Both the uprising and the government struggling to lead the city out of chaos are deep in uncharted territory
Hong Kong faces a major test Tuesday, as the city tries to return to its normal workday patterns after a long weekend of violence, shop closures, and transportation halts that in effect put a curfew on daily life.
The four days of strife since the government used its emergency powers for the first time in half a century took a heavy toll on the usually bustling city. Frequently violent protests cropped up across Hong Kong, leaving behind a trail of arson, a few mob beatings and a lot of broken glass. Police, meanwhile, made heavy use of tear gas, firing sometimes toward people who appeared to pose little threat and shooting a 14-year-old boy in the leg with live ammunition Friday.
The city’s heavily used subway system, the MTR, has been largely shut down for four days, with a full halt Friday night and Saturday and drastically limited service Sunday and Monday, a holiday here. A number of stations were flooded or burned by protesters angry at operator MTR Corp.’s perceived cooperation with the government and the police.
HONG KONG GOVERNMENT CONSIDERING INTERNET BAN TO STOP PROTESTS
Mimicking how Chinese authorities routinely block web to stifle unrest.
The Hong Kong government is considering an Internet ban as the latest tactic to stop protests and riots that have been ongoing since June.
As violence continues to escalate, a ban on face masks that was put into effect before the weekend failed to keep thousands of demonstrators off the streets who defied the new law.
Now authorities are refusing to rule out blocking the Internet in an effort to stop protesters organizing.
“Currently, the government is considering all possible legal options to halt the violence, which couldn’t rule out an ‘internet ban’ in the future,” Ip Kwok-him, a member of the Executive Council of the local government, said today.
Any such Internet ban would be particularly controversial because Chinese authorities routinely block the web in parts of their territory that are experiencing unrest.
Restricting Internet access would be viewed as more direct interference from Beijing and is likely to stir further anger.
Meanwhile, a protester in Hong Kong explained how the demonstrations have moved way beyond the issue of an extradition bill and are now about the existential survival of freedom in the region.
Wow. Listen to this Hong Kong protester talk about his desire for freedom. They are fighting for "survival" and trying to achieve what we have in America.
Perhaps the luxury of unprecedented freedom has made many in this country forget how fragile liberty truly is. pic.twitter.com/atZhGJDvNY
— Young Americans Against Socialism (@YAAS_America) October 6, 2019
Bank runs all over Hong Kong now. ATM machines running out of cash but there is something more important…failed leader carrie lam(b) can now officially confiscate bank accounts and assets without recourse. The HK legal system is essentially gone. #Bankruns #HKexit t.co/jz9sPrA30U
— Kyle Bass (@Jkylebass) October 5, 2019