Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
[flagged] Hong Kong Police shamed into retreat by everyday citizens (reddit.com)
68 points by typeformer 19 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments



The original Hong Kong police have their own children and family members among the demonstrators and have a difficult time being physically tough, particularly on the young HK demonstrators. Some as young as 10 have been arrested.

It's therefore purported that many of the HK Police are actually mainland military police who have been brought in to get tough. The uniformed don't wear identifying badges. Some of them will dress as demonstrators and mingle with them. The demonstrators can identify these infiltrators by their non-HK accent and by the fact that they don't know the Hong Kong public transit system. Their purpose is to identify demonstration leaders and disrupt plans. The CPP military police apparently don't care about spraying un-involved families with pepper spray or firing projectiles into the heads of demonstrators. You likely heard about one nurse, who was helping wounded demonstrators, losing an eye to a projectile fired by police at point-blank range. The infiltrators are also purported to be the instigators of fires and other of the more violent demonstrator actions in order to justify police acting and using clubs, rubber bullets and pepper spray, as well as arrest anyone they can grab.

This is all another shame. The pre-CCP Hong Kong police were among those of the highest integrity globally. Now, they are comprised of unscrupulous foreign agents whose objective is submission and suppression, and who are now, at least in this episode, ridiculed into retreat.


Police is never "shamed" into retreat. It takes decisions on tactical grounds, something that protestors, usually more emotional, fail to grasp.

A retreat usually means that they have the crowd where they want it.


Police are humans too. They have emotions, and consciences, and, yes, a sense of shame.

For some of them, these are weaker than their obedience to superiors and/or adherence to fascist principles. However, that doesn't mean they don't exist.

Comments like yours dehumanize the police. They make them into a faceless Other that cannot be truly understood or engaged with by any means save violence. Worse, they do the same thing that the dehumanization of Nazis has done in the US: they sow the feeling that it could never happen to us. That these are monsters, not people. That they're somehow fundamentally different from Real Humans.

The idea that no one has ever (or has recently) joined the police force because of a real belief in justice and a desire to help people is just as dangerous as the idea that every police officer is a fascist pig who wants nothing more than to put their boot on the face of humanity forever.

The problems our country, and more broadly, our civilization has with the police in this age can be solved, and they can be solved without resorting to massive violence, but in order to do so, we cannot rely on the same kind of black-and-white thinking the worst of them use. We have to see them as people, and find the ways to reach their humanity.


Of course they are human! But a police force works on a hierarchy and a procedure code, not on the emotions of its members. That's a core point and is actually crucial in a democracy: police do not act on their emotions.

And riot police especially learns to stay as cold-headed as possible and to give tactical considerations over any other.

That gives the police an image of a cold-faced monster but I think protestors insulting the police instead of winning them over totally miss the point. And that "shaming of policemen" is just ridicule.

Recently in France there was some outrage in the media as there were report that after a wave of suicide in the police some protestors chanted "Police, kill yourself". Other protestors then took the counter and one of the popular slogans was "Policemen, don't kill yourselves. Join us.". Police joining protestors is the best possible victory.


Police are willingly supporting a corrupt system far from all abstractions. You can argue anyone working in Hong Kong is supporting a corrupt system, or anyone working in the US is supporting a corrupt system but for all of them its so abstracted that you can't really blame the individuals.

For cops, this isn't an excuse anymore. They're directly supporting it, suppressing people's free speech, and banding together to create support groups and unions against the people they're supposed to be serving and protecting.

Considering the racist history of why police forces came to be, it's not surprising that people dehumanize the police force.

However, I should add that for many people, especially inside big cities joining the police force is one of the best things they can do for upward mobility for their family - but in the case of ethical demonstrations (occupy wall street, black lives matter, Hong Kong protests, Iran's green protests, etc etc) they have been on the wrong side of history and have helped keep the status quo alive and active and well.

Therefore, if you're part of the police during people's cry for freedom and you step in and support the government - you're going to be dehumanized. It's your choice to make - but that choice has consequences.


The Hong Kong police should follow American tactics if they want more of the public on their side.

Like in the LA riots, let the rioters run amok for a few days and wreak havoc.

A lot of “everyday Hong Kongers” were starting to get angry at the rioters when they blocked the subways and disrupted people’s lives.


Direct action is a very important part of democracy.


I just wonder if this tactic will work against an army from the outside?

I mean the HK police are part of the people. I bet the troops would be from non Cantonese speaking provinces. I’m not sure they’d be “shamed”. One can hope that if it came to it the generals and colonels would show empathy, but the foot soldier is conflicted. The brass should be the ones laying down their pins, stripes, badges and stars.

A foot soldier (infantryman) is indoctrinated, but the brass are educated and should understand all the implications down the road.


Once the PLA comes in, they will most likely follow the playbook from Beijing in 1989. Use troops from distant provinces that are already unsympathetic towards the protestors (an attitude China is heavily encouraging in the mainland population already via state media) and overwhelm the protestors with lethal force.

The CCP is for some reason waiting to see whether they will have to resort to these measures. Probably due to anticipated blowback from the international community and the risk of economic damage to HK itself. But once the army does get involved, it’s all over.


How prepared are mainland PLA forces for urban insurgency tactics? Lethal force is likely the spark that ignites the powder keg.


They wouldn’t have to. They could lay siege. It’s a port. It’s mountainous. It doesn’t produce much of its own food. They could blockade it.

That said, if they bring in the PLA, it’s over. They are conscripts. One hope is the generals would insubordinate.


A siege buys time for international sanctions to be felt at home. If they go all in with the violence that would inflame the situation and possibly unite Hong Kong against them. It's really, really, really hard to rule over millions of people who don't want you there. There's fine line they have to walk between inflaming the situation and acting too slowly.


Guess what, they did it in Beijing and it worked out for them. This isn’t a fucking democracy we’re talking about.


Urban insurgency tactics? These people aren’t armed in any meaningful way nor is there any way for them to become armed.


I doubt the PLA will march into Hong Kong. 1989 was seen as an existential threat to the CCP. The HK protests are not.


Yes, but these people are on box 3/4 and 4/4 does not exist for them (barring some serious foreign intervention). I am not hopeful but I hope I am wrong.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: