert-ho-interview/

Old interview from July

Offline DanJay87

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2014, 07:49:42 PM »
I live here in Hong Kong, and it is madness at the moment. The heavy handed approach by the police has enraged everyone. Other parts of the city have joined in. My whole street has thousands of people of all ages blocking off all traffic and police. Got a dose of tear gas earlier today when I went down to Admiralty. My god, have never felt anything so intense in my life. Stinging isn't the word.

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2014, 07:51:01 PM »
How have things changed since British rule (is that the right word?) ended?


Has their been a marked change?
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Offline LondonRapLondon

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2014, 09:13:14 PM »
I live here in Hong Kong, and it is madness at the moment. The heavy handed approach by the police has enraged everyone. Other parts of the city have joined in. My whole street has thousands of people of all ages blocking off all traffic and police. Got a dose of tear gas earlier today

My thoughts are with you. The media here is reporting the tear gas and arrests:

Hong Kong police have used tear gas to disperse thousands of pro-democracy protesters near the government complex, after a week of escalating tensions. Dozens of demonstrators were arrested, with hundreds vowing to stay put to continue the protest.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-29398962

Offline Kashinoda

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2014, 09:47:16 PM »
I live here in Hong Kong, and it is madness at the moment. The heavy handed approach by the police has enraged everyone. Other parts of the city have joined in. My whole street has thousands of people of all ages blocking off all traffic and police. Got a dose of tear gas earlier today when I went down to Admiralty. My god, have never felt anything so intense in my life. Stinging isn't the word.

Hope you're okay dude. Has business in Hong Kong been significantly disrupted at all?

I used to live on Gloucester Road in Wan Chai only a couple of years ago, surreal seeing the thousands of people there now.

How have things changed since British rule (is that the right word?) ended?


Has their been a marked change?

Everyone feared Hong Kong would go tits up after 1997 but it's thrived, recession aside. However the promise has always been universal suffrage in 2017, which isn't looking likely right now.
:D

Offline mercury

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2014, 05:47:02 AM »
I was not able to sleep last night.   As I went to work today, the part of Hong Kong where I live and work is so peaceful, beautifully warm and sunny.  All the dreadful humidity of summer is gone:   we are having those few weeks of our autumn every year.  It makes me feel even more heart broken.

Once demonstrations started, only God knows how it will end and more often than not they take a worse turn with uncontrollable escalations. 

There will be no winners.


How have things changed since British rule (is that the right word?) ended?

Has their been a marked change?

It depends on whom you asked, which side of the city one prefers to look at.

Daily life has not been affected.  Employment remains high.  People earn a good living but have to work very very hard, as usual:  may it be the boss or the cleaning lady.

However, like many parts of the world, discrepancy between the rich and poor is widening -- we have one of the, if not the highest Gini coefficient in the world.

A great grievance is real estate prices - out of reach for ordinary folks - and the grip on real estate and the economy by the property tycoons. 

There is fear of the regression of liberal politics - which is a trend on the PRC as a whole - and of Mainland influence into our life and values.  The latter shows up in the ugliest way when Mainland tourists were called "locusts" on radical web forums and indeed into their face.

Yet, Hong Kong continue to thrive because of Mainland policies and tourists.   Tourism, while mocked for the little % of contribution to the economy, is important in providing low-skilled employment.

We also remain the most "socialist" capitalist city in the world.  The latter part needs not many explanations.  Our socialist part can be seen with still half of the population living in public housing, virtually free public health, virtually free primary and secondary education while 90+% university education is subsidized  and recently subsidies have been handing out on kindergarten tuition as well.  We do have social welfare - just livable.  Indeed one of the strongest voices is NOT to give welfare to new immigrants especially young Mainland wives / kids of Hong Kong men. 

However, our social institutions and economy are in need of reform -- we are falling behind, but all our energy has been exhausted by politics. 

Oh that beast called Politics:  have we been better or worse off?

The city is in its second phase of consultation on the election arrangement for 2016 Legislative Council and 2017 Chief Executive. The flash point is the nominating process of the Chief Executive which triggers the current demonstrations. 

Without going into the constitutional details, China want to have a controlled nomination process -- ie all candidates put forward to the popular vote being acceptable to them.  The demonstration insists that there should not be a screening out process on the candidates - "real universal suffrage". 

