Support for police prevails in Hong Kong
By Yang Sheng in Hong Kong, Chen Qingqing and Wang Wenwen in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/8 22:58:40
Hong Kong wants peace, can't be represented by radicals
Campaigns that support the Hong Kong police are gaining momentum across this protest-hit city, as chaos triggered by violent protesters is brewing.
About 500 Hong Kong residents came to the Hong Kong police headquarters in Wan Chai around 1 pm Thursday to voice support for the police.
Holding the Chinese national flag and "Supporting Police" slogans, they chanted, "Kick away rioters!", "Support strict law enforcement!", "Rioters do not represent all Hongkongers!" and "Hong Kong wants peace!" during the campaign.
Tang Tak Shing, chairman of Politihk Social Strategic, a Hong Kong-based NGO which organized a series of events to support Hong Kong police and to oppose riots, was at the campaign.
He told the Global Times that they wanted to tell society that those anti-government protesters and anti-mainland radical secessionists cannot represent Hong Kong people at all.
"Hundreds of thousands of people participated in our two rallies on June 30 and August 3. We, the people who love our country, who support law enforcement against the rioters, who desperately want to restore peace and stability, are representing the silent majority," Tang said.
The NGO has appealed to the government to restart the extradition bill legislation and establish an independent investigation committee to probe some opposition lawmakers for inciting riots and receiving assistance and sponsorship from foreign forces, he said.
"Once the bill is passed and goes into effect, people will see it's not terrifying at all and those rumors and lies which demonize the bill will end ultimately," Tang said.
Hong Kong police have borne enormous pressure from the citywide demonstrations.
The demonstrations in the name of opposing the extradition bill turned into violence in June.
Radical protesters, Western and some local media accused the police of overusing force in protests and public opinion blamed the police for their failure to protect citizens and maintain social order.
But in spite of criticism and the Hong Kong media's selective coverage, the Hong Kong police still exercised the utmost restraint, said Michael, a Hong Kong resident who participated in Thursday's campaign.
Michael said he had lived in the US for 10 years and saw how the US police enforced law.
He believes Hong Kong police are a "role model across the world, but have been treated unfairly."
"As a Hongkonger, I have the responsibility to speak out for the police and uphold justice," he said, adding that he hoped the police could punish violent protesters and bring secessionist forces to justice.
In the past two months, the protesters have resorted to every possible violent means, including biting off a police officer's finger, shining detrimental lasers at officers and intimidating innocent people.
The police said at a press conference Monday that 139 officers have been injured since June 9, with two still hospitalized for serious injuries, including finger and bone fractures.
During a clash with rioters on July 30, a police officer from the Kwai Chung police station, surnamed Lau, was besieged and beaten by rioters, resulting in eye injuries.
The Global Times did not get approval from police to interview him, but had the chance to talk to him after he was discharged from the hospital.
The officer later sent a "thank you" message to the Global Times reporter and expressed his view on the rioters: "We are all Chinese. Should I beat them, or not?"
After this episode was put on China's social media, mainland internet users voiced strong support for the officer and the Hong Kong police.
Ronny Chan, chairman of the Superintendents' Association of the Hong Kong Police Force, said those who violently broke the law and people who support them are shaming Hong Kong.
"If rioters did not resort to violence, the police would not use force either. When people held peaceful demonstrations years ago, did the police fire any tear gas?" said Chan.
He called for protesters to stop the violence and return to rationality.
On Thursday, major newspapers in Hong Kong including Sing Tao Daily and Economic Journal published a "thank you" letter to the Hong Kong police written by a group of residents in a move to support law enforcement against violent protesters and help maintain social order.
The same topic on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo platform attracted more than 260 million page views as of press time.
In another post widely shared on social media among Hongkongers on Thursday, Hong Kong residents proposed five requests - stop the endless protests, stop disturbing residents, stop vandalizing police stations, stop attacking people who hold different political views and resume normal functioning of life.
Meanwhile, a post was circulated on Facebook calling on all Hong Kong residents to take part in a "Support Hong Kong Police" campaign on Saturday at the Five Flag Poles in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Participants are expected to wear blue shirts and send warm cards to the police.
Earlier at the same venue, radical protesters twice removed the Chinese national flag from the pole and threw it into Victoria Harbour, irritating the public and prompting patriotic Hong Kong residents to go to the site and raise the flag again.
The tourism industry has said it will participate in Saturday's rally for the police. Around 100 owners and guides from tourist agencies will be present to send out national flags to residents and tourists.
Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, noted that people are annoyed and feel disgusted with the violence and wildcat assault, as violence brings fear and wildcat assault affects life and work.
"They hope with public support, the government and the police can restore social order and peace as soon as possible," Tang said.
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