Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Here some more from REUTERS about the general situation

Hong Kong protesters stockpile supplies, fear fresh police advance
(Reuters) - Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong late on Tuesday, stockpiling supplies and erecting makeshift barricades ahead of what some fear may be a push by police to clear the roads before Chinese National Day.
On the eve of Wednesday's anniversary of the Communist Party's foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, crowds poured into central districts of the Asian financial hub, near where National Day festivities are scheduled to take place.

There was a carnival atmosphere among demonstrators, in contrast to weekend clashes when riot police fired pepper spray and tear gas to quell the unrest.

Nevertheless, rumours have spread among protesters that police could be preparing to move in again, as the pro-Beijing government, which has called the demonstrations illegal, vowed to go ahead with celebrations.

"Many powerful people from the mainland will come to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government won't want them to see this, so the police must do something," Sui-ying Cheng, 18, a freshman at Hong Kong University's School of Professional and Continuing Education, said of the National Day holiday.

"We are not scared. We will stay here tonight. Tonight is the most important," she said.

Online student groups urged supporters to move towards the convention centre, near the harbour waterfront, ahead of a planned flag-raising ceremony there on Wednesday morning.

Student leaders had given Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying an ultimatum to come out and address the protesters before midnight on Tuesday, threatening to escalate action in the next few days to occupy more government facilities, buildings and public roads if he failed to do so.

The protesters, mostly students, are demanding full democracy and have called on Leung to step down after Beijing ruled a month ago that it would vet candidates wishing to run for Hong Kong's leadership in 2017.

While Leung has said Beijing would not back down in the face of protests, he also said Hong Kong police would be able to maintain security without help from People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops from the mainland.

In a blog post published shortly before the students' deadline, Leung urged city residents to abandon the protest movement, widely known as "Occupy Central", immediately.

"The impact on the value of Hong Kong's international image is becoming greater and greater," he wrote. "I hope you will all think about this."

DEMONSTRATIONS COULD ESCALATE

People voiced concern that the protests could escalate on Wednesday.

"I don't know what the police or government will do to me, but I am 100 percent sure I need to come out (tonight)," said Ken To, a 35-year-old manager of a restaurant in the densely packed Mong Kok residential district.

Its dark alleyways and triad-run bars - a far cry from the glittering high rises across the water for which Hong Kong is famous - could prove a flashpoint for violence, residents fear, although police have steered clear of the area in recent days.

China rules Hong Kong under a "one country, two systems" formula that accords the former British colony a degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, with universal suffrage set as an eventual goal.

Protesters massed in at least four of Hong Kong's busiest areas, including Admiralty, the Central business district, the bustling shopping district of Causeway Bay and Mong Kok in Kowloon.

Organisers said as many as 80,000 people thronged the streets after demonstrations flared on Friday night, and many have slept out for the past four nights blocking usually busy roads. No independent estimate of crowd numbers was available.

STOCKPILING SUPPLIES

Alex Chow, leader of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said the protests, which began as a gathering of students and the "Occupy Central" movement, had become much broader and attracted Hong Kongers of all walks of life.

"It has evolved into a civil movement," he said.

"We can see the Beijing and Hong Kong governments already feel pressure, so the 'Occupy' movement must continue," Chow told protesters in Admiralty.

People set up supply stations with water bottles, fruit, crackers, disposable raincoats, towels, goggles, face masks and tents, indicating they were in for the long haul.

Some lugged metal road barricades into positions on the edge of crowds, presumably to slow a police advance. In at least one location, several minivans and a truck were parked in rows in an apparent effort to block a road.

"Even though I may get arrested, I will stay until the last minute," said 16-year-old John Choi.

"We are fighting for our futures."

Protest organisers urged citizens to donate more yellow ribbons, a symbol of the rallies, and goggles to protect against tear gas and pepper spray.

Communist Party leaders in Beijing worry that calls for democracy could spread to the mainland, and have been aggressively censoring news and social media comments about the Hong Kong demonstrations.

The protests are the worst in Hong Kong since China resumed its rule in 1997. They also represent one of the biggest political challenges for Beijing since it violently crushed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Cracking down too hard could shake confidence in market-driven Hong Kong, which has a separate legal system from the rest of China. Not reacting firmly enough, however, could embolden dissidents on the mainland.

The deputy director of China's National People's Congress Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee, Li Shenming, wrote in the People's Daily: "In today's China, engaging in an election system of one-man-one-vote is bound to quickly lead to turmoil, unrest and even a situation of civil war."

FINANCIAL FALLOUT

On the financial markets, Hong Kong shares fell to a three-month low on Tuesday, registering their biggest monthly fall since May 2012.

