US & HK Violence : (Part 2) Sewing the seeds of violence
Updated: Jan 20, 2021
In the aftermath of the 2019 violence in Hong Kong and the more recent violence seen in the U.S., we can see strong differences in the post-event outcomes. WTPOHK do not condone violence, but do uphold universal values, people's right to free speech, and their right to peaceful protest and the pursuit of democracy.
This blog is the second part of an indepth response to CCP's and Hong Kong government's narrative concerning the comparison made of Hong Kong's 1 July 2019 Legislative Council (LegCo) protest and the America capitol Washington D.C. 6 January 2021 insurrection. Please click here for: Part 3; Part 1.
There are several sections in this second part on the response:
1. Leadership and violence
2. When offense is defence
3. Violence triggers violence
4. Saints and sinners
5. Which narrative will be the legacy of events in HK and the U.S.?
Legislative Council, Hong Kong, 1 July 2019.
1. Leadership and violence
In Hong Kong (HK) since the storming of the Legislative Council (LegCo) building in July 2019 we have seen successive waves of arrests by the ordinary Police force in the city and officers of the newly established National Security division. It's not just people who stormed LegCo that have been arrested: District Councillors, Legislators, netizens and peaceful protesters have variously been arrested, charged or imprisoned. Anyone opposing CCP policy in HK, the local HK government behaviour, or calling for greater democracy in the SAR seems to be targeted by authorities.
In the U.S. since the "insurrection" (as it is now frequently termed) at the Capitol Building on 6 January 2021, the FBI and Police have been actively seeking those involved, enlisted help from social media. A fair number of those who forced their way into the building have been identified, found, arrested and charged. A number of those with responsibility for security arrangements including police officers have either resigned or been suspended pending further investigation. Importantly, President Trump himself has come under fire for his role in what came to pass, is facing a historic second impeachment after Democrats in the House of Representatives formally charged him with one count of “incitement of insurrection” over the Capitol Hill riot.
We have to say that the people of HK would be really happy if their political 'leader', Chief Executive (CE) Carrie Lam was given a vote of no confidence by the legislature, removed from office or otherwise censured for the havoc she has created in the city by pushing forward with unpopular legislation, by allowing the CCP to annex the city, and using the Police Force to repress and put down any voice of opposition. While Trump has a fair percentage of supporters, but not enough to win re-election, CE Lam has the lowest public support ratings of any CE ever, yet still garners the support of Emporer Xi Jinping and the CCP.
Just as HK is NOT China, HK is not the U.S.!
It's time to consider who the really corrosive figures are, who is creating instability and fomenting violence in our midst.
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2. When offense is defence
Hong Kong arrests: Carrie Lam accuses west of hypocrisy, citing US Capitol riot
The Guardian 12 January 2021 by Helen Davidson
City’s leader accuses foreign critics of double standards when they condemn rioters in the US but support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s leader has defended the unprecedented mass arrest of opposition figures last week, and accused western powers of hypocrisy for condemning the siege on the US Capitol after supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
At a weekly press briefing in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Carrie Lam was asked about the coordinated police raids last Wednesday, when 55 opposition figures were arrested on suspicion of breaching the national security law by holding unofficial primaries ahead of the since-postponed Hong Kong election. The raids were the latest use of the national security law against the pro-democracy movement.
Lam defended the city’s “rule of law”.
“If some people think that as long as someone holds a certain political ideology, or they have taken certain actions, then they are immune from legal sanctions, that is not in line with our legal spirit and not in line with our core values,” she said.
“Everyone is equal before the law and no one is above that." [BUT, see note below]
Lam echoed the comments of authorities in mainland China last week, pointing to the violent siege on the US Capitol building to claim foreign critics were displaying double standards by condemning the violence after having supported Hong Kong’s protests.
“I ask foreign audiences to set aside their double standards. It seems like if they look at affairs of Hong Kong and of the mainland they use a very different standard than the one applied to their own country,” she said.
Lam said the 2019 protests in Hong Kong saw “rampant violence and riots” which overseas commentators and politicians condoned or encouraged “under the guise of democracy”. [BUT, see note below]
“When the same thing seemed to happen in their own country, they immediately took a very different approach to condemn the violence, and some said that this was verging on sedition in American society,” she said.
The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong began with peaceful marches of millions, and over months descended into sometimes violent clashes with police. Protesters were demanding the right to a full vote, and drew support from overseas.
The attacks in Washington – labelled by lawmakers as an attempted insurrection – were led by a pro-Trump mob and sought to stop the certification of the US election result.
