“I am afraid of the police, not the protesters”

That’s it, in a nutshell.  That’s the worry of a resident of Mong Kok, a major shopping and residential neighborhood on the mainland side of Hong Kong, as she prepared to join a protest last weekend.

That worry comes against the backdrop of Hong Kong police using tear gas and truncheons in attempts to break up peaceful protests throughout Hong Kong as those protests have grown over the last several weeks, with those police using isolated incidents of protestor violence as their excuse.  Keep in mind, too, that these protests originated as a response to the Hong Kong government’s attempt to pass a law demanded by People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping and his Communist Party of China, a law that would have allowed any accused Hong Kong citizen or visitor to be seized and shipped into the PRC proper for trial.

That worry comes against the backdrop of Hong Kong police standing by, keeping watch, while criminals beat protestors in a subway station in an earlier protest in this sequence of protests.

That worry comes against the backdrop of violent suppression attempts by the PRC Hong Kong police against protests in Mong Kok in 2014 and 2016.

That worry comes against Xi’s sub rosa threats of military intervention in Hong Kong:

Chinese officials have said its military, which has a garrison in Hong Kong, could restore order if called upon by Hong Kong’s leadership.
The military recently released a propaganda video depicting Chinese soldiers practicing to do just that.

It’s a valid worry as Hong Kong’s legitimate leadership is in the streets protesting the actions of the PRC’s government-in-residence in Hong Kong.

It’s a valid worry as the Xi presses his government’s disregard of the transfer agreement the UK and the PRC signed 22 years ago and increases his government’s direct control over and destruction of the semi-autonomy of Hong Kong and his direct attacks on the freedoms of the Hong Kong people.

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