My Testimony – 6/Nov in Mong Kok

The Real Hong Kong News

6th November, 2014

My Testimony – 6/Nov in Mong Kok

(Submitted by Jimmy Lam)

Protester’s blood – evidence of police brutality

 

I went to Mong Kok from Admiralty last night, and all the pictures were taken during the early hours of 6th November – I witnessed the whole event.

As I arrived in Mong Kok around mid-night, I could see a stand-off between the protesters/occupiers and the police. The stand-off started because some protesters pointed their camera flash lights at the police and continued to film with their flash lights switched on after police warning. The discontent police, together with their colleagues from the Regional Anti Triad Unit (RATS) charged towards the crowd and used violence against the protesters (footage available on i-Cable News). A large group of upset occupiers and protesters went to the front line and demand justice. At the early stage the police only repeatedly told protesters to stay calm and retreat, but when the police were outnumbered by the protesters, they sent someone to mitigate.  However, the mitigator told the protesters that the police only took out their truncheons and hold up their shields because they said protesters put on their helmets. This “reason” struck me as non-sense, but because protesters wanted to demonstrate their peaceful nature, they started to take their helmets off and passed them backward. Only then, the police took a few steps back and the atmosphere went calm – temporarily.

After a little while, protesters, who could not accept the unreasonable police brutality, the police’s failure to give any explanation and their unbelievably abominable attitude towards protesters, started to gather outside Langham Place on Argyle Street. Protesters shouted at the police, but no physical violence happened nor did they charge towards the police. Even after the orange police cordon straps fell, protesters remained at the same place. In a matter of moments, police back-up troop and anti-occupy individuals arrived near Mong Kok MTR Exit C2 and shouted at the protesters. However, only verbal confrontations took place. However, when the anti-occupy individuals left, a large group of police suddenly appeared and violently charged towards the protesters without any warning and even used pepper spray at the protesters.

Protesters helping one who got pepper-sprayed on his eyes

Many journalists on-site were injured and fell on the ground. I was attacked by the police and my face got hit. As my glasses flew away, I could feel the finger of the police officer who attacked me on my eyeball – I can still remember the pain. I must stress that I was holding a camera to film throughout the whole incident without any violent or any other unlawful action. Although I am not a professional journalist, I believe I have the right to record the truth as a “free reporter”. After the attack, I took a few steps back and as I regained my breath, I saw a number of individuals were pressed firmly on the ground by many police officers. At the same time, a group of police formed a human chain and stopped journalists from filming the evidence of police brutality. Not only myself, but a lot of journalists were prohibited from taking photos and videos. Some journalists, and myself, were pushed on our heads and lost our balance. The police, almost simultaneously, shouted at the journalists: “journalists be careful!” “(we) don’t want any journalists to get hurt” as they tried to stop journalists and others from taking pictures and video evidence by pushing us around – my camera almost got damaged. The even more horrifying thing was, when a protester was pressed down by the police I heard one of the police shouted at him “you were having such fun earlier, huh?” I have all the reasons to believe that the police intentionally stopped journalists from taking visual evidence because the police knew that they have violated different chapters of the Police Force Ordinance and they were taking revenge on the protesters.

 

Police charging and attacking protester who did not provoke nor charge toward the police

After waves of police brutalities, protesters continued to remain peaceful and all they did was backing off. Many of them, however, continued to debate with the police about what had happened. Some protesters formed human chain to make sure that no one would charge towards the police, but the police were tense! During the clashes, many supplies at the protest site and protesters’ personal belongings were damaged.

Later on, as the number of protesters continued to grow, the police backed off – possibly because of fear, and began lying through their teeth via their sound system that nothing had happened there and demanded protesters to disperse. After some more verbal confrontation, some shouting started near the HSBC building – as protesters saw many plain cloth police without any warrant cards (which violates General Police Order) setting up metal fences. These plain cloth police only left the site because the crowd booed them loudly. Mong Kok regained its peace after.

Protesters continued to gather at the junction of Nathan Road and Argyle Street. However, when they saw the police holding truncheons in their hands grinning cheekily, they scolded the police. The police, in response to the protesters’ discontent, sent their troops with camera to climb up their ladders to take videos of the crowd. That is when the crowd showed the police the finger and turned on the flash lights of their cameras and mobile phones creating a sea of stars. The protesters were trying to deal with the situation with positive energy, not violence. At this point, Mong Kok went back to normal again.

A sea of camera flashes

What the Hong Kong Police Force did that night has shown to me that they have completely crossed the line – they no longer deserve to call themselves human beings any more.

 

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