Times claimed those thugs are hired.
Hired thugs attack Hong Kong democracy protesters | The Times
Hired thugs attack Hong Kong democracy protesters | The Times
The whole world see it, thugs!
Hong Kong protesters beaten and bloodied as thugs attack sit-in | World news | The Guardian
Thugs punched and kicked pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong on Friday night, drawing blood as they tore down demonstrators’ tents and attempted to force them out.
Student leaders called off talks with the government – offered the previous night – accusing officials of allowing violence to be used against them. It dashed the hopes of a resolution to a mass movement that has seen tens of thousands of people take to the streets of the city at its height.
The veteran democracy activist Martin Lee and Occupy Central leader, Benny Tai, blamed triads for the violence in Mong Kok, a densely populated area also popular with shoppers. The area is known for its gang presence.
Police later confirmed that some of the 19 people arrested had triad backgrounds
Lee told the South China Morning Post: “It was very ugly in Mong Kok; clearly the anti-Occupy people deliberately caused a scene and created trouble, giving police an excuse.”
He alleged members of the gangs had been used to create a scene and threaten people, adding: “We are peace-loving and we are getting injured.”
Tearful and bleeding students were escorted from the junction of Argyle and Nathan roads by police as a crowd of thousands jeered and a number of men lashed out at them.
More than 100 protesters stood firm, linking arms to protect the more vulnerable members of the crowd sheltering beneath their remaining tent, despite appeals from protest leaders to leave the scene for their own safety. Demonstrators were already angry that Leung Chun-ying had not resigned as chief executive of the territory and had little faith in the promise of dialogue bringing changes.
One used a microphone to tell police they would only leave after officers cleared the crowd. “I am frightened, but we have to stand up to fight for our beliefs and our city,” said another.
The area had already seen angry confrontations between protesters and residents, who said the occupation had disrupted their lives and damaged business – reflected in the large number of bystanders yelling at the remaining demonstrators.
“We are in China. If you don’t like it go away. This is the fucking motherland,” said a middle-aged member of the crowd who gave his name as CL Fu. He said he was a resident and was angry about the disruption caused by the inconvenience.
“Of course we love China but we are worried about damage to Hong Kong economics. That’s why we’re here,” he added.
But the scale and nature of the attack suggested organised violence and the police presence remained meagre. Reinforcements did not arrive for hours. Police blamed the fact many roads in the area had been barricaded.
Police sought to protect students from assault by linking arms as men tried to force their way through their lines, spat and threw objects at the students, but they were woefully outnumbered for most of the evening.
“The police will take appropriate action” in Mong Kok, said a spokeswoman from the Hong Kong police force. “We will deploy enough police to the scene to help safeguard safety and restore public order.” She refused to comment on the number of officers who had been dispatched or whether they were ordinary or riot police.
An AFP journalist, Judy Ngao, wrote on Twitter that, when she asked an officer how many of his colleagues were present, she was told: “I also want to know. There is not enough police.” Some journalists also reported being assaulted by crowd members.
Officers warned the students repeatedly to leave Mong Kok, saying they were disturbing public order. A couple of hours later they urged the opposing crowd to leave and stop blocking the road, to loud boos.
In Causeway Bay, also the scene of attacks, men shoved female students and shouted: “If you come to the protests, prepare to be sexually harassed,” a Hong Kong journalist, Grace Tsoi, reported on Twitter.
Thousands of demonstrators arrived at the main protest site at Admiralty as news of the violence at other locations spread. There was an angry confrontation with police at the entrance to government offices. Students raised their hands in the air as a scuffle broke out.
Protests had ebbed earlier in the day after the chief executive’s announcement that he had asked the chief secretary, Carrie Lam, to speak to student representatives, as they had requested.
Protest leaders continued to call for Leung to quit, saying the dialogue would focus only on political reform.
Hong Kong residents knew that Beijing’s promise of universal suffrage for the election of the next chief executive in 2017 would come with onerous conditions. But they were angered by the toughness of the rules announced, describing the plans as “fake democracy”.
The row has come to epitomise broader concerns about Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the region and the erosion of the rights and freedoms Hong Kong enjoys – such as freedom of expression and an independent judiciary – under the “one country, two systems” framework.
In Mong Kok, Angus Chan, 23, who works in the financial sector said he believed the assaults were an attempt to provoke protesters into retaliation. “People are throwing things at us. They want to make it chaos,” said Chan.
Andy Chan, 58, said he believed students should leave the site because the occupation could not go on too long and they were disrupting people’s lives. But he had come to protect them because he was so angry when he heard they were being beaten. “I’m old – I don’t scare,” he said.
“Other people want to make the students crazy. They will have an excuse to use violence if we use violence and will say we’re barbarians.
“I think they are organised. I can’t prove 100% who they are.
“They [the government] are trying to use the people to fight against the people. The cops are just going to stand here and watch – they are doing nothing about people breaking laws.”
For much of the evening police simply removed those trying to assault students from the crowd and released them outside the area. Some of those later returned to the scene.
After several hours police appeared to begin formally detaining some of the men.
That is a complete loss of moral standing, and has caused me to change my mind. CY Leung must go, or Hong Kong will be ungovernable, and unlivable.
After 30 years of calling this city my home, it might be time to move on.
Last night Admiralty, Hong Kong.
You guys stay safe over there. My prayers are with you.
From the video I have seen, counter-protesters were uniformly dressed in black and wore masks. They charged as a group, removed street barriers, then jumped protesters. When protesters swarmed them the police quickly intervened and formed a protective cordon. Could they be shopkeepers? I suppose, but then it would be some serious thugging for your average shopkeeper.
All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
-Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.
Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C
And to think that before this week I thought that CY Leung was an award you got for being the best pitcher!
Seriously though, the PRC needs to tread carefully here. Hong Kong was part of the Western world since the Opium War, long before red China even existed. If they try to change them too quickly it is going to get ugly and no army of internet monitors will be able to stop the deluge of bad news coming out of there.
You have to wonder if other regions of China are starting to get wind of how much autonomy Hong Kong has, and are starting to feel they're getting the shaft. That might explain Beijing's recent desire to be more hands on with Hong Kong.
Last edited by Sitting Bull; 05 Oct 14, at 15:10.
The photos I've seen published by the LA Times, HP UK and other Internet outlets show a bunch of ordinary looking people, somewhat older than the students, arguing and pushing. They look like the typical small business owner you would find in a night market or on the back alleys of Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangdong, Taipei, Bangokok, Penang, etc.
Wow, "say no to democracy". I heard the communists in Hong Kong are hardliners but this is just stupid.
OCCUPY CENTRAL - DAY EIGHT: Full coverage of the day's events | South China Morning Post
5.37pm: Earlier this afternoon, elderly men carrying blue ribbons started shouting "say no to democracy" at the crowds near the Sogo shopping mall in Causeway Bay. The group accused the protesters of being paid to fight for democracy.
"You don't know how lucky you are in Hong Kong," said a man through a speakerphone: "All you have today, it's because of the central government." Then they played the national anthem, prompting a few mainland tourists to sing along.
Back in HK after five days in Xi'an "enjoying" BBC and CNN news, complete with three minute blackouts at the start of each show.
The Admiralty area is very quiet this morning, only ~100 people in the streets from my vantage point (a week ago it was tens of thousands). But, it is early and very hot. I had to walk to work (40 minutes), carrying my suit, and still arrived dripping wet.
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