Hong Kong Braces For Violent Weekend After Protest Organizer Attacked; Lam Rules Out Concessions
Hong Kong is bracing for a violent weekend after Civil Human Rights Front organizer, Jimmy Sham, was reportedly attacked on Thursday afternoon by two masked men in a restaurant who were wielding a metal rod and a baseball bat, according to RTHK.
Sham told RTHK that he was having lunch with a friend on Tak Hing Street in Jordan, when the two men came into the restaurant and smashed their weapons on the table.
When the men lunged at him, Sham said his friend tried to stop them but was hit on his left arm three times.
Sham said his friend suffered bruises and was sent to hospital.
Earlier in the day, a group of pro-government people surrounded Sham in what they said was action to “denounce” the front. The group called Sham a rioter and tried to snatch a loudhailer from him. –RTHK
Civil Human Rights Front has been behind most of this summer’s rallies sparked by a mass extradition bill. The group has been refused permission to protest on Saturday and is currently appealing the ban.
Lam rules out concessions
Earlier in the week, embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she would not make any more concessions to the pro-democracy protesters, citing escalating violence which the police are now calling “life threatening” after the detonation of a homemade explosive device last weekend.
“I have said on many occasions that violence will not give us the solution. Violence would only breed more violence,” said Lam at a Tuesday news conference. “For concessions to be made simply because of escalating violence will only make the situation worse. On the other hand, we should consider every means to end the violence,” she added.
Approximately 2,300 people have been arrested in Hong Kong since June – nearly a third of them being children, with some as young as 12. Two people have been shot and wounded by police, while thousands have been injured.
On Wednesday, Lam was forced to abandon a speech in the Hong Kong legislature after lawmakers jeered her off the stage.
Later, she reiterated that there would be no concessions granted to protesters, according to Reuters, however she did suggest building public housing as a solution to lower housing costs.
Lam, who had to broadcast the annual address via a video link after the rowdy scenes in the city’s assembly, hoped to restore confidence in her administration and address discontent after four months of often violent anti-government protests.
She had to halt her initial attempts to deliver the address after pro-democracy lawmakers called out for “five demands, not one less” and projected the protest rallying cry onto a backdrop behind her. –Reuters
Protesters’ demands include an independent inquiry into excessive police force, amnesty, and universal suffrage. Lam has flat out rejected the latter two – rejecting amnesty for those arrested as illegal, and saying universal suffrage was beyond her power.
“Any acts that advocate Hong Kong’s independence and threaten the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests will not be tolerated,” said Lam, adding “Despite the stormy times and overwhelming difficulties Hong Kong is experiencing, I believe that so long as we accurately adhere to the principle of ‘one country, two systems’, we will be able to get out of the impasse.”
Meanwhile, pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmaker Tanya Chan has called for Lam’s resignation for failing to address the five core demands made by the protest movement
“Both her hands are soaked with blood. We hope Carrie Lam withdraws and quits,” said Chan in an emotional news conference.
With scant progress made on both sides, prepare for another violent weekend.
Wed, 10/16/2019 – 11:05