July 1, 2019

"Police officers allow a core group of protesters to storm the offices of the Legislative Council. The demonstrators are defacing portraits and the walls, and some raised a British colonial-era flag."

The NYT reports in "Hong Kong Protest Live Updates: Protesters Occupy Legislature After Police Leave" (updated 4 minutes ago).
A few hundred protesters stormed into Hong Kong’s legislative complex on Monday, pumping their fists in the air, after riot police appeared to back away from a confrontation, leaving the compound hours after the core group of demonstrators started bashing their way in.

Protesters wearing safety helmets and masks had been steadily destroying the facade of the Legislative Council, leaving broken glass and torn metal panels in their wake, hours after the government held a ceremony commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the territory’s return to China from Britain. Using metals bars and makeshift battering rams to break the building’s outside glass walls and doors, some protesters entered the building and forced open metal roller shutters that sealed the entrance to the lobby leading to the legislative chambers.

For hours, riot police with gas masks and shields had guarded the facility from within the building, holding up signs warning the protesters that they would use force if the demonstrators charged....
UPDATE: "Hundreds of riot police used tear gas and shields after midnight to disperse protesters near the legislative building, after hundreds of demonstrators stormed the offices and occupied it for three hours."

71 comments:

Ken B said...

s/Hong Kong/Portland/g

Roger Sweeny said...

The Chinese government must love this. It makes the protesters look bad and gives them an excuse to "crack down on lawlessness". Which makes me wonder if they are behind it.

Hong Kong's Reichstag fire moment?

Fernandistein said...

P.J. O'Rourke was in or around a Korean riot/protest and he was warned to not step on the flowers.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The demonstrators are defacing portraits and the walls, and some raised a British colonial-era flag.

Did they bring vuvuzelas? 'Cause that's when this shit gets real...

gspencer said...

"A few hundred protesters stormed into Hong Kong’s legislative complex on Monday, pumping their fists in the air, after riot police appeared to back away from a confrontation, leaving the compound hours after the core group of demonstrators started bashing their way in."

Hong Kong? Sounds like Portland, Oregon.

sykes.1 said...

There was never a chance that Hong Kong would long enjoy independence. Xi will now crack down hard.

At some point, the Communists will get tired of Taiwan's pretensions, too, and Taiwan will be incorporated into the mainland.

Char Char Binks said...

What did the British ever do for us?

Hagar said...

Orchestrated from Beijing.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Brits had their flaws, but if given the choice to be a vassal state of the ChiComs or the Brits, well, most sane folks would take the Brits.

doctrev said...

Everywhere in the world, the expansion of Chinese authority- and their mercilessly bigoted hegemony- will result in native populations begging for "neo-colonialism." Modern Britain is in no condition to accept such responsibility, of course, but other nations may accept. As long as certain types of native malcontents are dealt with, preferably by being exiled to Chinese-held territories.

In Hong Kong, the depth of revulsion for Chinese authority is growing. Enough to reject the Chinese entirely? Who knows. A Chinese crackdown there will only harden attitudes against them throughout the world. And if there's anyone who would accept Hong Kong liberating itself from Chinese control, President Donald Trump strikes me as that man.

bagoh20 said...

How many immediately thought this was Antifa in Portland? I did, so the colonial flag was mysterious, but still within the possibilities when fighting fascism with fascism.

bagoh20 said...

This is why Trump may well win over Kim in NorKo. He definitely would if the North Koreans could see the outside world.

stlcdr said...

I thought it was going to be Madison...

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Life was better with the evil colonialists on the side. Chinese crony-communism isn't so great. The NYT begs to differ. It's swell. Right up there with boiling dogs.

gspencer said...

"What did the British ever do for us?"

My maternal grandmother, b.1882, came to the USA in 1905, and found assimilation easy enough. "Teaching me English was the only good thing the British did for me."

MayBee said...

Very brave to do this in Hong Kong.

Interesting, a half a century ago the government was afraid of the protestors who wanted communism. That was why the Star Ferry had such low rates for so long. And now people there are afraid of creeping communism. Good luck, Hong Kong People.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

bagoh20: How many immediately thought this was Antifa in Portland?

Raises hand...

I did, so the colonial flag was mysterious.

...though my brain dropped that interpretation when I came to that clause.

readering said...

I had PRC to be more indulgent as long as trying to coax Taiwan into the fold. PRC rebuffed original Portuguese offer to unload Macau for fear screwup would endanger efforts to get back HK.

Char Char Binks said...

"Teaching me English was the only good thing the British did for me."

The people of Hong Kong disagree.

Narr said...

Just heard an NPR broadcast, the lady journalist reporting that she was seeing vandalism, no sign of the police . . . all delivered in that solemn, puzzled, "Why would people ever want to use vandalism to express themselves, in such a fine socialist country?" tone of voice that we became so accustomed to in the late 1980s.

