In my opinion that was extremely unproductive. It galvanized protests even further and the most common chant became "la loi special on s'en calisse" (roughly "we don't give a shit about your special law") as we were defying it. In essence, it just eroded police and state authority for an entire generation. I still strongly feel that I don't have to follow laws that I find immoral or unethical. I am not sure this is good.
I think that is definitely good. If everyone followed laws simply because "it's the law" then no one would ever think critically about whether those laws were morally justifiable or not, or if they did they would shrug it off because "breaking the law is wrong". But such questions are important to ask, and while it may be impractical for _everybody_ to do so, I'm glad there are people like me & you that pay attention to whether the law is actually making the world better or not.
(obviously, determining whether a law is ethical or not can be very tricky; you can't just go around breaking laws because you don't agree with them - there needs to be e.g. clear moral ground indicating that there is some collective thought that the law is immoral/unethical)
If I was fearless I would lean more into what is called The Duty of Civil Disobedience.
Not really arguing pro or against, but I do find there to be a bit of hypocrisy in the media coverage.
Only that "passive weapons" means all kinds of protections, like helmets, thick gloves and gas masks. So when he police hits you, how dare you to try to protect your head or face.
Just like they passed a new law in recent times, that increased the punishments, when firefighters and medics etc. gets attacked during work. Sounds good as well, I mean, what asshole would attack medics and firefighters?!?
The thing is just, that the law also applied to policemen. So when you are in a demonstration, peaceful and are about to get hit by the police who decided to end the demonstration with force, and your reflexes push back - then you can get prosecuted with a law that was advertised to protect firefighters.
"Schutzwaffen", i.e. protective weapons
This includes the thing boxers put in their mouth to protect their teeth... let that sink in. Carrying something like that to a protest already is a crime, maximum sentence is 1 year.
edit: just saw an earlier comment with more info: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21158544
FYI, the English word is "Mouthguard"
Greta Thunberg visited the Hambacher Forst in germany, which is occupied by activist to prevent it from being chopped down for the coal underneath. And some of the activists were masked.. so that provoked a shitstorm by media and politicians, because "nobody in our awesome country has to hide their face, unless they have to hide something". Which is somewhat hypocrite and telling, as the same politicians and journalists have no problem, posing with heavily armed and masked police forces
(from satire magazin Postillon:
From the theory of the monopoly of violence a clash with the police (or Army) shouldn’t be a fair fight.
Now when you only wanted to demonstrate, but are now in the middle of a clash with various things flying around, it should not be illegal, to protect your head.
This is a de-escalation technique that functions well in advance of a potentially violent situation.
Edit: for people downvoting, I would love to read your opinions too! The down arrow isn’t a disagreement button. It’s supposed to indicate a person isn’t contributing to the conversation. Otherwise you’re just enforcing groupthink.
I wear my seatbelt everyday when I drive my car because I'm expecting a car accident. Strangely enough, it has yet to happen and I have yet to need my seatbelt. What a waste!
I think I'll just stop wearing it.
That doesn’t mean it’s not an effective preventative measure and de-escalating technique.
A helmet is entirely necessary in peaceful protests because the authorities resisting the demands of the protest do not play fair.
But in reality, there have been plenty of peaceful protesters beaten to hospital or caught up in tear gas clouds, just because the police decided to dissolve the demonstration with force, because a handful of protestors were aggressive (sometimes not even that).
But and this is a big but! The german police in general is actually quite restraint and uses deescalation tactics. But sadly it is getting worse again.
What about the love parade in Duisburg, and the use of kettling as a standard police tactic which resulted in deaths? I remember reading that this was intended to escalate so as to more quickly resolve issues. Time may have blurred my memory though so perhaps I’m remembering incorrectly.
I think it's ok to use the up and down arrows to express agreement. Obviously the uparrows aren't only for applauding politeness, so it seems reasonable that the downarrows aren't only for booing rudeness.
It only becomes abuse when people resort to karma bombing: downvoting a lot of comments by one user without reading them in order to subtract maximum karma. Fortunately we now have several levels of software to protect against that.
Please don't comment about the voting on comments. It never does any good, and it makes boring reading.
So please feel free to contribute to the conversation! Why do you disagree with my sentiment regarding thee banning of helmets at protests being a de-escalation technique?
Please provide some reference, that sounds absurd.
(still, it is outrageous, that he was charged in the first place)
I know, thats why I prefer to read the news via The Onion or similar newspapers ...
