Tactics of Hong Kong Protesters

Hong Kong protesters are organized. They’re strategic. And they mean business What tactics does a modern protest movement
use? Welcome back to China Uncensored, I’m Chris Chappell. Joining me today is Hong Kong activist and board member of Amnesty International,
Hong Kong, Johnson Yeung. J ohnson, thank you for joining me today. Thank you. So I’ve noticed that the Hong Kong protests have focused a lot on nonviolent tactics. Why is that? Well, first of all, Hong Kong people are quite
peaceful and also nonviolent tactics can help us to
galvanize international solidarity and support. We want to show that Hong Kong people has
exhaust every means that we can under the rule of
law to fight for democracies and human rights. But it’s quite obvious, after three months of peaceful protest after
one million, two million people took to street, the Hong Kong government is still not compromising and not making any concession and this [inaudible] a lot of hatred and also anger from their
population. And most importantly, the police brutality that targets peaceful
protesters has worsen the situation that a lot of people
now believe that fighting back is the only options. So do you think nonviolent tactics can work? Because it sounds like what you’re saying
is they haven’t. No, I think nonviolent tactics is really depending on the context. I still believe that nonviolent tactics will be useful to galvanize popular support and also galvanize international support. But keep in mind that right now, according to a lot of public survey, actually more than 75% of the Hong Kong people are approving the movement. So we have already achieved the goal of galvanizing public support and we have… So right now, I do think that in order to keep people on
the street, in order to keep pressures over the government, then at least the protestors have to defend
themselves with minimum of force. Now I don’t think anyone from the protestors’
side would want to use force, but it’s quite obvious that if the police was just tear gas or use baton to hit on protestors, there’s no way the protestor to use shield or to use wooden plank to protect themselves from the beatings of the batons. Well, in a leaderless protest like this, how do you enforce nonviolent tactics? I mean, I have seen more than a few Molotov
cocktails thrown throughout the course of this. So I will call it as a leader-full movement, because I can see there are actually a lot
of leaders who is running different frontal tactics. There are people who is working on the international advocacy fund. There are people who are gathering suppliers that can provide supplies to the protestors. So I think this is like a leader-full movement rather than a leaderless movement. Now the principles or the, you can say the culture of the movement was built within movement. So back to June, there are people who suggest
principles like, we are not going to separate the moderate
side or the radical side of the protesters. We are going to protect each other. We need to prevent shedding blood on both
sides. So these principles are in general agreed
by the protestors. Now, in every movement, there are of course radical flank of people, but even people are throwing Molotov cocktails or fighting back to the police, there are people who suggest that we shouldn’t beat people indiscriminately and these are the set of principles that are agreed by most of the protesters. And also, the way, since there is no leading
network or leading protestor activist who is calling
the shot, so most of the disciplines are enforced by the protestors who are on site. So there are of course some scene which some protestor overreact, but the other protestor will try to calm them
down and deescalate the situation. So this other mechanism that is enforced individually but not by hierarchies of organization. And to my observation, the movement is a 100% largely nonviolent. Most of the disciplines are still maintained. And the force that is used by the protestor are way lower than the level of force that is used by the police or state hired
thugs. I’ve noticed that humor and art has been a big part of the protest. What does that do? Humor and art, it’s really useful to maintain the momentum and also the morale of the protesters. Imagine that for three months, people are living in a very intense period. For people who are not even protestors, they are under threat of arbitrary arrest or intimidations by police. So having people who are is playing music, who is dancing crazily, who is using those laser pen to a point at
some buildings, that is kind of the humor that people need because it helps to ease the very intense
moment and it keeps people to continue with their participation in the movement. So that’s the first benefit of having humor within the movement. Secondly, humor also, you can say, disarm the terrors of the government. So for example, the government were trying to outlaw the laser
pen by claiming laser pen is a weapon and they did arrest people for possessing
these pen. So the other night, when the police arrest someone who is possessing a laser pen, people buy a thousand more laser pen and they had a music show with laser pen pointing
everywhere. So this disarm the government terror and it sent a very clear message saying “We are not afraid of your arbitrary arrest.” And since then, the government are reducing their numbers
of arrests for people who are possessing the laser pen. So that’s one example of how we can disarm
the terror. We just passed the fifth anniversary of the 2014 Umbrella Movement. What have protestors from this movement learned from the Umbrella Movement? One of the reason why the Umbrella Movement failed in achieving substantial achievement is because we are heavily reliant on tactics of concentrations, meaning people occupying roads near to the government headquarter for 79 days. In the first two weeks of the Umbrella Movement,
i t was quite effective because the government didn’t experience that mass numbers of people occupying main roads. But two weeks after, the government started to adapt these tactics and they know how to plan for a counter mobilization and also counter tactics, which is to delay negotiations and wait things
out. People learned from this experience that they are going to use more tactics of
dispersions, meaning they are dispersing protests in different
