Hong Kong protesters not above the law
Updated 09:19, 03-Nov-2019
Tom Fowdy

Editor's Note: Tom Fowdy is a British political and international relations analyst and a graduate of Durham and Oxford universities. He writes on topics pertaining to China, the DPRK, Britain, and the United States. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

On Saturday night Hong Kong once again descended into chronic violence and disorder. Increasingly radical activists sought to target what they deemed "Chinese mainland" businesses, smashing up, vandalizing and starting fires in a number of stores and retail units.

Amongst the casualties was China's leading news agency Xinhua, which was attacked with petrol bombs. In response, perpetrators and their enablers once again attempted to blame the city's police force, refusing to acknowledge the scale of destruction.

In doing so, the protesters have ironically demonstrated that they have no respect for freedom of the press, despite claiming to advocate liberty. On their behalf this constitutes a major double standard and illustrates how there is no rationale or principles behind their movement, but simply a pure and explicit hatred of all things China. The reality is far from what the western media will be honest to acknowledge.

Those who continue to support activists in the city need to wake up. This is not a benevolent, forward-thinking, or righteous movement; it is a reactionary one that is driven by mass hysteria and pure hatred. For a long time now, activists are increasingly set upon destroying, harming and attacking everything and everyone who is perceived to get in their way or questions their methods. It is void of reason, ethic and civilized thinking. Those who are responsible for this ferocious "black terror" should be, rightfully in accordance with the law, brought to justice.

Violent protesters set up road barricades in downtown Hong Kong, China, November 2, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Violent protesters set up road barricades in downtown Hong Kong, China, November 2, 2019. /Reuters Photo

For a long time now, some western mainstream media and commentariat have sought to portray activists in Hong Kong as righteous, heroic and courageous. Blinded by sheer ideological bias, they have, in every instance, continually sought to make excuses for and disregard the increasingly violent and utterly fanatical behavior amongst them. These demonstrators are not implementing an optimistic or praiseworthy dream for what they believe Hong Kong should be but are in fact, destroying the city, fuelled by pure, venomous hatred of the Chinese mainland.

This hatred exceeds all justifiable reason, nuance and restraint. How can such people be claimed to favor the rule of law in the city? Anyone who questions them on the public scene is subject to brutal assaults, yet we keep receiving the one-sided narrative that the police are somehow the ones to blame and that these people are innocent victims merely defending their rights of assembly. Only on Saturday did activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung claim on Twitter that the city's economic deterioration somehow stemmed from the presence of law enforcement.

But this is truly ridiculous, the police are not the ones burning, smashing up and brutalizing up businesses en masse out of political grievances. These graphic images do not lie to us; these targeted attacks, such as on Xinhua, are not synonymous with freedom of assembly at all, but can only be described as sheer criminality and hooliganism, of which would not be tolerated in any other society on this planet. Time and time again, legitimate actions by law enforcement to stop this kind of behavior are being falsely passed off as police brutality.

A large group of protesters blocked carriageways in the vicinity of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, October 20, 2019. /CGTN Photo

A large group of protesters blocked carriageways in the vicinity of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, October 20, 2019. /CGTN Photo

In this case, we have to look at things for how they truly are and not for what we imagine or hope for them to be. What the activists are doing is completely illegal, disgraceful and alien to any concept of civilization or basic human ethic. To call for these perpetrators to be brought to justice is a legitimate and necessary procedure of the rule of law.

Thus, it is time people were more honest with themselves about what is going on here. The activists demand that the authorities be held accountable to them, but a fundamental principle of social organization is that those responsible are also accountable to society as a whole; order, stability, security, prosperity and well-being cannot exist without this principle.

Thus as a whole, there can be no society without personal responsibility. What is happening in Hong Kong is mindless, without merit and inherently void of all rationale. The activists do not have the mandate to pursue unlimited destruction in the name of "resistance" and are not above the law. If they cannot be brought to justice, then the city will continue to suffer.

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