Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, Police Shot a Man While Protesters Set Another on Fire

Escalating violence in Hong Kong


Two Hongkongers were sent to the hospital in critical condition Monday following separate violent incidents. In one, police shot a protester at close range. In the other, protesters doused a Beijing sympathizer in gasoline and set him on fire.

Many Hongkongers are still mourning the Friday death of a 22-year-old student protester, Chow Tsz-lok, who had been hospitalized following a police encounter. The protests, now in their sixth month, have been mostly peaceful (with some notable exceptions); that's less true of the police response. Today's events mark a notable shift: The violence was particularly severe, it occurred during the daytime, and it spilled over into the business district, with tear gas harming those who have not taken part in protests.

Video footage of the shooting, which took place in Sai Wan Ho neighborhood, shows a police officer grabbing one black-clad protester while a second approaches the cop. The officer fired at the approaching protester, identified as 21-year-old Patrick Chow, who clutched his stomach and immediately fell to the ground. Chow remains in critical condition, according to the Hospital Authority.

That marks the third time police have fired live rounds at protesters. In early October, police shot an 18-year-old student protester named Tsang Chi-kin. Several days later, police shot a 14-year-old protester in the leg. Both survived their injuries.

Video footage of the burn victim shows a lengthy altercation between a group of Hong Kong supporters and what appears to be a single Beijing sympathizer. It escalated when a protester douses the lone Beijing supporter with gasoline and lights him on fire. The Beijing sympathizer is also in critical condition.

A third video from today shows a police officer on a motorcycle attempting to ram his vehicle into crowds of protesters. John Tse, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Police Force, says that the officer has been placed on leave and that he was just trying to separate protesters from police.

Hong Kong's police force has been under scrutiny for use of excessive force against protesters, especially misuse of tear gas, which has been fired near public housing and into enclosed spaces, such as subway stations.

As a result of the violence, several universities have canceled classes; medics have treated several commuters who were exposed to tear gas.

The protests initially centered around a now-revoked extradition treaty proposed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam. The bill would have allowed Hongkongers to be extradited to Taiwan and mainland China, where the criminal justice system is arbitrary and harsh—a far cry from the due process protections that Hongkongers currently enjoy. Though Hong Kong is technically part of China, the territory operates under a "one country, two systems" policy that allows its citizens free speech, a free press, and the ability to elect some of their representatives. The policy is set to remain in place until 2047, at which point the city will be fully absorbed by the mainland. Many Hongkongers are worried that the Communist Party of China is prematurely encroaching on their rights.

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  1. “In one, police shot a protester at close range. In the other, protesters doused a Beijing sympathizer in gasoline and set him on fire.”

    I’ve state before not over-assume what these people are really for.

  2. Those black-clad face-masked protestors who set the guy on fire almost certainly killed off the legitimacy of the protest. Wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if anyone wearing that sort of ‘costume’ at a protest becomes the immediate target of police snipers. And regular folks in Hong Kong will likely approve.

    It’s one thing to protest the law, the police, the political establishment that is both pro-China and crony capitalist. That sort of protest can fit with notions of self-governance and tolerance and liberty.

    Once you cross over into attempted murder of a civilian who voices opposition to you, you’re no better than the most authoritarian Chinese apparatchik.

    1. You just don’t light some old guy on fire.
      That crosses a line.
      Like shooting people in the dick

    2. I’m not surprised to see that you’re a cuck…

      How the hell do you think totalitarian regimes get taken down buddy? You think Xi is just going to admit being wrong, reform the entire Chinese political system, and then step down after creating a system with true freedom?

      Sometimes violence IS the answer. This isn’t people protesting in the UK over some dumb tax they don’t like or whatever… They’re fighting the most totalitarian government on earth. If they want to secure their freedoms, there will almost certainly have to be violence. And that violence would have to spread to the mainland.

      Now this particular act of violence may be stupid, because he’s just some chump of no importance… But make no mistake, if the Chinese people want to be free they will have to overthrow their oppressors with force. That’s what the USA had to do to become free, and so did many other nations historically. If you refuse to use violence against an evil enemy who will use force, the evil enemy wins my default.

      1. You think HK violence is going to spread thru China and bring it down? You are beyond stupid — and that ain’t the goal of anyone in HK either

  3. Do NOT light people on fucking fire. It really fucks up the sympathy for your movement.

    1. They didn’t just set the guy on fire for no reason. For the past few months, Beijing has been hiring local triads to beat pro-HKers at subway stations, and to attack pro-democracy politicians and business owners. That’s ignoring the stuff the cops are doing, which is just as bad. This is people finally retaliating after 6 months of grinning and bearing it, not some asshole doing it just for shits and grins. There was another incident last week where a pro-Beijing politician who had supported the Triad thugs and was on camera shaking their hands was stabbed at a rally. It’ll probably give China the excuse they want to go in and crack heads, but can you really blame these kids for finally having enough?