areas using guerrilla protests in different area. And it’s very helpful in two sense. One, the police face larger barriers in arresting and rounding up protesters. And second, we bring police brutality and we bring the two colors of the police in front of different neighborhoods. So there are a lot of people who are not in the protestors’ side, but when the police brutality, when the police is arresting people in different
neighborhoods, people know the true natures of the regime and they become hardcore supporters of the
movement. So it was really helpful for us to galvanize
popular support. And when residents in different neighborhood, they were just having dinners and get stopped and searched by the police, they will resonate the cause of the movement which is having an independent inquiry over
police brutality. So how do protestors learn about these tactics and how do they organize them? So you can say most of the tactical or strategic discussions are done in Linden, which is like an online forum. People have a lot of discussions over what kind of strategy is the most effective, and the algorithms of this online forum, it has the provisions of a like and dislike
button, and the algorithm also set in a way that the more popular thread it is, the more visible the threads are. So it become a de facto screening mechanism that the most popular strategy will be seen by most of the protestors. Now we also have the Telegram channel which will build on the foundation of the strategic discussions of Linden, the online forums, and then they will disseminate and coordinate tactics and actions and implementing those actions through Telegram. And then lastly, people will post a lot of pictures of police
brutality, but also the bright side of the movement, like people helping each other, and disseminate [inaudible] and message on
social media. So it becomes a feedback loop that help us to snowball the movement. And that is the very reason why the movement has become so huge. Now I understand you were arrested during
a protest. Can you tell us a bit about that? So I was arrested late July. I was in Central and arrested by an aggressive
police. At that time, I didn’t do anything. I was sort of following the instructions of
the police which is stepping back. But still, the police arrest me for obstruction. And when I was arrested, I was punched by the police for several times. Nothing serious compared to other protestors who are beaten by batons and pepper sprayed. And then I spent 47 hours under detention. So during the detentions, the police were violating of protocols. So for example, I request calling my lawyers and calling my
family members, and the police delay it, claiming that they have no capacity, claiming that I need to wait because they
were so many people. And also it’s quite obvious the police were trying to take away my phone so they can check the content inside the phone. And when, according to the procedures, they should put it in a sealed evidence bag. So no content, no information inside the phone will be contaminated. But when I request them to do so, I was surrounded by several police officers, intimidating me, threatening me, threatening to knock me in a so-called air
con room. And by air con room… Well, the other police did to other protestors was they have buckets of cold water, pour it over the protesters, and lock him up in a very cold room, as a way to torture people. That sounds more like torture than the rule
of law. It’s cruel treatment to detainees. It’s not the most serious torture compared
to like… Amnesty international also did a report on a torturing case under detention. It interviewed more than 20 people, over 85% of the detainees were hospitalized because they were beaten when they were arrested and they were also beaten under detention. There are multiple report documenting fractures
of bones or even broken bones because four police, five police were locking the detainees in
the rooms and then they beat him up. So it has become a phenomenon that the police would use cruel treatments on detainees. So luckily in my case I did not experience
that, and I think part of the reason is because I know the procedures and the lawyers also keep a close eyes on me. But I was threatened verbally when I was detained. So during those 47 hours of detention, my house was also searched, which is something that is uncommon because I was arrested for a very mild crime. But the police, I think they tell lies to the judge and claim I was involved in illegal assembly and the judge signed a warrant for a house
search. And what was your charge? My charge was, I was arrested for obstruction,
o bstructing a police officer. But when the police apply for a search warrant, they claim I was involved in illegal assembly and that’s the reason why the judge signed the warrant to the police. And I was arrested along with 48 people. All of them got a house search and they did a house search at 10:00 or even
midnight. So it is an intimidation to not just the detainees but also the family members of detainees. So imagine that the detainees were handcuffed and put a chain on him and they were talking to their home to do a house search. So it is a humiliation, it’s an intimidation to family members. That’s how we were locked up in those 47 hours. We were also detained in a car park turned
into… So we were locked in a police station car
park turned into a temporary detention center. There is no good ventilation in there, so it was really hot. It was like 32 degrees Celsius and there was no place for us to sleep. So some people have to lie on the floor. I also witness that some protestors and detainees were beaten in the head and they were bleeding, and they were not allowed to send to the hospital four hours or even five hours after they were beaten by the police. So it’s evidently that the police deprived the rights of medical assistance of detainee
as well. And you said you received verbal threats. What kind of threats? So when I request the police to seal my phone because I don’t want them to take away my
phone and contaminate it, I was surrounded by several police officers, they were yelling at me and one of the police
officer took his torch light and point to my eyes. So those are the kinds of verbal abuses I
experienced. They also threatened me to lock me in a air
con room. The threatened… They swear at me claiming
