Britain soft on China over Hong Kong crisis, says Chris Patten

Territory’s last British governor says Beijing is being allowed to ‘spit in the face’ of handover pact because of trade fears

The Guardian, Wednesday 5 November

Britain is not putting enough pressure on China to stick to its side of an agreement on the transfer of Hong Kong’s sovereignty because it is worried about damaging trade links, the former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten has said.

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Patten criticises UK’s ‘keep shtoom’ policy on Hong Kong

BBC 4 November 2014

Lord Patten has said the UK should be doing more to support democracy in Hong Kong, suggesting its policy of “keeping shtoom” was counter-productive.

The last British governor of Hong Kong suggested the UK was reluctant to raise difficult issues with Beijing because of fears of losing trade opportunities.

Ministers should speak out publicly rather than talk “behind their hands”. Continue reading

Hong Kong Protesters Arrested After Clashes in Mong Kok

Local TV Stations Show Police Using Pepper Spray on Demonstrators

WSJ Nov. 5, 2014

HONG KONG—Hong Kong police have arrested three men following clashes early Thursday in Mong Kok, a pro-democracy protest zone in the Kowloon part of the city.

Local television stations showed police using pepper spray on dozens of protesters in the working-class neighborhood. The confrontation was allegedly caused by a man using a camera flash to provoke a police officer, the news channels said.

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Politician Who Called for Hong Kong Leader’s Resignation Is Formally Penalized

International New York Time OCT. 29, 2014

HONG KONG — China’s top advisory body expelled a Hong Kong delegate on Wednesday for giving the wrong kind of advice: that the top official in the city should resign because of what the delegate called the poor way he has handled student-led protests.

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Hong Kong protesters cancel referendum

Pro-democracy demonstrators scrap vote on the next step in campaign, and apologise for lack of consultation

The Guardian, Sunday 26 October 2014

The leaders of Hong Kong’s pro-­democracy protests cancelled a vote on what the next step should be in their month-long street ­occupation, saying they had not consulted the ­demonstrators properly before calling the referendum.

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Hong Kong protesters plan spot referendum over government talks

The Guardian, Friday 24 October 2014

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong plan to hold a spot referendum on Sunday on whether to stay in the streets or accept government offers for more talks and clear their protest camps.

The three main groups behind the demonstrations said on Thursday they would register public opinion at the main downtown protest site, where thousands remain camped out.

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Hong Kong protests: 20 injured after second night of clashes

Twenty injured in another night of violence, threatening to undermine efforts for talks between students and government

Hong Kong police and pro-democracy protesters have clashed for the second night in the gentrifying neighbourhood of Mong Kok, threatening to undermine a day of efforts by students and government officials to defuse tensions as the unprecedented demonstrations stretch into their third week.

The government said 20 people were injured in clashes which began around midnight on Saturday when riot police launched a baton charge at a large crowd on Nathan Road, one of the area’s main thoroughfares; the protesters retreated about 50m but then quickly regrouped donning goggles, masks and construction helmets. Many held umbrellas to protect themselves from pepper spray.

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Hong Kong protests: CY Leung ‘foreign link’ claim denied

Pro-democracy activists have strongly denied Hong Kong leader CY Leung’s claim that “external forces” are involved in protests in the territory.

Student activist Alex Chow said the leader’s comments were “irresponsible”, and said Mr Leung had not provided any evidence to support his claim.

Pro-democracy demonstrations have paralysed parts of Hong Kong for the past three weeks.

The protesters are calling for fully democratic elections in Hong Kong. Continue reading

When Hong Kong Protests Are Over, Where Will the Art Go?

A yellow umbrella, held by a person made of wooden blocks. A rainbow wall of pink, yellow and blue sticky notes urging Hong Kong to stay strong. A slew of banners waving in the wind, asking passersby, “Do you hear the people sing?”

These are the images of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, now in its fourth week, that have been beamed across the world as tens of thousands in the city advocate for elections to choose their chief executive in 2017 — free from Beijing’s intervention.

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Fresh Clashes In Hong Kong

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists recaptured parts of a core protest zone early on Saturday, defying riot police who had tried to disperse them with pepper spray and baton charges.

About a thousand protesters, some wearing protective goggles and helmets, helped to build fresh barricades from wooden fencing and other materials in the gritty, densely populated Mong Kok district. Some chanted “black police” after the police struck demonstrators’ umbrellas with their small metal batons.

