Triad gangs wearing masks to hide their faces attack peaceful protesters in Mongkok yesterday, with police standing idle refusing to interfere.
A friend’s relative passed by when the attacks happened and gave this witness account:
I was in Mongkok this evening and saw with my own eyes some young students were surrounded, intimidated and attacked by a group of men who really looked like triads. Some policemen saw what happened but did nothing. In fact I may go as far as to say the police was pleased to see the students being challenged by these group of men. It’s like watching a local triad film. I think it’s too dangerous for these young people now and they should go home. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that about the police, but that was what I witnessed tonight.
A police chief explained that it took the police one hour to arrive at the scene because the protesters blocked the roads and so police had to take MTR from Admiralty to Mongkok. The fact is it takes15 mins travelling from Admiralty to Mongkok, or a better question is: why must the police be deployed from Admiralty to Mongkok?
In fact, evidence is plentiful that the triads were called across the border from China to hit the protesters. With police standing by and doing nothing, confrontation is bound to happen and the tactics of CY Leung and Beijng is clear. Just wait out and watch the people fighting against each other, like what has happened in the history of Communist China. Internal fight and fight and fight. And those at the top and orchestrating the fights just watch with a smirk.
Yesterday, I was back to the protest site at Government Headquarters, the epicenter of the pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, now called umbrella revolution, or occupy central movement. Where the police once stood and used pepper spray and tear gas to stop people from entering the protest site, the protesters now stand or sit. The area is still the most inspiring of all the areas occupied by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.
A group of students paint their wishes for democracy and their dream on umbrella.
Another group of students turned the partition for a construction site, just opposite the Central Government Offices, into a democracy wall, inviting people to write their wishes on paper and put up on the wall. The initiative was organized by high school students. A girl in uniform called on the passers-by to join using a loud speaker.
At the turnabout, is an art piece of umbrella.
The civic square at the Government Headquarters, originally open to the public, has been surrounded by a high fence, with police guarding behind the fence. It is a testament to the fear of the CY Leung government and to how much aloof it is from its people. On the other hand, the banners and the yellow ribbons tied to the fence just show how much people hate all this. They want their civic square, and their right to choose their leader.
Slogans showing the determination of the student protesters were plastered everywhere in the protest site surrounding the Government Headquarters.
Some were tired and slept on the ground.
The items donated by the Hong Kong people to support the democracy movement were plentiful.
They were mainly water, masks, biscuit, bread, banana, raincoat, and kitchen wrapping paper (for protection against pepper spray). There are a number of stalls set up to provide such items across the whole protest site.
From time to time, the students walked around distributing wet towels (for protection against pepper spray and tear gas), water, raincoat, food and even umbrella to all those present at the protest site.
The police did not allow people to enter the protest site from noon yesterday, and blocked the way to Tamar Park from Admiralty Station, the main and only way to the protest site. As more and more people wanted to come to the protest site and they were blocked the access, they had to stand at the opposite side, across the Harcourt Road. People were many many, eager to join people at the other side. Only that the heavily armed riot police stood in between.
Then, the people at the opposite side became so many and so frustrated with the police not allowing them access, they started to venture out into Harcourt Road and all of a sudden, I was told they were everywhere in Harcourt Road. I tried to find a high point to look and when I did, that was an amazing sight – the whole section of the road teeming with people, some waiving at us.
It was an emotional and triumphant moment – for people at the protest site, this was a sign that we all stood together. Yet, the police, occupying a narrow space in between and heavily armed, refused to let people from the two sides join. At the end, they fired tear gas, one after one, one after one, to disperse protesters turning up in a growing number.
But every time the protesters dispersed, they came back again to the spot. Again, police had to fire tear gas. And the crowd dispersed, but then gathered again quickly. That is how determined the Hong Kong people were.
CY Leung government has sent riot police to quash the protesters, including using pepper spray and tear gas, holding guns and flashing signs saying that they will fire if the crowd charges. The signal is clear: you protesters are rioters. If not, why were riot police deployed and was tear gas used? The protesters have been peaceful, with many of them students. Just look at this photo. Why riot police?