me as a fool. So those are the verbal abuse I experienced
then. What do you think is motivating police officers
to act, to behave the way they behaved? The police are generally hostile to the detainees and also the protestors. According to the procedure, I was a suspect so they can go through the
procedures, take a photo, get the evidence, that’s all
right. But it’s quite obvious that the police officer enjoy verbal abuse or even torturing detainees. And I think there are several reasons why it motivate a police to torture people. First, there is no scrutiny. Supervisor allows them to do so. And second, they hate protesters because protesters always confront the police. Because the protesters, they want to express their anger to the government. But the government officials were hiding behind
the police, and that’s why the police feel they are disrespect and they want to retaliate on the protesters. So where do you think the protest will go
from here? So a lot of people seeing the October 1st
as end game because it is the 70th anniversary of the
PRC. But I think the protest wave would not go
away and there are several reasons. One, the government is not willing to make
any concessions. Although Carrie Lam withdraw the controversial
extradition bill, what we experienced in the past 120 days is
police brutality. And we also experienced that the bad consequences of lacking a checks and balance system. It is the system that enable police to beat people indiscriminately and arrests people arbitrarily. And what we want is a systematic change because removing one bill is not going to prevent further police brutality in the future. So during the first dialogue of Carrie Lam with some of the citizens, she explicitly saying she cannot open a independent inquiry over police brutality. And without satisfying this demand, that protest wave is not going away. And secondly, more than 75% of the population disapprove
the government. Almost half of the population have zero trust
to the police and also the government. With such a contentious environment in Hong
Kong, a lot of protest will happen or will be triggers in the future. So even the government would employ massive arrests on protestors, more will come. But the sad part of things is, I do believe that the Chinese government is going to tighten the grips over civil societies of Hong Kong because they see Hong Kong as a threat to
the legitimacy and also stability of mainland China. So journalists will be intimidated, critical scholars will be dismissed. More corporation will be intimidated and they will be forced and asked to dismiss
workers who participate in strikes. So in the short run, the Hong Kong civil society will experience
a crack down. But I guess in the long run, because so many
people are not trusting the government and so many people are angry to the government, in the long run, the Hong Kong society will
continue to fight against the Hong Kong government and also the Chinese government. So you think you’ll succeed? I think we will succeed in the long run. But there are also several conditions. First, the global international community will have to stand up against the Chinese
government. Second, we have to make more allies to most of the liberal democracies and also our neighborhood countries because we are also under bullying of the
Chinese government. And thirdly, we need to preserve as many human resources
as we can. We need to preserve as many activists as we
can. That’s why we need to build a very strong
support network, lawyers network, and medical network to support those who are under imminent threat
of the government. If we succeed in maintaining this condition, then I think we will win in the long run. Because there are so many problems in China. At this moment, the state power of this authoritarian regime
is strong, but it cannot maintain its state power forever. There are so many internal contradictions
in mainland China, society as well, like a widening wealth gap, like the young people, they also have a lot of grievances because they cannot climb up to the social
ladders and get a house for themselves. So this kind of internal contradiction would backfire to the Chinese government. And if Hong Kong and also other international
community manage to survive, then there will be a lot of opportunities
for us to win. So there’s certainly a lot that governments around the world can do, but what can people watching this interview, what can they do? In the past few months, Hong Kong movement strategy have been focusing on galvanizing international support and there are several ways that individuals
can help, like passing legislations and policy in your
own government to deter police violence. So for example, in the U.S. we have been trying to get the Hong Kong human right and democracy acts
to pass because it could deter police brutality by
threatening, revoking the special trade status of Hong
Kong. And also, the U.S. government and also the EU or even Australia, they can consider sanctions individual officers or police commissioners who enable police violence against peaceful citizens. So as an individual, you can call your representatives, you can tell your representatives that in order to not just help Hong Kong people, in order to safeguard democracies and the way of life of democratic institutions, their governments should stand up against the Chinese government and Chinese authoritarian regimes. So that’s one way people can help. Secondly, show solidarity to Hong Kong people and also people who are oppressed by the Chinese
government like Tibetans and Uyghurs, because Hong Kong people morale will need
to be maintained if we want to survive the long run oppressions. So having foreigners, having people from around the world to share a news of Hong Kong, to show up to protest, it will help maintain our morale of the movement. And enhance citizen to citizens exchange and
solidarity is also very important because what we are talking in here is we need innovative way, we need innovative tactics to continue our
struggle. And in order to keep our mind fresh and innovated, we have to learn from other country examples. So having these kind of citizen to citizens
exchange and solidarity will help us to keep our action
more diversified, and that’s the way that we can win. Well thank you so much for joining me today. Stay safe out there. Thank you.

