By Majid Gafoor
How do you define a civilized society? It is one where you can go about your business without interference or harassment. You have freedom of movement and can pursue gainful activities to support yourself and your family. You feel no fear or intimidation from others because you know there are laws to protect you. You know that the lawful forces are on hand to ensure your safety so that you may go forth in pursuit of happiness for yourself and your loved ones.
This was Hong Kong before June 2019.
Since then thugs have roamed the streets causing havoc in people’s lives. The thugs have destroyed private and public property. The thugs have vandalized public transport stations. The thugs have intimidated innocent citizens who only want to go to work, attend school or have a day out. The thugs have even invaded shopping malls causing shopkeepers to hastily shutter their shops to prevent looting. Their latest travesty – to firebomb a building that had been designated to quarantine people of presumptive coronavirus infection.
What further example is needed to demonstrate that the thugs have no love for Hong Kong people?
These are the people that some are still glorifying as “protesters for democracy”. To those people I say – let a group of thugs invade your home and destroy everything that you have worked so hard to attain and perhaps even cause harm to you or your family and then try to repeat your mantra that they are mere “protesters for democracy”. For they are indeed destroying your home – Hong Kong.
No, lets call a thug, a thug and do not give them even a veneer of legitimacy.
The true heroes in this scenario are the Hong Kong government in general and the police force in particular. In face of such a blatant challenge to authority, they have acted with extreme restraint. Given similar circumstances in many other countries including the United States (where similar protests have occurred), the response would have been more forceful and even brutal.
The videos of the disturbances in Hong Kong which the media so frequently broadcast tell the true story. A raging mob hurls insults and incendiaries to provoke the police who stand by stoically. The police then unfurl banners (yes, banners) to inform the mob that they must disperse or they will be met with rubber bullets and/or tear gas. If the situation was not so serious, it would be comical. Yet, that is how the police have met the provocative situation – not with brute force as they are fully entitled to do so, but with a controlled response, giving the mob a chance to disperse peacefully.
And the same people who call the thugs “protesters for democracy” vilify the police action.
There is no other interpretation. Lets call a thug, a thug.
Majid Gafoor is a former journalist from Hong Kong. He now lives in Canada.