37 Accused Of Insurrection In Hong Kong Fishball Revolution

37 Accused Of Insurrection In Hong Kong Fishball Revolution
Photo Credit: AP/Vincent Yu/達志影像
What you need to know

The “Fishball Revolution” has been the biggest protest against the Hong Kong government since the Umbrella Movement in 2014. Clashes erupted between activists and the police, leading to 61 people arrested and condemnations for the violence.

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Compiled and translated by Shin-wei Chang

On February 8, a “localist” political group, “Hong Kong Indigenous,” launched a campaign to protect food vendors from being evacuated by the police in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Responding the call, hundreds of people showed up to show their support, and the officers were forced to retreat. However, it was almost midnight when another clash between the police and people erupted. The police raised a red flag to warn the crowd, and at one point even used their batons and pepper spray.

During the clash, the police fired warning shots into the air and even pointed guns at the protesters. Forbes reports, rioters set fire, threw bricks and bottles towards the police. A photojournalist claims that rioters cut him with glass to stop him from documenting the scene.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying severely condemned the mob, saying that the police will bring them to justice at any cost. Meanwhile, he expressed consolation to the injured officers and journalists.

However some say that Leung should be responsible for the riot because the clash broke out due to the people’s distrust in the Hong Kong government. In response to this, Leung says it is obvious the incident was a riot, and the police also suspect the conflict was organized by a certain organization.

A student activist group, “Scholarism,” made an announcement, clarifying that the reason the clash went beyond control was the police inappropriately used their firearms. Though the guns were shot in the air, it still intensified emotions of both sides. Scholarism expressed its strong condemnation and predicts that the police deserve a disastrous political outcome.

On February 15, Zhang Xiao-ming, the director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, expressed his shock and pain for the incident. AFP reports, Zhang censured “radical separatists” for the violence, saying that they “showed terror tendencies.” However, when asked if he would amend Hong Kong’s Basic Law Article 23, which prohibits any act of treason, secession, sedition, and subversion against the Central People’s Government, Leung said the riot was not relevant.

As of February 9, the police have arrested 61 people, including Edward Leung Tin-kei and Ray Wong, the spokespeople of Hong Kong Indigenous, and Lin Kai Wing, a member of Scholarism. On February 11, among the 61 arrested people, 37 appeared in court and were accused of insurrection.

After the clash, a poll showed that 52.1% of the people surveyed consider the protesters most responsible for the incident; however, over a quarter thinks the government is accountable. In addition, over 45% of the respondents think the police was too violent in the clash.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
Apple Daily HK
Apple Daily
Apple Daily
CNA
The Basic Law
Announcement from Scholarism
Beijing pins Hong Kong riot on ‘radical separatists’ (AFP)
Hong Kong Protesters Clash With Police In ‘Fishball Revolution’ (Forbes)