Bellicose tactics will backfire

Editorial | Mary Ma 28 Jun 2019

Why vent your rage on the Hong Kong police? Besieging its Wan Chai headquarters not once but twice in five days is absurd and totally unacceptable, whatever the reason - not to mention from hundreds if not thousands of young protesters.

Were the actions necessary as they could have backfired? The protesters could have argued their demands weren't heard so action was better than words.

Although it appears on the surface there were no leaders or masterminds, the youngsters were somehow a lot more organized than during the 2014 Occupy movement. They surely knew what they were doing, even if they credited the movement to the drum beat of social media.

It's understandable for them to want to be heard, not only at home, but around the world - especially by global leaders including President Xi Jinping, who are meeting in Osaka this weekend at the G20 summit.

Getting the attention of world leaders is one thing, but it would be naive even to think those leaders would pressure Beijing to help them fight their cause.

Since the June 12 incident, when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, the police have been restrained. However, for them to abandon police posts at public hospitals in retaliation against medical staff for cursing their officers is hard to stomach, though those posts don't really affect the operation of either police or the hospitals.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki surely went too far in resorting to strong language to scold the police over the decision. However, the force must bear in mind its members are trained to be trusted with deadly firearms and broad powers, and are therefore expected to show a much higher level of restraint in the face of confrontations.

And as if the situation hasn't been bad enough, it's absurd that Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has hidden herself away without letting the people know her whereabouts. It's utterly irresponsible of her to allow the SAR to be swallowed up by insanity after lighting the fire.

All this must come to a halt. The current crisis has gotten so far out of hand that it can no longer be addressed by setting up an independent inquiry, because it's gone way beyond government policy to involve high-power politics here and in the north.

I've always felt amnesty is a bad idea. Now, judging by the worsening situation, any suggestion of amnesty is definitely a resounding NO.

In facing the crisis, one must learn to treat each other as human beings. Police officers are also family men and women underneath their uniforms, and would like to protect their families from annoyance - just as those thousands of moms and dads who joined the marches out of concern for their children.

As the debate rages on, consideration must be shown to each other.

The time is running out for Lam to show up and say the right words.

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