The demonstration demand is fair enough.  On the other hand, 2017 will be the first time in Hong Kong history that everyone will have one man one vote to elect the Chief Executive, under a true secret ballot - this is NOT in question.  We are very very far ahead of China as a whole.

China has sort of said 2017 will not be the end of constitutional development.  But there is no trust on either side.  None. 

There are other anomalies in our election arrangements -- they are what they are because of our past and the peculiarity that is One Country Two Systems. 

So I'll say, we definitely are not worse off since 1997, but whether we are better is quite subjective. 







 

Offline mercury

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2014, 05:52:24 AM »
Hope you're okay dude. Has business in Hong Kong been significantly disrupted at all?

I used to live on Gloucester Road in Wan Chai only a couple of years ago, surreal seeing the thousands of people there now.

Everyone feared Hong Kong would go tits up after 1997 but it's thrived, recession aside. However the promise has always been universal suffrage in 2017, which isn't looking likely right now.

We have been offered "universal suffrage with an asterisk".

But now, the chance for even that is slim.

Offline Kashinoda

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2014, 06:52:36 AM »
I wonder what happened to "one country, two systems". Why isn't the British government speaking up on this? This wouldn't be happening if we had installed a system before the handover.
:D

Offline mercury

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2014, 11:55:09 AM »
I wonder what happened to "one country, two systems". Why isn't the British government speaking up on this? This wouldn't be happening if we had installed a system before the handover.

As usual, the British was only interested in installing a system when they knew they had to handover.  Perhaps the best thing the British has done for us was that they were not very interested in this rock in South China Sea and stumbled on appointing a few great colonial officials, notably Murray Machlehose.

One Country Two Systems on the government's level is a failure -- as much as China and our own!  It's easy to pin the blame on China but, in the beginning of the experiment they were hands off,  However as trust level (and also the economy back then) deteriorates, they were getting more and more involved.  This only serves to radicalize the society. 

Our judicial system still is independent and works, thank God.  Everyday life and our values and culture are still very much Hong Kong -- the police came under severe criticism with its "heavy handed" approach yesterday -- mainly tear gas and threat of force (without actually using it).  They seem to have backed off today (perhaps tactically, I do not know).  Inevitably, the government and the police continued to be demonized.

It's a whole big mess. 

Perhaps Beijing may throw CY Leung, the acutely unpopular CE under the train -- let him resign like Tung Chee Hwa.  But to them, would it do any good, would the demonstrators just back off?  Beijing is sure not to give in more on the political proposals.  Do they really care or even happy if HK reject their offer?  If Hong Kong become another Venice, perhaps so be it?

I hope I am wrong.


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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2014, 01:05:56 PM »
China will have to carefully look at the impact of not just upsetting the general population of HK but by causing instability to foreign and Chinese companies registered on the Hang Seng. 
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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #13 on: October 2, 2014, 01:23:08 AM »
why cant the citizens of the uk unite and protest like this.   

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #14 on: October 2, 2014, 02:43:20 AM »
why cant the citizens of the uk unite and protest like this.   


Against what exactly?  You have universal suffrage and your candidates aren't vetted by a foreign power.   

Offline Redcap

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #15 on: October 2, 2014, 07:59:49 AM »
I wonder what happened to "one country, two systems". Why isn't the British government speaking up on this? This wouldn't be happening if we had installed a system before the handover.

I don't know how you could possibly see China and Hong Kong as having less than two systems to be honest. The difference is vast.

The demonstration demand is fair enough.  On the other hand, 2017 will be the first time in Hong Kong history that everyone will have one man one vote to elect the Chief Executive, under a true secret ballot - this is NOT in question.  We are very very far ahead of China as a whole.

China has sort of said 2017 will not be the end of constitutional development.  But there is no trust on either side.  None. 

There are other anomalies in our election arrangements -- they are what they are because of our past and the peculiarity that is One Country Two Systems. 

So I'll say, we definitely are not worse off since 1997, but whether we are better is quite subjective. 

Cheers for this mate. I appreciate the non-partisan analysis.

May I ask though, what kind of progress do the proposed 2017 elections represent exactly, in real terms?