Narr
History repeats, yes it do

jk said...

At the risk of sounding all infowarz, this sounds very false flaggy.

mockturtle said...

Having become increasingly skeptical in recent years, I, too, wonder if this was an 'Operation Himmler' type of false flag incident. Britain's ceding Hong Kong back to China was incredibly short-sighted but then Britain has been on a self-immolation binge for many years now.

Fernandistein said...

British colonial-era flag.

The British flag's been the same since 1801, which is at least 40 years before King Kong's "colonial-era":

"In 1801, when Ireland became a part of Great Britain, the Union Flag was redesigned to include the Cross of St. Patrick (red, diagonal), the patron saint of Ireland. It is in this form that the British flag exists today."

Balfegor said...

Re: Roger Sweeney:

The Chinese government must love this. It makes the protesters look bad and gives them an excuse to "crack down on lawlessness". Which makes me wonder if they are behind it.

Mmm, maybe -- giving them enough rope to hang themselves, I suppose? Particularly given that the Hong Kong protesters are using either the colonial flag or the modern derivative (with the Hong Kong coat of arms on blue), I suspect that the imagery here is going to be helpful in building domestic support (in the PRC) for a crackdown if the Beijing government decides to move aggressively.

doctrev said...

Lot of people saying that this is an obvious false flag. I can't imagine why, this couldn't come at a worse time for China. They're under pressure everywhere in the world, the economy really can't handle capital flight from Hong Kong, and there's an American president who isn't likely to just accept China having an "internal dispute." A full on crackdown would only harden HK attitudes against Chinese rule, with 20%+ of the normally docile population out in the streets at one point or the next.

Nonapod said...

I'm sure everything will be fine. After all, the Chinese government is totally known for their leniency and fair mindedness, right?

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

Imagine a world in which the self-proclaimed elites are simultaneously revealed as blithering idiots detached from reality, living in nearly impervious bubbles.

And then imagine millions of people worldwide revolting, across different cultures.
That is what we are witnessing.

The only available answer that doesn't involve state-sponsored mass executions is:
Free people.
Free markets.

MayBee said...

Fernandistein said...
British colonial-era flag.

The British flag's been the same since 1801, which is at least 40 years before King Kong's "colonial-era":


I think they mean Hong Kong's flag from it's time as a British colony.

JAORE said...

Make Hong Kong Great Again

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

We are watching the most radical doctrine ever taught in action. Their Faith in the Christian Gospel has set them free from fear. It’s the same thing that ruined the rulers control over their colonies of farmers in North America in the 1770s..

rhhardin said...

I bet there's no chewing gum on the floor though.

stlcdr said...

When Britain decided they were going to hand over Hong Kong to China I thought: this isn't going to end well.

There was a mad rush on Visas to to remain under British rule - for those who could afford to do so. Those who remained, and have probably only known British rule in HK, are starting to feel the reality of China.

Fen said...

British colonial-era flag.

From when they were a Roman outpost? What? LOL.

Narr said...

Union Jack-- all crosses: St George for England, St. Andrew for Scotland, and St. Patrick for Ireland. Bully for them!

That flag was sometimes flown in wars against other flags with crosses--even the Frenchies used to have crosses on the regimentals, and who can forget the Heinies and all their crosses?

Narr
Heraldic and vexillary amateur

Unknown said...

When Britain decided they were going to hand over Hong Kong to China I thought: this isn't going to end well.

Britain didn't "decide" to hand over Hong Kong. They had a lease, which expired. Thatcher very much wanted to hold on, but the Chicoms made it clear to her that the Brits could leave on schedule or face an unwinnable fight.

narayanan said...

From SCMP

...Technically, Hong Kong is to be shielded by a US deal, called the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act, which means the country has treated the city separately from China in terms of trade export and economics since the return of its sovereignty from Britain to China in 1997. So the tariffs the US slapped on China do not apply to Hong Kong.
But “Hong Kong as a middleman will definitely be affected by the trade war, which is a matter of magnitude”, said Baptist University economist Dr Billy Mak Sui-choi.
“Trump did not follow any rules of the game at all in the trade spat with China,” he said. “Even if Hong Kong complains to the WTO, by the time it completes an investigation or yields any findings, the damage will have been done.”
...

narayanan said...

More exactly Thatcher wimped out on the first two portions - lease was only on the third part.

The United Kingdom obtained control over portions of Hong Kong's territory through three treaties with Qing China:

1842 Treaty of Nanking: Hong Kong Island ceded in perpetuity
1860 Convention of Peking: Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutter's Island additionally ceded
1898 Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory: the New Territories and outlying islands leased for 99 years until 1997

Michael K said...