It's hard to sit on our high horse in Europe on this one.
In a jurisdiction I know police always come to unrest etc with a van equipped with HR cameras. Those are then manually sifted post event to identify persons
There was a bloodbath in Italy at the G8 summit. UK, France and Germany are better, but there's still cases of police brutality.
That's my personal experience last night.
I was just outside my home, not at a protest. And now I can't even put on respirators to protect myself.
Here's a good overview: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennzeichnungspflicht_f%C3%BCr...
For many in Hong Kong, the face mask ban is a reminder of the asymmetrical balance of power that they are protesting so hard against. While citizens are now prohibited from wearing masks in public assemblies, police officers will continue to be able to conceal their identities
It's only liberating if the masked person acts ethically. As we've seen in Portland, when masked "protesters" commit violence against civilians, it's the antithesis of "liberating". Remember that the anti-mask laws in the US south were enacted to limit the nefarious actions of the Klan.
IMO, HK has gone so far that the masks are a fake sense of security. The police will drag you off, mask and all, and know exactly who you are. Either the HK people have to accept using guerrilla tactics or they will eventually be swallowed by the CCP.
If 50-100 violent masked people show up and the police want to arrest them, nobody in the peaceful protest are going to get in the way.
The politicians CHOOSE to allow the violent group to discredit the entire protest.
The adoption of masks is probably driven by the digital imaging chip and the ubiquity of digital photos and videos. If the police don't image you, your friends and the media probably will.
I really don't understand why hackernews is so extremely one-sided on this issue.
Edit: yeah there we go, down voted immediately.
>The employee, who was not identified in a JPMorgan memo about the incident, was surrounded on Friday afternoon by photographers as well as protesters shouting “Go back to the mainland!” The banker spoke in Mandarin, at one point responding, “We are all Chinese.” As he made his way into the building lobby, one protester hit him in the face, knocking his eyeglasses off, according to a video circulated on social media. It is not clear from the video what sparked the altercation, and there is no indication it was connected to his employer.
And to add more context in an unbiased way. Man in white is white collar worker in central district. I don't know if he's done anything to provoke protesters as pretext.
"journalists" being a general nuisance, possibly trying to provoke him. He says something inaudible, something like "are you a journalist" or "what are you reporting on" or generally along the lines of wtf are you doing.
Journalist starts taunting him, saying he can't understand him. He leaves for the office with people swearing and shouting profanity. He turns around and says "we are all chinese people". More swearing. Some "journalist" closes the door and prevents him from entering. Some masked guy comes out of know where to hit him. Granted he wasn't looking to do serious damage but still a dick move and uncalled for. The guy goes in and someone throws an umbrella at his head. Journalists rush after him after pausing for a while probably because they don't know what else to do.
Glorious isn't it
Do you attend the protests and view these or other activities yourself? Or just reporting on Twitter?
Journalists are helping keep everyone safe, by filming, which discourages most from violence, on both sides. They film both police and protestors.
Just do understand that for many HKers, they believe this is a fight where losing means what happens to Uighurs and Tibetans happens to them.
Then again, I think this is one of the arguments why a ban on masks is pretty reasonable: There's real assholes hiding in the midst of the protesters who can get away with their crimes due to masks. It would btw. also make it harder for agent provocateur to stay disguised.
I do agree though that the reporting in the west has been very questionable.
Smashing small shops and restaurants, threatening the cowering staff inside
Menacing some fishmongers inside their shop
What happened to a guy who yelled “Hong Kong add gas”
Attacking an unconscious man
Attacking a senior citizen who isn’t defending himself
Most of these hundreds of incidents have not been covered by news media in the west. I suggest that everyone do their own research before jumping to conclusions.
If you are here, I recommend you go see them yourself. Wear not blue and not all black, and stay on the outskirts.
In my experience its very safe as an outsider, and I have seen no looting, which is nothing like American protests, where I am from.
Showing students in their own lecture halls and classrooms being screamed at and bullied by black clad "protestors" (these days behaving more like cultural revolution Maoists).
This does produce ridiculous results occasionally. My friend was briefly detained by the police for wearing a ski mask on a long winter walk. It was -25°C outside.
Disguising your face is also illegal in Denmark.
The protestors in Hong Kong really do have a reason to protect their identities from China, so do (peaceful) protestors from any state. Freedom of speech should be allowed for anonymous persons as well.
The police have shown a lot of restraint for sure.
