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Hong King Kong

Hong King Kong

Of course the notion of addressing Hong Kong has been in my mind for a while, but it’s a bit of a moving target: things change all the time, and seemingly on the fly. However, with today’s fresh developments, it seems silly to wait any longer. Hong Kong Civic party lawmaker Dennis Kwok yesterday expressed the reason way better than I could:

As I said time and again, the use of troops in Hong Kong will be the end of Hong Kong, and I would warn against any such move on the part of the central people’s government.”

He said that before today’s arrests -and subsequent release on bail- of a handful of alleged protest leaders Joshua Wong, Andy Chan, and Agnes Chow. Who, if you read between the lines, didn’t lead much of anything; they may be figure-heads, but that’s not the same thing. The protests are either lacking leaders or everyone’s a leader, depending on who you ask. So why arrest them to begin with? You tell me.

What I did find enlightening was Reuters’ report yesterday on Beijing having rejected Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s (how is CEO a political function?) proposal to communicate with the protesters and perhaps allow some concessions to their demands. I know it’s only one source, but it appears quite feasible.

Carrie Lam is between a rock and a hard place, and she admits it -at least according to the Reuters piece-, though not to the protesters. Beijing is in exactly such a spot, but won’t admit it, ever. And that right there is Hong Kong’s main issue.

China Rejected Hong Kong Plan To Appease Protesters 

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Martial Law Considered in Hong Kong to Crush Pro-Democracy Protests

Martial Law Considered in Hong Kong to Crush Pro-Democracy Protests

Could lead to “total destruction” of Hong Kong’s capitalist system.

Authorities in Hong Kong are considering whether to impose draconian martial law powers in a bid to crush pro-democracy protests.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is not ruling out invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance for the first time in half a century.

The ordinance would grant the government sweeping powers, including authorizing the entry and search of properties, censoring the media and imposing maximum terms of life imprisonment.

Lawmaker Au Nok-hin warned that imposing emergency powers would lead to the “total destruction” of Hong Kong’s capitalist system, while law professor Simon Young of the University of Hong Kong said the ordinance meant “basically a state of martial law.”

With the government refusing to meet the five demands of the protesters, which includes withdrawing a bill that would allow suspects in Hong Kong to be extradited to China, escalation seems inevitable.

Beijing still has troops massing nearby, but experts agree that they are unlikely to be deployed inside Hong Kong.

As we previously highlighted, riot police deployed water cannons for the first time during violent demonstrations on Sunday, protesters also being hit with tear gas and rubber bullets.

How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our government-funded media outlet, has published an article titled “Australian expat living in Hong Kong throws off business suit to join protest movement“. The entire story is in the headline: some random guy, who ABC keeps anonymous but for the name “Daniel”, has joined the protests in Hong Kong. That’s it. That’s the whole entire bombshell newsworthy news story.

“In Australia we have proper democracy but in Hong Kong, democracy is being slowly eroded away and I’ll try to do whatever I can to try and help the cause,” the anonymous guy told ABC.

This sort of enthusiastic empty non-story cheerleading is typical for western media coverage of the Hong Kong protests so far, while these same media outlets consistently ignore or downplay protests against the government of France, Israel, Honduras, India, Indonesia and any other region that happens to fall within the US-centralized power alliance. It’s an amazingly reliable pattern: the entire western political/media class finds protests and uprisings endlessly fascinating when they are in opposition to governments which haven’t yet been absorbed into the imperial blob like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, pre-collapse Libya, or then-Moscow-aligned Ukraine, but any protests or uprisings within that empire are ignored at best or demonized at worst.

If dissidents in the United States began donning yellow vests and holding aggressive demonstrations in the current media environment, you could safely bet your bottom dollar that they would be ignored for as long as possible and then smeared as fascists, antisemites and/or Russian pawns thereafter. This would happen with absolute certainty.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hong Kong Activist Leader Calls For a Run on the Bank

Hong Kong Activist Leader Calls For a Run on the Bank

Chen Haotian asks citizens to withdraw cash deposits to target Chinese banks.

Prominent Hong Kong pro-independence political activist Chen Haotian has called for a run on Chinese banks, asking that everyone withdraw their money on the same day.

Haotian is a founding member and the convenor of the Hong Kong National Party.

Arguing that large scale protests have only led to injuries and escalating police brutality, Haotian believes another method could be used to severely undermine China’s influence – a good old fashioned run on the bank.

He suggested that another method could be used, namely, impacting the financial system,” reports China Press.

“He called on Friday (August 16) that Hong Kong citizens take out all bank deposits. The primary goal is Chinese banks, but he said other banks should also be targeted, otherwise Chinese banks can borrow money from other banks to solve problems.”