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Hong Kong police dismantle protest sites in dawn raids

Hundreds of officers swoop on Mong Kok district to clear away demonstrators’ metal barricades and bamboo poles

Hong Kong police have cleared out one of the city’s main pro-democracy protest sites with no resistance, marking a new government strategy of dismantling the barricades with quiet, stepwise operations rather than shows of force.

Protesters in the working-class neighbourhood of Mong Kok said hundreds of officers, some carrying riot shields, began clearing the zone at 7am on Friday morning without notice. Within half an hour police had removed the metal barricades, bamboo poles and heavy recycling bins protesters had used to block off a four-way intersection. About 30 people lay on the ground during the operation, refusing to move.

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Don’t Forget Our Original Intention [Statement from OCLP]

We are all outraged by the extrajudicial punishment dished out on protesters by the police. Today the police finally decided to suspend from duty the seven police officers who allegedly carried out the attacks, and will conduct a criminal investigation. OCLP is paying close attention to the progress of the investigation and urges the authorities to make the results of the investigation public as soon as possible, as well as the investigations into excessive force used by the police in dispersing the protesters in Lung Wo Road.

Since the police used excessive force in the clearance operation in the early morning of the 15th of this month, some ‘sporadic acts of occupation’ and obstruction of traffic sprang up in Lung Wo Road yesterday, which shows the increasing tension between demonstrators and frontline police officers. Although OCLP finds the abuse of power by individual police officers to be hateful, we urge every occupier not to forget our original intention, that is to fight for a democratic political system with love and peace. Our target should be the dictator who ignores public opinion. We should not misfire and give the government an excuse for repression.

We urge the occupiers to continue to safeguard the ‘Umbrella Square’. If someone chooses to further block the road or extend the occupation area, that will surely intensify the conflict among citizens, which is what Leung Chun-ying would love to see. It also gives the government a reason for clearance due to rising ‘public resentment’. More importantly, for civil disobedience to be successful, understanding and support from the public have to be sought.

We strongly condemn the police officers for abusing their power. However, we also call for protesters to show understanding and sympathy if the police are carrying out their duties lawfully.  They have simply been pushed into the position of our opponents by an unjust system and the hardliners in the government.  We hope all protesters not to forget what it was we set out to do – to resist a dictatorial government with love and peace.

Hong Kong Crackdown Draws Ire as Video of Beating Sparks Outrage

Skirmishes With Police Signal Shift in Tone of Hong Kong’s Democracy Protests

Hong Kong police pepper sprayed pro-democracy protesters in the early hours of Thursday after a group of them tried to cut off one of the city’s main roads.
HONG KONG—Scuffles again broke out between student protesters and police on Thursday, leading to the arrest of two demonstrators. The agitation comes a day aftera video that appeared to show police beating a protester drew outrage but offered a chance to inject fresh momentum into the flagging movement.

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Hong Kong police use pepper spray as video of beating reignites protests

Hundreds gather to express outrage at violent police attack on pro-democracy party member

Hong Kong police used pepper spray early on Thursday to stop pro-democracy protesters from blocking a major road near the office of the city’s embattled leader amid public anger over the police beating of a protester a day earlier.

At the police HQ in the nearby district of Wan Chai, hundreds of people gathered outside into the early hours of the morning to express outrage at the beating, with dozens queuing to lodge formal complaints over the incident.

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Hong Kong Police ‘Kick And Punch Handcuffed Protestor’ In Dark Corner In Shocking Video

A shocking video shows six Hong Kong police officers apparently leading a handcuffed pro-democracy protester to a dark corner and kicking him repeatedly while he is on the ground.

The violent footage was captured on Wednesday after cameras from local Hong Kong station TVB followed the police during the mass protests against China’s interference in Hong Kong’s first elections, which are promised in 2017.

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Police launch probe after alleged beating of Civic Party’s Ken Tsang caught on camera

Police have launched an investigation into the alleged beating in the early hours of this morning of Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu as pan-democrat lawmakers labelled the attack an illegal punishment.

Earlier this morning, broadcaster TVB aired video footage showing a group of plain-clothes policemen dragging a handcuffed protester away from the main crowds in Admiralty before kicking and hitting the man, later identified as Tsang.

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Hong Kong police attack on activist sparks anger

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police battling activists for control of an underpass in the dead of night Wednesday sparked public anger after officers were seen kicking a handcuffed protester in the worst violence since street demonstrations for greater democracy began more than two weeks ago.

Officers armed with riot shields and pepper spray knocked activists to the ground, dragging dozens away, and tore down barricades protesters used as roadblocks around the underpass outside the government’s headquarters. Continue reading