, 10 tweets, 5 min read
maybe the reason why international anglophone media is turning on hong kong's protesters is because it has always fetishisized us as 'the most polite protesters in the world'––as passive objects rather than political subjects capable of agentive decisions

the chant, "no rioters, only tyranny" speaks powerfully to the reality that
1) in an undemocratic, illegitimate regime, we can all be labelled as 'rioters'
2) our 'riotous' behaviour is nothing compared to the power of the state

in 1966, a hunger strike, originally sparked by star ferry fare increases, escalated into a series of protests against aspects of colonial rule, inc. inflation and police corruption

english newspapers (catering to colonial officials) called them 'riots'

riot police were called in to quell the riotous young protesters, who were accused of vandalism & looting

but in 1967, an independent commission of inquiry called this event the 'kowloon disturbances' instead, focusing on their root causes

ofc, the commission of inquiry is also lacking, e.g. it argues that protesters were mainly motivated by socioeconomic rather than political grievances, making an artificial separation between these two issues

it also fails to make the crucial link between a) hong kong's lack of democracy that prevents people from being able to b) decide on distribution of resources

but it provides important context for understanding why protesters resorted to violence

this is all to say: if your support for hongkongers' struggle is contingent on their choice of palatable forms of resistance, then your support was never genuine

this is not an excuse for nativism, which should be condemned

but not all violence = nativist

protesters' actions have to be understood in the context of a LITERAL DE FACTO STATE OF EMERGENCY after four months of relentless police violence and repression, leading people to live in fear of police/vigilante attack

e.g. the debate on 'renovations', aka smashing up chinese-owned companies and shops

the reason hkers are angry is that they see chinese companies as siphoning off hk's resources, such as through buying up luxury property, white elephant projects

of course, the nativist element is there in some protesters' reasoning. others articulate the case in economic justice terms.

the key is to return the 'renovations' debate to the core question: is your loyalty to capital (whoever holds it) or the people?

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