A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog
For those expecting a story about an elephant: sorry to disappoint. It’s a metaphor.
It’s Monday and of course NewChinaHand is replete with crazy stories from the Middle Kingdom, but this week they’re just gonna have to wait.
Following last week’s student boycott and protests in Hong Kong, Occupy Central organiser Benny Tai formally announced the start of this civil disobedience campaign at 1:40am Sunday and the results have already been shocking.
Tens of thousands have turned out in the government district and surrounding areas and the police seem in no mood for compromise, using pepper spray and tear gas on mostly unarmed protestors.
Of course, what’s surprising for us China watchers is that we’re allowed to see these events unfold at all: one reason that the ‘tank man’ photograph and video from the June 4th incident in 1989 is so famous was the tight restriction on reporting the events of that day. Hong Kong is different, though, with freedoms of speech, assembly and protest enshrined in its mini-constitution: The Basic Law.
Events are yet to come to a head at the time of writing, but the intransigence of the impasse and the speed with which the authorities have resorted to forceful tactics do not bode well. This could get a lot uglier before it gets better.
Stay safe, Hong Kongers! The rest of China, and the world, will be looking on in fascination.