From what I understand, in 2012, Hong Kong residents also voted to elect a nominating committee/election committee, except the election committee simply nominated a single candidate who became the Chief Executive. The difference this time appears to be that the nominating committee now nominates 2-3 nominees, at which point China ticks off on one of them?

Or is it the case that not everyone actually got to vote to elect an election committee in 2012? If so, who got to vote in 2012? Wikipedia figures suggest the voter turn out (whoever those voters were) was very low in 2012, except for the sectors that were pro-Beijing?

Offline Kashinoda

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #16 on: October 2, 2014, 03:47:46 PM »
I don't know how you could possibly see China and Hong Kong as having less than two systems to be honest. The difference is vast.

I wasn't referring to how different the countries are, but the constitution post 1997. Hong Kong's basic law says (in regard to "one country, two systems")

"The socialist system and policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years"

If the capitalist system we left in place was more... capitalist, then Hong Kong wouldn't have these issues now. In reality, the way Hong Kong is run now is no different than before. Pre 1997 it was the Crown and now it's China. Hong Kong was the prized jewel of the Empire and now we don't give a shit.
Cheers for this mate. I appreciate the non-partisan analysis.

May I ask though, what kind of progress do the proposed 2017 elections represent exactly, in real terms?

From what I understand, in 2012, Hong Kong residents also voted to elect a nominating committee/election committee, except the election committee simply nominated a single candidate who became the Chief Executive. The difference this time appears to be that the nominating committee now nominates 2-3 nominees, at which point China ticks off on one of them?

Or is it the case that not everyone actually got to vote to elect an election committee in 2012? If so, who got to vote in 2012? Wikipedia figures suggest the voter turn out (whoever those voters were) was very low in 2012, except for the sectors that were pro-Beijing?

The nominating committee isn't picked by popular vote. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Committee

In 2012 the nominating committee picked a Chief Executive outright.

In 2017 the nominating committee will pick 3 candidates, then there will be a popular vote to see who wins.

To be a candidate you need more than 50% of the vote from the nominating committee. I believe Beijing said this would be significantly lower, which has lead to all the recent protests.
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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #17 on: October 2, 2014, 04:21:25 PM »

Against what exactly?  You have universal suffrage and your candidates aren't vetted by a foreign power.   
I think you misunderstood. There are numerous reasons why the citizens of the UK need to unite and protest like the Hong Kong citizens. The NHS, student loans and thieving banks are just 3 that spring to mind!
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Offline Redcap

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #18 on: October 3, 2014, 02:00:29 AM »
I wasn't referring to how different the countries are, but the constitution post 1997. Hong Kong's basic law says (in regard to "one country, two systems")

"The socialist system and policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years"

If the capitalist system we left in place was more... capitalist, then Hong Kong wouldn't have these issues now. In reality, the way Hong Kong is run now is no different than before. Pre 1997 it was the Crown and now it's China. Hong Kong was the prized jewel of the Empire and now we don't give a shit.

Do you see the problem in Hong Kong to be a lack of capitalism? I'm not sure I understand. Not being funny at all. I just always thought the capitalist side of the equation was the part that Hong Kong always did and continues to do pretty well?


The nominating committee isn't picked by popular vote. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Committee

In 2012 the nominating committee picked a Chief Executive outright.

In 2017 the nominating committee will pick 3 candidates, then there will be a popular vote to see who wins.

To be a candidate you need more than 50% of the vote from the nominating committee. I believe Beijing said this would be significantly lower, which has lead to all the recent protests.

Cheers for the clarification on the popular vote. So the main flashpoint is that Beijing wants a lower threshold for candidacy, presumably because it would make it easier for them to put forward one or more Beijing-friendly candidates for the election?

What about the requirement that the Chief Executive be someone who loves China? Is there a concern that an elected democrat who doesn't profess a love for China would not get the CCP seal of approval?

So far I'm quite conflicted on this. On the one hand I think Beijing could have handled this a lot better - the 'must love China' clause is such typical Beijing paranoia it's actually rather hilarious. At the same time though, you can understand that China wasn't going to suddenly grant HK universal suffrage in one go, and after the first popular elections they were always going to want to hold on to some assurance that the newly elected Chief Executive would be relatively cooperative with Beijing.

