It appears that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are reaching deep into their playbook to put down the Hong Kong protests. Instead of the world media seeing pictures of protesters being beaten by security forces the CCP has instead outsourced the beat down to organized crime syndicates:
Pro-democracy demonstrations in two of Hong Kong’s most crowded shopping districts came under attack on Friday from unidentified men who assaulted protesters and tore down their encampments, after a week of erratic and unsuccessful attempts by the Beijing-backed government to end the protests.
The protesters said the attackers were pro-government gangs, and several protest groups called off planned negotiations with the government in response.
Crowds of residents, fed up with the inconveniences of the protests, had cheered on the attacks on the camps.
On Saturday morning, a police spokesman said 19 men, including eight with links to organized crime syndicates, or triads, had been arrested in connection with the violence in one of the districts, Mong Kok, according to Radio Television Hong Kong.
The police also said that at least 18 people had been injured in the violence, including six police officers…….
They shoved and punched protesters, sometimes kicking them after they fell. Others grabbed the scaffolding of canopies and pulled them down until the tents collapsed . Residents said the police were outnumbered and slow to react, and hours passed before reinforcements arrived to protect the protesters from a hostile crowd.
Some threw cans and plastic bottles at the protesters; others spit at them. One protester was led away bleeding from his head as angry residents pressed forward, hurling insults and threats. Another was rushed out on a stretcher, an oxygen mask on his face. Several protesters said the attackers groped and sexually harassed female protesters, and Amnesty International alleged that police officers watched and did nothing. [New York Times]
You can read more at the link, but long time ROK Drop readers may remember that the Chinese government used this same tactic in Korea when the Chinese Embassy organized and bussed in Chinese students in Korea to attack and beat Free Tibet activists who showed up to protest the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay in Seoul. The Chinese government sponsored mob attacked Koreans and other foreigners at the protest:
Some of the Free Tibet activists tried to run into the Plaza Hotel in downtown Seoul to escape the mob and the Chinese thugs followed them and beat them in the middle of the hotel:
Could you imagine what the reaction in Korea would be if a bunch of GIs ran amok in Seoul beat down Koreans like this? Well the reaction from the Korean government was to deport some of the Chinese thugs and tighten visa rules. There was no demands for an official apology from the Chinese government or removal of the Chinese ambassador from Korea.
Since this strategy worked so well in Seoul the CCP probably thinks it will work in Hong Kong as well which they are probably right about. I do not see the CCP backing down from their decision to remove democracy from Hong Kong and will use their hired thugs to wear down the protesters.