2014年10月14日 星期二

Occupy Central 02/10 - Mong Kok Commotion, Hong Kong

Mong Kok Commotion on 2nd October, 2014

"Mong Kok has been our pride ... We’re not going to give it up and we’re not scared."
        This is from the articulation of an OC protestor upon their occupation of Mong Kok according to Harbour Post, a few days after the beginning of the Occupy Central. The steadfast assertion appeared to be intrepid and formidable. However, it led to some serious consequences.
        On October 2, during the fifth night of the Occupy Central, a metamorphosis descended onto this land of turbulence and fear. A group of people strolled into the core occupied areas of Mong Kok and started to annihilate the shelters, temporary facilities and resources that the OC protestors obtained. A conflict endured between the mob and the protestors. Police soon arrived to endeavor to relinquish the heat, yet the fight still happened for numerous of hours. As dusk approached, men were caught and several protestors were badly injured. A sense of consternation lingered around the territory, including the other areas like Admiralty and Causeway Bay, in which protestors still abide.
        News spread across the society, galvanizing people from their sleeps as they watched in awe and skepticism as violent scenes flashed across the screens. The time had come for those people to take their toll.
        This single incident that lasted for one night had elicited several weeks of utter chaos in all other places of Hong Kong. Occupy Central had suddenly evolved from peaceful gatherings to a violent fights as shown on the television.
        Let us delve into the profound impact of this incident.
        To delineate the consequences, we have to identify who were affected in these days. Surely, nearly the entire population in Hong Kong is vastly affected by Occupy Central and its following events, such as this sudden ambush from the anti-OC supporters. However, I will cover the major victims that suffered the most from that tumultuous night.
        From the perspective of the protestors, this is surely one of the worst nights they ever had since 28 September. They suffered intense facility damage, severe injuries and physical exhaustion throughout the course of the hours. The base they had constructed with diligence and hard-work were torn and raided, and it was a mess as the sky lights up. Some of them had to receive medical treatment at hospital for shedding blood during the fight, and the majority of them were mentally distracted by the commotion. Such happening would abate their willingness to continue and abide with the territory. Voices came from the society, goading them to abandon Mong Kok and to retreat to more universally approved bases in Hong Kong Island.
        From the perspective of the whole Occupy Central movement, their repute was debilitated as their belief of maintaining peace was eradicated. Citizens supporting Occupy Central would question whether the organizers can control the aggravating situation and start to show incongruity towards the effectiveness of it. Apart from the loss of supporters, the morale of the movement was enervated. Disparagement from media of other places like China and the United States came along with vehement antipathy other citizens of Hong Kong made. Moreover, their safety in the imminent few weeks was largely threatened.
        From the perspective of shops within the vicinity of where the fight happened, the number of customers further abated as people avoid shopping in those areas. The situation was even worse than before. According to an article from The Standard on 08 October, “Two-thirds of 105 shops in Mong Kok say Occupy Central has drained their takings by 4 percent or more while a third says their losses are a little less.” This reflects the intolerable situation of people making their living by owning shops near the territory. Financial losses will apply to them, and their standard of living would be lowered. This may also lead to further problems such as lower purchasing power from shop owners, truncated opening time of various shops, and augmenting hostility and resent the shop owners would show towards the OC protestors.
        From the perspective of the police and the safety of other citizens, some policeman might suffer minor injuries. The increment of policemen in Mong Kok will result in deficient of police force in other territories in Hong Kong. According to estimations made by South China Morning Post, at least 7000 policemen were employed to turn up for the chaotic scenes such as the tumultuous October night. The safety of the general public will be marred due to the devoid of police that are not in Mong Kok and Hong Kong Island.
        Finally, we arrived to the perspective of HK government and Hong Kong itself. Hong Kong has been renowned for its safety and transparency during the preceding decade after the handover. However, the image of Hong Kong was vastly affected by the whole Occupy Central movement and the particular violence that took place in the meantime. As other countries in the world meditate upon this historical movement, it appears that Hong Kongers have been struggling for universal suffrage and democracy to embrace this land. Until the very present moment, the intense effort and money they endeavor in this movement even seem futile. This arouse questions whether Hong Kong’s political freedom is being limited, and that in the imminent future, its uniqueness of having a different political system from China would vanish.
        All in all, the consequences of this very incident were profound and significant, and even until today, we referred it as the beginning of all the following commotion we are hearing from the news at present. As Occupy Central continued, more and more events will trade places under the spotlight of the media and the common public. Would it really be a sempiternal process all the way towards infinity? Or if a line was put all of a sudden, ceasing all the hard works they made on the roads of Admiralty, on the highways of Causeway Bay, on the pedestrians of Mong Kok, and that they incessant process suddenly become ephemeral?

Only the future would tell.

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