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August 5, 2019 6:48 AM   Subscribe

Emerging protest tactics in Hong Kong. Antony Dapiran (City of Protest) describes the ways protestors organize against authorities, with a nod to Bruce Lee.

Previously on the current Hong Kong protests.
posted by doctornemo (31 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have been admiring the videos of the cone-vanguard extinguishing tear gas for the past week or so, but the image listing all the hand signals for different supplies leaves me with a few questions. Foremost on my mind is "What is the nylon rope for?"
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 6:55 AM on August 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


"What is the nylon rope for?"

My guess is for tying barricades together.
posted by Hypatia at 7:23 AM on August 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


“use of bright lasers to disrupt the facial recognition cameras”

I knew we’d get cyperpunk future I just thought we’d have cooler clothes
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on August 5, 2019 [17 favorites]


The HK protesters are really giving a master class in civil disobedience these last weeks. I hope everyone is taking notes.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:08 AM on August 5, 2019 [29 favorites]


The video of the lasers in use is pretty amazing.

I'm guessing if the lasers are powerful enough they would burn spots onto the CCDs, which would be super effective in screwing up vision algorithms.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:24 AM on August 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


According to this article on Quartz, some of the HK protesters are seeing similarities between their struggle and the 2014 Euromaidan Protests.
posted by FJT at 8:33 AM on August 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm really scared for HK - and for the rest of the world, if this kind of sustained, extremely effective protest does not win.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:47 AM on August 5, 2019 [14 favorites]


i want to go to a protest school like the ones in the videos in that article.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:59 AM on August 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


These tactics remind me of the anti-war action in Washington DC known as Mayday 1971 where, with a goal of maximum disruption in the face of overwhelming force and with only word-of-mouth communication, tens of thousands devolved from carrying out planned sit-ins to engaging in mobile tactics by affinity groups. It was remarkably effective, from a number of standpoints...
posted by swlabr at 9:52 AM on August 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


A rope is always useful, but I'm nonplussed at the inclusion of an Allen key sign. What are they doing, assembling Ikea furniture into barricades?
posted by Harald74 at 10:12 AM on August 5, 2019


I'm really scared for HK - and for the rest of the world, if this kind of sustained, extremely effective protest does not win.

I don't see how they can. Xi has been taking an increasingly authoritarian and hardline approach since he came to power, and the implications for the rest of the country of allowing this one region to stand up to the government, no matter how tightly mainland communications are controlled and censored, must be obvious to him.

I think we're already seeing the set-up for the endgame in HK, with the state directing the Chinese media to paint the protests as foreign agitation. When the crackdown comes it will be portrayed as the government rooting out foreign intervention, and is any other country really going to do anything about it? No one's going to war over this.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:23 AM on August 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


These protests are inspiring, both for their scale and for their adaptability and creative organization. We can learn a lot from them.

I'm really scared for HK - and for the rest of the world, if this kind of sustained, extremely effective protest does not win.

As bad as things are here in the United States, direct action and non-violent protest *do* win victories, even at scales that are a fraction of the size of these HK protests. Look at the Puerto Rico protests, which are still ongoing. Or to give an example closer to home, the Fight for Fifteen movement is winning increases in the minimum wage here in Chicago and elsewhere.

We have to believe in our own power.
posted by mai at 10:30 AM on August 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


As bad as things are here in the United States

it's not yet a one-party authoritarian dictatorship, as much as Trump and Co. want to push us in that direction. It's not a comparable situation, as much as that often gets obscured in these discussions.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:34 AM on August 5, 2019 [4 favorites]


When the crackdown comes it will be portrayed as the government rooting out foreign intervention, and is any other country really going to do anything about it?

I'm pretty sure the protesters know that foreign involvement is a long shot and depending on how it's done may possibly even be counterproductive as it would prove Beijing right. And from what I've seen and read about the protesters, I wouldn't be surprised if the protesters have already been preparing for occupation and have found ways to resist.
posted by FJT at 10:40 AM on August 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


> A rope is always useful, but I'm nonplussed at the inclusion of an Allen key sign. What are they doing, assembling Ikea furniture into barricades?

seems useful for monkeywrenching, and easier to acquire and distribute than actual wrenches.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:43 AM on August 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


The Allen wrench might be for taking apart barricades.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:50 AM on August 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


As much as I'm afraid of what China may do to Hong Kong, this protest tactic made me giggle a bit this morning.
posted by astapasta24 at 1:35 PM on August 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


I feel like Hong Kongers are acutely aware of what's at stake here, that this could very quickly become Tiananmen 2.0. It's inspiring and terrifying.
posted by reductiondesign at 2:34 PM on August 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


Ongoing comprehensive coverage... Hong Kong Free Press
posted by Mister Bijou at 5:08 PM on August 5, 2019 [3 favorites]




The mainland's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office and China Liaison Office of Hong Kong conduct a joint seminar in Shenzhen on Wednesday:

Beijing deems Hong Kong protests ‘colour revolution,’ will not rule out intervention
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:59 PM on August 7, 2019 [1 favorite]


Lessons From Moscow: How China Might Handle Hong Kong - "Soviet experiences from decades past offer examples for what Beijing may do to quell protests in the city."

Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956: "All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they're conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict."
posted by kliuless at 12:43 AM on August 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


As much as I'm afraid of what China may do to Hong Kong, this protest tactic made me giggle a bit this morning.

I do not understand - what is the protest technique? That just looks like a usual traffic circle flow where I live. (Complete with that stupid concentric circle lane design.)

posted by eviemath at 4:57 AM on August 8, 2019


Two things:
1) Taiwan is holding a presidential election in January. Beijing knows if they crackdown on the protests in Hong Kong, Tsai Ing-wen and the Pan-Greens will win.

2) I go back and forth in my mind on whether or not they'll force Carrie Lam to step down first before sending in the troops. Domestically in China, it's not uncommon when fixing a scandal for the Party to scapegoat a small group of Party members and come down hard on them in order to appear to be doing something, appease the public, and reinforce the message that it's only a few bad apples and not a structural Party issue. But again, Hong Kong is different. Forcing Lam to resign may only incite the protesters more.
posted by FJT at 8:53 AM on August 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


Opinion piece that explains a bit more about #1 earlier:
China will probably avoid a heavy-handed troop movement into Hong Kong for as long as possible, knowing it would create an even stronger independence movement in Taiwan. The politics of the island state tend to swing between two parties: the Democratic Progressives, who favor continued independent status; and the Kuomintang, which sees a gradual path of engagement and perhaps eventually accepting the “one state, two systems” approach. The former holds power now, but leaders in Beijing would love to see a change of government in next year’s presidential elections, and understand that the events in Hong Kong may have a big effect.
Oh, and since I'm on the topic of Taiwan: Helmets, goggles sent from Taiwan to HK protesters

And to bring it back to unorthodox protest methods: How Hong Kong protesters are using Tinder and Pokémon Go
People primarily communicate through Telegram groups and stream their actions on gaming platform Twitch. As violence has escalated in recent weeks, though, police have been cracking down harder. So now protesters are resorting to more unorthodox methods of organising and communicating online.

One of those methods, apart from Tinder, is Pokémon Go.

When the Hong Kong police denied protesters permission to march in one of the city’s suburban neighbourhoods on safety grounds, the protesters decided to say that they weren’t going for a march – they were just showing up for a game of Pokémon Go.
posted by FJT at 9:18 AM on August 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


The cleverness of the protestors never ceases to amaze me. I play Pokémon Go, and I know it's incredibly popular in HK, so this seems like a match made in heaven. Also, Team Rocket is on the loose and we gotta free all their Pokémon, right?

> an intimidated press
To see the un-intimidated press, watch Nabela Qoser insist on getting her questions answered (YT, English subs) during a press conference with Carrie Lam after the Yuen Long attacks on 7/21.
posted by invokeuse at 10:38 PM on August 8, 2019 [2 favorites]




SCMP: Multiple ‘flash mob’ style protests erupt across Hong Kong (4 min YT)

This whole thing is very serious and the stakes are high, but in the last 40 seconds of the video they showed protesters retreating into a subway station, and then it cuts to riot police running up to the turnstyles only to see all the protesters on the other side of them. Police look on as protesters run away going "woohoo! woohoo!".

Bravo protesters and bravo video editor.
posted by FJT at 9:38 AM on August 11, 2019 [3 favorites]


On this day in history (23 August -- Imgur gallery)
  • The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (Wikipedia), officially known as the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a neutrality pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed in Moscow on August 23, 1939, by foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov, respectively.
  • 50 years later, on 23 August 1989 (The Baltic Way), approximately 2 million people in the three Baltic states, still occupied by the Soviet Union, joined hands in a 600 km long human chain from Tallinn, via Riga to Vilnius, connecting the three capitals in a manifestation for freedom and independence.
  • Estonia-based Hongkonger proposes the Baltic Way-inspired human chain in Hong Kong a few days ago (Estonian World)
  • And earlier today, people of Hong Kong form a human chain connecting the districts of the city in a manifestation for freedom, inspired by the Baltic Way 30 years earlier. Once again, people are protesting against oppression by an authoritarian regime on the day of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. https://imgur.com/user/SavingHongKong
posted by filthy light thief at 8:50 PM on August 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


“Christine Loh Kung-wai: History repeating itself in Hong Kong”, a 12½ min. interview by Radio New Zealand with Christine Loh Kung-wai, university professor, former Legislative Councillor, and founder of the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor
posted by XMLicious at 2:15 PM on August 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


BBC: Joshua Wong and other pro-democracy activists have been arrested

Joshua Wong was released from prison barely two months ago.

These arrests come right before the cancelled march this weekend, for which permission could not be secured. Activists remain undaunted, though.
posted by invokeuse at 9:23 AM on August 30, 2019 [2 favorites]


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