Dark days for democracy in Hong Kong
July 3, 2020 10:34 PM   Subscribe

Massive protests last year in Hong Kong (previously, previously, previously, previously) succeeded in getting an extradition bill scrapped. But now the Beijing government has passed a sweeping security law for Hong Kong which has led to immediate arrests, the purging of social media accounts and disbanding of protest groups, support from businesses including British banking giant HSBC, and fears that the new law covers everyone on earth. If you've been critical of Chinese or Hong Kong authorities, some legal experts are saying, don't board a Cathay Pacific flight or travel to countries which have an extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

Democracy advocate Nathan Law has fled to an undisclosed country:
“As I look down at the magnificence of Hong Kong from the airplane, this image has become one unforgettable scene in my mind,” he wrote. “I hope the day will come when I can return to Hong Kong again and I can still be that young guy who hasn’t forgotten about his initial aspirations.”
posted by clawsoon (64 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Gaaah. Dammit. Thank you for posting. It feels wrong to hit "favorite" when the news is so crappy. Posted on Lausan HK on July 3rd, a mostly depressing look at how dissent was squashed after Xi's rise. It’s time to organize: Lessons learned from dissent in mainland China.
Even though these social movements were heavily suppressed by President Xi after he came to power, they were not necessarily doomed to fail. Rather, it was the lack of engagement, mobilization and organization of the masses that led to the state’s relative ease in wiping out civil disobedience.

China’s labor movement was another opportunity for activists to mobilize the masses with workers already agitated because of inhumane working conditions. Labor activists took advantage of this by supporting workers during spontaneous wildcat strikes (often sparked by accidents in factories) and providing them with help, but they didn’t focus on building an organized and resilient base of workers. This meant that the labor movement wasn’t resilient, and fell apart once the Chinese state started arresting dissenting workers in retaliation. The Guangzhou University Town janitors strike of 2013 serves as an example of this. While it initially garnered a lot of support from university students, feminists, and other civil society activists, ensuing efforts to maintain worker power ultimately failed. A few months after the strike ended, participants were individually retaliated against, quashing the organizing effort entirely.
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:54 PM on July 3 [15 favorites]

I’d love to comment more deeply on this thread as a Hong Konger, but the risks are simply too high now, and I imagine a lot of other HK members might feel the same way. Apple Daily’s English section and Hong Kong Free Press are worth a look if you’d like a local viewpoint in English other than the South China Morning Post.
posted by mdonley at 11:20 PM on July 3 [60 favorites]

Canada has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.
posted by Mitheral at 11:40 PM on July 3 [21 favorites]

This is so fucking sad. My dad's from Hong Kong. I spent my summers there as a kid. I still have a HK ID card even now. It feels like all we can do now is watch the city's freedom slip away.
posted by storytam at 12:29 AM on July 4 [7 favorites]

Virtual hugs to anyone who wants ‘em. What a devastating development. Stay safe if you can, Hong Kong MeFites.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:38 AM on July 4 [12 favorites]

I feel like I have nothing to add to this conversation but would like to express my sincerest admiration for the courage and determination of Hong Kong's democracy activists.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:44 AM on July 4 [58 favorites]

As someone who is part of the Hong Kong diaspora and was born there, this is an incredibly sad time in my life. Goodbye to my hometown.

I lived in China for several years and I am deeply familiar with self-censorship. It's insidious. First you don't talk about sensitive topics--like the three Ts (Tibet, Tiananmen and Taiwan), and now certainly Hong Kong, because it'll offend other folks, especially since in expat circles it was usually the obnoxious white dudes who'd push the topics because freedom of speech. Then it becomes not thinking about it too much because you just want to live your life and not get into trouble, because it is true, the police are everywhere and they do have a file on you. And finally, you just stop thinking about it altogether. But there's a constant unease and tension in China that all the money that has poured in can't hide.

I read elsewhere--I can't remember where now--that this national security law isn't necessarily aimed at the current generation, but the next ones, who will only know self-censorship and propaganda the way China's current generations do. Independent Hong Kong will soon only be a memory.

