Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the streets of Hong Kong Sunday, many of of them violating a mask ban imposed by government leader Carrie Lam on Friday.
“Carrie Lam said this anti-mask law is against people who resort to violence, and that she hoped it would de-escalate the situation,” said one protestor. “However, she never thought about why people are wearing the masks even when the protests were peaceful. It is fear and distrust.”
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The mask ban, which carries a fine of $3,000 and a sentence of 12 months, was implemented through a 1922 emergency ordinance that allows the government to impose curfews, extend detentions, take control of transportation, and censor the Internet.
“I would expect to see such powers to be invoked soon, if the mask ban does not stop the protest,” warns Steve Tsang, a China expert at the University of London. “There is now a sufficiently strongly motivated group among the protestors to fight whatever the government does to end the protests, so I see an escalation.”
Violent clashes between protestors and police on Friday forced the city to close its subway system through Saturday, with partial operations resuming Sunday. In one incident, an off-duty cop shot a 14-year-old in the leg in “self defense.”
At least two other teenagers were shot by police and one journalist was permanently blinded.
“We are troubled by the high levels of violence associated with some demonstrations…and also alarmed by the injuries to the police and protesters, including journalists and protestors shot by law enforcement officers,” said UN commissioner Michelle Bachelet, who has called for an independent inquiry into the situation.
If the emergency powers law fails to stop the protests, Hong Kong may be forced to ask China for help.
China’s military has already gathered at Hong Kong’s northern border.
The Chinese government is trying to be careful here, but they are losing patience. If Hong Kong asks for help, we can expect China to unleash its military against the protestors.
If massive death results, China will accept the criticism from the rest of the world rather than give up any measure of sovereignty.
Editor’s note: The government of China will not tolerate this for much longer and NOBODY can interfere.
But with the NBA sucking up to the Chinese like all is well, I’m frightened a bit that perhaps we not only have lost our will to object, but that part of America refuse to see evil when it is right in front of us.