An incredible image from the recent protests...
People hold up umbrellas and shine lights during a protest against a controversial extradition bill in Hong Kong, Aug. 1.
Isaac Lawrence / AFP / Getty Images
There's a lot of talk among the protestors about the police using expired tear gas. Left over canisters appear to show this to be the case. What is more controversial is what this means, with some sources saying it leads to explosions or breaks down into cyanide, and others saying age just renders the tear gas less effective.
Conspiracy/rumour: the Hong Kong Police Force has been bolstered by members of the PLA (Chinese army).
This video proffered as 'proof' - I can't make much out of it but apparently the police officer uses the phrase 'comrades' in Chinese, which is something a mainland soldier might say, but never a Hong Konger.
May I suggest that the Honk Kong unrest problems were actually started by the Mainland China government to give them an excuse to go in at some later date to 'sort out' the problem that the HK authorities appear unable to do themselves ?
Some of these items are indisputably factual (woman lost an eye to a rubber bullet, year gas was fired inside); others I haven't seen clear evidence for (police/triad collision, agents provocateurs from the police disguising themselves as protestors, police planting items on protestors)
You haven't been paying attention. Have you not seen the videos of gangs running amok beating people with sticks & metal poles? They've been filmed consorting with police & the police don't seem interested in doing much to stop them. They may not openly be doing the beatings but they're more or less giving them carte blanche.
It needn't happen. All they have to do is quit the rioting. One has to ask what is the problem with China wanting Hong Kong to extradite people that they (at least in their mind) have a reason to wish to interview. These people must have done something to draw the attention of China.
It is really the mob mentality in full flow. One could speculate a 'spoiled child' mentality on the part of the people who started it.
Honk Kong will probably never recover it's relative freedom if China does take control.
3 SC Sea
4 pick your poor pacific nation
5 pick your wealthy pacific economocracy
This entity holds neither ethical compunction nor recourse to international law. It is brute force imperialism on a rapidly expanding scale and our naivety will have catastrophic consequences. It is an inevitability. What we will witness shortly will open all of our eyes to the fact that critical mass has been achieved. I'm bracing for it.
It started as a protest against the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill
If enacted, the bill would allow local authorities to detain and extradite people who are wanted in countries or territories that Hong Kong does not have extradition agreements with, including mainland China and Taiwan. Opponents of the legislation fear that it would place Hong Kong residents and visitors under the jurisdiction of mainland courts (which are controlled by the Communist Party of China) and apply not only to criminals, but political dissidents as well.
The point is though that, following the British liberation of Hong Kong from the brutal Japanese occupation in 1945, China agreed not to impose socialism on the colony until the British agreement expired in 1997.
Thus the people of Hong Kong enjoyed 52 years of liberal capitalism. Most of them have never known anything else. The massive show of people-power is ample testimony to the fact that the people will not accept being forced to live as part of a totalitarian state.
I admire the protesters. I certainly wouldn't want to live under socialism/communism or any other form of totalitarianism either.
I teach 'a few' as meaning a small number, often three or four. I have seen videos of dozens of such beatings, and I haven't been closely following this.
The mainland has limited legal scope for asserting authority. It can certainly happen, but they are constitutionally unable to intervene unless the Hong Kong government requests their help because their own police forces are unable to restore order. They may opt to wade in hugger-mugger, but excessive brutality will cause commercial and capital flight from Hong Kong at a time of considerable economic instability. Any government has the option of abandoning the Rule of Law, but the consequences are frequently worse than the situation it seeks to alleviate.
Because it's easier to stop the thin of the wedge than the fat end.
More generally, this is supposed to be a CONSPIRACY thread.
Has this situation been engineered or perpetuated by the mainland to reassert control over the (I keep on typing crown colony) territory? I doubt it, for the reasons I have given above. In the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre, China underwent a plunge in overseas investment, was sanctioned by the U.S. and suffered an economic downturn and a freeze on the economic reforms that had brought China into the modern world.
The Chinese government wants no replay of this. If it gets one, it'll be the product of gross incompetence and the myopia of hubris.
Are there agents provocateur and undercover police attempting to infiltrate the protest groups? Of course. While there is some interest in the details of how they attempt this, there can be no surprise at all that it is taking place.