In the meantime, if you are American, British, Canadian or Australian, please contact your elected officials and voice support for various proposed laws on sanctions, immigation and refugee status for Hong Kongers. I know we can't win this fight, but we can go down fighting. But for that we'll need the support of the international community. (It's late where I am now, but I'll try to hunt some of these down and put links in in the morning.)
posted by so much modern time at 1:40 AM on July 4 [79 favorites]

Hong Königsberg, soon to be China’s Kaliningrad.
posted by acb at 2:01 AM on July 4

I grew up in Hong Kong. I still have my permanent resident ID card and right of land. This whole situation is utterly heartbreaking.
posted by Dysk at 2:03 AM on July 4 [7 favorites]

"one country two systems" , till 2047, eh?
posted by lalochezia at 2:40 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]

Thoughts are with mdonley and all other MFites directly wrapped up in this.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:12 AM on July 4 [15 favorites]

The PRC knows it can safely ignore the handover agreement without consequences so it stopped pretending to care. Who's going to hold the dictator in Beijing to account? Boris?

This is a sad time for HK. Back in the 90s people said things like "China won't do that, what's the point of taking back HK only to ruin it?" The point was propaganda and jingo - the lives of Hong Kong's people and the preservation of the city's political culture never mattered.
posted by 1adam12 at 3:44 AM on July 4 [13 favorites]

But it does have long term repercussions for the much bigger prize, Taiwan.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:50 AM on July 4 [8 favorites]

Is anyone in Taiwan still foolish enough to believe the PRC will honor any obligations it makes to Taiwan as a prelude to absorbing it? The PRC pretends that Taiwan has no international legal personality, and by that theory any agreements the PRC concludes with Taiwan are meaningless, not even worth the paper they're printed on.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:16 AM on July 4 [13 favorites]

The PRC pretends that Taiwan has no international legal personality, and by that theory any agreements the PRC concludes with Taiwan are meaningless, not even worth the paper they're printed on.

That won't stop the KMT and the rest of pan-Blue from trying to surrender to the PRC next time they get power.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:16 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]

Apple’s English section, posted above by mdonley, has a piece which cites the US and UK as “unreliable” allies. Well, they’re not wrong.

The timing makes perfect sense. With the pandemic and the internal threats to the US’s own democracy, a president who openly admires dictators, and considering how many of our own citizens are *finally* recognizing systemized racism and focusing energy there, the chance of the US responding in any significant way to protect HK’s citizens is remote. And the UK is hardly likely to move either.

Thank you, so much modern time, for the suggestions of what we can do to help.

Stay safe, mefites of HK. My heart to you.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 5:43 AM on July 4 [17 favorites]

I can't even imagine how horrific and heartbreaking it must be for Hongkongers to watch as your country falls deeper into an authoritarian abyss. I'm not sure what the rest of the world can done for the people of Hong Kong other than welcoming them to our countries.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:41 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]

It is incredibly frustrating to see this and know how little there is that we can do to stop it, especially with a U.S. President depending on Chinese purchases for his re-election. Hong Kong being sold out for soybeans is darker than I would ever have expected.
posted by adamsc at 6:48 AM on July 4 [8 favorites]

posted by jcworth at 7:14 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]

Like so many other places; too many people will sit and watch as a past is destroyed. One generation will remember it; right or wrong; and the next will have about zero knowledge of it.

I can say that the entire Vietnam war was but a half-column eight line paragraph in many a high school history book in the early 80's. Scant writing; little knowledge to even read about. Pretty sure that in 20 years China won't be so generous with their own educational coverage of past transgressions.

Say goodbye to what was a historical tourism industry - little things like a small flag, an odd trinket, the casino sticker (I have a few from Grandparent's trips to HK in the 60's), some wonky letter-opener styled miniature sword doohickey; those jobs and industries are all leveled and gone now.
posted by Afghan Stan at 7:15 AM on July 4 [3 favorites]

I don't know what to say except that this is all so awful and I'm holding HK and our HK Mefites in my thoughts.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:25 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]

Thanks for posting clawsoon. I feel so sad about Hong Kong, even though it was never my home. My parents came to the US through there, I have friends whose parents crossed the river to get there, and it represented so much for them, and for us.
posted by toastyk at 8:43 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]

