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October 23 2019

mr-absentia

VilaWeb: Eric’s story: an American resident faces deportation over a Catalan pro-independence flag

«On the day of the general strike in Catalonia, Eric was arrested by Spanish police when he demanded to have his pro-independence “estelada” flag returned to him after the officers found it in his pocket and seized it. For this reason he stands accused of terrorism, jihadism and human trafficking, and is also facing deportation. In addition, they are pressing criminal charges against him and he will be prosecuted for public disorder. The police claim he was in possession of two large metal nuts which he was carrying wrapped up in his flag. Eric categorically denies it. He and his wife believe it is an attempt to intimidate foreign residents, to scare them and discourage them from supporting Catalonia’s independence cause.»

Reposted bykudlaty kudlaty

October 16 2019

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qz.com

Quartz: Hong Kong is exporting its protest techniques around the world

«The months-long protests in Hong Kong have also been studied in Indonesia by students who took to the streets to oppose new laws, and Extinction Rebellion climate activists in the UK, but it is the Catalonia protests that appear to be most directly inspired by the Hong Kong playbook. For weeks, Catalan activists have examined the techniques of Hong Kong’s protesters closely, taking notes on what works and what might be successfully replicated in Catalonia. In late September, the grassroots group Assemblea Nacional Catalana even held a public forum titled,  “Experiences of the use of new technologies in the nonviolent struggle: the case of Hong Kong.”»

Reposted byfinkregh finkregh

October 12 2019

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A battle for the soul of the city: why violence has spiralled in the Hong Kong protests | World news | The Guardian

«Police brutality is not only strengthening protestors’ resolve, it has also swelled their numbers. Between the violent clashes, people have repeatedly turned out in their millions to protest heavy-handed policing; an independent inquiry has become a key demand at demonstrations.

The police have arrested more than 2,000 people, some as young as 12, the oldest in their 70s. The sight of injured protesters and mass detentions have spurred on others including many Hong Kong residents who say they previously shunned politics, to turn out in support.

“Before when people were gathering and they deployed so many riot police, some people would try to leave. Now they don’t,” said Cathy Lam, 24, part of a crowd of local residents from West Kowloon who waited hours to support protesters being arrested on a bus there. “You can see the conflict between police and citizens escalating day by day.”

There is a risk that violence – and the damage and shutdowns linked to chaotic protests – may alienate supporters, both in Hong Kong and overseas, and provide pro-Beijing critics with ammunition. Chinese state media widely reports examples of vandalism and attacks by protesters.

Yet so far, protesters have largely contained both the extent and focus of their violence, directing it at symbols of the government they are opposing. While authorities have denounced them as rioters, there is little of the random smashing and looting that characterises most riots.

“The so-called vandalism they have done is really exceptional, because here it is only focused on targets related to ‘injustice’ they see,” said professor Lawrence Ka-ki Ho, a specialist in policing and public order management at the Education University of Hong Kong.

“Most vandalism would have indiscriminate targets, but their targets are the metro stations, the police stations – not the luxurious shops, not M&S.”

For the police, by contrast, escalating violence has been disastrous, both sapping their support and bolstering opposition. Yet once authorities or protesters are locked into violence, it becomes difficult for either side to step away.

Negotiations to end the stand-off, which would always be fraught, are particularly problematic in Hong Kong, both because there are no real channels of communication between authorities and protesters, and also because the movement doesn’t have any identified leaders.

This is in part because of sweeping round-ups of prominent figures during past protests, and part reflection of the grassroots nature of the movement which has taken as its motto ‘be like water’ – fast-moving, powerful, but hard to grasp or block.

So even if city authorities want to negotiate, it is not clear if there is anyone with power to call people off the streets.»

October 08 2019

mr-absentia
mr-absentia
mr-absentia

Joe Tsai is on Facebook - When I bought controlling interest in the Brooklyn Nets in September, I didn’t expect my first public communication with our fans would be to comment on…

«Fans in China are calling for an explanation – if they are not getting it from the Houston Rockets, then it is natural that they ask others associated with the NBA to express a view.

The NBA is a fan-first league. When hundreds of millions of fans are furious over an issue, the league, and anyone associated with the NBA, will have to pay attention. As a Governor of one of the 30 NBA teams, and a Chinese having spent a good part of my professional life in China, I need to speak up.

What is the problem with people freely expressing their opinion? This freedom is an inherent American value and the NBA has been very progressive in allowing players and other constituents a platform to speak out on issues.

The problem is, there are certain topics that are third-rail issues in certain countries, societies and communities.

Supporting a separatist movement in a Chinese territory is one of those third-rail issues, not only for the Chinese government, but also for all citizens in China.»

October 02 2019

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mr-absentia

Shooting of Children is never acceptable

Media statement from Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights, Oct. 2 2019

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«The Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights is deeply concerned by several police shooting incidents and the use of live rounds during demonstrations across Hong Kong on 1 October. In one incident, an 18-year-old school boy was hit in the chest by a live bullet fired from close range by a police officer in Tsuen Wan. We are deeply distressed and note that the secondary school student is still under serious conditions.

Our Committee does not accept the explanation of the Commissioner for Police, Stephen Lo to the media last night that “the officer made the right decision in a split second”. We worry that it would normalize police shooting in handling protesters, particularly those involving children and young persons.

Our Committee objects to any kind of violence and would like to call on restraint from all parties, and an immediate end to the escalating use of force. The Commissioner of Police must clearly instruct frontline police officers that any use of arms must strictly follow international standards and police guidelines.

It is imperative that the HKSAR Government must address the recent shooting incidents by commissioning an immediate independent inquiry to ease the public worries, and to mend the serious social conflicts right now in Hong Kong.»