Bank set on fire:
Train with passengers on board attacked:
Mob beat up one person:
Undercover officer petrol bombed:
That is literally the video of the off duty cop shooting a 14 year old in the leg. The mob that attacked him with sticks and petrol bombs were in response to him discharging a firearm in an area that crowded, and hitting a young teenager. What kind of misinformation are you trying to spread? Do you post Twitter instead of news because you are afraid of people hearing the whole story?
Nobody knows yet, at least no reports of, why the firearm was discharged. Maybe it was accidental. Maybe it was deliberate. Mob justice is not the answer.
By the way, you link to Hong Kong Free Press - give me a break. I wouldn't call them Fake News but they are very biased.
They are similar to the NY Times who literally are fake news. The NY Times had the audacity to claim an 18 year old who was shot a few days ago was unarmed.
Well everyone here on HackerNews can use their own eyes and see what the NY Times failed to see. An armed protestor (with the blue board) beating an officer on the ground and getting shot after he struck another officer who had his weapon drawn.
HKFP might be biased towards democracy and freedom of the press, but not as biased as posting shill Twitter accounts.
The NYT uses unarmed in the American sense of the word - the 18 year old was not carrying a firearm.
I can scroll through Reddit and find 10s of examples of police doing the same to protestors, and yet as someone that has actually gone, the real HK police seem very professional in the face of a difficult job. Other police and gang members that are enlisted to help during the night on the other hand...
Are you up posting from 2AM-6AM because of insomnia, or because you post from an armchair in a different timezone?
It seems to me like if it were your country, and you had no $$ or foreign passport to hide, you would have a different opinion.
Contrast with America, where as soon as you get that many people "rioting", cars are flipped and set on fire, local businesses are broken into and looted, etc.
It's completely different from American riots or even what the French yellow vest demonstrators do.
Although the current interest is probably related to HK, the ban in The Netherlands seems to be related to the introduction of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burqa in the public domain.
There's also been a lot of talk at local levels.
The Klan didn't get away with horrific acts of violence because they were legally allowed to wear masks—they got away with it because it was socially acceptable to terrorize, beat up, lynch, and kill people who were not WASPs. The police and other civic leaders were often members, and even when they weren't, they had tacit and sometimes direct alliances with Klan members. This led to law enforcement looking the other way when violent acts occurred, and they simply did not enforce plenty of existing laws that made the Klan's violent behaviors already illegal. Plenty of violence occurred without masks on. And even when the masks were on, law enforcement had more than enough cause to arrest people and unmask them.
Arresting, prosecuting, and convicting individuals who engaged in already-illegal acts of racially motivated violence is what stopped Klan violence. Beyond that, brave infiltration efforts to expose their inner workings and publicizing membership lists contributed further. An endless stream of newspaper articles documenting and decrying Klan activity as un-American helped, too.
Yes, the anonymity provided by the hoods emboldened horrible people to threaten and intimidate others, as well as commit horrific acts of violence. But the violence happened because it was allowed. Suggesting anti-mask laws stopped the Klan only whitewashes the past—and absolves political leaders, law enforcement, and American society itself, of their central role in allowing that violence to happen for decades. Klan violence didn't stop because masks became illegal—it stopped when people refused to continue looking the other way. And it took way too long for that to happen.
I don't have solid sources on this, but I'm pretty sure the masks were most useful for Plausible Deniability. Local officials didn't really want to fight the Klan, true. They still had to answer to State and Federal officials and out-of-state newspapers though. Klan members wearing masks allow them to claim to anybody asking tough questions that they can't do anything more against those people because they don't know who they are. (And allow them to deny some of them are infact members)
It's often tough to discuss logistics issues like this on boards. Everybody wants to find One Big Reason for something, and declare every other reason irrelevant. In reality, most large efforts to solve large issues require lots of different tactics. Often, no one tactic is "key" or "essential", but they all help out a little to achieve a goal. Taking away any one won't doom you or anything, but it will make things take a little longer and go a little harder.
— I wasn’t searching for one big reason, and I wasn’t declaring all other reasons irrelevant. I provided several reasons that are exceedingly well documented in Klan-focused histories for the decline of Klan violence (seriously, go read some histories and see how prominently mask laws play in the events).
— Alabama passed the first anti-mask law in the South in 1949—roughly 20 years after the national (2nd) Klan and its violent activities had been exposed and its membership severely dwindled (turning the Klan into a splintered group of uncoordinated and smaller local and state groups).