China, NK and others are taking advantage of the power vacuum created by the retreat of the US and UK to do whatever they want without fear of repercussions. HK is just the most visible example of this and won't be the last. The post-WWII world that many of us grew up in is essentially over and the future will be very different.
posted by tommasz at 9:23 AM on July 4 [23 favorites]

This is heartbreaking. My wife has relatives in Hong Kong, many of whom moved to Canada in the 80s and 90s because of fears about China's takeover, moved back at some point and are now probably too old to emigrate again. We visited them about ten years ago and I (somewhat unexpectedly...I'm not always fond of extremely large cities) fell in love with the place. I'm glad I had that experience before the ability to have it was rendered impossible, but damn it's sad to know I'll probably never return and that the citizens of HK will be living under this authoritarian regime. I'm glad I live in a large country because the world is getting much smaller.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:48 AM on July 4 [5 favorites]

tommasz: China, NK and others are taking advantage of the power vacuum created by the retreat of the US and UK to do whatever they want without fear of repercussions.

In the case of China, it's surely just as important that China has massively increased its own power over the past couple of decades.

HK is just the most visible example of this and won't be the last. The post-WWII world that many of us grew up in is essentially over and the future will be very different.

posted by clawsoon at 9:50 AM on July 4 [7 favorites]

I haven't been since 2003 maybe, but it was after a several year span of having visited several times, first as a student in 98, then twice in 99-2000 as an EFL teacher living in China, and the last time visiting from Japan. HK always seemed like the most international, most deeply interesting place I had ever been, and from time to time I daydreamed about a life there. Watching the protests last year, I had a deep sense of doom, and, well, here it is, made real.

Maddeningly, one of the few people I keep in touch with living in Hong Kong is a former coworker, like me an American, and more often than not in the last year his posts touching on the protests were largely complaints about how the protestors affected his and his family's life, rather than any sort of empathy or support, sort of an expat form of bingo, I guess.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:10 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]

Thank you for the post. It is very painful times for friends and family at home and for myself as an overseas Hongkonger who took part in the 2014 Umbrella protests. A lot of the movement is moving into the shadows because people don't feel safe organising abroad anymore. But resistance won't die out as long as there are people who remember and fight - what happened since last year has galvanised several generations of people and they'll be contending with the younger ones for the next half century, at least.
posted by monocot at 10:26 AM on July 4 [11 favorites]

I was reading about the Bronze Age Collapse earlier today and I feel like we are on the cusp of such a moment.
The Bronze Age was powered by the smelting of copper and tin into a strong durable metal. Tin was much more scarce than copper so the first international systems were created around the trade webs that grew up which lead to an outpouring of civilization. Then there was a mountain in Iceland that blew up and the rains stopped and crops failed from no sunlight for like 10 years. Meanwhile a new metal — steel made from abundant iron ore stared to come into use this weakened the old empires that maintained power by control of bronze and the bronze equipped soldiers. Many of the people across the Mediterranean outside the old empires now had equal weapons and they had the motivation as the old empires had the money and reserves of grain to try to limit the famines. So these people — called “sea people’s” started raiding the coasts of the old empires. At the same time the vassal states and old enemies — weaker independent nations — took the opportunity to break off or attack this wealth. And in a 100 years or so the Hittites, Babylonians, Minoans, and even Egypt were in ruins or just shadows of their former selves.

This time of COVID, technology disruption and the general diminishing of the west, the closing of borders to immigrants and the general fuck you I got mine that drives our politics — it all seems to echo those times. It makes me depressed
posted by interogative mood at 11:19 AM on July 4 [15 favorites]

This is very heavy news indeed. I'm young so I don't know a lot of the backstory, so please bear with me here. In the "cathay pacific flight" article, it mentions having to look out for flights that have layovers in Italy and France, two countries with HK extradition treaties. What would happen if Italy or France didn't extradite someone who was charged for something like making a critical social media post? Why would "democratic" countries want to enforce those laws?
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:29 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]

The UK is extending residence rights for holders of the British National Overseas passports from Hong Kong.

Australia is considering a similar scheme. I'm not at all familiar with how politics in Australia works, but my guess is that you could contact a minister, a senator or an MP to voice your support for the proposal.