      1. China won’t have to go in now. HK itself will now turn against that wing of the protests.

      2. Maybe the guy needed killing, but setting people on fire just isn’t going to win you a lot of sympathy.

        1. The guy probably just had a differing opinion and didn’t deserve it. And yeah, setting people on fire isn’t gonna win you the cute and cuddly award of the year. I’m not saying otherwise. What I am saying is that if you beat your dog every day, you have only yourself to blame when he bites your kids. This is on the HK police and the Chinese government.

          1. No it isn’t. It is on what is called in Hong Kong the ‘militant localist’ movement. Those are overwhelmingly young folks who want independence for Hong Kong and really don’t like the passivity of peaceful protest. A significant minority (roughly 40%) of young people want independence post-2047 but not very many (roughly 15%) think it can be achieved via violence (and even fewer (roughly 3%) think ‘now’ is remotely possible timing).

            The militant localists want to force the young into a binary choice to expand their own support and have no doubt been the ones driving the protests more towards destruction and violence in hopes of an inchoate crackdown by the HK cops/authorities.

          2. Lighting someone on fire is possibly the worst optics imaginable for any movement

      3. Name checks out

    2. Yea but did you see the way he was dressed ? Dude was totally asking for it.

      Protip: don’t want to get set on fire, don’t go around wearing clothes that say ‘set me on fire’.

      1. Good. Blame the victim/

        1. Was being sarcastic, incase that wasn’t abundantly clear.

          1. Ditto!

    3. At least make it look like an accident. Better yet, make sure the body’s never found.

  4. Off in the distance, you can hear T-72s running up their engines.

  5. False flag

    A false flag is a covert operation designed to deceive; the deception creates the appearance of a particular party, group, or nation being responsible for some activity, disguising the actual source of responsibility.

    1. Don’t think that fits either recent case. The burned commie apparently had been taunting a bunch of people for some time; are you saying he volunteered to be set on fire? or that he was so good at his one job that he got an undercover agent riled up?

      1. Not that I agree with Wlad but there other options. China could have sent him on a mission to counter protest and set him up or he was just a counter protester that they sacrificed for their greater good.

        But before I would call false flag, I’d like to see a wiff of evidence to support that claim.

        1. or he was just a counter protester that they sacrificed for their greater good.

          This. To be more clear, the HK protestors who set him on fire would be the agents of the chicoms in this construction. Their actions will be used to justify a Tiannanmen Square style martial law response.

          I’d like to see a wiff of evidence to support that claim.

          I’m sure it’ll be forthcoming. The chicoms are completely transparent and have certainly never resorted to such nefarious deeds in their past.

          It’s fucking amazing how far you can get your head up your own ass when your ideology requires it.

          1. It’s fucking amazing how far you can get your head up your own ass when your ideology requires it.

            Is that my head or a chicom’s head or someone else’s? Because my head is rooted in reality. China is evil but I can’t blame them for every evil in the world, only the evil with evidence pointing their way, like Weigur(?) forced labor camps.

            1. False flag is possible, if less likely than some out of control HK style antifa idiot.
              I just wonder what the liquid he used was, and why he was carrying it around.
              I can see having an intent to burn something (rather than someone), thus being prepared – but that seemed a more intense result than something like lighter fluid would cause (I lit a portion of my friend’s jeans on fire, while he was wearing them and at his prompting, and the result wasn’t nearly as dramatic)

              1. I just watched the video. From the flame color and volatility, it seems likely that it was gasoline or white gas or something like that. Get enough air mixed in with the fumes and that will go up like crazy.
                What an awful thing to do.

      2. >>taunting a bunch of people for some time

        according to script maybe?

  6. Free markets, free trade. Cheap Chinese shit is the lifeblood of America and I’d be damned if any of these “reform” minded protesters get in the way of my free market. That’s right; I’m a libertarian.

    1. Yeah. Sure you are.

      1. Doesn’t it suck when you have to hear the retarded shit you actually believe read back to you by the stenographer of actual history?

        1. ::slow clap::

          Thank you.

        2. Jesus fucking shit, if you don’t like libertarian ideas, why are you commenting on a libertarian site? Just to be a dick, or what?

          1. To pretend he has one.

          2. Do you always get this angry when people criticize your religious beliefs? Because if you can’t defend your ideas on the merits, your ideas aren’t worth shit.

            If you want only want poster that suck your balls and reassure you that you’re a bright shining star, you friend Unicorn is more than up for the task.

    2. Yeah, communist domination of a once free Hong Kong is what libertarians want most of all. Well, almost as much as bringing back chattel slavery, of course.

      1. But mostly we just want to see our wives being violated by swarthy Mexicans.

  7. “Video footage of the burn victim shows a lengthy altercation between a group of Hong Kong supporters and what appears to be a single Beijing sympathizer. It escalated when a protester douses the lone Beijing supporter with gasoline and lights him on fire. The Beijing sympathizer is also in critical condition.”

