shen kong: hoodlum governments

The price of a night of sanctioned thuggery: image

This post from the anti-Occupy Central Blue Ribbon Organization offers HK$ 200 to meet up in Mong Kok and Causeway Bay and HK$ 300 to meet up in Admiralty. Also on offer are HK$ 500 bonus to dismantle supply stations and HK$ 1,000 to create chaos, which presumably means “incite students to violence so police can justify retaliation”. To receive payment, there must be documented proof. Those interested in the job can call Mr. Li at the listed number.

The scale of the October 2 attacks indicate that the thuggery was not only organized, but also condoned by the Hong Kong police. Indeed, tweets, Facebook posts and next day news reports agree that Hong Kong police watched while thugs attacked students. In response, the students held their positions even as leaders urged the to leave the site and keep safe.

The government’s decision to partner up with thugs rather than meet with students to discuss their concerns reveals how unrepresentative the administration is, demonstrating an ugly lack of good faith. More generally, the decision also reveals the foundational violence of states–in choosing not to protect students from thugs, the police reminded everyone that they have the authority to both oppose and sanction violence against unarmed citizens.

In Shenzhen, the ongoing news blackout about Hong Kong protests does more than create an ignorant populace (愚民政府). The Shenzhen news blackout serves the same purpose as Hong Kong police complicity with thugs. The blackout reminds the public (who in fact know about the protests and in general support the students) that the government has unequal access to weapons (informational, economic and military).

In Shenzhen it doesn’t matter what we know to be true because the official account has been set through the blackout–nothing is happening. After all, not just the specter of Tiananmen haunts us. We also know that this show of media dominance is a statement of intent: a government that is willing to suppress information is also willing to use violence to secure its goals. Thus, although we know the official story is a deliberate lie, we do not break it, becoming complicit in the lies and violence against the Hong Kong students, even though we are also being attacked. And thus talk of support protests is effectively stymied.

The logic of informational violence is clear: Shenzhen people know about the protests, but accept the news blackout as inevitable. This acceptance is a demonstration of government power. The blackout is a deployment of informational violence against the people because it indicates that the government is willing to deploy weapons to insure compliance.

Indeed, in Shenzhen as in Hong Kong, the government is acting to isolate people from each other, creating vulnerable individuals and ultimately creating targets. As Beijing lawyer activist Bao Tong (鲍彤) pointedly asks in an opinion piece circulating on We Chat, “who exactly is responsible for blocking peaceful resolution of the universal suffrage question?”

Meanwhile, on October 1, Anonymous, a group of hacker-activists declared virtual war on the Hong Kong government, including the very scary threat to post private information of functionaries.

10 thoughts on “shen kong: hoodlum governments

  1. Unbelievable! The reports coming out of Hong Kong late last night were a disgrace! How can this be happening in the year 2014??

    This only gives the righteous cause more ammunition. The local Communist party, the corrupt police, the tycoons, the Centeral Gov’t; whomever organized these attacks are fools of the highest order. How on earth could anyone think it was a good idea?

    Thanks for proving the point that this government is growing more illegitimate every day. It’s a shame the cost is so high to prove that point.

    The Hong Kong people will rise up because of this, there’s no way to spin it. Hopefully, the informational warfare against the mainland will have to subside eventually, not everything can be covered up forever…

  2. well, by not resisting the CCP, you encouraged what the CCP does, including paying thugs to hurt, sexually assault and sexually harass female Occupy protesters

    remember those to accept “security” at the cost of freedom deserves neither. – Benjamin Franklin

    • Hello nulle, again you make my point more explicitly: in Shenzhen we have been made complicit, both by our failings and because people who oppose the Party in the absence of massive popular support do suffer. And I am often afraid, calculating: is it worth risking my husband’s arrest and my deportation through explicit opposition when there are other ways of helping and trying to improve a few lives?

      About triad involvement in the Hong Kong crackdown. Firstly, why didn’t the police disobey orders and help students? It seems in their willingness to side with power against unarmed citizens, the Hong Kong police acted just like police in the Mainland, as well as Seattle and any other city which has resorted to violence to control protestors. Secondly, Who is paying the thugs? If it is CY Leung or any of his cronies who are paying the thugs, then we’re speaking of collaboration between some Hong Kong leaders, some police officers, and the triads. I’m thinking an adaptation of Mao’s vocabulary might be useful here. Instead of speaking of “capitalist running dogs (资本主义走狗)”, we’re speaking of “communist party running dogs (共产党走狗)”.

      Anyone who has lived in the PRC and tried to do any kind of work may not agree with what CY Leung has done, but we’ve seen his kind before because it is impossible to do anything in the Mainland without an alliance with some people at some level of government. So all of the Hong Kong companies that invested in and have profited from business in the Mainland (factories, real estate development, design firms, tourism, etc) have all worked with people in different levels of government. Moreover, the greater an individual’s ambition to succeed in the Mainland or within the Party system, the more vulnerable s/he will be to manipulation because after a certain point even independent firms are variously integrated into the state apparatus. For particularly interesting examples, check out the histories of either Tengxun or Vanke.