September 30 2019

mr-absentia

Hong Kong Is Winning the Global Public-Opinion War With Beijing - The Atlantic

«The relative success of Hong Kong’s protest movement is all the more significant because it’s occurring alongside Beijing expanding its propaganda efforts globally, as state-owned outlets trumpet China’s vision of the world in multiple languages. This global campaign is the biggest challenge to China’s rulers by the territory since 1989, when, still a British colony, its residents took part in demonstrations in solidarity with protesters in Tiananmen Square, while also providing financial and material support.

From Oslo to Osaka, Congress to the United Nations, Taiwan to Twitter, Hong Kongers have taken their DIY approach to protest to a global audience. Celebrity supporters testify in high-profile settings; highly targeted, crowdfunded media campaigns aim to keep the issue in the spotlight; and viral videos, catchy slogans, and even a movement anthem and flag help magnify the message on social media.»

«…the tendency of Chinese nationalism to backfire on the foreign stage has hampered the Communist cause. Among these incidents are violent Chinese-student reactions to pro–Hong Kong demonstrations at Australian universities, with the Chinese embassy expressing support for the students’ actions on social media afterward. Debate in Australia regarding the ability of China to control public speech there has since intensified. Elsewhere, Montreal’s Pride parade excluded Hong Kong participants after receiving threats from “pro-Communists.” At the parade, many onlookers were aghast when, during the moment of silence for those who have died from HIV/AIDS, Chinese participants sang their national anthem.

“The most basic weakness of the external communications of the Chinese party-state is the fact that foreign audiences, and their values and interests, are never truly considered,” David Bandurski, co-director of the China Media Project, told me. “Sure, the messages are directed at foreigners, but the language is still the internal and insular language of the party-state.”

In this sense, Bandurski said, these propaganda efforts are not really external at all.

“Try as it might to raise the volume on China's singular, restrained voice, the party-state is still talking to itself, or shouting at its own wall,” Bandurski said. “The louder that voice becomes, the more uncompromising and aggressive it sounds.”»

September 28 2019

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mr-absentia

September 27 2019

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September 26 2019

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How Hong Kong police trained for riots – and why their response to protesters has been so violent

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«The capture of police violence on mobile phone video and social media has not reined in the violence. Instead, the fact that the police are prepared to be filmed using such brutal tactics shows they understand they are immune from redress.

Hard to regain trust

However, the protesters remain resilient and undeterred. They too have learned lessons from 2014 – they are leaderless by design, both to prevent the police picking off the movement’s leaders and any falling out among different factions. They regularly outwit the police with their “like water” approach, inspired by Bruce Lee, dissolving away before the police arrive only to pop-up unexpectedly elsewhere. Their ingenuity and creativity have captured the public’s imagination.

The government’s repressive approach, by contrast, is backfiring. Many who might otherwise stay at home have been so angered by the government’s policing tactics that they too now come out in protest. They span all walks of life, from housewives to lawyers, accountants and businesspeople, and school and university students – and their orderly conduct undermines Beijing’s depiction of them as a violent, radical mob.

Frontline police officers not only face fatigue but doubts about the wisdom of exposing their families to public antagonism, as they continue to follow orders to fire tear gas into crowds which may contain neighbours, friends and relatives. The trust in police and rulers painstakingly built up in the aftermath of 1967 is being undone, and it is hard to see how it can be regained.»

September 25 2019

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September 23 2019

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“The office [of the Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong] said in a statement that anyone without bias will acknowledge that the people of Hong Kong are enjoying unprecedented democracy, rights and freedom under the law.”People’s Daily Online

September 22 2019

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Between Washington and Beijing

«Hong Kong exists between two global ambitions — Chinese state capitalism and Western neoliberalism. To fight for self-determination is to confront both, and to do so, Hong Kongers must engage internationally, seeking allies not only in China and the West, but beyond all borders in order to build a broad anticapitalist movement.

This is especially important in combating Chinese colonial influence through projects like the Belt and Road Initiative, which promotes new forms of economic imperialism and infringes on people’s right to self-determination. Kenyan coal miners and indigenous groups in Southeast Asia like the Dumagat people are examples of communities at the front-lines of the struggle against Chinese capital and the exploitation of their land and labor. As Hong Kongers in the city and abroad, we hope to learn from and foreground these voices.

Furthermore, as Hong Kong looks to the United States for support, we urge protesters to refuse alliances with right-wingers like Marco Rubio and instead build connections between oppressed groups. Police brutality is one example of an issue that creates an opening for solidarity. Considering how opposition to violence from the Hong Kong Police Force is now at the heart of the city’s struggle, we want to draw connections between police brutality and other forms of state oppression in the United States with what’s happening in Hong Kong. We want to help build alliances between marginalized groups and facilitate a cross-border solidarity grounded in skill-sharing and meaningful dialogue.

Finally, we want to connect Hong Kong’s fight for self-determination and anticapitalist struggles to places like Kashmir, Sudan, Palestine, Tamil Eelam, Kurdistan, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Lausan 流傘 is invested in the fight to establish other forms of community not necessarily based upon nation-state sovereignty, and not based upon borders or capitalism’s imperatives. A lot more work needs to be done on this front.»

mr-absentia

September 21 2019

mr-absentia

BBC News: Hong Kong protests: The Taiwanese sending 2,000 gas masks

«Slowly but surely, the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan see their fate as tied. They are the only two places in Greater China that have tasted freedom - and some believe by joining forces, they could show the Chinese leadership and people how much democracy is worth fighting for.»

Reposted bymushu mushu

September 18 2019

mr-absentia

September 17 2019

Indian authorities approve uranium exploration in Nallamala Forest, sparking protests

The Chenchu indigenous community, environmentalists and civic bodies protest proposed uranium mining in the Nallamala Forest located in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states in India.
Reposted from02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01
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