I don't see what the purpose of pushing so hard for universal suffrage NOW, when Hong Kong is already on the cusp of real progress in electoral reform. What is it that protesters think that they can achieve now, that they wouldn't be able to do in 5 years if becomes clear that China have no intention of going any further? I'm sure there are going to be a lot of people on the mainland that think that this is a case of Beijing giving an inch and HK taking a mile.


Offline mercury

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #19 on: October 3, 2014, 04:03:19 AM »
Last week  the demonstrators not only demanded political reform but also CY Leung's head.  They also had threatened to siege and occupy Government HQ (the building) if their demands were not met by midnight yesterday.

Making this demand is exactly the thing which won't make it happen.  Yesterday, a news clips of CY Leung making the National Day (1 Oct) speech was broadcast by CNTV.  Usually only no. 1 tier Central Government's officials (Politburo, people to the rank of Xi Jinping) have this privilege.  And the police was moving in equipments - tear gas, rubber bullets -- into the Government HQ as preparation. 

Luckily the student / demonstration leaders  issue an open letter late last night that political reform is their own agenda without mentioning CY Leung.  The Vice Chancellors of our two most important universities also visited the demonstrators urging for coolness and a peaceful demonstration.

At 11:30 pm local time, the CE and Chief Secretary had a press conference. The CE also has sort of "promised" if the demonstrators do not try to break the police cordon for the Government HQ or use force, no force will be used on them (not exact wordings).  It is worth to point out that since Sunday the police has not threaten force or indeed only show their face when necessary in demonstration points anywhere in the city.  They had tried to avoid conflict, which has been crucial to avoid further escalations.

I'm thankful to whoever behind the scenes who helped last night happen and avoid the point of no return.  Everything is still on knife edge but at least we jumped over one, for now.

ICheers for this mate. I appreciate the non-partisan analysis.

May I ask though, what kind of progress do the proposed 2017 elections represent exactly, in real terms?

From what I understand, in 2012, Hong Kong residents also voted to elect a nominating committee/election committee, except the election committee simply nominated a single candidate who became the Chief Executive. The difference this time appears to be that the nominating committee now nominates 2-3 nominees, at which point China ticks off on one of them?

Or is it the case that not everyone actually got to vote to elect an election committee in 2012? If so, who got to vote in 2012? Wikipedia figures suggest the voter turn out (whoever those voters were) was very low in 2012, except for the sectors that were pro-Beijing?

From the first 1997 to the most recent 2012 election, the CE was both nominated and elected by the Election Committee, an electoral college.

The EC now has 1200 pax and they are not by elected by popular vote.  The EC is made up of 4 sectors broadly in the categories of commerce / industry; professionals; welfare / sports / culture etc; & political.  Under them are "sub-sectors" and those of the First, Second, and Third Sectors are more or less equivalent to functional constituencies (FC) (introduced by the British, I think in late 1980s) in the Legislative Council. 

Subsectors / FC is a combination of individual and corporate votes., e.g. a registered accountant will be able to vote in his / her Accountancy subsector; while my boss can also vote as the corporate nominated representative by virtue of his company's membership in one of the major chambers of commerce which is a designated subsector.  Each individual can at most register and vote in one subsector / FC.  Still only a very small percentage of HK people is able to vote for the subsectors /  FC, and some people, ie multiple company owners, can "control" many votes.

Now there have been no firm proposals on any details of the "reform" yet.  BUT, the broad direction is that the EC will reduce to a nominating body to put forward candidates for universal suffrage in 2017 CE Election.  2017 universal suffrage is set out by the National People's Congress Standing Committee back in 2004.  Hence on this point, there is NO issue.

Of course the EC and how nominations are formed became the main point of contention.  Other than that the EC could be expanded into 1600 pax (as window dressing as it can be), there is little detail.

The demonstrators said -- ok, EC can put forward their nominations  but there should be least one candidate put forward by completely "democratic procedures" - "nomination by referendum", ie the whole citizenship to vote for nominations. 

Beijing said NO.  There is no framework or legal basis of referendum in China or Hong Kong's Basic Law.  The bottom lines is, which they  said  today, they will not accept the possibility of having a candidate whom they see as anti-Beijing.

What have been overlooked however are the discussion on the reform to the election of Legislative Council, which of course the FC is the major point of grievance. 

