The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations which we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within us.
THE peaceful pro democracy protest in Hong Kong continue, but a "local backlash" started today with the locals violently attacking the protestors and the police unable to stop the attacks. Sound familiar? It should, think Ukrainian Crimea. A peaceful, pro democracy protest movement in Kiev and throughout Ukraine, the overthrow of a violent, corrupt government and then the appearance of a violent minority rebellion that is no more than a front for Russian aggression and putin's desire to restore the soviet empire. The violence against the pro democracy Hong Kong will continue and expand, the Hong Kong government will declare they can no longer maintain peace, law and order and Beijing will send in the pla. Remember the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre? Beijing gets it's way without having to wait to implement it's election "reforms" for 2017, wiping out the last vestiges of pre 1997 Hong Kong that were supposed to be protected by the treaty between the U.K. and the prc. The hypocritical West will continue business as usual with the murderous thugs lead by xi jinping and the hypocritical people of the West will continue to buy everything made in the prc, funding and supporting the denial of democracy and human rights. From +Al Jazeera Channel - قناة الجزيرة الفضائية followed by the +PBS NewsHour coverage of the weeks events.....
Police struggle to keep peace as scuffles erupt in apparent backlash against sit-in that has brought city to standstill.
Last updated: 03 Oct 2014 11:35
Protesters are opposed to a reform that requires candidates for 2017 elections to be approved by Beijing [AFP]
|Demonstrators calling for electoral reform have
scuffled with opponents in two of Hong Kong's busiest shopping
districts, with police stepping in to try to calm the chaos.
Around 200 demonstrators were confronted by a larger group that started to dismantle barricades in Mong Kok in an apparent backlash against the demonstrations, which have brought parts of the city to a standstill for days.
Al Jazeera reporters witnessed police desperately trying to keep the rival sides apart and protesters being escorted from the scene.
Trouble also broke out between smaller rivals groups in Causeway Bay.
The demonstrators are calling on Beijing to guarantee full democracy to the former British colony, instead of vetting candidates who want to stand for the chief executive's job in 2017 elections.
Thousands of protesters filled the business district at the peak of protests. Schools have been closed, traffic blocked, and civil servants have been off work.
Some of those confronting the protesters appeared to do so because demonstrations disrupted their businesses and shops.
'Wind out of the sails'
However, the protests seemed to have lost steam and crowds had dwindled on Friday after the leader of the Chinese territory refused to step down and instead offered dialogue.
Student protesters had threatened to surround or occupy government buildings if Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying did not step down by midnight on Thursday.
Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, who has been tasked with arranging the talks, on Friday appealed to protesters to end their action in the name of law and order. She said negotiations with students had not started and that details were still to be worked out.
Al Jazeera's Fauziah Ibrahim, reporting from the protest site outside Leung's office as rain drizzled down, said there was no indication of when the first dialogue meeting would happen, and that had "taken the wind out of the sails of the protest".
The Hong Kong Federation of Students said in a statement early on Friday that they planned to join the talks with the government, focused specifically on political reforms. They reiterated that Leung step down, saying he "had lost his integrity".
A wider pro-democracy group that had joined the demonstrations, Occupy Central, welcomed the talks and also insisted that Leung quit.
The protesters threatened to block more government buildings and move their occupation into the central government offices. As the demonstration continued, police were seen carrying what appeared to be riot gear, including rubber bullets and tear gas, promising to respond if such a threat were carried out.
In the face of escalating tensions, the Chinese government published a threatening editorial Wednesday in the People’s Daily, warning that if the protest continues, “the consequences will be unimaginable.”
The newspaper, a publication of the Chinese Communist Party, is the same outlet the government used to warn protesters in Tiananmen Square of an impending crackdown 25 years ago.
“By now, a small number of people in Hong Kong are insistent on resistance and provocation, and in the end they will suffer because of it,” the 2014 editorial read. Similarly, in 1989, the government tried to belittle the protestors as “an extremely small number of people with ulterior purposes.”
Previously, it seemed as if the government was planning on waiting for the demonstrations to die down and eventually dissipate. However, China’s National Day Wednesday brought even larger crowds to the protest.
The protesters are demanding that the city’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, step down by midnight tonight, local time (noon EDT).
Parts of Hong Kong came to a standstill for a fifth day, with no sign that pro-democracy, student-led demonstrations will stop anytime soon. Lucy Watson of Independent Television News reports on the enthusiasm of the growing crowds and the question of what authorities will do in response.
TRANSCRIPTJUDY WOODRUFF: Protests grew in Hong Kong and brought parts of the city to a standstill for a fifth day. And there was no sign that the pro-democracy student-led demonstrations will stop anytime soon.Lucy Watson of Independent Television News has this report from Hong Kong.