The city's benchmark index has plunged 7.3 percent this month. Chinese shares were less troubled, perhaps because news of the protests in Hong Kong was hard to come by on the mainland.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the de facto central bank, said 37 branches or offices of 21 different banks had been temporarily closed because of the protests.

Other businesses have been directly affected, including luxury retailers in the Causeway Bay shopping mecca where protesters hunkered down.

The outside world has looked on warily, concerned that the clashes could spread and trigger a much harsher crackdown.

In Britain's strongest interjection yet, finance chief George Osborne urged China to seek peace and said the former colony's prosperity depended on freedom.

Washington has urged the Hong Kong authorities "to exercise restraint and for protesters to express their views peacefully".

The protests have also been watched closely in Taiwan, which has full democracy but is considered by Beijing as a renegade province that must one day be reunited with the mainland.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said Beijing needed "to listen carefully to the demands of the Hong Kong people".

The United States, Australia and Singapore have issued travel alerts.

Welcome to TST

Live blog here - situation swapped to TST - please click here !

And here ohh my gosh some interesting comments:

Voices of protesters arriving in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui luxury shopping district, where new crowds have been building in the last few hours:
Frankie Chan, 28, who works in finance: “I’ve been in TST since 11 p.m. I heeded a call on Facebook to come. A lot of people have showed up, from about 100 two hours ago.”
Mr. Sum, 24, who works in a bank, also came to Tsim Sha Tsui after an appeal on Facebook: “I plan to stay here as long as I can,” he said. “The meaning of being here in TST is that this is our place.”
 
  • Isabella Steger/The Wall Street Journal
    Organizers in Central say Admiralty is full and direct people to occupy Chater Garden in the heart of the business district, next to the old Legislative Council building.
  •  
    Donata Liu, 27, is skeptical about the protests.
    A personal assistant originally from Sichuan, mainland China, Ms. Liu said she was worried the students demonstrators were being manipulated, though she said she didn’t know by whom.
    “Students are emotional,” she said while sitting aboard a Hong Kong-bound flight from Beijing, where she currently lives, en route to see her boyfriend. “They have pure minds. Maybe what they know is only half true — kind of like what they say about people in mainland China, that we don’t know what’s going on.”
    Part of it, she suggested, was the result of their youth. “It’s easy to get excited about things. They might just join, like a party,” she added.
    “I think it’s meaningless and causes a lot of trouble,” she said of the protests, which she said she wasn’t particularly curious to see. “It’s creating suffering for their own and not for outside people.”

    Yes Donata be sceptical - your main concern is you are being interrupted your shopping here.
    With your 27 years old dont you at least sometimes getting exited ?

    Some remarks from that lady.......china foreign ministry

    Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 30, 2014:

     
    Q: Can you tell us one more time China's position on the current "Occupy Central" movement in Hong Kong?
    A: The spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council has made some remarks on the illegal assembly of "Occupy Central" stirred up by some people in Hong Kong since the morning of September 28. I have elaborated on our position yesterday.
    The central government firmly opposes all illegal acts that undermine the rule of law and sabotage social stability, fully believes and strongly supports Hong Kong SAR government's handling of the case in accordance with law so as to safeguard social stability of Hong Kong..
    I'd like to reiterate that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, and Hong Kong affairs fall entirely within China's internal affairs. We urge relevant countries to be prudent in words and deeds, refrain from interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs in any way, and do not support the illegal activities such as the "Occupy Central" nor send any wrong signal.
    Q: Australia and Italy have issued travel advice to Hong Kong. What is China's comment? Will China also consider issuing travel advice to Hong Kong?
    A: Your question is out of the remit of the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry. It's worth pointing out that the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong serves the interests of Hong Kong and China and the international community.

    VERY NICE COMMENT - JUST LIKE A TAPE RECORDER !

    And this was same persons comments one day earlier:

    Q: Can you comment on what role certain western countries play in stirring up the "Occupy Central" protest in Hong Kong? What's your comment on the US Consulate General in Hong Kong's remarks regarding the protest?
    A: Since the morning of September 28, some people in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) illegally rallied and carried out the protest of "Occupy Central". The Spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council has stated our principle and position, which is that the central government firmly opposes all kinds of illegal acts in Hong Kong that undermine the rule of law and sabotage social security and fully believes and strongly supports the lawful handling of the case by the Hong Kong SAR government.
    We have noticed remarks made by certain countries. I'd like to reiterate that Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong, which is a special administrative region of China. Hong Kong affairs fully fall within China's domestic affairs. We hope that relevant countries can be prudent in their words and deeds, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Hong Kong in any way, stay away from supporting the illegal acts such as "Occupy Central", and do not send out wrong signals.
     