Expansion of the electorate of the FC is on the table of discussion -- including to allow ALL voters not only to register in the Geographical Constituencies but in a FC of their own industry:  "one person two votes".  There are still issues, major ones include the corporate vote and vast difference in the size of each FC (or subsector) (unequal of weight of each vote). 

Since the subsectors are virtually equivalent to FC, the electorate reform of the EC can go the same direction to the FC.  Indeed reform in how the EC is formed is on has been much indicated by the Chief Secretary (the official heading the constitutional development consultation). 

Several key points to be noted:

- The CE, after election, has to be appointed by the Central People's Government (CPG) :  One Country Two Systems!

-  All changes to the election method of the CE must be passed by 2/3 of the votes of the Legislative Council, then submitted by the CE to the CPG for approval.

-  All changes to the election method of the Legislative Council must be passed by 2/3 of the votes of the Legislative Council, then submitted by the CE to the CPG for report.


EDIT: 

BBC -- why did it deliberately not report that the "student / demonstrator leaders" DID NOT INCLUDE CY Leung's resignation in their open letter yesterday that also "demand" "urge" etc etc for a meeting with Carrie Lam, the Chief Secretary?  Instead they just head the top line with CT Leung refused to step down in the press conference after this development?  Or have I missed anything???

BBC said "The Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) said it would have a public meeting with Ms Lam, but insisted that Mr Leung should step down, saying he had "lost his integrity"."  The latter has not been reported in HK today.

Indeed after last night, amomgst the "players", only the pro-democracy LegCo members continue to openly insist an impeach and C Y Leung's resignation.  But these LegCo members were not in the front end of the demonstration.  It is the students and public volunteers on the street who has been driving the whole thing.

EDIT 2:

Jesus, what are the overseas media trying to do?

The original Chinese statement of the Students Union said:  "梁振英失信於民,已無管治威信。" = C Y Leung has "lied" to the people and lost the authority and trust of the people to govern.

The Union DELIBERATELY stopped short of repeating their demand for CY Leung to step down which is the important basis of re-opening talks and lowering tensions.
« Last Edit: October 3, 2014, 10:03:34 AM by mercury »

Offline mercury

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #20 on: October 3, 2014, 04:04:10 AM »

Against what exactly?  You have universal suffrage and your candidates aren't vetted by a foreign power.   

The British?

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #21 on: October 4, 2014, 04:20:54 AM »
Hey,

For the first time I stayed quite late at the protest last night after work.  I just could not stand seeing cops neglecting what is happening around them, as anti-occupy thugs attacked peaceful protestors.  Only two were arrested. 

Where are their tear gases?  Pepper spray?  They used it on the protestors when they were peaceful but not on the thugs that attacked the protestors, destroying their supplies and tents. 

I'm really disappointed in the government and the police of this city.  That is why I stood out and joined in unison.
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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #22 on: October 4, 2014, 07:12:09 AM »
Cheers for the posts mercury, Scarlet. Useful to hear from people on the ground.

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #23 on: October 4, 2014, 08:14:24 AM »
Reports suggesting that Triad gangs, no doubt paid, were attacking the protestors. Typical behaviour from Beijing.
The courts, the rich, the powerful or those in authority never lie. It has been dealt with 'by the courts' nothing to see here run along.

Offline mercury

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #24 on: October 6, 2014, 09:27:16 AM »
Reports suggesting that Triad gangs, no doubt paid, were attacking the protestors. Typical behaviour from Beijing.

I doubt if we've seen the worst yet. 

The Student Union and government are supposed to be trying for a dialogue.  Even if the two got to sit down together, chances for something concrete and acceptable to both sides - indeed universal suffrage in 2017 with asterisk or not - is close to zero.  It's on the walls once the campaign started.  Now it's a matter of bad, worse, worst and even worse or ugly, ulgier, ugliest and even uglier.

My only hope now is that there will be a peaceful end to the demonstration.

Offline Kashinoda

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2019, 07:59:53 PM »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-48615161

Kicking off again.

I give it another 20 years until China basically engulfs Hong Kong and it becomes just another mainland City.
:D

Offline J_Kopite

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Re: Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2019, 04:26:06 PM »
Deeply worrying times
My mate asked me if i wanted a ticket "they are fake like" he says, stupid twat