LUCY WATSON: There is little that this huge crowd won’t endure. The umbrella revolution and the fight for freedom is unrelenting. It’s an unprecedented display of defiance, people in every direction taking over a city. There is strength in numbers, but also in individuals. Three days ago, Gary Lee was an ordinary student. Now he’s rousing an historic crowd.
GARY LEE, Protester Organizer: Everybody put your cell phone lights on, cell phone, the lights on.
LUCY WATSON: “To fulfill our dream, we will sacrifice everything,” they sing. They want their current leader, C.Y. Leung, to step down and to elect another freely, demands they refuse to give up on.
GARY LEE: Never see the end. Never see the end, because this fight will — forever.
LUCY WATSON: This is a powerful body of people with a life of its own, and nobody quite knows what direction it will take next. But the Hong Kong government and Beijing won’t tolerate this mass civil disobedience for long. It’s now a test of nerves.
And as China’s President Xi Jinping prepares for the country’s National Day tomorrow, this is a direct challenge to his governance.
ELIZA LEE, Political Analyst: They were not expecting the Occupy Central movement opposition to become, I mean, what is now a popular uprising. And they worry that people are going to imitate this.
LUCY WATSON: Threats the Communist Party is unlikely to respond well to. But while there is persistence, there is hope here.
The blurred lines between Chinese authority and Hong Kong’s autonomy has set off pro-democracy demonstrations by protesters who don’t seem to be backing down. Judy Woodruff talks to Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group about what provoked these protests, how they have challenged Chinese President Xi Jinping and how authorities are likely to respond.
JUDY WOODRUFF: For more on what provoked these protesters and how mainland China is likely to respond, we turn to Ian Bremmer. He’s the president and founder of Eurasia Group. It’s a political risk, research and consulting company.Ian Bremmer, welcome to the program.
Are these protests unprecedented? Has China ever seen anything like this? And I guess Tiananmen comes to mind.
IAN BREMMER, Eurasia Group: Yes. I mean, Tiananmen’s the last time we have seen this sort of thing within China itself.
Certainly, Hong Kong, there has been nothing like this since the handover from Great Britain in 1997. And, most importantly, it is by far the first serious challenge domestically to President Xi Jinping. It really is directly a question of the legitimacy and the support of what’s so far been a very popular, very charismatic and very transformative rule.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, how much of a challenge is it to him and to the regime, the government in Beijing? These students have been there for five days. They don’t show any signs of backing down.
IAN BREMMER: No.
And, in fact, tomorrow, as you have heard, you have the National Day. There have been a number of calls for demonstrations in support of the Occupy Central movement, not just in the United States and in the developed countries, but we also see that they’re likely to happen in Macau. They’re going to happen in Taipei and Taiwan.
And it wouldn’t surprise me at all, despite the fact the Chinese government has really tried the crack down on anyone searching relevant social media terms around the Hong Kong protests within mainland China, to see some forms of sympathy there.
And that’s one of the reasons why I think Xi Jinping, who has been very willing to engage in policies of economic transformation on the mainland, but has absolutely had no interest in political reform — this is not a Glasnost guy — he’s very unlikely to show any flexibility whatsoever, as is the Hong Kong government in responding to these protests.
Occupy Central has now become Occupy Hong Kong. As of tomorrow it’s likely to become Occupy larger than that. And if the — if local police, through threat and selective arrests, are unable to disperse these demonstrations, we’re likely to see a very significant violent crackdown.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, what do you mean by that? Because that’s the — that’s the natural question. If these protesters not going away and the government, the central government isn’t going to bend, what does that mean?
IAN BREMMER: Well, the initial step comes from Hong Kong itself. We have seen the Hong Kong leadership completely refusing to even meet with the leaders of the Occupy Central movement, never mind brook any compromise about what suffrage in selection of a chief executive in Hong Kong might look like in 2017.
I think the next steps clearly involve the police, who have been relatively quiet over the last couple of days. They can certainly take steps to try to remove who they see as the ringleaders of that movement, and, after they have done that, to try to pressure the broader groups, give them — give them a couple of outs, let them disperse once their leaders have been taken under custody.
But, again, if we continue to see this type of mobilization among the students that poses a much greater threat to the legitimacy of the Chinese enterprise and to their power, their exertion of power in Hong Kong, I think the response goes beyond just Hong Kong police. Then the People’s Liberation Army does indeed come in. They have garrisons in Hong Kong.
I suspect they would be used. Certainly, the international community can complain, but there is no potential that sanctions or punishment is going to be exerted against the Chinese government for what they do internally in Hong Kong. This is not like Russia vs. Ukraine.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, just very quickly, you mentioned the international community — Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron protesting today. Of course, they previously held Hong Kong. You’re saying there’s nothing anybody on the outside can do?
IAN BREMMER: Oh, I think that Cameron and Obama will do a great impersonation of Ban Ki-Moon. I think they will express a great deal of concern over what happens for Hong Kong.
But, if you ask me are we talking about the potential of sanctioning them, I would want to just go back to what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, which is that it’s generally not a good idea to criticize your banker on human rights. It’s going to be very, very difficult for anything more than words in response to what’s happening on the ground in Hong Kong.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Ian Bremmer with the Eurasia Group, we thank you.
IAN BREMMER: My pleasure.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong to demand more democracy and oppose interference by Beijing in local politics. Lucy Watson of Independent Television News reports.JUDY WOODRUFF: The protests which took over the streets of Hong Kong this weekend and sparked a crackdown by police continued today in force. Hundreds of thousands were out tonight to protest what they call a curbing of democracy and interference by Beijing in picking local leadership candidates. The Chinese government says the demonstrations are illegal.We have a report from Lucy Watson of Independent Television News.
LUCY WATSON: This is a young generation empowered by unity once again here to galvanize pro-democracy thought in a peaceful way in a city that is fighting to maintain its rights and liberties.
Tear gas and pepper spray confronted them last night, because their demands pose a threat to their own government and that of mainland China.
Alex Chow was arrested for his involvement, but believes this is the only way.
ALEX CHOW, Protester: You negotiate. You vote. You demonstrate. You ask the government to respond, but you can see all the methods were losing their power. And then you have no way but turn to civil disobedience action.
LUCY WATSON: Britain handed over sovereignty of Hong Kong to China in 1997, with Beijing agree to a one country, two systems principle. But people now believe that autonomy is being diluted by not being allowed to elect their next head of government through a fully democratic process. There’s fear the iron hand of China is tightening its grip.
MAN (through interpreter): I hope the Chinese Communist Party won’t repeat what they did in 1989, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and make themselves criminals of history.
LUCY WATSON: This family watched and experienced yesterday’s violence but are here again, hopeful. Even their pregnant daughter wanted to return.
WOMAN: I want to let my girl to see now they were here. We are to fight for freedom.
LUCY WATSON: There’s a decidedly different atmosphere here this evening, with protesters chanting peace, love and unity, in the absence of any police presence.
And that’s because they believe the momentum of this movement is growing as the numbers increase. It’s thought around 300,000 people are here tonight, proving that generations in Hong Kong are undeterred from their goals.
Barriers still grind this capitalist hub to a halt so voices can be heard, in the hope it heralds a future for change.
Reuters reports.Police fired tear gas on Sunday to disperse thousands of pro-democracy protesters, who had blocked the main thoroughfare leading to Hong Kong’s financial district and assembled in front of government headquarters this weekend,
Treading through tear gas at #OccupyCentral in #Hong Kong | Slideshow by @LamYikFei: http://bit.ly/1t7yUCl
University students began skipping classes on Sept. 22 to show their disapproval for the late-August ruling by Beijing’s central government against a fully democratic election for Hong Kong’s next leader in 2017, The New York Times reported.
The protests were peaceful up until Friday, when student-led demonstrators broke through a cordon and scaled a fence to enter the city’s main government compound, reports Reuters.
More than 60 people have been arrested and more than 30 have suffered minor injuries, according to the BBC.
On its Facebook page, the Hong Kong Federation of Students called for people to retreat, because they feared that police would use rubber bullets to break up the crowds. They asked people in the group to save their energy for future protests.
Pro-democracy activists swarm Hong Kong on anniversary of Chinese takeover
Protesters gathered at Victoria Park, where annual vigils for the Tiananmen Square victims are held, and walked west to the city’s central financial district. Several of the activists were among the 787,767 participants of an unofficial referendum calling for candidates for Hong Kong’s leader be nominated by the public instead of Chinese officials.
Beijing-allied authorities have characterized the referendum as unlawful. In response, the pro-democracy group threatened a sit-in of the city’s financial district if the existing government fails to provide basic voting rights.
Under China’s “one country, two systems” rule of law, Hong Kong was grafted into China in 1997, yet allowed autonomy. But a “white paper” from Beijing has recently clarified that this autonomy is not “full” autonomy:
Today’s march was peaceful, but frustrations over Hong Kong’s Chief Executive have been simmering for years. In 2012, Beijing-backed Leung Chun-ying won 689 votes from 1,193 society representatives to become Hong Kong’s Chief Executive. These representatives are largely business executives and existing politicians with connections to mainland China.
For the tens of thousands of Hong Kong activists, this authorized autonomy falls far short of real democracy. While participants (ranging from 98,000, according to police, and 510,000, according to organizers) hope they will be able to choose their own leadership by the 20th anniversary of China’s takeover in 2017, mainland China representatives assert that only leaders who “love the country and love Hong Kong” should be on the ballot.