Hong Kong has been rocked by weeks of violent protests by pro-independence campaigners. Earlier this week, riot police stormed Hong Kong International Airport to clear them out.

As we reported on Tuesday, while China is unlikely to invade using PLA troops, experts have suggested that soldiers could be disguised as Hong Kong police.

Chinese Paramilitary Troops, Tanks Hold Threatening Exercises At Shenzen Sports Stadium

Chinese Paramilitary Troops, Tanks Hold Threatening Exercises At Shenzen Sports Stadium

As we shared yesterday, satellite images confirmed President Trump’s warning that Chinese troops were massing on the Hong Kong border.

Now, the AFP has published photos showing more military buildup unfolding in Shenzen.

The photos show what Reuters reports are hundreds of members of the People’s Armed Police, a pro-regime paramilitary organization, carrying out military exercises in a stadium in Shenzen. They could be preparing to carry out demonstrations of its own in Hong Kong.

Not to mention the hundreds of carriers and what appear to be tanks driving toward the field.

And let’s not forget about those satellite images.

And let’s not forget the video of military vehicles clogging the streets of Shenzen.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Macron’s French Police Openly Attacking the People Seriously Injuring if not Trying to Kill Them

Macron’s French Police Openly Attacking the People Seriously Injuring if not Trying to Kill Them 

Video

Unfortunately, as governments begin to collapse moving into 2021/2022 due to the complete failure of Socialism, they will not simply yield to the people and admit that their fiscal mismanagement is the cause of destroying everyone’s future. They will not go quietly into the light. Here we see French police acting no different than the police in Venezuela terrorizing and suppressing the people there as well.

“This Cannot Be Tolerated”: Beijing Hints It Could Send Troops Into Hong Kong If Protests Don’t Stop

“This Cannot Be Tolerated”: Beijing Hints It Could Send Troops Into Hong Kong If Protests Don’t Stop

A few days after another round of violent protests rocked Hong Kong, Beijing on Wednesday issued its harshest warning yet to the citizens of Hong Kong: It sought to remind them that Beijing has the authority to mobilize the People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong if it felt that the central government’s authority was threatened. 

The New York Times reports that the warning was part of the unveiling of the Communist Party’s new “defense strategy” which relied heavily on demonizing the western powers – an oblique reference to the US and the UK – for encouraging the protests.

Col. Wu Qian

Citing the Sunday protests, Senior Col. Wu Qian, a spokesman for China’s defense ministry, implied that the destructive behavior – protesters painted the central government’s liaison office with graffiti, the latest example of the extradition bill protests leading to the vandalism of government buildings – was swiftly straining the patience of Beijing.

“The behavior of some radical protesters challenges the central government’s authority, touching on the bottom line principle of ‘one country, two systems,'” Colonel Wu said during a news conference in Beijing where he laid out the government’s new strategy. “That absolutely cannot be tolerated.”

When pressed, Wu said that “Article 14 of the Garrison Law has clear stipulations,” and refused to elaborate, the SCMP reports.

Hong Kong’s government would need to request the garrison’s assistance, like it does during a natural disaster.

In response, a spokesman for the Hong Kong government said on Wednesday that the city was “fully capable” of dealing with its own affairs.

“There is no need to ask for assistance from the garrison,” he said.

Eric Chan Kwok-ki, director of the Chief Executive’s Office, dismissed Wu’s reference to the Garrison law, suggesting that it wasn’t a threat.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Twitter Restores Assange Activism Account In Response To Backlash

Twitter Restores Assange Activism Account In Response To Backlash

After a week of vocal protests from online supporters of Julian Assange, Twitter has reversed its unjust removal of the prominent pro-Assange activism account @Unity4J.

After the account was suspended without any explanation being presented to its operators, Assange supporters drew a clear line in the sand against internet censorship and began making a big noise that couldn’t be ignored. The account’s suspension drew condemnations from high-profile Assange supporters like Pink Floyd’s Roger WatersWorld Socialist WebsiteRT and Lee Camp, as well as a sustained social media campaign by grassroots supporters which included artwork, memes, and of course relentless “tagging” of Twitter Support and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Political dissidents in general, and Assange supporters in particular, can take this as a very positive sign. It cannot be denied that there is pressure being applied to new media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to forcibly marginalize all perspectives which fall outside the ever-shrinking Overton window of approved political discourse, but it also cannot be denied that speaking out works. If enough people push back against internet censorship to make it too conspicuous and obvious, it can’t happen.