When I woke up yesterday to the news that Occupy Central movement had started, I was surprised but I knew I would go and join the students and all others at the government headquarters area in Admiralty. I arrived there at about 11am, and the area was calm and peaceful, with the young people, the high school and university students, organizing every thing, such as distributing water, masks, raincoats and goggles, and making announcements.
Barriers were set up at various points where police and protesters were separated by umbrellas and barricades.
There was announcement from time to time which point needed more people to guard and protect and urging people to gather there. There was also announcement from time to time that the police would force their way in and clear up the site. Later we were alerted that the police were putting up gas masks and asked us to get prepared. But somehow, all the warnings did not materialize and I also believed that the police would not be so crazy that they would use tear gas. So when the police fired tear gas at about 6pm, it caught me off guard, when I had no protective gear at hand – not a mask, not a pair of goggles. I left them with my friend, who at the time was not around. The tear gas sent people rushing away, and the smoke started flowing my way.
At first I thought I could cope. But soon, my eyes burned, my throat burned, and my tongue burned. It was painful, very painful. Students came to me with water. One after one. Some students gave me salt water to wash eyes. We were then asked to move to Tamar Park. Among those moving to the Tamar Park, were small kids whose eyes suffered from tear gas too. It was getting dark when we settled in Tamar Park.
I was so tired that I had to lie down and take a rest. In front of me, is the beautiful Victoria Harbor, but at the back, I heard the firing of tear gas one after one, one after one. It was bizarre, and ultra-realistic.
The whole day I did not cry. But I woke up this morning, feeling so sad for this city, though at the same time feeling so proud of all the people who have stood up and fought for the dignity of being a citizen.
I was with a westerner friend yesterday. At dusk, when we were forced to retreat to Tamar Park, a young kid, probably 15 years old, came to my friend, saying, please tell the world what happens here. He thought my friend is a journalist.
The Hong Kong people have been very peaceful in their fight. This is really what I and many others saw. They put up their hands to show they did not want to use violence all the time.
It is not the people, it is the police who use excessive violence and should be condemned.
I am truly moved by the solidarity Hong Kong people showed yesterday. They have shown to the world that we don’t want what is dished out by Beijing (no universal suffrage in 2017 as promised by the mini constitution of Hong Kong, but a voting system that is designed to be controlled and screened by Beijing and still want us to call it “universal suffrage”!), and we will fight.
September 28 01.00, Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) formally launched “Occupy Central” and issued the two following demands on political reform: “Withdraw the NPCSC decision, restart the political reform process”.
The two nights of occupation of Civic Square in Admiralty have completely embodied the awakening of Hong Kong people’s desire to decide their own lives. The courage of the students and members of the public in their spontaneous decision to stay has touched many Hong Kong people. Yet, the government has remained unmoved. As the wheel of time has reached this point, we have decided to rise up and act.
The Occupy movement will carry on from the current occupation, using the occupation of the Central Government Office as a starting point. Personnel and materials to support Occupy Central will enter the site. We call on all supporters of OCLP to come to the Central Government Office and to join this act of civil disobedience.
OCLP has two demands: 1.The immediate withdrawal of the NPCSC’s decision on the framework for Hong Kong’s political reform 2.The swift resumption of the political reform consultation. The Leung Chun-ying administration has failed in its duties in the political reform process. We demand that Leung re-submit a new political reform report to the central government which fully reflects Hong Kong people’s aspirations for democracy. If Leung refuses to respond, the action will escalate.
OCLP has undergone a year and a half of deliberations and dialogue with different sectors and has gathered public opinion through deliberation sessions and the civil referendum.
We reiterate we will stand firm in our belief in peace and non-violence. We urge Hong Kong people to respond to the call of history, to stand up and have the courage to be real Hong Kong citizens.
And this is what is needed for the people gathering at government headquarters. Please bring to them: