The 2019 Hong Kong protests began back in June over a controversial anti-extradition bill and has since escalated dramatically in the ensuing months. As hundreds of thousands of people continue to hold pro-democracy demonstrations, the police have retaliated with increasing levels of force and violence.
These protests has since spilled out into Hong Kong airport, causing the cancellation of hundreds of flights and leaving many people quite angry about it. Some folk just want to go home and these young Hong Kongers are just ruining it for them.
One Aussie chap (who actually lives in China now) was quite pissed at the whole thing because he just wants to get home and the protests are hurting the bottom line of his business. With his flight canceled, his patience gone and his pearl necklace in hand, the bloke decided to confront some protesters and show them a piece of his mind.
Ol’ mate starts off by correctly pointing out how Hong Kong is technically part of China, but things go downhill quickly as the protesters ask him about his thoughts about the “one country, two systems” arrangement between China and Hong Kong and were met with a blank stare.
The bloke then loses his cool when a protester calls him out for only being being angry because his flight was canceled and he tries to get back on the offensive by playing the “get a job” card.
For what it’s worth, the protesters say they have but decided to chuck a sickie because the fight for freedom was just a bit more important that day.
The bloke then tries to blame the protesters for making it hard for him to do his business they should just listen to China (since they’re all the same, y’know), only for them to tell him how Hong Kong is a tax-free haven that would disappear if they did what he said. But look, those are just unimportant semantics for an Aussie businessman who had his flight canceled.
After a brief argument over corruption in Hong Kong – with the chap unironically asking the protesters to name names and seemingly not understanding the concept of systemic corruption – the topic then turned to the police response to the protesters.
The chap claims the Hong Kong police have been “very very restrained” and their decision to use tear gas in enclosed spaces and at close ranges, crowd control bean bags and dangerous rubber bullets as an appropriate response to *checks notes* throwing rocks and a couple of Molotov cocktails.
Those were just the broad strokes of this infuriating exchange. If you have the patience to sit through the damn thing, check it out right here.
The chap later spoke to a CNN journalist and stands by everything he said before saying that the protests may have gotten to the point where the Chinese army “should step in to bring some sense of normal conduct.”
Uh huh. That doesn’t scream Tiananmen Square 2.0 at all.
It’s pretty easy to say things like “Hong Kong is a part of China”, “muh canceled flights” and “get a job” to oppressed protesters when you’re a privileged white Aussie man who’s never had to live in a country where rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy are merely ideas on paper and can simply flee back to a country where all those things are guaranteed.
But we did learn something about this whole exchange: next time you face protesters, you should try hammering a nail into a stone wall using your forehead. That’s guaranteed to be a better strategy than trying to explain what’s happening in Hong Kong to actual Hong Kongers.