HK protests multimedia infographic

List members might find this SCMP multimedia infographic report on the Hong Kong protests useful–Kirk

Hong Kong protests: The full story in infographics

Our collection of visual stories sheds light on the events behind the protests gripping Hong Kong. Months of mass demonstrations veering between peaceful rallies and brutal violence has some residents wondering if the city can ever be the same again

China replaces its top HK representative with enforcer

Source: NYT (1/4/20)
China Replaces Its Top Representative in Hong Kong With an Enforcer
After months of protests and an electoral defeat for pro-Beijing political parties, an official with a record of difficult assignments is on the way.

A news broadcast showing Wang Zhimin, then the Chinese government’s top representative in Hong Kong, at a mall in the city in July. Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

BEIJING — The Chinese government abruptly replaced its top representative in Hong Kong on Saturday evening, installing a senior Communist Party official with a record of difficult assignments in inland provinces that involved working closely with the security services.

The top representative, Wang Zhimin, was replaced as the head of the powerful Central Liaison Office in Hong Kong by Luo Huining, the official Xinhua news service said. The move came two months after the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee called for measures to “safeguard national security” in Hong Kong, although few details have been released. Continue reading

Hong Kong’s sickness

Source: China Channel, LARB (12/13/19)
Hong Kong’s Sickness
By [韓麗珠], tr. by
Hong Kong writer Hon Lai-chu on a city divided – trans. Andrea Lingenfelter

Header: Anti-extradition bill protest at Shatin, Hong Kong, in July. (Studio Incendo on Flickr)

Translator’s note: Hon Lai Chu, an award-winning writer from Hong Kong, wrote this essay at the end of August. At that time, her neighborhood of Tsuen Wan was the scene of violent clashes between police and demonstrators. In early September, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that the extradition bill that initially sparked the protests would be withdrawn, yet the gesture was seen as too little too late, and it was not until October 23 that the bill was formally withdrawn. Demonstrations continued, and the situation has become increasingly volatile, with Polytechnic University under siege in mid November, and a December 8 march drawing an estimated 800,000 participants.

In her essay, Hon Lai Chu writes of the loss of public trust, and references one of Hong Kong’s formerly most beloved and reliable institutions, the MTR metro system, which has periodically closed stations to make it more difficult for people to reach demonstrations. There have also been numerous documented instances of police brutality, as well as organized attacks on protesters by members of organized crime, while police have turned a blind eye. As Hon Lai Chu observes, like teargas residue (which left this writer with a headache and watery eyes after a brief visit to a shopping mall in Mongkok), the after-effects of this conflict will linger long after the crisis has been resolved. – Andrea Lingenfelter

Hong Kong these days is like a body afflicted with a malignant tumor: the mind is unwilling to acknowledge the tumor’s existence and only wants to clean up the annoying but superficial daily signs of disease; yet the heart is plagued by unease. Illness is an ongoing struggle in the body, and only a healthy person has the strength to withstand the battle between good cells and bad cells. Whether we’re talking about one person or an entire city, a bout of sickness represents an opportunity for deeply seated problems to be cured. Although a body that has never known illness may continue to function normally, when toxins accumulate and cannot be easily expelled, the condition can be fatal. Continue reading

HK considering penalties for teachers over protest

Source: HK Free Press (12/11/19)
Hong Kong Education Bureau ‘considering penalties’ for around 30 teachers over protest-related conduct complaints
By Holmes Chan

Kevin Yeung

Education chief Kevin Yeung. File Photo: GovHK.

Around 30 teachers in Hong Kong may be penalised for misconduct related to the ongoing pro-democracy protests, the Education Bureau has said.

The government body said that it received 106 complaints of teacher misconduct between June and mid-November in connection to the ongoing protests. The Bureau had concluded a “preliminary investigation” into 60 cases, and – in about 30 of them – the complaints were initially found to be substantiated.

The exact penalty has yet to be decided, the Bureau added.