Wednesday’s arrests in Hong Kong more than doubled the number of people detained under the national security law – the vast majority of whom have been accused of non-violent acts advocating independence or protesting against the Hong Kong and Beijing governments.
On Tuesday Reuters reported more action was likely, as Beijing seeks to further stifle any potential challenge to its hardening rule over Hong Kong. Citing two unnamed officials with “extensive high-level experience in Hong Kong affairs and represent[ing] Beijing’s interests”, it reported more tough moves would be rolled out for at least the next year, including changes to the political system to reduce the chance of a democratic majority – or even an influence – on the election.
[Note: This "no one is above the law' statement is a lie from CLam and she promised in 2017 to fix this; as CE under HK's existing law she is above the law because CE is the only person in HK that the Bribery Ordinance does not apply to! CCP corruption gets everywhere!! CCP are coachroaches!]
[Note: CE CLam manipulates the narrative claiming that critics and commentators "condoned and encouraged" violence and riots in HK. Actually, while CLam and her supporters demanded people speak out against violence, many understood what motivated protesters and actively chose to remain silent. That silence in response to the bullying and brutal tactics of her government and the Police is NOT the same as either supporting or encouraging violence. CCP and HK government are in breach of the Joint Declaration and other international treaties according to letters written to China by UN special rapporteurs. ]
3. Violence triggers violence
WTPOHK's thoughts on CCP's and HK government narrative on HK's 1 July 2019 Legislative Council (LegCo) protest and America capitol Washington D.C. 6 January 2021 insurrection includes:
ONE. The rule OF law as applied to USA and HK in both jurisdictions is based on UK's common law:
- In USA the US government was acting legally and Donald Trump and his 'fellow insurrectionists' were acting illegally;
- In HK the HK protesters were acting legally, by demanding and peaceful protesting to express their will* as the majority, that the HK government and CCP must uphold the Joint Declaration! On the other hand, the HK government was acting illegally by not ensuring citizens' human rights are upheld and proposing to enact an extradition law that if used with China would have breached the Joint Declaration and international treaties including ICCPR.
*Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) article 21.3 'The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.' CCP and HK government have unlawfully ignored under UDHR the will of HK people and their human rights, including under ICCPR and HK Bill of Rights, for universal and equal suffrage.
TWO. On 6 January 2021 in Washington D.C., USA capitol Congress was in session counting State Electoral votes according to American Constitution's process for US Presidential election 2020. Congress was interupted in performing its Constitutional duties by an alleged 'insurrection' corralled by US President Donald J. Trump who, having lost the election and all of his legal challenges failing, was attempting to overthrow by force or otherwise the lawful civil government to reinstate himself as the US President for a second term. Upon the insurrection failing Congress continued in session and completed its Electoral vote count and confirmed the next US President to be Joe Biden.
The HK government lead by CE Carrie Lam on 15 February 2019 proposed in the Legislative Council an 'extradition law' that if passed would be illegal under HK's rule of law, ICCPR and HK Bill of Rights and was a proposed breach of the Joint Declaration, HK's Constitution. The Legislative Council is illegitimate because it violates HK legislation for universal and equal suffrage. This bill would illegally grant CCP the right to extradite anyone in HK, resident or visitor, to mainland China to face criminal charges, trial and if convicted (with nearly 100% conviction rate) imprisonment; China's judiciary has far lower standards in its rule of law than has HK.
THREE. Furthermore, WTHPOHK wish you to note that the CCP and the HK government has continued their illegal acts against the majority of HK people in breach of the Joint Declaration including:
12 June 2019 unprovoked illegal use of disproportionate force by the police, without identification badges, using without warning tear gas and pepper spray at a peaceful legal protest outside Central Government Offices;
1 July 2019 police failure to adequately secure the Legislative Council from protesters;
Just prior to 24 November 2019 District Council elections unprovoked illegal police attacks using disproportionate force and tear gas on Chinese University and Polytechnic University HK people and trespassing; under international law the humanitarian crisis inflicted on First Aiders;
The total rejection by CCP and HK government of the will of HK people in their 24 November 2019 District Councillor elections by a landslide victory is mismanagement of governance; including ignoring the 6 June 2020 majority of District Councillers voted AGAINST CCP's new HK national security law!
