Don’t really know who to believe any more. Check social media in the morning, you see all the evidence leading to points of one side. And when you check it at night, you see all the evidence leading to points on the other side.
The new issue that started yesterday:
- Anti-occupy people are now storming the streets, damaging the protestors tents and trying to violently force them to leave the streets. Also acts of sexual harassment which is very terrifying.
- These anti-occupy people were accosted by the police to leave the site, but then were promptly released when they went into the MTR station. So the police are being accused for preferential treatment and favoritism (but I don’t think there is or can be strong evidence of this).
I condemn both kinds of behavior. (1) There is never any place for violence and harassment regardless of what you believe in. There is nothing different between you and a jihadist if you use violence to advance your beliefs. (2) political favoritism is extremely dangerous. it leads to an abuse of power, distrust of authority. Policemen are law enforcers, not law makers, which means they have to remain neutral.
But having followed the news for some days now, here are some of the reasons why I think those two groups of people regrettably performed those actions.
- The issue with the occupation movement is that the longer you occupy the streets, the more and more people will oppose you. That’s the consequences of opposing a public thoroughfare. The act of occupation will further polarize the society as the “cost” of achieving this democracy becomes greater between those who are willing to lose everything for democracy and those who don’t want to lose anymore. The other issue is that the cost is economic. It’s systematic. It’s not an idea or an ideal like democracy that seems very black and white because the question is always ‘how much’. (There are some stupid people who are tying the HSI decline to this economic loss but that’s separate). And the calculation of that cost is difficult and inaccurate but we do know that there is a definite non-trivial economic impact there especially with this happening during the 10/1 golden week.
- So what we observe now are some of those people ‘who don’t want to lose anymore’ surfacing to the public. But here’s the conundrum of these anti-occupation people. They can’t non-violently protest/occupy because they would actually be adding to the occupation that they want to be removed, which is kind of a catch-22. What’s going through their mind is probably something like ‘if we can’t use reason, use fear’. So some of the more radical ones have reverted to physical action to achieve their goals.
- The police. I have a lot of faith in the Hong Kong’s police. Most recently, there were reports that protestors in Admiralty did not allow a truck transporting food to the police stationed at the Police headquarters, for fear that the truck contained police supplies, ammunition and so on. First of all, what the heck? Is there anything wrong with that? They can transport as many supplies as they want, as long as they use them appropriately. That’s like preventing protestors from transporting water for fear that the water contains acid to throw at the police. The point of that was really to say the protestors have not been kind to the police, and I can somewhat see a little bit on how the police would want this whole occupation movement to end. So there’s a conflict of interest here, so any kind of behavior slightly suspicious would be easily be interpreted as favoring these violent anti-occupy members.
Finally, the media. The media is like the most powerful thing in the world. The more I grow up in this world, the more I become scared of it. I still think this is more Huxley than Orwellian despite some newsfeed articles otherwise. Because it’s not the case that there is only one media source of truth. There are multiple media sources but extremely radicalized. My newsfeed is like crazily bi-polar. I guess it’s like survivor bias. The more moderate people aren’t there to speak for themselves. But as a independent thinker, you also need to go out and find news sources from both sides. But friends, be super aware of these facebook statuses of quotes of anonymous people of authority ‘retired policeman’, ‘foreign journalist’ about anything. When people of authority say things, you shouldn’t take it all as true. Think about it yourself. ‘Police cooperating with triad gangs’ <- I just have a hard time believing this.
Communication is necessary though. Still puzzled why CY is so reluctant for conversation with anyone at all, just making statements from his seat behind the table. Discussion is key, which has been reiterated by many reasonable folk.