HKers call to support police as vandalism continues

By Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/15 23:58:40

Hong Kong residents waving anti-violence banners, Hong Kong and national flags shout slogans at Tamar Park in Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: China News Agency

More Hong Kong residents, particularly those who have been victims of brutal attacks, stood up on Sunday to condemn the violence and riots, calling for the support for Hong Kong police, even as black-clad protesters continued to commit acts of  vandalism in several shopping centers, reflecting a more divided city.

Hongkongers gathered at Tamar Park in Admiralty on Sunday afternoon, waving Chinese national flags and holding banners such as "Support Hong Kong Police Force" "US Stop Destroying HK Democracy & Human Rights" and "Love is more important than violence." Tens of thousands of people reportedly took part in the rally against violence and in support of the police. 

Some residents, who had been violently treated by anti-government protesters, also showed up at the rally. A man called Leo, who argued with protesters on August 9 at Hong Kong airport and then was beaten by them, spoke on the stage on Sunday. He said that the police have not used excessive force, and he wanted to express his gratitude toward them. Leo wore the same blue jacket he had worn the day he was attacked by rioters. 

Other residents, also the victims of vigilante attacks, spoke out on Sunday to condemn the violence. A man surnamed Chan said he saw police officers who were verbally attacked by rioters on September 1, and when he walked toward Tin Shui Wai station, he shouted "I support the police," but got beaten up. Another female resident who voluntarily cleared up barricades set up by black-clad protesters claimed she was attacked. A man hit her head with a brick and she was treated in hospital.  

Photo: Global Times

During months of anti-government protests, radical protesters have taken the law into their own hands, beating up people who disagreed with them. For example, a Hong Kong resident who voluntarily cleared road barricades on November 30 was attacked by rioters with a baton, and his head was bleeding heavily, according to video circulating online. 

Some critics have asked whether this so-called "fighting for democracy movement" backed by vigilantism can succeed, and should it reject all excuses of conducting violence to achieve their goals.

"I saw many people say no to violence loudly, some take photos with police officers on the ground, showing that more and more Hong Kong people can't tolerate the spreading vandalism and violence anymore. It has to stop," a local resident called May who lives in Yuen Long and participated in the assembly told the Global Times. "And I really appreciate their firm support for the police."

However, vandalism continued in Kowloon, as black-clad protesters staged citywide "Christmas shopping" protests in some areas and shopping malls on Sunday, spray-painting some stores owned by Maxim's. The stores of the catering chain were targeted and vandalized by rioters after the daughter of its founder criticized the protests and voiced support for police. 

Police said that protesters gathered at Shatin New Town Plaza and blocked the entrances and staircases of New Town Plaza around 3:30 pm, and the police officers entered the New Town Plaza to enforce the law.

Protesters also called for a boycott of those so-called "blue stores," referring to those with Chinese mainland investment or whose owners have publicly supported the police. 

Some local business representatives criticized the act of politicizing economic activities, urging that boycotting certain stores would lead to a worsening local economy, which had already entered into recession following months of protests. 

Paul Chan Mo-po, Financial Secretary for Hong Kong, also warned in his latest blog post published Sunday that the city has not been able to get rid of the consequences of months of violence and activities to paralyze the city. "Investors are likely to lose patience for its recovery, who may shift their focus to other cities in China, which would lead to long-term influence on Hong Kong," he said.
Newspaper headline: HKers call to back police as acts of vandalism continue


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