Now we’ve despatched the organisers of an illegal student-led demonstration, let’s celebrate May 4.
For those not familiar, the May 4th Movement began as a protest against the unfair Versailles Treaty and became a genuine social revolution.
Like the Occupy and 1989 democracy movements, the students of 1919 took to the streets in defiance of an official ban. As with the later protests, it failed in its immediate aims but the spirit and ideology lived on. Continue reading
The deployment of riot police at Admiralty on Sunday is a fine illustration of Hong Kong’s malaise. The evidence is that this single decision, more than any amount of urging from Occupy or Scholarism, drove people onto the streets.
By 1am, the riot police were withdrawn. The question is: whose idea was it to put them there?
Bao Pu, the son of Bao Tong, the former secretary to Zhao Ziyang, who now lives in Hong Kong, says Beijing sources have told him police “have all sorts of plans to put down” the protests:
“Hong Kong police were prepared for the use of force; the escalating use of force is all according to the plan.”
Reportedly, Beijing authorities considered but rejected making use of Shenzhen garrison troops, but in any case under-estimated the size of the crowds. Continue reading