Separately, the Education Bureau also told a school that it should “consider suspending” a teacher who was arrested over unlawful assembly and possession of dangerous weapons. Continue reading

HK poet Mary Jean Chan wows Britain

Source: SCMP (12/5/19)
How Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan is wowing Britain’s literary circles with first collection, Flèche
Since moving to London, Chan has been named among top 10 most influential BAME writers in Britain. In 2017, aged 27, she became youngest shortlisted nominee for Forward Prize for a single poem
By James Kidd

Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan at the Forward Arts Prizes 2017, in London, Britain. Photo: Adrian Pope

Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan at the Forward Arts Prizes 2017, in London, Britain. Photo: Adrian Pope

The business school at the Chinese University of Hong Kong has not perhaps inspired many poets. But when Mary Jean Chan describes her journey to becoming one of the world’s most promising and admired young writers, she names her decision to leave the business school as a pivotal moment.

“It was desperation really,” she says. “I was in a very bad place bordering on depression. My parents saw that and knew something had to change.”

Talking to 29-year-old Chan a decade later, in her adopted home city of London, it’s hard to believe she enrolled in the first place. Sensitive and thoughtful, she seems the antithesis of a hardbitten banker or financier. “I always knew I didn’t have a talent for numbers. Maths was my worst subject. My parents were taken aback [by her decision to leave]. My teachers wanted to talk about it.” Continue reading

China tries to brush off HK election results

Source: SCMP (11/25/19)
China tries to brush off pro-democrat victory in Hong Kong election and blames ‘foreign forces’ for interfering
State news agency Xinhua refuses even to report pro-establishment side’s heavy losses and reports only that the elections have taken place. Official outlets say government supporters were harassed on the campaign trail and accuse Western countries of fuelling unrest
By William Zheng and Echo Xie

Pro-democracy supporters celebrate the defeat of Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, one of the most high-profile victims of Sunday’s vote. Photo: AFP

Pro-democracy supporters celebrate the defeat of Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, one of the most high-profile victims of Sunday’s vote. Photo: AFP

Mainland China on Monday tried to brush aside the landslide defeat for the pro-establishment camp in Hong Kong’s district council elections with news of the results being heavily censored.

State media preferred to focus on calls for law and order to be preserved and the accusation that Western countries had been instigating unrest.

Many official media outlets only ran brief reports on the vote, with state news agency Xinhua declining to report the results, in which the pro-democracy camp took control of 17 out of 18 councils.

“According to the announcement by the Electoral Affairs Commission, all 452 district councillors of 18 districts have been elected,” it said. Continue reading

HK democracy backers win big

Source: NYT (11/24/19)
Hong Kong Democracy Backers Win Big as Voters Flock to Polls
A surge in voting, especially by young people, allowed democracy advocates to win many more seats on local councils.
By Keith BradsherAustin Ramzy and 

Democracy supporters celebrating in Hong Kong on Sunday night outside a polling station. Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — Pro-democracy candidates buoyed by months of street protests in Hong Kong were headed to a stunning victory in local elections on Sunday, as record numbers voted in a vivid expression of the city’s aspirations and its anger with the Chinese government.

It was a pointed rebuke for Beijing and its allies in Hong Kong, and the turnout — nearly seven in 10 eligible voters — suggested that the public continues to back the democracy movement, even as the protests have grown increasingly violent. The surge was driven especially by young voters, a major force behind the demonstrations of the past six months.

With three million voters casting ballots, pro-democracy parties captured at least 216 of 452 elected seats, up from 124, and perhaps many more, according to early official results. Continue reading

External forces and black hands

Source: China Media Project (11/19/19)

External Forces and Black Hands

Featured image above by Studio Incendo under CC license.

The front page of the Chinese Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper featured an official commentary yet again today that sent a stern warning over violent standoffs between protesters and police in Hong Kong.

The commentary, like yesterday’s attributed to “a commentator from this paper,” or benbao pinglunyuan (本报评论员), marking it as a staff-written piece representing views in the senior leadership, was a stern warning to so-called “external forces” accused of fomenting discord in order to “impede the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people.”

