2014年7月9日 星期三

瓶中花園

2014年7月5日 星期六

明報網上版 Editorial The Occupy Central rehearsal

明報網上版
Editorial The Occupy Central rehearsal
【明報專訊】AFTER this year\'s July 1 march, some protesters, responding to the calls of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, staged a sit-in in Chater Road as a rehearsal of the Occupy Central movement. On the one hand, such a development indicates that things in Hong Kong have now reached a critical point, where violent clashes or bloodshed could happen anytime. On the other hand, we were deeply impressed by the professionalism and efficiency the police displayed in the clearing of the sit-in, which, as witnessed by journalists and broadcast live on television, was meticulously executed.

Some commentators are of the opinion that the Occupy Central movement is nothing to be afraid of, as the rehearsal did not turn violent. It is true that protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks or surgical masks, who are active participants in mass demonstrations, were absent from the Occupy Central rehearsal. But no one can guarantee that they will not show up next time. These protesters, or other people bent on radicalism, could turn up anytime and stir up trouble under the pretext of supporting the Occupy Central movement. It is an undeniable fact that these radicals have repeatedly staged "follow-ups" to mass demonstrations, which invariably ended in confrontations and clashes with police. The assertion that the Occupy Central movement will not turn violent, based on the observation that its rehearsal did not turn violent, simply does not hold water.

Despite their restraint in handling the demonstrators, the police have come under quite a lot of criticism. Participants in the rehearsal were brought to the Police College in Wong Chuk Hang. Some are complaining that they didn\'t have a chance to consult with their lawyers. Some say that they have been denied water and food. These are complaints the Independent Police Complaints Council should investigate. However, some people are saying that the protesters were peaceful and the police should not have dispersed them. Some even insist that the police should have waited until 8 o\'clock yesterday, when the protesters still at the scene, who were in their dozens, would have surrendered to demonstrate their willingness to honour their promise. We beg to differ.

First, the Hong Kong Federation of Students had declared that they would stay in Chater Road from midnight to 8 o\'clock the next day. No matter what the protesters called the event, there is little doubt that they were an unlawful assembly, as they had not sought the police\'s approval. Whether it was peaceful or violent is beside the point. Furthermore, had the police put off dispersing the crowd, what could they have done if the protesters broke their promise and refused to leave at 8 o\'clock? And let\'s not forget that the protesters were an unlawful assembly. The police officers would be considered these protesters\' accomplices had they taken the "promise" seriously. We don\'t see why the police should have done that.

Those who have leveled criticism at the police include members of the Legislative Council and influential opinion leaders. Their freedom of speech must be respected. However, they should understand that things are now very sensitive at the moment and that their opinions carry weight. They should endorse what is right and denounce what is wrong. It is irresponsible for them to make comments out of political considerations, political necessity, or political interest. For this will mislead Hong Kong people and add uncertainty to Hong Kong\'s already precarious situation.

明報社評 2014.07.03﹕事關香港命運安危 支持警隊依法履行職責

7.1大遊行之後,部分人士響應學聯號召,留在遮打道預演佔領中環。事態發展至預演佔中,反映香港情勢已到臨界點,隨時有可能出現衝突以至流血局面。警方清場有條不紊,在傳媒目擊、電視即場直播下,執勤警員表現出來的專業和效率,使人印象深刻。

由於預演佔中平和落幕,有不少意見解讀為佔中不可怕。預演佔中這類群集會場合,經常出現的戴V煞面具、口罩男等人物,雖未見出現,但是下一次呢?根本無人可以預測這類

(明報製圖)
 

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