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Hong Kong Chief Executive Will Meet With Protesters, Camps Assaulted By ‘Pro-Government Gangs’

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying, has agreed to meet with Occupy Central pro-democracy protesters to discuss their demands. Though, not surprisingly, he has refused to resign. The offer of talks comes after protesters have successfully arrested business and other activity in downtown Hong Kong. The the duration of the protests are taking a toll on relations between protesters and other residents who are upset that Hong Kong has been shut down for a week.

The Chinese government has already said they will not revisit their plan to control the 2017 Hong Kong elections by selecting who and who can not run. The Chinese Communist Party condemned the Hong Kong protesters as lawless, disruptive, and “hijacking public opinion.” Which makes one wonder – what exactly can Chief Executive Leung talk about with protesters?

One issue that may come up should the talks commence is organized attacks on the protesters from, in some cases, anonymous people who may be affiliated with the government. Protesters have said the attacks must stop if there is to be a true dialogue.

Pro-democracy protesters in two parts of Hong Kong came under assault on Friday from men seeking to break apart their encampments, surrounding them and tearing down their tents. The protesters said the attackers were pro-government gangs, and several of the groups leading the protest issued a joint statement warning that they would call off proposed negotiations with the government “if the government does not immediately prevent the organized attacks.”…

After nearly a week in which the tens of thousands of protesters who have taken over parts of the city were, for the most part, not only nonviolent but assiduously polite and clean, the attacks came as a shock. “I feel really hurt,” said one of the protesters, Nick Tse, 22, an art student. “We worked so hard for this, and they destroyed it.”

How coordinated these attacks were with the government is, of course, hard to say for sure. But it would be an interesting carrot and (literal) stick tactic by Leung to have groups attack the camps then offer symbolic talks.

It is hard to exaggerate how much is on the line not just for Leung but the political and business elite who run Hong Kong. The last thing the elite want is Beijing to fully take over if they see local authorities can’t put down the protests, though having the people decide who is in charge is not in their interest either. Both the Hong Kong and CPC elite want to preserve the status quo at all costs.

Democracy has many enemies.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Hong Kong Chief Executive Will Meet With Protesters, Camps Assaulted By ‘Pro-Government Gangs’

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying, has agreed to meet with Occupy Central pro-democracy protesters to discuss their demands. Though, not surprisingly, he has refused to resign. The offer of talks comes after protesters have successfully arrested business and other activity in downtown Hong Kong. The the duration of the protests are taking a toll on relations between protesters and other residents who are upset that Hong Kong has been shut down for a week.

The Chinese government has already said they will not revisit their plan to control the 2017 Hong Kong elections by selecting who and who can not run. The Chinese Communist Party condemned the Hong Kong protesters as lawless, disruptive, and “hijacking public opinion.” Which makes one wonder – what exactly can Chief Executive Leung talk about with protesters?

One issue that may come up should the talks commence is organized attacks on the protesters from, in some cases, anonymous people who may be affiliated with the government. Protesters have said the attacks must stop if there is to be a true dialogue.

Pro-democracy protesters in two parts of Hong Kong came under assault on Friday from men seeking to break apart their encampments, surrounding them and tearing down their tents. The protesters said the attackers were pro-government gangs, and several of the groups leading the protest issued a joint statement warning that they would call off proposed negotiations with the government “if the government does not immediately prevent the organized attacks.”…

After nearly a week in which the tens of thousands of protesters who have taken over parts of the city were, for the most part, not only nonviolent but assiduously polite and clean, the attacks came as a shock. “I feel really hurt,” said one of the protesters, Nick Tse, 22, an art student. “We worked so hard for this, and they destroyed it.”

How coordinated these attacks were with the government is, of course, hard to say for sure. But it would be an interesting carrot and (literal) stick tactic by Leung to have groups attack the camps then offer symbolic talks.

It is hard to exaggerate how much is on the line not just for Leung but the political and business elite who run Hong Kong. The last thing the elite want is Beijing to fully take over if they see local authorities can’t put down the protests, though having the people decide who is in charge is not in their interest either. Both the Hong Kong and CPC elite want to preserve the status quo at all costs.

Democracy has many enemies.

Update: Talks have reportedly been called off.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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