When I first saw this post, I thought it was about Portland.

Unknown said...

What was she supposed to do?

The PRC is a nuclear power with a huge army that considered the situation unacceptable.

I don't think even Churchill would have made a stand there.

Balfegor said...

RE: Fen:

From when they were a Roman outpost? What? LOL.

British colonies didn't just fly the Union Jack -- usually they also had a local flag that was the Union Jack quartered with something else, e.g. India was a red field with the Star of India; New South Wales in Australia was a blue field with the Southern Cross constellation and a little crown. And Hong Kong was a blue field with the coat of arms of Hong Kong.

narayanan said...

Unknown said...

What was she supposed to do? The PRC is a nuclear power

Is not UK also nuclear power?
Since 1998, when the UK decommissioned its tactical WE.177 bombs, the Trident has been the only operational nuclear weapons system in British service. The delivery system consists of four Vanguard-class submarines based at HMNB Clyde in Scotland.

doctrev said...

Britain was never going for nuclear war against Hong Kong: keeping China from becoming too close to the Soviets was considered critical at the time. China is now realizing that they're not the only ones who can backtrack on agreements- the United States loves to recognize nations declaring sovereignty, and won't hesitate to tighten the screws if China starts massacring large urban populations.

Charlie Eklund said...

If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow. Even in Hong Kong.

Achilles said...

I just talked to my wife about this. Our parents live in Hong Kong.

This is a generational split.

The older generations preferred colonial rule, but don't think Chinese rule is all that bad. They don't care about all of the normal trappings of freedom. They want to get a job and make a living and be relatively safe doing it. Our parents think the Chinese government has been relatively good at cracking down on corruption.

My wife's generation is in between. More used to and appreciate freedom. Just want to get a job and make a living.

The younger generation simultaneously wants freedom and free stuff.

My wife would not be surprised if this was a government set up or government influenced mostly because the British flag stuff makes no sense. None of the younger generation was even really aware or under colonial rule.

Clyde said...

Hey, they're dealing with the folks who brought the world the Tienamen Square Massacre. They're lucky they were just "dispersed" and not disappeared.

Quaestor said...

The history of colonial Hong Kong is pretty damned sordid — the Opium Wars and all that — however, during the period from late 1945 to the end of it all on 1 July 1997, the British tried and evidently succeeded in leaving behind a legacy of the sort constitutional rights notably absent in totalitarian regimes like Mao's Red China. It is heartening that Hong Kong's youth can appreciate the subtle but invaluable heritage of Magna Carta, John Pym, John Locke, William Pitt the Elder, William Lamb, John Wilkes, and a legion of other passionate advocates of liberty and equality before the law. Especially in light of the swinish philistines being miseducated in the American academy.

Rick said...

How many immediately thought this was Antifa in Portland?

More like BLM occupying the Yale/Dartmouth administration buildings.

Jeff said...

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

Browndog said...

How many immediately thought this was Antifa in Portland?

I still do. By way of Althouse avoiding Portland by illustrating there are 'other' protests.

D 2 said...

The interesting thing I find about this report is how quickly a random group of (mostly) Americans who spent yesterday thinking about candidates Biden, Harris, and the NYTs use of shotgun metaphors as it pertains to 70s era busing, can be generally suspicious of the operation (false flag) because of the use of symbols that would be historically irrelevant to many of the people protesting, being that the British era ended more than 20 yrs ago. (Presume protesting is still skewed towards 20/30s crowd). I think people use symbols words even metaphors to mean different things than what they might have meant.

That said: I do agree the flag symbol seems highly suspect.. I would be very interested to know what % of 100 HK residents on hearing that the flag symbol was used, how many of them would also immediately think "false flag". If Americans across the way could see through the (possible) tactic, I can't imagine the HK resident wouldn't as well.

Balfegor said...

Here's an article (from the, ah, "failing" New York Times as our President would say) describing how a lot of Western-educated Chinese are totally unsympathetic to the protests in HK right now. I'm surprised more griping about the unequal treaties and the foreign concessions didn't show up (the parallels between Hong Kong's desire for immunity from Chinese legal process despite Chinese suzerainty and the approach taken in the foreign concessions being obvious), but I'm not surprised people are unsympathetic to the Hong Kong protesters. I didn't think they would be, and the behaviour of the protesters does not seem well calculated to build sympathy on the mainland.

Balfegor said...

Re: D2:

That said: I do agree the flag symbol seems highly suspect.. I would be very interested to know what % of 100 HK residents on hearing that the flag symbol was used, how many of them would also immediately think "false flag". If Americans across the way could see through the (possible) tactic, I can't imagine the HK resident wouldn't as well.

Which flag are they using? There's a version quartered with the Union Jack (the actual colonial flag) and there's also apparently a version sort of inspired by the colonial flag that removes the Union Jack and adds 香港 to the coat of arms. If it's the latter, it seems less tone-deaf, but if it's the former, it seems like a kind of dumb choice.

But then, protesters often make inexplicably dumb choices, and it sometimes works out for them. E.g. the Maidan protesters in the Ukraine openly waved around Nazi symbols (specifically, the Neo-Nazi Black Sun of Wewelsburg at the time of the protests, although the Ukrainian military is now also using the echt-Nazi Wolfsangel too), which would seem to be counterproductive if you want to build support in the West, but we backed them all the same.

BADuBois said...

Boy, talk about poking the dragon... wonder what Chairman Xi will do now. Whatever he decides, it ain't gonna be pretty.

D 2 said...

Thank you for the link Balfegor. That was worth being one of the 10 NYTs for July.
What I found very interesting is the tone towards the end of the article, the writer is suggesting that mainland Chinese look around / point to the crappy NY subways, the potholes in Silicon Valley, and the not so great living conditions in HK, and are thinking - we've passed these folks, they're not so great.

Very interesting. Being where the idea of continued prosperity is tied to loyalty to the Communist Party. It's an interesting dynamic to have with the State: I won't expect to be able to speak freely, but you better make sure there's bread on the table.

narayanan said...

Achilles said ...

The younger generation simultaneously wants freedom and free stuff.

_____________

does that include the kids singing Say Hallelujah last week?

FGH said...

False heavens built over real hells are tottering. Tinder boxes can be found throughout the world, all that is needed for the people to rise is a spark. Hong Kong today, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria tomorrow?
Thucydides calls war/rebellion “a stern teacher…it brings most peoples’ minds down to the level of their actual circumstances.” Rebellion throws “the ordinary conditions of civilized life into confusion, human nature, always ready to offend even where laws exist, showed itself proudly in its true colors, as something incapable of controlling true passion, insubordinate to the idea of justice, the enemy of anything superior to itself."

narayanan said...

How do you disapper "Estimated 2 million protesters return to streets of Hong Kong over extradition bill"

narayanan said...

BADuBois said...

Boy, talk about poking the dragon... wonder what Chairman Xi will do now. Whatever he decides, it ain't gonna be pretty

____________

Xi won't be able to feed his army if he does not deal with Trump!

rcocean said...

Of course you can find many Mainland Chinese who are unsympathetic! China is a communist country. They don't like their people going overseas and criticizing the country. And if you have family back in Mainland China, well you'd better watch your step.

In any case, why would a mainland Chinese care that HK is being treated just like every other part of China?

rcocean said...

Its amazing how you have to keep reminding people that the Chinese are still communists and live in a dictatorship. And also remind them that Putin got elected! Because people always act like its the opposite.

Its the power of the MSM.

Clyde said...

D 2 said...
Thank you for the link Balfegor. That was worth being one of the 10 NYTs for July.


All you need to do is open NYT links in an InPrivate window. This gives you unlimited NYT articles. You're welcome.

D 2 said...

Thanks Clyde. I will try that with other limited sites as well.

ken in tx said...

"British colonies didn't just fly the Union Jack -- usually they also had a local flag that was the Union Jack quartered with something else, e.g. India was a red field with the Star of India; New South Wales in Australia was a blue field with the Southern Cross constellation and a little crown. And Hong Kong was a blue field with the coat of arms of Hong Kong." Balfegor

I came here to say that.

DavidUW said...

The time in which the colonized realize the eternal truth of "better the devil you know"...

Fernandistein said...

Here's a picture of what they called the British colonial flag. (inside the building).

also

Hong Kong protesters raise black flag in front of [outside] Legislative Council

I wonder if they'll begin slitting throats.

LTC Ted said...

Based on my real-time studies during the "Great Cultural Revolution", I hold with Roger Sweeney. I call false flag to excuse a crack-down.

Narr said...

Back when the Cold War was being won by the good guys, I would see a Confederate Battle Flag at marches or rallies on TV. It never attracted much comment or even notice that I recall; I always found that interesting.

On the Ukraine, I found out later that I was being bot-fed alarming stories about the Nazi-symp Ukrainian nationalists; apparently the allknowing algorithm determined that I was a lefty and would respond in the desired fashion. I always found that interesting too.

Narr
Ukraine Libre!

narciso said...

There is little usable Ukrainian history at least for this century, whether petlura or bandera, the last was sheltered by the company in Munich till he got iced in 1958

Richard Dillman said...

The vandals are likely working for the mainland government to foment an excuse to brutally intervene and irrevocably
clamp down. China is obviously embarrassed by their retreat in Hong Kong, and they won’t tolerate losing for very long.