      • Mary, let’s call a spade a spade.. I understand you have to protect your family. But You and I have the option to leave if things went sideways. But we have to do our bit to improve the world, at least not encouraging evil. remember there may or may not exist karma.

        the HK Police have effectively been mainlandized. Plus the senior police favors pro-Beijing given the benefits of guanxi to the mainland. anyone who speaks out for the protesters are fired or black listed. remember, it is their livilhoods. You are INCORRECT that HK Police ACTED JUST LIKE SEATTLE because the PROTESTERS ARE DEFENSELESS in HK, unlike the ones in Seattle (which involve stones, m.cocktails, etc.) Remember the HK Occupy DID NO DAMAGE to STOREFRONTS UNLIKE SEATTLE. Most likely the CCP somehow pay those thugs, just like the Chinese embassy paid protesters (incl. banquet lunch) to protest in SFO. Similar scenarios occured with CCP shipping in tens of thousand in anti-Occupy protests weeks earlier with free lunch and up to 500 HKD. I am not surprised if CY Leung AND the HK Police leadership knowing about the CCP paying triads and did NOT do anything to stop it.

        Corruption is rampant in the mainland “HK companies *working* with people in different levels of gov’t” I have friends who have to move their operations because of this corruption. actually every individual who are in gov’t are corrupt. period. Right now things are worse than the Tsing dynasty with regards to poor governance and corruption. Xi Jinping (Shanghai faction) is using anti-corruption to consolidate his power just like Wu JinTao(Shanghai faction), JIang ZuMin and Deng ShiPing(both Beijing factions).

        CCP is becoming the bully of Asia. In the early 1970s, China invaded Vietnam but were beated back by the Vietnamese forces after 6 months of fighting…Now China is claiming the entire East and South China sea as their terriroity AFTER SIGNING AND JOINING THE UN. China invaded Vietnam waters by deploying a oil drill rig for months AND China invaded the Phillipines by deploying troops in small islands and using navel blockage to takeover Phillipines military stationing therei. Don’t forget the Sino British Treatly (HK) that were submitted and ratified at the UN that includes universal sufferage (per prev HK Gov Chris Patten)

    • remember a lot of these people have/doesn’t have the option to go elsewhere if things continue its trajectory in HK. HK is effectively controlled by the billionaires and those in gov’t. Unlike 20-30 years ago, you can work hard and make something of yourself. But with real estate prices climbing (14x ave annual pay 20k HKD/mo) and low wages, HK business environment becoming more mainlandized (requiring guanxi to land a job)

      HK is also becoming less free, like the ICAC used as a tool to target anyone supporting democracy. In case of Rafeal Hui, I haven’t see the ICAC going after the CCP members for the 11 million HKD bribe to Rafeal Hui…

  3. actually to clarify your terms,”capitalist running dogs” better translated to “capitalist traitor (to the Communist Party)” and “communist party running dogs” to “communist party traitor (to the people/mankind.)”

    Right now both Russia and China is blaming these protests on the US CIA, which I haven’t seen any evidence suggesting that…Then again, the gullible Chinese (and Russian) public probably believe the US caused the deaths during the Cultural Revolution…

  4. Hello,Mary,I followed your blog for a long time due to some research reasons. While, you may not be able to see any evidence suggesting something related to the U.S, but it does not mean there isn’t any. Meanwhile, what you saw on the papers from HK or news from some local web, could hardly prove there’s concrete relationship between the police and the thugs.

    After all, what I’d like to say is not defensing the CPC or the local government, but to demonstrate that how we think mostly depends on what we get from the media. To be honest, I have the same dream to make a better world, while I found it’s too hard to find the truth and avoid prejudice and misunderstanding, as we’re controlled by the media most of the time.

    I witnessed the Occupy Central all these days, which makes me change my attitude towards the students, and as well as the media. It’s that reasonable that people do not need to be responsible for what they’ve done to others just because they’re students? Can it be accepted that students can do whatever they want to do even if they break the law? You may see the police arrested some students, but I also see students attacked the police and even force some guys to accept their ideas about “democracy”.

    Eventually, I’ve no position in this issue, but find how people can be misguided by the “public”, or by the “people”, which has no difference with the CPC, the one they’re against.

    Hence, I mean, it may be better to have no position unless you know every detail of some certain issue, otherwise, it’s highly possible that we’ll find ourselves making mistakes all the way at last. This is what confused me for these days, which drives me rethink about whether we’re absolutely right to support the student and whether we’re just controlled by some others.

    Just for sharing, from HKU

    • Hi Wen, thank you for joining the conversation.

      Of course it’s right to support the students. The students and Occupy are demanding that the Central Government (中央) fulfill it’s promise to institute universal suffer age in Hong Kong on 2017. Zhang Dejiang (张德江) and his cronies broke that promise. Importantly, however, even without that promise, it is the right of citizens of any modern society to demand the vote.

      About the police cooperating with thugs to beat up protesters and to sexually harass women at the protests. The accounts I’ve read, including from Amnesty International all make the same point: the protests have been non-violent, the thugs have been violent, and the police have been at best irresponsible and at worst complicit with the triads.

      My point in making this confession was to draw attention to how my past experiences shaped my view of the matter.

  5. Hi Mary Ann, we are actually “familiar strangers”, aren’t we? 🙂 Thank you for introducing me to a group of very interesting people in Shenzhen. I enjoy interacing with them.
    To get to the point, I share your hesitation and fears concerning this issue, since my family is deeply rooted in this country and my parents don’t even know what I’m thinking. Sometimes I comfort myself by saying hey I am trying to help individual people within my reach. But deep inside, I know that we need more fundamental changes…

    • Xiaorong!

      Hopefully, we’ll be able to meet in person soon. Yes, those of us simultaneously committed to changed and our families navigate an interesting path: when and how will we be tested?

      Accordingly, tomorrow’s post comes from 围城! Stay tuned…

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