In the U.S., Hong Kong's autonomy is an issue that has strong bipartisan support (one of the few). Contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to support the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act. You can also donate to the Hong Kong Democracy Council, an NGO that has been instrumental in working with Congress to pass laws that support Hong Kong.

It is worth mentioning that what is happening in Hong Kong has repercussions for freedom of speech even outside of Hong Kong and China. Many countries and multinational companies are willing to look past human rights abuses to gain and keep access to China's market. For this, we only need to look at what happened last year with Daryl Morey and the NBA.

The Hong Kong subreddit is where I'm getting a lot of this information, and it's a good place to stay updated on Hong Kong in general.

If you do contact your elected officials on this issue, thank you.
posted by so much modern time at 11:38 AM on July 4 [24 favorites]

In the U.S., Hong Kong's autonomy is an issue that has strong bipartisan support (one of the few). Contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to support the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act.

Trump has spent the last four years absolutely gutting the visa/refugee system, with Republicans cheering him on. Not only has the process been hamstrung legally, thanks to a combination of Trump's policies and the effects of the pandemic, USCIS is experiencing a massive budget shortfall and is about to furlough 13,4000 workers. So even for those who are able to still apply for something under Trump's new rules, there's almost no one left to actually process applications right now. Not to mention that, as noted above, Trump is heavily dependent on China for reelection (to the point that, if Bolton's book is accurate, he directly asked Xi for reelection help).

At exactly the moment when the US could do some real good by opening its doors to refugees from Hong Kong, Trump has made that virtually impossible. Even if Biden wins, he won't be able to instantly unwind the damage done over the last four years.
posted by star gentle uterus at 12:26 PM on July 4 [10 favorites]

I'm so sorry. This is devastating and terrifying. I don't know what else to say.
posted by treepour at 12:35 PM on July 4

Trump has spent the last four years absolutely gutting the visa/refugee system, with Republicans cheering him on. Not only has the process been hamstrung legally, thanks to a combination of Trump's policies and the effects of the pandemic, USCIS is experiencing a massive budget shortfall and is about to furlough 13,4000 workers.
Unlike most other agencies, USCIS is a fee-for-service organization, meaning it relies on the revenue it collects through work like visitor petitions and citizenship applications, for example, to keep the organization running.
This is what makes my blood boil about paying my tithes to the USCIS every so often. Not only do we immigrants get shit service, we have to pay out the asshole for the experience. Plus we have no choice but to directly fund 40% of the CBP's white supremacist power fantasy schtick. It literally makes being an immigrant into this country an exercise of pulling up the fucking ladder behind you.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:44 PM on July 4 [11 favorites]

It's sad to see parts of the left celebrating this. (CW: all kinds of stuff, honestly. I'm not sure banning the main Chapo subreddit is working out exactly as planned.)
posted by ntk at 4:17 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]

There's a reason why "tankies" is often proceeded by the verb "fuck".
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:10 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]

Xi is sacrificing the vast economic benefits only a free and creative Hong Kong could bring to China as a whole over the next century for the sake of consolidating his political power right now.

Not only is it morally wrong, it's a huge blunder.
posted by jamjam at 5:54 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]

The use of "Do You Hear the People Sing?" as an anthem of the protests always felt darkly prophetic to me, considering it was written about the failed and mostly forgotten revolution of 1830. (It seems like most people think the book and musical were about either the 1789 or 1848 revolutions, which amplifies just how forgotten the failed 1830 revolution was.) It took the French another four decades after that revolution to finally achieve a lasting republic.

Still beautiful, though.
posted by clawsoon at 5:57 PM on July 4 [6 favorites]

When the UK handed HK back to China in 1997, I saw it as the diminution of one power acknowledging the rise of another.

And here we are again, except this time the rising power is unafraid to confront every other power, and especially as there is the diminution of the last great power.

