Quantcast
Connect with us

Hong Kong grapples with protest aftermath as China demands criminal probe

Published

on

Hong Kong Tuesday grappled with the aftermath of a night of unprecedented anti-government protests which saw parliament ransacked, as Beijing called for a criminal probe into the unparalleled challenge to its authority.

The semi-autonomous financial hub has been thrown into crisis by weeks of demonstrations over a bill that would allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland, with the issue becoming a lightning rod for resentment towards Beijing.

ADVERTISEMENT

On Monday — the 22nd anniversary of the city’s handover to China — anger spilt over as groups of mostly young, hardline protesters, breached the legislative council.

They hung the city’s colonial-era flag in the debating chamber, scrawled messages such as “Hong Kong is not China” on walls, and defaced the city’s seal with spray-paint.

Police charged into the building shortly after midnight to retake control.

The events pose an unprecedented challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and on Tuesday, Beijing wasted no time in asking Hong Kong to investigate the “criminal responsibility of violent offenders” for “serious illegal actions”.

ADVERTISEMENT

AFP / Gal ROMA Hong Kong 

It also slammed Donald Trump for interfering in the city’s affairs, after the US president said that protesters are “looking for democracy” but “some governments don’t want democracy” — an apparent swipe at Beijing.

Hong Kong has been rocked by massive protests over the past three weeks. The rallies — including a huge pro-democracy march on Monday — have been largely peaceful while calling on the city’s Beijing-appointed chief executive Carrie Lam to resign.

ADVERTISEMENT

But they have failed to win concessions, with Lam refusing to permanently shelve the extradition law or step down, and by Monday some hardline protesters appeared to have reached breaking point, and stormed the legislature.

– ‘Tyranny and imperial rule’ –

Lam — whose approval ratings are at a record low — condemned “the extreme use of violence”, describing the vandalism as “heartbreaking and shocking”.

ADVERTISEMENT

AFP / Anthony WALLACE Protesters scrawled messages such as ‘Hong Kong is not China’ on walls of the chamber, and defaced the city’s seal with spray-paint

The legislature was closed Tuesday, as police collected evidence from the debris-strewn building, while workers swept surrounding areas littered with shattered glass, broken umbrellas and hard hats.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu, who was stopped from entering his office, said police told him the building was “a crime scene”.

Legislative council president Andrew Leung, whose portrait was among those defaced by protesters, said major meetings were now cancelled until October.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Our security systems, our fire services, our lifts… need to be tested before we can resume any meetings”, the pro-Beijing politician said.

Under the terms of the 1997 handover from British to Chinese rule, Hong Kong enjoys rights and liberties unseen on the mainland. But protesters accuse Beijing of reneging on that deal with the help of unelected leaders.

Activist Joshua Wong, who was the face of the city’s 2014 pro-democracy demonstrations, told reporters the protests were a response to “the tyranny… (and) imperial rule of Beijing and the Hong Kong government”.

ADVERTISEMENT

Veteran pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo accused Lam of “trying to shift public opinion by focusing on our young offenders”.

“Instead of trying to solve the problems being raised they are trying to solve the problem raisers and that is a very communist tactic”, she said.

– ‘Gentle hearts’ –

ADVERTISEMENT

Chinese state media have dismissed the protests as “mob violence”.

AFP / Anthony WALLACE Police charged into the building shortly after midnight

“A zero-tolerance policy is the only remedy for such destructive behaviour”, the Global Times daily wrote in an editorial.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressed “unwavering” support for Hong Kong’s freedoms but urged restraint from protesters.

ADVERTISEMENT

He, like Trump, was also rebuked by Beijing on Tuesday for “gross interference”.

Analysts said the chaotic scenes showing demonstrators tearing down portraits and spraying graffiti signalled a dangerous turn.

“The gestures were meant to provoke the Chinese authorities”, said political analyst Joseph Cheng.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They are gestures of defiance rather than a genuine political action,” he said, warning they would likely “be seized upon by Beijing and by the Carrie Lam administration as justification for a crackdown”.

The increasingly hardline tactics have divided Hong Kongers.

Brokerage executive Chris Cheung told AFP Monday’s protest was “unwise and unnecessary”.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Violence can’t change the people’s attitude, only reason will,” he said.

But clean-up volunteer Blue Wong said she was “angry with the government for pushing the young generation to such a stage”.

“I won’t criticise or judge the youngsters. Even though their actions are violent, their hearts are gentle”, she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They are fighting for a better Hong Kong.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

Angry Minnesota farmer bashes ‘insulting’ Trump comments that ‘we’re great patriots’ during his trade war

Published

on

President Donald Trump has insulted at least one Minnesota farmer by his claim that farmers are "great patriots" who want him to continue his trade fight against China.

"This wound is self-inflicted, by our president," said Gary Wertish, who is the Minnesota Farm Bureau president. "We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are 'winning,' we’re 'great patriots,' that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot."

Continue Reading

Facebook

MSNBC pundit nails Trump for only attacking Black voices on Fox News

Published

on

Democratic strategist Joel Payne called out President Donald Trump Sunday for his attacks on Fox News when he was leaving New Jersey.

Before Trump landed in Marine One at Morristown, New Jersey, he tweeted an attack on Juan Williams, the only Black pundit on the Fox News show "The Five."

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1163167660764532736

Trump briefly addressed Williams, before he told members of the press that he found it appalling Fox News hired a friend of Hillary Clinton's, whose name he couldn't even remember.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Missouri official choose Dr. Seuss’ ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ for swearing-in ceremony instead of ‘The Bible’

Published

on

A Missouri county official is being both celebrated and attacked after a decision to forgo The Bible for her swearing-in ceremony and opted for a copy of Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.

The Friendly Atheist at Patheos captured the story, posting a photo of St. Louis City Councilmember Kelli Dunaway's children holding a copy of the book while she took her oath of office.

This was the scene last week at the STLCO government center. Democrats took back control of the council and @DunawayKelli was sworn in on a copy of “Oh the Places you’ll go” with her children❤️ so proud to be part of #TeamKelli pic.twitter.com/iJ1dxfZ1Zg

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image