• StreetlightX
    4.4k
    Dunno what they expected with the mask ban. Watch them use this to (more) violently crack down.
  • Benkei
    2.2k
    Dunno what they expected with the mask ban. Watch them use this to (more) violently crack down.StreetlightX

    They expected the protesters not to listen of course, precisely to get the excuse they needed to crack down on them. BBC is already on board I see with calling it riots. Violent protest can still be protest. It's the continuation of politics by different means (pace Von Clausewitz).

    I'm wondering what a sensible way forward is, strategically speaking, for the protesters.

    Maybe they should invoke the right to self-determination? Hong Kong has a different political system, the majority speaks a different language than mainland China and the cultural differences are laid bare in the recent protests.
  • StreetlightX
    4.4k
    I'm wondering what a sensible way forward is, strategically speaking, for the protesters.Benkei

    Not being there, it's hard to presume to say. But what they've been doing - the relative discipline of sustained, unyielding demand(s) - seems to be working very well. The mask ban - as much as it is a cynical exercise to incite violence - seems to me to speak to an underlying desperation and insecurity on the part of the authorities (which can cut either way - the desperate are the most dangerous).
  • Benkei
    2.2k
    Sometimes a bit of distance actually helps but I'm stumped anyways.

    I thought there was a mask ban but here's Carrie Lam's veiled threat:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/08/hong-kongs-carrie-lam-refuses-to-rule-out-asking-china-for-help-to-quell-protests
  • Benkei
    2.2k
    And it must be said: at least the US is doing something with its Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. Which is more than can be said of the Netherlands or the EU at this point.
  • ssu
    1.7k
    Nothing against Netherlands (and not much against the EU), but you are right. With all it's shortcomings and hypocrisy, the US still stands out as a beacon for democracy and freedom. Sort of.
  • frank
    3.8k
    Not for much longer.
  • StreetlightX
    4.4k
    Required Reading.

    http://chuangcn.org/2019/09/three-months-of-insurrection/

    "Years from now, we will continue to look back and marvel at all the incredible things that emerged in response to the concrete problems that insurgents have faced over the course of the past three months.

    In response to teenagers having no homes to return to because they were practically “disowned” by their parents for attending demonstrations and remaining on the streets when states of emergency were declared, people created a network of open apartments to which young partisans could retreat and stay temporarily. In response to minibuses, buses, and subway trains no longer being safe for escaping protesters, carpool networks were formed via Telegram to “pick kids up from school.” We encountered elderly drivers who didn’t even know how to operate Telegram, but who drove repeatedly around the “hot spots” reported by the radio news, watching for running protesters who needed a quick ride out of danger.

    In response to young people not having any work or enough money to buy food at the front lines, working people prepared supplies of supermarket and restaurant coupons and handed these out to people in gear before large-scale confrontations. This remarkable fact is often used by conservatives to suggest that foreign powers are behind this “color revolution,” because… where did all the money for these coupons come from? There has to be somebody bankrolling this! They cannot fathom that any worker would be willing to reach into his own pockets in order to help a person that he does not know.

    In response to the suffering, trauma, and sleeplessness induced by long-term exposure to tear gas and police violence, whether experienced first-hand or via graphic live feeds, support networks appeared offering counsel and care. In response to kids not having enough time to do their homework because they are out on the streets all night, Telegram channels appeared offering free tutoring services. In response to students “not being able to have an education” because they were on strike, people organized seminars on all manner of political subjects at schools that were sympathetic to the cause and also in public spaces."
  • ssu
    1.7k
    Don't be too pessimistic.
  • frank
    3.8k
    Don't be too pessimistic.ssu

    Ok. I was just thinking this morning about how the ground is always moving under our feet. If we don't want it to move, we cringe and scream that the sky is falling as if that might make it stop. It's a cry to the great parent in the sky to save us.

    But when we want it to move so it tears down the evil constructions we see before us, our hearts burst with joy to see the wrath of the gods come down upon the wicked, those assholes are getting what they deserve. Woo hoo!

    Or maybe they aren't evil. It's just that their time has come. They lived and now they return to the dusty earth from which they rose. Amen.
  • Congau
    62
    Why are they demonstrating in Hong Kong when defeat is certain? The Chinese government will soon step in and crush the uprising, and then nothing will be left of it. Beijing’s grip will be tighter than ever before, and not only will the demonstrators have gained nothing, they will be left with less than they had. That is the most likely scenario.

    So why are they doing it? Is it possible to defend an action, any action, that is overwhelmingly likely to fail?

    They are fighting against windmills. No, worse, they are risking utter defeat to fight someone who can’t be defeated. Is that ever permissible?

    Even if you are fighting for a good cause, it’s unethical to fight if you risk great casualties and there’s no chance of winning.