We know that @twitter can and does reinstate accounts after suspension in the wake of a public outcry: @caitoz was suspended only to be reinstated after multiple journalists spoke out against it. @twittersupport @jack reinstate @Unity4J, an account that never broke Twitter rules. https://twitter.com/AssangeMrs/status/1149415943723999233 …

Unity4J co-founder Elizabeth Lea Vos called this from the early hours of the account’s suspension, tweeting, “We know that Twitter can and does reinstate accounts after suspension in the wake of a public outcry: @caitoz was suspended only to be reinstated after multiple journalists spoke out against it.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Protest Good for Democracy? And Does It Work?

Is Protest Good for Democracy? And Does It Work?

When certain conditions are present, huge change is possible. So get out there.

HomelessnessNotACrime.jpg
‘If concerned citizens did not mobilize to demand their rights, the politically powerful would not grant them.’ Photo by Dexter McMillan for The Tyee.

Do protests constitute a danger to the legitimacy and stability of the political system, or do they foster greater democratic responsiveness? And, most importantly, do protests really create long-term political change? 

To answer these questions, you only need to think of some of the greatest achievements of the last century: civil and political rights for people of colour, women, Indigenous peoples, members of the LGBTQ+ community, alongside workers’ rights and students’ rights. 

If concerned citizens did not mobilize to demand their rights, the politically powerful would not grant them. 

The key to fostering a positive link between protest levels and democratic quality is the openness of political institutions to protesters’ demands and the willingness of protesters to engage with those institutions. 

When these conditions are present, protest movements complement or reinforce conventional political participation by offering a measure of direct representation for those who perceive mainstream politics to be unresponsive to citizen concerns. 

When governments ignore protesters or attempt to repress them, protests tend to become radicalized and directed against the political system. 

We are currently witnessing a global uptick in protest activity, with some of the largest protests in world history. The 2011 global protest cycle, which began with the Arab Spring and expanded to include Europe, Latin America and North America, was the largest and most influential since the classic protest cycle of the 1960s. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Change Triggers Hysteria As Ireland Declares A ‘Climate Emergency’

Climate Change Triggers Hysteria As Ireland Declares A ‘Climate Emergency’

Pollution

Ireland has declared a climate emergency, with Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton calling climate change the greatest challenge mankind is facing.

ITV quoted the minister as saying, “We’re reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration. Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing.”

The move, which followed cross-party support to amendments to a climate action report drafted by the country’s parliament, made Ireland the second country in the world to declare a climate emergency after the UK. In the latter, the declaration followed crippling environmentalist protests in London that paralyzed parts of the city.

In its wake, an independent, government-appointed Committee on Climate Change recommended to the government such measures as reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products, changing the way farms do business, and making electric cars the only cars that people can buy starting in 2035. By 2050, according to the panel, the country should be greenhouse gas emission-free.

It looks like climate emergency declarations could become a trend: hours after media reported the Irish parliament’s vote for an emergency, the New Zealand Vegan Society issued a call for the government to declare a climate emergency.

“New Zealand is woeful in its protection of the environment, with many rivers and waterways polluted, in part due to excess dairying in particular regions. It shows that we are simply not doing enough to protect our part of the world,” the call read

“It is the next biggest inconvenient truth… eating animals is causing habitat loss, driving climate change and the 6th mass extinction wave. What can we do? The answer is simple: go vegan and plant trees!” said a Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand representative, Claire Insley.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Without a rebellion there might be nothing left. The tide is turning and necessarily so.

Without a rebellion there might be nothing left. The tide is turning and necessarily so.

extinction rebellion

An international rebellion has begun. I am writing this as a call to action for humanity and permaculture enthusiasts everywhere. I want to take a few minutes to share my story, and perhaps you will be inspired by a world that is waking up. The sea is rising and so are we.

I will finish with some practical ways you can get involved in the rebellion and what you can do after.

10 years ago I did a course in Permaculture Design and it changed my life. I no longer felt alone in seeking solutions to global warming and ecological disasters like mass deforestation. I had found my people⎯ agrarian systems thinkers and community activists with a deep connection to the world around them. And much to my relief a network of curious people with the will to design a world that works alongside nature!

Permaculture designers have been acting to mitigate the climate emergency and ecological breakdown since the 70’s. The approaches used in permaculture have inspired a generation to redesign the places that they live. Permaculture networks, the Permaculture Association and groups like Transition Towns have done much of the groundwork for grassroots action for ‘systems change, not climate change’ in the UK and beyond.

The permaculture approach helps design intelligent systems which meet human needs whilst enhancing biodiversity, reducing our impact on the planet, and creating a fairer world for us all.

