It is November 2nd today in the US. And just half a day ago, there was another serious conflicts between civilians and police in Hong Kong. 128 pro-democratic candidates gathered in Victoria Park and had “separate” organized meetings with voters. This is an attempt to get around police’s earlier objection of rally at Victoria Park. Since September, the police has been increasingly assertive in issuing objective letters to public assemblies on the ground of safety. This essentially makes the right of assembly non-existing in Hong Kong now.
Several days ago, rumor spread that the Police commissioner Stephen Lo has a meeting in Shenzhen with official of CCP and it was confirmed later on the deputy Police commissioner Alan Lau would leave the end of October.
Many interpreted that as a sign of Beijing’s inclination to rein in violence of the Police force. Alan Lau retired last year but was recruited back August as a temporary deputy Police commissioner to handle the protest. He was affirmed by the Beijing and Hong Kong government in handling the umbrella movement in 2014. Since he took charge the protest “control” in August, the use of violence among Police escalated rapidly. His contract supposed to last for half year. The reason of leaving was not stated. But just mentioned that his contract was not renewed. That is why many believe that his leave signal a change of policy in handling the current governing crisis.
But from what is happening in the last couple days, violence did not seem to subdue because of Lau’s leave. The same cycle repeats again and again. The police declare a peaceful rally or march to be illegal. At the same time, there may be some damages that can be done either by protesters or anyone else as no one can identify police from protesters anymore. They started chasing protesters with tear gas and other firearms. Mass arrest followed.
What makes things worse is that the Police start using China made tear gas canister and appears to be extremely lethal. There have been videos and photos capture showing that canisters actually melt a pavement and fuse with concrete. And they apparently do not worry if it can hurt anyone (see this and that also). Yesterday, a medical worker got seriously burned by a canister and left a hole in his back. It is not known if his injury is life-threatening or not yet.
Many conjecture that this is individual uncontrolled behaviors of police force. But until independent investigation is permitted, this situation probably will continue. Many police public declared protesters as “cockroaches”. When you don’t consider other as human being, outrageous behaviors can be justified. Of course, the real problem is originated from HK and Beijing administrators that turn blind eyes and even encourage police violence.