The US press, like many of my Chinese friends have focused on what the Hong Kong protestors won’t accomplish. This focus on future violence against students completely ignores the courageous possibilities that are offered in the present.
The assumption of inevitable state violence empowers the establishment because it accepts as already a fact state violence against unarmed students. In other words, assuming future defeats legitimates violence that has not yet happened. It is a form of ideological compliance in which it “makes more sense” for the government to attack its citizens than it does for government representatives to sit down and talk with them. This assumption of future violence also compels police officers to attack unarmed, non violent citizens, rather than protect them because it scripts only one response to civil disobedience.
The students have offered us a space for thinking of alternatives to state violence and fearful compliance. As older — and by no means wiser — citizens, we have a responsibility to pause and take note. Yes, the world can be otherwise, but only when we stop thinking we know what will happen and open ourselves to what is unfolding in the present moment.
Images from Tuesday night, October 14 and Friday morning, October 17, 2014.
I absolutely agree. This is deeper than just laws and elections, thought that is important.
A space for thinking, new conversations to be had. The next generation will not be the same and that is the real point. Courage indeed.
HK gov’t and the CCP is becoming a big joke with the Western media kowtowing to the CCP in order to access the Chinese market…especially when you see HK Police (probably under CCP orders via HK CE) shoved reporters on the ground (causing concussions), beating generally defenseless protesters (either kicking, beating, or using batons) or spraying protesters with pepper spray or use tear gas.
I concur thoughts are critical. I recall the saying “I may disagree with what you say or your point of view. But I am willing to die to give you to space to express your views/thoughts.”
Trade unionists in the liberal democracies are thoroughly familiar with police violence on picket lines and workers’ demonstrations (e.g. South African miners). That has never stopped supportive actions and collective self-defence in support of social and political goals. The response of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and the international labour movement will therefore be important in extending practical solidarity through agreed actions on the economic front.