We will need grassroots movements like permaculture systems thinking and design to reinvent the way we design our society so that we can meet the our needs whilst working in harmony with our planet. Without approaching our challenges in this systematic way we do not have a chance to innovate and make integrated policy changes needed meet the Paris agreement or the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Chaos Erupts In Paris As “Armageddon” Protesters Riot During French Holiday

Chaos Erupts In Paris As “Armageddon” Protesters Riot During French Holiday

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Paris and other French cities on Wednesday to mark International Workers’ Day (also known as Labor Day), only to clash with French riot police. The demonstrators included Yellow Vests, trade unionists, climate change protesters and Black Bloc (antifa) – which posted on social media that they wanted an “Armageddon” rally that would turn Paris into the “Riot Capital of Europe,” according to the Daily Mail

More than 7,400 police, gendarmes and soldiers were on hand to quell the more violent protesters. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said “‘There’s no question of dramatising anything, it is a question of being prepared,” adding that “1,000 to 2,000 extremists” were expected to join the protests. 

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Les Marianne Lilloises ont rejoint le cortège en silence #1erMai #Lille

Marching alongside labor unions, pensioners, students and others, the protesters were hit with large amounts of tear gas, baton strikes and other crowd control measures. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Tipping Point: The Gilets Jaunes are winning, what’s next?

Tipping Point: The Gilets Jaunes are winning, what’s next?

Image source.

The weekend just gone, Manifestation 23, marked a seismic shift in the five month battle between the Gilets Jaunes and the French state. The Notre Dame fire has brought into the open the strategic shift in public opinion that has occurred over the winter; shifts all to the advantage of the Gilets Jaunes. While the cold winter months with their looming darkness only allowed us to glimpse two equal parties grinding away at each other in the gloom, the advent of spring and its clear light, reveals how the Gilets are gathering reserves of strength all over France, and how, now, they are slowly winning in Paris as well. The sight of French police surrounding Notre Dame and denying access to its ‘own’ population, starkly illustrates what the state seeks to deny. After all, these sort of monuments are the materiality through which states demonstrates their connection to the population, their right to rule and their own power.

The Neo-liberal state is crumbling and Macron is going be the sacrificial lamb. At this stage he will be lucky to last two months. His clumsy handling of the Notre Dame blaze has outraged and enraged more sections of the French population. Indeed throughout the five months of protest, and despite the wall to wall media propaganda, opinion polls consistently show continued and unwavering sympathy and support of the Gilets Jaunes.

In the sharp light of spring it is clear that Macron’s winter strategy: the Great National Debate, has achieved nothing for the government and more tellingly perhaps, has further revealed Macron’s own incapacity to either change himself or shift course. As one anonymous French state official reportedly said: ‘Mitterrand gave them an extra week’s holiday, but Macron can’t manage anything’.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

With Youth Climate Actions Backed by Leading Experts, Latest Round of Protests Highlights Call for Bold and Urgent Action

With Youth Climate Actions Backed by Leading Experts, Latest Round of Protests Highlights Call for Bold and Urgent Action

“We can change it all if we want it all, and we do.”

Protesters hold signs at the YouthStrike4Climate student march on April 12, 2019 in London.

Protesters hold signs at the YouthStrike4Climate student march on April 12, 2019 in London. Students are protesting across the U.K. due to the lack of government action to combat climate change. (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The latest round of weekly climate strikes took place in cities across the globe on Friday as a group of experts said that the youthful protesters deserve the support of the international community, and backed their call for “rapid and forceful action.”

London was among dozens of U.K. cities where #FridaysforFuture actions took place. One of the protesters there was 21-year-old Cameron Joshi, who told the Guardian:“The global system of trade benefits them, not us, it’s built for consumption. But they’re fucking afraid of us.”

And they should be, he said.

“They fear us because they know if we get our shit together we can change the world. We’re at an absolutely seminal point in history, years of consumerism, capitalism, and environmental murder, and we can change it all if we want it all, and we do.”

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who spearheaded the school strike for climate campaign, took to Twitter to share images of many of the protests:

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Students from Istanbul made their first school strike for climate today. New students are on the way 12.04.2019

🌿

#fridaysforfuture#schoolstrikeforclimate@GretaThunberg#iklimdegisikligi#iklimkrizi

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Der Demo-Zug von #fridaysforfuture in #Potsdam ist jetzt am Landtag angekommen. @PNN_de @F4F_Potsdam

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Yellow Vests Protests Rock Paris For 21st Consecutive Week 

Yellow Vests Protests Rock Paris For 21st Consecutive Week 

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