By Dave Lindorff
The Senate, by a voice vote with no opposition yesterday passed a bill condemning the Hong Kong government and Hong Kong police for their brutal treatment of students in the supposedly autonomous Chinese city protesting threats to Hong Kong’s freedoms and it’s promise from China of self rule until 2047. The bill, if signed into law, would assess trade and other penalties on Hong Kong for its treatment of Hong Kong protesters.
Now while I have no problem condemning police brutality in Hong Kong, which has included massive and indiscriminate use of tear gas, rubber bullets, beatings and even deaths, including from live gunfire, I must at the same time point out that police brutality in the US against peaceful protesters, which I have always condemned, has historically been much more violent and violative of the US Constitution’s supposed guarantee of freedom of speech and assembly than what we’ve seen from the cops in Hong Kong.
I also have to point out that Hong Kong demonstrators have for some time now been responding (understandably) to the police violence against them with violence of their own, including widespread use of firebombs made from water bottles filled with petrol, and archery attacks with potentially deadly arrows as well as fire-tipped arrows, and with the use of powerful slingshots launching heavy and hard projectiles.
If such aggressive actions were adopted by US protesters, I can state with no hesitation that US police would quickly turn to the AR-15 combat weapons they all carry in their squad cars and vans and \ fatalities would be a guaranteed result. (Hong Kong police are being instructed not to shoot to kill if they use their weapons, while US police, almost universally, are instructed to do just the opposite: not just to shoot to kill if using a gun, but to empty their weapon into the “target” (that’s why victims of police shootings don’t usually get hit by one bullet, but by a number of them).
Looking at the mayhem in Hong Kong, as terrible and chaotic as it has been in recent weeks, there has been only one direct death attributable to the police, plus one accidental death and several apparent suicides. In the US cops kill people almost daily, and protester deaths, including peaceful protesters, are not uncommon at the hands of police.
Again, I am in no way excusing Hong Kong’s government or its police force for their brutal treatment of student protesters. That things have become so violent in Hong Kong is a direct consequence of the hard line taken by the Beijing-puppet Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her police leaders, who from the outset met peaceful protests in the city over undermining of the city’s freedoms with harsh resistance, an approach which predictably led to an increasingly militant response from passionate students in a cycle that has reached the level now, almost, of a civil war in the streets…
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF, a member of the ThisCantBeHappening! news collective who spent six years as a journalist in Hong Kong for Business Week in 1992-7, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/sanctimonious-us-senators-condemn-hong-kong-police-ignoring-far-more-brutal-us-cops/