The reality is that the three plus years of wrecking the US is not going to be fixed by an election in November. Given the systemic destruction inflicted on domestic and international systems by the current Federal US government, realistically it would be a decade(s) long project to remedy. In the meantime, a lot of possible allies are just going to stand back in case there is impatience with reconstruction and the work is halted or reversed.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 6:08 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]

which amplifies just how forgotten the failed 1830 revolution was

Oops... I mean the 1832 revolution. Which... I guess...
posted by clawsoon at 6:28 PM on July 4

I've been wondering what happened to the street musician who did the beautiful performance of Glory to Hong Kong linked above. In February he posted:
Recently, I have been getting comments from pro-CCP accounts calling me a 'Lady Boy' everywhere, so I thought what better way to deal with that than to make an entire #cosplay video paid tribute to the one and only iconic Lady Gaga?
He's a young, gay Chinese-Filipino man. He humiliated the police with style and grace. I hope he is safe. I hope he is safe.
posted by clawsoon at 6:52 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]

Xi is sacrificing the vast economic benefits only a free and creative Hong Kong could bring to China as a whole over the next century for the sake of consolidating his political power right now.

Is he really? When Hong Kong was handed over it was 20% of China's economy. Nowadays it's something like 2.5%. Per capita it still vastly outweighs the mainland on economic might but when the mainland outweighs you 150:1 in population that still makes you insignificant.

I think it does far more to quell rocking the boat on the mainland. The mainland doesn't really care about a reputation anymore. 2 million Uyghurs in prison? The CCP knows that if every developed nation suspended all interactions, trade and diplomatic, the next day that everyone else would be hurt far more than China ever would. Right now, the CCP wants the people to know that any struggle for Western style freedom, democracy, or liberty will be futile.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:54 PM on July 4 [8 favorites]

Literally all Hong Kong is good for right now for the upper echelons of the CCP power base is to get capital out of China to buy other countries and imported goods. I'm pretty sure we'll know when the US is done as a superpower when Hong Kong abandons the HKD for the CNY.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:59 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]

Hong Kong is one of the most important and sophisticated banking centers in the world.

If the Remnibi is indeed to succeed the US Dollar as the default medium of exchange for international transactions, and for internal transactions in countries with currency stability problems, which would bring China all the advantages the US now enjoys, which I have recently seen encapsulated as 'we send them our pretty pieces of paper, and they send us All The Things', China will need to build faith in the Remnibi which I have also read does not now exist — in fact quite the contrary apparently, because of a fear of political manipulation and the current opaqueness of China's banking system.

Hong Kong bankers could show the rest of China how to do this, as well as lending China their prestige as it is accomplished. But if banks and bankers flee a crackdown, that won't happen, and the ascendancy of the Remnibi could be significantly delayed.
posted by jamjam at 8:20 PM on July 4 [2 favorites]

Renminbi, that is. I even looked it up specifically and still got it wrong.
posted by jamjam at 8:31 PM on July 4

It doesn’t necessarily need to build faith in the Renminbi, it’s been offering discounts for settling in CNY and basically giving every developing nation a good deal if they abandon the USD for trading with China. Even European nations are starting to settle in CNY (France for instance). Being convertible is kind of irrelevant if you have a trade deficit with China plus China seems to be only too happy to act as a lender of last resort for LatAm while the rest of the world’s banks are crapping themselves conserving capital. Those loans are going out in CNY.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:03 PM on July 4 [2 favorites]

I'm pretty sure we'll know when the US is done as a superpower when Hong Kong abandons the HKD for the CNY.

Will that happen before or after Hong Kong's internet is absorbed into the Chinese national intranet, or the leaders of all of Hong Kong's parties announce, simultaneously, that they have seen the wisdom of Xi Jinping Thought and, in the light of this, are dissolving their parties and instructing the members to join the CCP?
posted by acb at 5:14 AM on July 5

The argument about HK banking ignores what happened in 1997, which was that Singapore became the financial hub that processed the finances of the Asian elites. HK is no longer the financial centre that it was - yes it is still important for China, but the rest of Asia goes to Singapore, whereas that trade used to go through HK.

The Eurodollar market is not going away - its size and ubiquity OUTSIDE the US and therefore under no control by the US, will give it preference.