— The post-WW2 (3rd) Klan had alliances all the way up the local, county, and state-level political and legal ladder. They had direct alliances with governors. Local officials weren’t having to deny anything, because there was rarely anyone to answer to higher up the chain. In the states this occurred, hooded Klansmen weren’t really a thing like the 2nd Klan, and the violence continued without masks. The feds didn’t get involved until way late—FBI and the like cared about chasing communists more than they did Klan violence when it mattered.
— The 3rd Klan became a notable and present force of violence and intimidation throughout the South after the Alabama anti-mask law (and the other state laws that followed)
— The Klan robes and hoods most people envision were a staple of the 2nd Klan, and basically copied the costumes in Birth of a Nation—that is, 20+ years before mask laws (when they might have been helpful; at that time Klan membership numbered 3M-6M).
— The first and second Klan were organized and national. The third Klan was local and state specific, and never reached the membership levels of the former—yet mask laws didn’t stop Klan violence during this period.
— Alabama is a funny example—it passed the first Southern mask law thanks to a Klan-hating governor, and it later had a Klan-allied governor.
By the way, this period and the issues society struggled with was pretty much the focus of my graduate school work, and years of study since.
I believe it’s more than fair to interpret the mask laws as being fueled by recognition (by some) that times were changing, and a desire to avoid returning to the hooded times of the 2nd Klan. They were likely interested in preventing hooded Klan marches and intimidation acts—for example, Georgia’s 1951 mask law came a couple years after a group of hooded Klansmen stood outside a polling place to deter black citizens from voting, iirc.
I also think it’s wise to keep that interpretation balanced by recognizing that while perhaps not quite virtue-signaling, the mask laws—when viewed alongside the horrible racist violence allowed in the states that had mask laws—were passed by some people who wanted to unmask the Klan, and others who realized it was politically expedient to be seen doing so. In some cases—notably those states who allowed post-1954 Civil Rights-era violence and allied with local Klans—it provided an appearance of doing something, while then turning a blind eye toward the mask-free violence occurring in their states, and forging alliances with local Klan members.
Ultimately, to understand the period, its actors, and their motivations, we’re left digging through whatever records exist of public arguments made at the time for the mask laws, and looking carefully at who made the arguments, and how those arguments square with their actions in their states. Sadly, I’m not sure if there are many publicly available records online of that sort for someone to dig through.
Some things are truly eternal.
Near-future: "Does a full-facial e-ink tattoo, dynamically reconfigurable, count as a mask?"
But I doubt they could outlaw your face. What are they going to do? Cut your face off?
> If you tattooed your whole face you are basically making yourself more easily identifiable.
Turn it on and off and configure it as desired. E-pigment sits under your skin. Unlike a mask, it's part of you but only when you want it to be. I think this could reduce identifiability.
They are also a problem for anyone who has an iPhone with FaceID
Goggles reduce the chances of eye injury due to debris, rubber bullets, police batons, etc. A decent face mask extends this protection to the rest of the face.
Plus, the real reason is that in war, wounding the other side is better than killing, since the wounded have to be treated, evacuated, supported, etc., and their presence is demoralizing to the enemy.
> Many anti-mask laws date back to the mid-20th century when states and municipalities, passed them to stop the violent activities of the Ku Klux Klan, whose members typically wore hoods of white linen to conceal their identities....
> A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a New York law on the ground that wearing a Ku Klux Klan mask did not convey a protected message beyond that conveyed by wearing a hood and robe. Other courts have struck down anti-mask laws. For example, Tennessee and Florida state laws have been invalidated on the grounds that they were unconstitutionally broad. An ordinance in Goshen, Indiana, was struck down based on First Amendment doctrine that specifically protects anonymous speech and anonymous association, especially for unpopular groups like the KKK.
> In 1845 New York made it illegal to appear “disguised and armed.” Most anti-mask laws [in the US] were passed, however, in response to the Ku Klux Klan, whose members used masks to hide their identities as they terrorized their victims.
> In the United States, anti-mask laws were first passed in the 19th century to combat various threats of violence—among them, the killing of Hudson Valley landlords by tenant farmers who dressed up as American Indians, and also the growing violence of the Ku Klux Klan.
Here's a serious analysis of how one might tailor an anti-mask law while avoiding the most serious free-speech issues, at least in the narrow sense of passing constitutional muster in the US.
Of course, cold tends to have a literal "chilling effect" on activity as well (see: crime rates in summer)!