    Maybe if your life were intolerable anyway, such suicidal behavior could be excused, but that was hardly the case in Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong has much more political freedom than the rest of China, and that is not the real issue in this conflict. They simply want more independence from the mainland – a wish that is completely unrealistic.

    In the West we enjoy giving support to principles, especially when they have no substance.
  • StreetlightX
    4.4k
    They simply want more independence from the mainland – a wish that is completely unrealistic.Congau

    Actually this is what they want:

    1. Full withdrawal of the extradition bill
    2. An independent commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality
    3. Retracting the classification of protesters as “rioters”
    4. Amnesty for arrested protesters
    5. Dual universal suffrage, meaning for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive

    And they are doing it because fuck the Chinese government and their bootlicker supporters
  • Evil
    194
    Your fatalistic attitude is essentially a form of bootlicking.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    Street light summarized the demands -- which were stated in an NPR report from Hong Kong. They are not, according to a spokeswoman in Hong Kong, seeking independence from China. There are supposed to be two systems; they want their part.

    They might be defeated, true. However, they are not betting on a horserace; they are demanding what was supposed to be their system (one country, two systems). They are also (gratuitously) providing a fine example of resistance to ordinary, banal tyranny for other people around the world who are unhappy with their governments' behavior.

    Not all civil battles are won, just as not all military battles are won. But if the goal is sufficiently worthwhile, it is worth the risk of failure. Your lickity-boot approach only makes sense if nothing much is at stake.
  • iolo
    171
    If only the issue hadn't got mixed up with American imperialism. It's more and more like the Cold War, alas!
  • ssu
    1.7k
    Why are they demonstrating in Hong Kong when defeat is certain? The Chinese government will soon step in and crush the uprising, and then nothing will be left of it. Beijing’s grip will be tighter than ever before, and not only will the demonstrators have gained nothing, they will be left with less than they had. That is the most likely scenario.Congau
    Because the totalitarianism of the Chinese Communist Party makes it is inherently weak.

    And someone who has had the taste of freedom won't forget it.

    China will exist, but Communist China can go the way of the Soviet Union.
  • SophistiCat
    899
    That sentiment might have had some plausibility twenty years and six months ago.
  • Congau
    62

    Those are the formal demands at the moment (at first it was only the extradition issue) but obviously such dry formalities alone could not ignite this amount of popular support. The demonstrators are anti-Chinese just like Catalonians are anti-Spanish and some Scots are anti-English, but at least they possess enough realism not to seek outright independence.

    Not all civil battles are won, just as not all military battles are won. But if the goal is sufficiently worthwhile, it is worth the risk of failureBitter Crank
    I strongly hold that no battle, civil or military, should be fought if there’s no chance of winning it. That would be the same as deliberately causing misery and achieving no good, the very definition of an immoral act from a utilitarian standpoint.

    If the situation in Hong Kong were so miserable that there was really nothing to lose, resistance out of sheer desperation could be permissible. The Uighurs in Xinjiang may be in such a position, but the people of Hong Kong are not that bad off. They have more civil liberties than mainland Chinese and materially they are far from desperate.

    Your lickity-boot approach only makes sense if nothing much is at stake.Bitter Crank
    If those demands were really what it is all about, there wouldn’t be much at stake. It makes no sense to risk getting yourself crushed just to make sure that prisoners can stay in your local jail. Evidently that’s not the real issue.
    What’s at stake then? Either nothing much or something utterly Utopian and for that they risk losing what they already have.
  • StreetlightX
    4.4k
    If the situation in Hong Kong were so miserable that there was really nothing to lose, resistance out of sheer desperation could be permissible. The Uighurs in Xinjiang may be in such a position, but the people of Hong Kong are not that bad off. They have more civil liberties than mainland Chinese and materially they are far from desperate.Congau

    Nonsense. As if one ought to wait for concentration camps before raising hell. And your blithe dismissal of the 5 demands says more about you than about the protestors. If they are such 'dry formalities', then they should be implemented, post haste.
  • Evil
    194
    It seems like madness, but this is needed against the remorseless, fascist chinese government

  • ssu
    1.7k
    It seems like madness, but this is needed against the remorseless, fascist chinese governmentEvil
    That's why China won't pass the West. The Communists will fear so much their own people, they will fear that the protests now emerging in Hong Kong might spread like an infection that they will ruin their future themselves. As I've said, they haven't forgotten Tianamen Square.

    When there is no safety valve of the ballot box, it will just go worse and worse.
  • frank
    3.8k
    Hong Kong might spread like an infection that they will ruin their future themselves. Asssu

    It hasn't, though. Prosperity is a strong drug.
  • Evil
    194
    The despotic chinese government regime's brutality continues: https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/dyknwr/modern_civil_war_please_help/
  • Evil
    194
    Listen to the man at 2.27mins:
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