Wednesday, October 16, 2019


It was inevitable that, to piss off China, the United States Congress passed "the Human Rights and Democracy Act", ordering an annual review of Hong Kong's autonomy and human rights. If the standards of that bill were applied domestically, Texas and Alabama wouldn't make the grade.
Among several other places.

As part of the bill, participation in "protests" is protected; Hong Kong residents can get visas even if they were arrested.

Presumably, even if the apprehension was for throwing petrol bombs and stabbing police officers. The first happens fairly often, and it is doubtful that we would want such people travelling to the U.S., the second is still rather rare, although swinging iron bars with intent to hospitalize a cop is a frequent occurrence. Along with, generally, missiles and mayhem.

Characterizing the protests as "peaceful" is not correct.
Indeed, the rallies start peacefully enough.
Then turn into battles.

[The extreme fringe; 'yung mou paai']

The activists have five demands:
  • Don't characterize the protests as "riots"
  • Amnesty for arrested activists
  • An independent inquiry into alleged police brutality
  • Implementation of complete universal suffrage
  • Withdrawal of the extradition bill
[Source: BBC]

Only the last two demands are legitimate, the third one is arguable, and the first and second demand are self-serving weasel words, because any event at which the participants use incendiary devices, set fire to metro stations, trash businesses of which they disapprove, and swing cudgels or metal staves at other people is, very clearly, a riot.

When Molotov cocktails (汽油彈 'hei yau daan'; petrol bombs) are thrown, it's a riot, and people naturally will be arrested, if necessary with forceful methods, then prosecuted and sentenced.
It really is that simple.

Words have power. Here's a useful vocabulary list for Hong Kong:

Arson: 縱火 zònghuǒ ('jung fo'); Hong Kong Riots: 香港暴動 xiānggǎng bàodòng ('heung gong bou dung'); Hong Kong Rioters: 香港暴徒 xiānggǎng bàotú ('heung gong bou tou'); Hoodlum, Hooligan: 阿飛 āfēi ('aa fei'); Hooliganism: 流氓罪 liúmángzuì ('lau maang jeui').

Central MTR station on Sept 8, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Sources: Los Angeles Times, The Straits Times

Incendiary device: 燃燒裝置 ránshāo zhuāngzhì ('yin siu jong ji'); Molotov cocktail: 燃燒瓶 ránshāopíng ('yin siu peng'); Petrol bomb: 汽油彈 qìyóu dàn ('hei yau daan''); Ruffian, Thug: 惡少 èshào ('ok siu'), 爛仔 lànzǎi ('laan jai'); Rampage: 橫行 héngxíng ('waang hang'); Riot: 暴亂 bāoluàn ('bou luen'); Rioting: 暴動 bàodòng ('bou dung'); Vandalism: 破壞 pòhuài ('po waai'); Violent intent: 暴力意圖 bàolì yìtú ('bou lik yi tou'); Violent protests: 暴力衝突 bàolì chōngtū ('bou lik chung dat').

Peaceful protests do NOT include arson. Ever. That's Oakland.

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