The other factor in play is demographic. China has about one or two decades to establish its domination, before India and other Asian countries overwhelm its position with younger and larger populations. It needs to set up as many constraints as possible on its neighbours before its population ages and potentially declines. India can spend half a century getting itself sorted - China does not have that long.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 4:33 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]

Refocusing on people’s real lives for a minute: this massive change in privacy online and off took less than a week: From today’s Hong Kong Free Press:

“Hong Kong police will be authorised to conduct searches at private properties without a warrant, restrict suspects’ movements, freeze their assets, intercept communications and require internet service providers to remove information, as the city’s leader handed more powers to the force for implementing the new national security law.”


“Meanwhile, the commissioner of police is to be given powers to control the dissemination of information online, when they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect such information may lead to national security crimes. Such enforcement may require a relevant publisher, platform service provider, hosting service provider or network service providers to remove information that the authorities deem a threat to national security. They may also restrict or stop anyone from accessing to such platforms.

If the information publisher fails to cooperate immediately, police may apply for a warrant to seize the electronic devices involved and remove that information. They may also face a fine of HK$100,000 and one year of imprisonment for failing to cooperate with the authorities.

Police may require service providers to provide relevant identification records or decryption assistance. Any service provider who fails to comply with the requests is liable upon conviction to a fine of HK$100,000 and six months behind bars.”
posted by mdonley at 5:02 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]

The Hong Kong girl with the blank protest placard:
Her gesture, she told a reporter, was inspired by a joke she once heard about the Soviet Union: someone begins to distribute pamphlets at the Red Square; a policemen accosts her, only to discover she is handing out blank papers. The policeman arrests her all the same. “You mean you think I didn’t know what you wanted to say?” he bellows at her.
Security law: Hong Kong police arrest 8 at ‘blank placard’ silent protest
posted by clawsoon at 6:08 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]

In other China news:

China cuts Uighur births with IUDs, abortion, sterilization

The IUDs they are using can reportedly only be removed surgically.

And if the reports of mass detention, deportation, and executions wasn't enough of an echo of the Holocaust:

Tonnes of hair products believed to be from China's Xinjiang internment camps seized in US
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:08 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]

I had no idea that British judges still serve in Hong Kong courts, along with Australian and Canadian judges.
posted by clawsoon at 9:11 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]

This is (probably?) not related directly to the security law, but a Hong Kong VPN provider which claimed to have a "strict no-logs policy" has been exposing their logs on the Internet - including plaintext names and passwords - since at least July 1.
posted by clawsoon at 8:32 AM on July 18

@maryhui (July 28, 2020 time stamp)
Where last year's defining moments were of the viscerally brutish kind—police violence, thugs beating up civilians, etc—this year's are of the "banal" flavour: academics fired for their politics, elections reportedly 'postponed,' a sweeping law signed into force late at night.

Brief recap of Beijing's authoritarian moves on Hong Kong in the past two months. Let me know if I've left out anything—with so much going on it's easy to lose track. Which, of course, is exactly what an authoritarian regime wants.
@WilliamYang120 (Jul 29, 2020 time stamp)
Hong Kong police confirmed that they arrested three men and one woman between the age of 16 and 21 earlier tonight for inciting secession and sedition, and one of them is Tony Chung, the former convener of student localism.

When asked by journalist whether the “crime” happened before or after the #NSL came into effect, the police said that the national security team was founded recently and the #NSL is not retroactive so it will only trace crimes happened after July 1st.

Police emphasized that the group of four incite and organize ideologies related to “#HongKong Independence,” so the National security officers were deployed to arrest them.
@lokmantsui on the firing of Hong Kong University professor Benny Tai: 3/ to the extent academics were already practicing self-censorship in hong kong (and many do), the case of benny erodes even that last bit of protection.
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:33 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]

Oliver Ma: Yes, I was arrested, but no, I am not a criminal:
I believe I am now a victim of false accusation, where the arrest that had been orchestrated by the #HongKongPoliceForce was an attempt to punish me for having had the persistence to stand my ground as a busker in their faces in the past several months as well as for my infamous street performances of the English version of the pro-democracy song #願榮光歸香港 #GlorytoHongKong since 24 Oct last year. In the name of freedom and artistic expression, I would like to ask everyone's help to spread word on this issue. Thank you.
posted by clawsoon at 4:05 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]

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