    Q: In the past, the Chinese leaders usually lay wreath in the Tian'anmen Square on October 1, but this year the event is shifted to September 30. What are the considerations behind this?
    A: The event on September 30 you mentioned is upon the decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on designating this day as the Martyrs Memorial day and holding memorial activities for the purpose of carrying forward their spirit, memorizing their achievements, cultivating patriotism, collectivism and socialist morals of Chinese citizens, developing and implementing the core socialist values, enhancing the solidarity of the Chinese nation and stimulating the strong spiritual strength to realize the Chinese dream of great national renewal. This year on September 30, party and state leaders will lay flowers to the Monument of People's Heroes in the Tian'anmen Square.


    Isn't China a permanent member of the UN SECURITY COUNCIL ? Can this maybe end up in a problem how China is commenting on Hong Kong affairs & also commenting about how members of the UN Security Council commenting on that Hong Kong affairs.......not so sure about THAT !

    http://www.un.org/en/sc/
     
     

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    We shall overcome - some versions here.......................

    Here JOAN BAEZ from WOODSTOCK: Uncle Bruce Springsteen here:

    March on Washington 1963 !

    WHERE ARE ALL THE SUPER RICH TYCOONS WHO MADE A FORTUNE ON THE BACK OF HONG KONG PEOPLE................................???

    Where are all that super rich guys: Li Ka shing, Li & Fung, Mr. Rockowitz, Mr Zeeman, the Kwok Brothers & many others ? Why they not voiceing out ? They made fortunes in Hong Kong with the help of the Hong Kong people ! Nobody dares to speak out against CY Leungs bad administration ? Yes CY is a lousy administrator - close to just a messanger like an SF boy. Delivering the message from Beijing and not able to open the mouth for the Hong Kong people. How is Mr. Xi doing now - guess he must be very nervous - maybe better call CY and ask him to disappear.

    WORDS OF WISDOM

    To all people out there on the streets in Hong Kong protesting:
    Be careful, there are rumours that some people may try to infiltrate your peaceful protests.
    Do not take ANY THINGS from people to stir up trouble. Stay away from cannisters etc.

    Mark Farner here from Grand Funk giving a similar statement:

    MR CY LEUNG - HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HONG KONG ?

    MR CY LEUNG: HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HONG KONG ?
    MR CY LEUNG: HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HONG KONG ?
    MR CY LEUNG: HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HONG KONG ?
    MR CY LEUNG: HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HONG KONG ?
    MR CY LEUNG: HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HONG KONG ?
    MR CY LEUNG: HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HONG KONG ?
    MR CY LEUNG: HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HONG KONG ?
    MR CY LEUNG: HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HONG KONG ?

    YOU HAVE BEEN "ELECTED" BECAUSE YOU LOVE HONG KONG & THE MOTHERLAND ?

    SO MR CY LEUNG WHAT WILL YOU DO NEXT TO SHOW YOUR LOVE ?

    Monday, September 29, 2014

    Here the story from REUTERS !

    Full copy from REUTERS here:

