Hong Kong, Caracas and Portland

As you no doubt are aware, there have been mass protests in Hong Kong over China’s increasing assertion of sovereignty over the formerly independent city. Some demonstrations reportedly have turned out hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents. A couple of days ago, demonstrators battled police in the central city:

What I want to comment on is the Hong Kong government’s use of violent gangs to suppress demonstrations. The London Times reports:

Hong Kong’s political conflict took a sinister new turn last night when masked Triad gangsters burst into underground train carriages and used sticks to beat up passengers after the latest anti-government protests.
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Film posted on social media showed men in white T-shirts and black shorts lashing out indiscriminately at screaming passengers as they ascended a crowded escalator at Yuen Long station, close to Hong Kong’s crossing point to mainland China.

In another film, people scrambled for safety as the assailants, who were identified by witnesses as members of the notorious Triad gangs, boarded a train to continue their rampage.

Video at the link. Witnesses “complained that the police took two hours to respond to reports of the incident, in which at least 36 people were injured.” And:

One video showed Junius Ho, an MP who supports China and the Hong Kong government of chief executive Carrie Lam, shaking the men’s hands and thanking them.
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In the absence of any arrests one can only speculate. The assumption of many people in Hong Kong, however, will be that the thugs were hired, perhaps not directly by the authorities, but with the tacit approval of people in power in Hong Kong or Beijing.

Dictators like to enlist private gangs–here, the infamous Triad–to help do their dirty work. The same thing is happening in Venezuela, where the Maduro regime uses privately-organized death squads to attack the regime’s opponents. And it is happening in Portland, Oregon, where the fascist Antifa gang attacks passers-by with impunity while police do little or nothing. So far, Democratic Party politicians have seemed to enjoy having their thugs smashing store fronts, setting buildings and vehicles on fire, and attacking others with bats, two-by-fours and iron bars. Condemnations of Antifa have been few and far between, while prominent Democrats like Keith Ellison, a former Congressman, Deputy Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and now Attorney General of Minnesota, have promoted the organization:

Liberal cities like Portland are not yet as violent as Hong Kong or Caracas. But if civic authorities don’t take aggressive action to rein in lawless thugs like Antifa, violence may spiral out of control. It is time for liberals to disavow the use of street violence on their behalf.

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