Disregarding the CCP's and HK governments treaty obligations to WHO and HK people under the global pandemic created and spread by CCP; failure to timely and fully inform HK people of the truth of the Wuhan virus COVID-19; including no timely lockdowns and control of HK-China borders; illegal abuse of HK government employees in the Healthcare sector for their freedom of speech; continued incompetence and corruption resulting in failure to reduce COVID-19 case numbers and implement any viable health program including vaccination to reduce HK peoples illness and fatalities;
'Postponement' for bogus reasons of COVID-19 the 6 September 2020 Legislative Council (LegCo) elections and subsequent illegal decision of CCP's NPCSC to 'appoint' rather than elect a Provisional LegCo. This is a breach of ICCPR HK legislation on universal and equal suffrage;
Banning by CCP's NPCSC of 4 HK elected Lawmakers from the Legislative Council and resulting disengagement from the HK political process of all remaining pro-democratic lawmakers;
Illegal kidnapping of 12 HK people at sea and their illegal incarceration trial, conviction and sentencing in China;
Mass arbitrary arrests of 53 members of the pro-democratic camp is state sponsored terrorism 'genocide'; participation in elections is not a crime - so where is the crime?
The points 1-10 made above are not meant as justification for violence, but at least support that suggestion that the seeds of violence in HK were sewn before 12 June 2019. There has to be some bigger reason for the storming of Legco. WTHPOHK would argue that discontent may have been brewing even before 1984 when the Joint Declaration between UK and China was signed; by the end of 1970's 2/3rds of HK people were refugees who had escaped from CCP. What is most concerning is that CCP, CE Lam and her government continue to sew seeds of discontent in the SAR by their repudiation of their responsibilities in office, and ongoing denial of people's basic human rights and of international treaty the Joint Declaration.
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Years of violent evidence against Trump and enablers for capitol violence.
4. Saints and sinners
The storming of Hong Kong’s LegCo and the US Capitol do have one thing in common – a broken political system
This commentary by Chris Maden was published in Hong Kong Free Press, 16 January 2021
Last week’s mob invasion of the US Capitol has been the source of much delight among the pro-Beijing crowd. The superficial similarities between that incident and the 2019 takeover of our own LegCo were quickly blown away by my colleague Ilaria Maria Sala.
In our case, nobody was killed, the Council was not in session and, when the hour struck twelve, the intruders left peacefully. During their brief occupation they behaved much less badly than the protesters in D.C.
Despite these differences, there is one glaring similarity: just as the protests in Hong Kong were the result of a broken political system, those in America are too.
This may sound like an outrageous claim. America is the world’s biggest economy, is a staunch supporter of democracy around the world, and penalises countries that are not democracies. Candidates may stand for office no matter how loony their platform, people vote, and the winner – after the court challenges that are inevitable in America’s litigious society – gets the job.
That’s all well and good but it obscures the reality. What America has is not democracy but an elective oligarchy. Loony candidates may stand – indeed, one did four years ago and won – but he only won because he was personally wealthy enough to do so. Poor people, loony or otherwise, running for office in the United States, have no chance irrespective of their platform unless they can attract corporate backing.
On top of that, there is the gerrymandering (think of our Functional Constituencies where, like the U.S., politicians choose their voters rather than the other way round), the duopoly on power of the Democrats and Republicans (need I even spell out the local parallel?), the way the two sides consistently talk past each other – often using the same words (e.g., “heal”) to mean quite opposite things.
But what I find most striking is the similarity of America’s response to Hong Kong’s.
First and foremost, just as no one in power in Hong Kong has ever seriously suggested that the system is not fit for purpose, I am not aware of a single mainstream figure in the U.S. who has suggested that their system is likewise no longer fit for purpose. The protesters (or mob) in the Capitol were angry and felt excluded – as many in Hong Kong feel – from politics; their needs are ignored. That does not excuse their conduct – in LegCo or the Capitol – but rounding them up in droves will not address the cause of their grievances.
The response, indeed, has been legal warfare. The first step has been to blow up the incident out of proportion. Yes, people died in the Capitol and my sympathy is with their families. But let’s not pretend that this was a serious, organised and considered attempt to overthrow the entire system of government. It was nothing of the sort. It was a protest that got out of hand, a mob that went on a rampage. That’s bad, but it’s hardly the end of a government with a US$750 billion annual military budget.
Worse yet, Nancy Pelosi invoked the “s-“ word, sedition. This, truly, is frightening. In 2009 (a mere 32 years after a 1977 Law Commission recommended it do so), Britain took sedition off the books as a crime. Sedition, unlike subversion and insurrection, merely challenges the authority and not the power of the state. As such, the commission determined that sedition was not a sufficient threat to state power as to warrant a carve-out in freedom of speech.
The commission also noted that sedition was still on the books of many former colonies, where it was being used as a tool of oppression, and felt that Britain should lead by example by taking sedition off the books. It is therefore a bitter irony that the only sedition charge brought in my 34 years in Hong Kong should be under one of those colonial laws – in this case, enacted in 1938.)