The commentary says that Xi Jinping’s speech at the 11th BRICS summit of leaders in Brazil — also referenced in yesterday’s commentary — had “sent a severe warning to the radical Hong Kong rioters and their behind-the-scenes supporters.” Continue reading

Parents of HK protesters come to the front lines

Source: NYT (11/19/19)
Parents of Besieged Hong Kong Protesters Come to the Front Lines
The parents of young people under siege at a university emerged as a call for compromise.
By Tiffany May and 

Teachers and relatives waited for student protesters to surrender at Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Tuesday. Credit…Thomas Peter/Reuters

HONG KONG — One mother fell to her knees before riot police officers and begged for her daughter’s release. Another promised she would boil soup for a trapped son before he made a desperate escape across police lines. From a distance, a father got his first glimpse of his son in days — as the son was led away in handcuffs.

As the police siege of Hong Kong Polytechnic University trapped more than 1,000 pro-democracy protesters this week, another group entangled in the city’s crisis has turned conspicuously outspoken: their parents.

The voices of mothers and fathers, racked by fear and anger, emerged as a call for compromise in the standoff on the campus, where on Tuesday several dozen holdouts remained. Continue reading

China thinks it can defeat HK protesters; it can’t

Source: Washington Post (11/15/19)
China thinks it can defeat Hong Kong’s protesters. It can’t.
The mighty behemoth will have to make concessions to end the conflict.
By Keith B. Richburg 

A rally at Edinburgh Place in Hong Kong on Thursday. (Justin Chin/Bloomberg)

A rally at Edinburgh Place in Hong Kong on Thursday. (Justin Chin/Bloomberg)

Protracted conflicts typically end in one of two ways: Either the party with overwhelming force subjugates the other and declares a complete victory, or the two sides get tired of fighting and make a deal.

In Hong Kong — now in its sixth month of an increasingly violent, seemingly intractable conflict — China’s communist rulers and their handpicked chief executive, Carrie Lam, seem intent on achieving a total victory over a leaderless, loosely organized, youth-driven protest movement that has paralyzed the city and plunged the economy into recession. The protesters “will never win,” Lam has vowed, and it’s “wishful thinking” to believe that the government will ever yield. And there’s no doubt China has the overwhelming power in this dispute, as well as the will to dominate.

But Beijing is not going to get its way. Continue reading

LGBTQ+ Rights and the Struggle for Democracy in HK

Roundtable: ‘LGBTQ+ Rights and the Struggle for Democracy in Hong Kong’
Date: 25 Nov 2019
Time: 18:00-19:30
Venue: Room UG05, 309 Regent Street, W1B 2GW, University of Westminster, London
ALL ARE WELCOME but registration is required here.

Photo credit: Hong Kong Pride 2018 (with permission from Dr Daniel Conway)


Hong Kong has been gripped by widespread protests and demands for greater democracy in recent months.  While studies have begun to address the engagement of other marginalized groups such as women and ethnic minority in social movements and protest, the roles that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer plus (LGBTQ+) people play in non-LGBTQ+ specific politics have been given little academic attention. This invisibilization of LGBTQ+ people in wider social movement raises many questions. This roundtable will begin to explore the level of engagement of LGBTQ+ people in the movement for democracy in Hong Kong, pose questions about the intersections between LGBTQ+ rights and democracy and social justice, and ask whether these rights are articulated  in intersectional terms, or whether LGBTQ+ communities and rights are being overlooked or in the current protests in Hong Kong. We will also discuss comparisons with LGBTQ+ people and rights discourses in other struggles for democracy and social justice.

Speakers: Dr Suen Yiu Tung (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Eliz Wong (London School of Economics and Political Science) and Dr Daniel Conway (University of Westminster) Continue reading

HK is trying to impose Tiananmen by stealth

Source: The Independent (11/12/19)
Hong Kong is trying to impose Tiananmen by stealth – Carrie Lam herself is now the ‘enemy of the people’
This isn’t a confrontation between the government and rebellious youths. It is a clash between a lame-duck government imposing the iron will of Beijing and millions of citizens
By Stuart Heaver

The regular weekend street protests in Hong Kong have spilled over into pitch battles in the middle of the working day in the city’s busy financial district, as Carrie Lam’s beleaguered government gives the police a free hand to impose a Beijing style crackdown on all forms of dissent.

