I read and re-read my previous post, A Tale of Two Governments on a Very Difficult Day, many times. I don’t think I said anything to suggest that I supported the pro-democracy protesters’ move to “occupy Central”. I was saddened, as any Hong Konger should be, to see the riot police’s beastly and almost insane brutality in suppressing the demonstrators, the majority of whom were peaceful and disciplined young people armed with nothing but umbrellas, rain coats, and goggles. I thought the violent forces exerted by the Hong Kong police were excessive and unnecessary; and the tactics used provocative and miscalculated. In my article, I contrasted the Hong Kong government’s shameful and less than rational behavior on Sunday with the caring behavior exhibited by the Japanese government on the very same day in dealing with the Mount Ontake emergency.
The next day, the government of Hong Kong obviously woke up to realize its stupidity and quickly softened its approach. But the damage had been done and the horrifying news spread the world over. The iron-fisted strategy backfired: hundreds of thousands of protesters angered by the government’s shocking brutality came out in full force to occupy every important business or commercial district of Hong Kong one can think of: Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, even Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui. Condemnation of the Hong Kong government's shameful behavior against its own citizens came one after another from the various democratic countries.
Let's be clear, I am not in favor of “Occupy Central”. No question it’s illegal, as civil disobedience always is. But in the civilized world, a parent is not allowed to act against his/her children in a violent manner just because they are disobedient. Similarly, a government should not use excessive force to curb a peaceful protest of its citizens, especially the young generation who are our future.
My heart is bleeding as the confrontation between the two camps continues to escalate. This morning I heard that the pro-democracy camp gave the government of Hong Kong until Wednesday to respond to its demands. Not a wise move. The protesters should understand that their message had been sent; it was loud and clear. The beast is hurt; but it's dangerous to back it into a corner. Let’s pray that the two camps will soften their confrontational attitudes and a peaceful negotiation will quickly ensue.