continued from my previous post
反高鐵示威者行為過激? Are the hk high speed rail protesters extremists? Are they over-reacting?

As we have discussed before in the above post, the Stop-The-Rail Movement (“The Movement”) v. HKSAR is an asymmetric conflict, in which HKSAR has an overwhelmingly superior advantage. They control the police, the media, and have the initiative as the incumbant. Crucially, they are the enforcer of the law and they have the least to worry worry about being arrested and prosecuted.

Knowing they cannot wrestle control from HKSAR, The Movement has focused on two objectives
1. Attracting more supporters and
2. galvanising the existing ones

For each of the above, actions are needed, but the key question is “how much action”.

The 16 January Siege, in which officials of HKSAR as well as legislators in the SAR-Loyalist camp were trapped inside Legco for 6 hours, is a minimal show-of-force, as if to tell public, “We can make a difference.”

In order to maintain the siege, the Protesters, at times, when the Police tried to barracade them in, had to breach the Police line, and else they would risk being cut off, and the siege would have failed right then. [For a detailed analysis, visit the HK-golden forum]

Note that it was the police, representing HKSAR, who escalated the conflict in the first place, and the protesters used the minimal escalation tool, or course of action, in their arsenal (compare the example in my prior post).

There will always be debate on this, but judging by the split media and public opinion, it was probably “about right”. Notably,
1. The protesters siezed metal barracades (actions) but didn’t attack the policemen. They stayed within the law and nobody was arrested.
2. On the contrary, the police released pepper-sprays without prior warning, in order to divert attention and escort the officials and loyalists out of the Legco building into the J2-exit of the MTR Central Station. That is in clear breach of the operation protocol.

And crucially,
3. Everbody went home safe.

So, the answer to the question in the title is No, and 1-0 to the Movement.


1. HKgolden forum:


And what action. When I saw these guys rush to grab the equipment of the”enemy” and use it against them, I felt the same rush that I do when watching, say, Ronaldinho play for Brasil. This is team politics, and the cheeky, confident and plugged in demonstrators of the baat sap hau play–with apologies to la liga argentina– a “beautiful game”.

– the siego of legco in the eyes of Daisann, a Gwai-Lo in Hong Kong

3。 [信報-羅耕] 政府目中無人