    If this is actual violence from protesters, as opposed to a “false flag” or agent provocateur operation, then screw those particular protesters and let the other protesters turn them in.

    I’m not so gullible as to automatically assume it’s protesters doing the burning, but I won’t rule it out either – and if its protesters then the pyromaniacs need to be prosecuted.

    1. I lean towards it being ‘protesters’ over a false flag simply because Occam’s Razor would lean in that direction. The bigger a protest becomes, the more fragmented the different groups taking part in it are, and the more opportunity for groups with different agendas (or no agenda) to operate. In a mob, it only takes one or two thugs to turn everything nasty.

      1. Well said. False flag is less likely because it’s more complicated. That doesn’t make it impossible, but the simpler explanation is there are some genuinely violent people who latched onto the pro-HK movement.

  8. lets see some shooting and some burning things are heating up. will the burning quite the protesters in shame or will it bring in greater police force upping the retaliatory violence from both sides. the setting people on fire is never good but i hope the protesters continue protesting for if they quit now it will be the end of all freedoms for them

    1. i hope the protesters continue protesting for if they quit now it will be the end of all freedoms for them

      I doubt it. And actually that is the sort of apocalyptic vision of the future that is being propounded by those who want civil war in HK now. For the young, their end-game is 2047 – not 2019. Their worst possible outcome is for the current protests to lead to a massive backlash among older HKers. Because while there is increasing encroachment by Beijing on the one-country-two-systems thang, they are a long way from being able to assimilate HK into China now. Just to give one example – there are changes being proposed to the HK education system to move it from a somewhat Western system to a much more China-compliant system. Those changes were rejected in 2012 by a much broader ‘pan-democracy’ coalition.

      There is a strong possibility at this point that if the protests continue – and specifically continue with a strong element of being hijacked into violence – that the ‘pan-democracy’ coalition will break down NOW. That is what would be the worst possible outcome for the young in looking at 2047.

  9. Within the next year or two, the Chinese government will take drastic steps to reign in Hong Kong; it will be made to kneel and there isn’t a damn thing the United States or any other nation in the world are going to be able to do about it.

    In fact, the path to toward this end is already clear.

    “Hong Kong’s autonomy is a colonial vestige and a subversion of Chinese sovereignty. The People’s Republic has no obligation to continue to honor such repressive colonial policies. China must be united with Hong Kong and any steps taken by any nation that continue to divide the Chinese people will be seen as acts of war and be met with all appropriate force.”

    Who will risk war with China over Hong Kong? Who will risk their “free” markets?

    The truth is that a massacre is brewing, and there’s not a thing anyone can do to stop it.

  10. wag the dog?

  11. As I said above, the reason libertarians can never have a libertarian society is because most are too big of pussies to do what must be done to make such a society… Namely overthrowing the oppressors.

    I’m not saying this act of violence should have happened… Maybe he didn’t deserve it… But the USA never would have existed had the Founding Fathers been spineless pussies like most people here. They knew the only way to gain the freedom they sought was by killing their British oppressors. And it WORKED. They created the freest and most prosperous nation in the history of mankind.

    If the people of HK or China ever want to be free… They will have to spill commie tyrant blood to do it. And I hope they DO take that route at some point when it is doable. There is a 99.9% chance that the Chinese government will not fall peacefully, because unlike the USSR they have a viable economy.

    I support the people of HK in doing anything they must do to gain their freedom, and hopefully it spills over to the mainland too. They should obviously target people who deserve it a little more, like sitting politicians who are directly screwing them… But revolutions get messy, that’s just how it works.

    1. Easy for you to say sitting in the US on your lazy entitled ignorant ass.

      1. Easy for “you” to say sitting in the US on “your” lazy entitled ignorant ass.

    2. What exactly does the rest of China think of the HK situation? If it’s simply a rebellion in one city…well, I’m no military strategecist, but that doesn’t sound like very good odds, and the only thing holding back the tanks will be Beijing’s desire to keep HK economically viable. The goose laying the golden eggs.

      If the whole country is ripe for revolt…I don’t really know much about how that would shake out. For instance, who holds the nukes and where would their allegiance lie?

      1. And HK is not really important to China now except symbolically. Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen are all top-10 financial centers now. Shenzhen didn’t even really exist when the HK transfer first started being discussed in 1980. Had about 1/3 the population of HK area in 1997. It now has 3x+ the population – with busier/bigger ports. HK economy was 25% of the China economy then – it’s now 5%. It’s the West and our MIC that’s hanging on to the idea that HK is important cuz it’s where we base our intel/spook work.

        It’s the HK elites who are gonna crack down on the protests. They’re the ones who are pro-Beijing. Their property is the stuff being vandalized now. They’re the ones whose govt is losing credibility and foreign investment.

  12. WTF. Reason completely ate my comments the other day… What a bunch of bullshit. I thought they were just delayed, as has happened sometimes for years, but they just never showed up… Way to go Reason, making your posting system EVEN WORSE!

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