    Hong Kong democracy protesters defy tear gas, baton charge in historic standoff

    HONG KONG Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:09pm EDT
    Riot police fire teargas to disperse protesters after thousands of demonstrators blocked the main street to the financial Central district outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong September 29, 2014.  REUTERS-Stringer
    A protester (C) raises his umbrellas in front of tear gas which was fired by riot police to disperse protesters blocking the main street to the financial Central district outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong, September 28, 2014. REUTERS-Tyrone Siu
    Thousands of protesters attend a rally outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong as riot police stand guard September 27, 2014. REUTERS-Tyrone Siu
    1 of 17. Riot police fire teargas to disperse protesters after thousands of demonstrators blocked the main street to the financial Central district outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong September 29, 2014.
    Credit: Reuters/Stringer
    HONG KONG (Reuters) - Riot police advanced on Hong Kong democracy protesters in the early hours of Monday, firing volleys of tear gas after launching a baton-charge in the worst unrest there since China took back control of the former British colony two decades ago.
    Some protesters erected barricades to block security forces amid chaotic scenes still unfolding just hours before one of the world's major financial centers was due to open for business. Many roads leading to the Central business district remained sealed off as thousands defied police calls to retreat.
    Earlier, police baton-charged a crowd blocking a key road in the government district in defiance of official warnings that the demonstrations were illegal.
    Several scuffles broke out between police in helmets, gas masks and riot gear, with demonstrators angered by the firing of tear gas, last used in Hong Kong in 2005.
    "If today I don't stand up, I will hate myself in future," said taxi driver Edward Yeung, 55, as he swore at police on the frontline. "Even if I get a criminal record it will be a glorious one."
    White clouds of gas wafting between some of the world's most valuable office towers and shopping malls underscored the struggle that China's Communist Party faces in stamping its will on Hong Kong's more than 7 million people.
    China took back control of Hong Kong from Britain in 1997.
    Eight years earlier, Beijing's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy students in Tiananmen Square in 1989 had sent shockwaves through Hong Kong as people saw how far China's rulers would go to maintain their grip on power.
    Thousands of protesters were still milling around the main Hong Kong government building, ignoring messages from student and pro-democracy leaders to retreat for fear that the police might fire rubber bullets.
    Australia and Italy issued travel warnings for Hong Kong, urging their citizens to avoid protest sites. Some financial firms in the business district advised staff to work from home or from another location.
    The U.S. State Department said in a statement on Sunday that Washington supported Hong Kong’s well-established traditions and fundamental freedoms, such as peaceful assembly and expression.
    PEPPER SPRAY, TEAR GAS
    The protests fanned out to the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay and across the harbor to Mong Kok, posing a greater challenge for authorities to contain, local media reported. The protesters brought traffic to a halt and called on Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying to step down.
    Police, in lines five deep in places, earlier used pepper spray against activists and shot tear gas into the air. The crowds fled several hundred yards (meters), scattering their umbrellas and hurling abuse at police they called "cowards".
    Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule under a formula known as "one country, two systems" that guaranteed a high degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China. Universal suffrage was set as an eventual goal.
    But Beijing last month rejected demands for people to freely choose the city's next leader, prompting threats from activists to shut down the Central business district. China wants to limit elections to a handful of candidates loyal to Beijing.
    Communist Party leaders in Beijing are concerned that calls for democracy could spread to cities on the mainland.
    In a move certain to unnerve authorities in Beijing, media in Taiwan reported that student leaders there had occupied the lobby of Hong Kong's representative office on the island in a show of support for the democracy protesters.
    Hong Kong leader Leung had earlier pledged "resolute" action against the protest movement, known as Occupy Central with Love and Peace.
    "The police are determined to handle the situation appropriately in accordance with the law," Leung said, less than two hours before the police charge began.
    "NEVER GIVE UP"
    Police had not used tear gas in Hong Kong since breaking up protests by South Korean farmers against the World Trade Organisation in 2005.
    "We will fight until the end ... we will never give up," said Peter Poon, a protester in his 20s, adding that he may have to retreat temporarily during the night.
    Police denied rumors that they had used rubber bullets.
    A spokesperson for China's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said the central government fully supported Hong Kong's handling of the situation "in accordance with the law".
    Such dissent would never be tolerated on the mainland, where the phrase "Occupy Central" was blocked on Sunday on Weibo, China's version of Twitter. It had been allowed earlier in the day.
    A tearful Occupy organizer, Benny Tai, said he was proud of people's determination to fight for "genuine" universal suffrage, but that the situation was getting out of control, local broadcaster RTHK reported. He said he believed he would face heavy punishment for initiating the movement.
    Protesters huddled in plastic capes, masks and goggles as they braced for a fresh police attempt to clear them from the financial district before Hong Kong re-opens for business. The city's financial markets are expected to open as usual on Monday. [ID:nL3N0RT0KT]
    "WE WILL WIN WITH LOVE AND PEACE"
    Publishing tycoon Jimmy Lai, a key backer of the democracy movement, joined the protesters.
    "The more Hong Kong citizens come, the more unlikely the police can clear up the place," said Lai, also wearing a plastic cape and protective glasses. "Even if we get beaten up, we cannot fight back. We will win this war with love and peace."
    Pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan said three fellow legislators were among a small group of activists detained by police, including democratic leaders Albert Ho and Emily Lau.
    Organizers said as many as 80,000 people thronged the streets in Admiralty district, galvanized by the arrests of student activists on Friday. No independent estimate of the crowd numbers was available.
    A week of protests escalated into violence when student-led demonstrators broke through a cordon late on Friday and scaled a fence to invade the city's main government compound.
    Police used pepper spray to disperse the crowd. The Hong Kong Federation of Students has extended class boycotts indefinitely and called on the city's leader to step down.
    Police have so far arrested 78 people, including Joshua Wong, the 17-year-old leader of student group Scholarism, who was dragged away after calling on protesters to charge the government premises.
    Wong was released without charge on Sunday night. He told reporters he planned to return to the protest site after resting. Student leaders Alex Chow and Lester Shum have also been released.