Though the Hong Kong Education Bureau canceled classes in the semi-autonomous city until Monday “for the sake of safety,” many students with nowhere else to go have remained on campus, and a select few at Hong Kong Polytechnic University used their free time to conduct petrol bombing practices in a dry school swimming pool.
Hours prior, tear gas was fired at black-clad demonstrators near the university’s southern entrance.
At the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a Specialized Crowd Management Vehicle, along with “minimum necessary force,” was used as violence in the area “reached a deadly level,” according to the Hong Kong Police Force. Video from the scene showed that students not only hurled bricks, but had also built combat contraptions, such as a catapult that launched petrol bombs.
"The leniency Hong Kong judges have so far demonstrated toward the offenders ... has also served to encourage terrorist acts,” an editorial in the Chinese Communist Party-run Global Times said on Tuesday following increased violence earlier this week that was highlighted by demonstrators lighting a 57-year-old man on fire and the police shooting a protester.
KJ Noh, a peace activist and scholar on the geopolitics of Asia and a frequent contributor to CounterPunch and Dissident Voice, joined Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear on Thursday to discuss the escalation in violence and explain the hypocrisy he sees within Western media’s reporting of the demonstrations.
Noh argued to hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that if these protests were happening in the US, the “fascist blackshirt tactics” of demonstrators would be labeled “hate crimes” and “terrorism.”
The peace activist pointed out that a 70-year-old man who hospital officials believe was hit in the head with a brick while cleaning protest-related rubbish lost his life late Thursday evening.
Speaking at the BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil, on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping voiced his support for the Hong Kong Police Force’s efforts against “violent criminals” who “seriously trampled on the rule of law and social order.”
“Stopping the violence and restoring order is Hong Kong’s most urgent task at present,” the president said, as reported by Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
Noh asserted that the “BBC and the other Western media are clearly complicit, both in supporting, encouraging and valorizing this violence” by demonstrators “while at the same time erasing the true savagery that is happening before our eyes.”