America’s own use of sedition has been, to say the least, parsimonious. The 1798 Sedition Act resulted in a single conviction for seditious libel against the president John Adams; the guilty person was pardoned by Adams’ successor, Thomas Jefferson, and the act repealed in 1801. The Sedition Act of 1918 likewise had few takers and, although it was upheld by the Supreme Court (twice), it was repealed in 1921. Seditious conspiracy remains in the U.S. Code (Title 18 Part I Chapter 115 Section 2384), but has rarely been used and, a great deal more often than not, cases have been thrown out of court.
The American method of enforcement, likewise, appears to be with special rather than normal police. The FBI has already given most-wanted prominence to those accused of the storming of the Capitol. Sedition does not count amongst the nine things that the FBI says it is set up to investigate; I suppose our own National Security Police are at least more focused in that respect.
Now, if this response sounds dismally familiar, it is the more so because it gives voice to those who say that, because every other country has national security laws, so should Hong Kong. Indeed, Hong Kong should. The problem is that those laws are a final recourse. If, as Clausewitz says, war is the continuation of diplomacy by other means, then surely insurrection is likewise the continuation of politics by other means. Or, to put it the other way around, if war starts when diplomacy fails, insurrection starts when politics fails.
The sad thing is that there are tried and tested political approaches to address those who have been, or believe themselves to have been excluded. The simplest is to listen to their grievances, identify the legitimate ones and fix them, and explain to them, as equals rather than in the usual condescending tone, why some of those grievances are not legitimate.
That failed to happen in Hong Kong, and every indication is that it is failing to happen in the U.S. By going after the disaffected rather than attempting to address their grievances – indeed by pursuing instead a purely symbolic impeachment of the one politician who, for all his faults, gave the disaffected some hope that they were being heard – America sets an example that does itself and the world a disservice.
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5. Which narrative will be the legacy of events in HK and the U.S.?
What's the narrative of human life? Each to their own.
Buddhist saying: whoever doesn't flare up at someone who's angry wins a battle hard to win.
WTPOHK thinks and feels the narrative is the health of Earth; the inter-dependency with all on Earth and our personal health. To be healthy, people ought to live in the moment with freedom to feel unconditional love.
One view of events in HK and in the U.S. focuses on the absence of LOVE: CE Carrie Lam does not act out of unconditional love for the people of HK, but instead gives her affection to CCP. Donald Trump is on record telling his supporters he loved them, but we have to ask what affection and affinity he holds for the rest of the U.S. populous?
Healthy narratives bring life: unhealthy narratives bring death! No health no life!
Take personal responsibility for what YOU feel, think, say and do.
Encountering difficulties are how we grow!
How to achieve more 'healthy' open, functioning and inclusive narratives? For health the 'internal' and 'external' for everyone must be coupled in unison: 'internal' is the inner world of human beings accessed by living in the moment using our growing awareness (consciousness), feelings coupled with critical thinking: 'external' with civil society's rule OF law, civil liberties of freedoms of speech, association, Press, peaceful protest, beliefs, religion, access to information, etc.: human beings freely expressing and owning their narratives must not be overlooked nor blocked!
Said another way ,'externally' our information technologies (IT) and others of smartphones, internet and media platforms has resulted in an information explosion in all directions. For most people our 'internal' has not kept pace with our 'external'; nor has our ability to internalize and to communicate with the 'external'.
Ultimately 'inclusive' narratives are what results in our more rapid effective collective development as human beings with humane dignity: these narratives are what moves communities forwards and upwards spiritually, politically, socially, culturally, economically, etc. in health! The opposite results in decline.
Trust is so important! If we trust someone everything is possible; if we distrust someone zero to very little is possible. Because of what Tibet, Mongolia, Xinjiang, HK and other communities are going through, and CCP's creation and spreading of the Wuhan virus COVID-19, the CCP has been unmasked and the world has zero to little trust in CCP and Emperor Xi Jinping! Propaganda and false narratives are largely ineffective against a deep personal sense of distrust.
Homosapiens have been on Earth for 350,000 years: just look at our human condition and the Earth's - how much longer do we need before we 'awaken'? While we have such wealth from our destruction of Earth, this tragically has resulted in roughly 1billion humans going to sleep at night hungry. Global climate change is real and humans created it!
No wonder we had the paradigm shift which created COVID-19 and that is helping everyone everywhere to upgrade!
We have only scratched the surface. Please take time to read the other blogs in this series.
Jeremiah B. & Pepe.
CCP please answer the following UN letters sent to you:
In the News:
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