There may be no tanks, but many believe the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops are already here, disguised as Hong Kong riot police as part of a concerted policy to impose Tiananmen by stealth and create a climate of fear.

It can’t be verified but riot police in full body amour looking like stormtroopers from a science fiction movie, wear masks, show no official ID and are often heard speaking in Putonghua dialect. They could be anyone. The average height of Hong Kong police officers appears to have increased by about 10cm since July and photos circulated online by the Demosisto party, appear to show Hong Kong police mustered inside a PLA barracks. Their primary job is to intimidate. Continue reading

Universities become battlegrounds

Source: SCMP (11/13/19)
High Court denies injunction sought by Chinese University student leader to bar Hong Kong police from campus after days of clashes with protesters
Jacky So files for temporary injunction after CUHK was the site of clashes between protesters and riot police that led to 119 people being injured. But court dismisses bid, with lawyer arguing that criminals could hide on campus if police did not have a warrant to enter
By Tony Cheung

[See also: and]

Clashes erupt on Tuesday between anti-government protesters and riot police on the campus of Chinese University. Photo: Winson Wong

Clashes erupt on Tuesday between anti-government protesters and riot police on the campus of Chinese University. Photo: Winson Wong

A Hong Kong court has dismissed an urgent injunction application by a Chinese University student leader to bar unauthorised police from campus after the school became a battleground for anti-government protesters and the authorities.

Jacky So Tsun-fung, the CUHK student union president, filed an application on Wednesday for the temporary injunction to the High Court after his school was the site of a tense stand-off between protesters and riot police that started on Monday and led to 119 people being injured.

The court heard that protesters stalled public transport for two days by throwing objects from a No. 2 Bridge above a highway and the MTR East Rail line. Riot police arriving at the bridge were brought to a standstill by protesters who hurled petrol bombs at the officers. Continue reading

HK’s Monday of mayhem

Source: Sup China (11/11/19)
Hong Kong’s Monday of mayhem

Photo credit: SupChina illustration

For most of the 24 weeks of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, the city has seethed on weekends but returned to something resembling normalcy on weekdays. Only twice have there been significant exceptions to that — a general strike on Wednesday, June 12, and further strikes and an occupation of the airport for days in early August. Today was the third exception, as a protester was shot and critically injured by what appeared to be a traffic cop at about 7:15 a.m., according to the Hong Kong Free Press.

Later in the day, a man was “set alight following a heated argument” with demonstrators, and was admitted to a nearby hospital with severe burns, AFP reports. The South China Morning Post has more on the status of the two injured persons, and other details on what it calls the day’s “unprecedented working-hours mayhem”: Continue reading

Anger in HK after student dies

Source: NYT (11/7/19)
Anger in Hong Kong After Student Dies From Fall Following Clash With Police
The death of the student, Chow Tsz-lok, ignited public fury after months of antigovernment demonstrations.
By Austin Ramzy and

Protesters with placards that read “missing classmate Chow” gathered Friday outside the home of the president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Credit…Kin Cheung/Associated Press

HONG KONG — A Hong Kong student died on Friday after falling earlier this week from a parking garage where police officers clashed with protesters, a development that further escalated the public’s fury after months of antigovernment demonstrations.

Chow Tsz-lok, who was a student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, sustained head and pelvis injuries when he fell one story early Monday morning. His death on Friday morning was confirmed by the city’s Hospital Authority.

Anger with the police has run high over the force’s widespread use of tear gas, pepper spray and batons on demonstrators during five months of protest. A key demand of the protest movement, which began over a now-withdrawn extradition bill, has been an independent investigation into the police’s use of force. Continue reading