100 thoughts on “Tactics of Hong Kong Protesters

  • Only a matter of time until China sends a big red check to YouTube and we don’t see anymore China Uncensored. Until then, take my subscription.

  • Are throwing petrol bombs, ransacking shops like Starbucks and subway stations, attacking civilians who don’t share the same view, etc. consider peaceful movement and humorous?

  • Tks Johnson Yeung for giving details of HK police brutality during his detention. The police using various method to torture those detainees what a shame on police …are the protesters… gangsters or hardcore criminals why must they undergo such treatment. Isn't it a shame on HK police….hw do they expect hongkongers to trust them…. seriously it becomes no law n order….

  • Amnesty international another terrorist organization in sheep clothings. We have seen their dirty handiwork in middle east. Fielded by Chris the terrorist propaganda tool. Johnston is lying through his teeth. Rioting, looting, destruction of public property, beating up citizens who dont agree and more are what his comrades are doing. This video is an outright LIE and FAKE NEWS.

  • HKers, thank you for sharing the tactics with the world, now we got Spain and Chile, where are you Americans? Wake Up! #Bewater Hope one day same thing would happen in America and the protesters use the same tactics!

  • The CCP is the biggest abuser of human rights. Expose and shout out all CCP atrocities ! The UNIVERSE shall learn of what the CCP does.

  • Did you know it is entirely possible to pause to swallow and then open your mouth again to resume talking WITHOUT smacking right in my ear?!?!? FFS I'm wearing earphones and I literally cannot finish watching this! No professionally produced major media broadcast would allow this. JFC Chris I'm really disappointed because I very much wanted to hear what this guy has to teach.

  • You know how it's been proven that when you flush your toilet the germ particles in the air make it all the way to your toothbrush over on the sink? Well, think what that beard you think is so cool is capturing! And you're going to wear that around all day and kiss your girlfriend and eat food?

  • Hkg has already changed from a society based on law, w underground rotten rich and mafia, to one corrupted by corrupted communists, traitors and political police abusing citizens. Probably also corrupted police in a way ,oand nkvd style potential killers . More,and more frequent in the world even in so called democraties when they are under zozialists, islamists or communists greedy hands. .

  • Discrimination of workers, beating, volontary injuries done on protesters, injection of terrorists, excessive use of weapons and grenades , already exist in even France…under the deviants power addicted leftards gang.

  • The E U is already acting violentaly the same on citizens, but not on invaders and criminals they use against the population.
    In the US leftards , corrupted in diverse ways at least ideologically or by hate and greed ,betray their country and democraties , now are licking the arses of dictatorial states by greed and politics .

  • He is describing Chinese Police and CCP Rule By (but not Of) Law Tactics for you that already exist right now in HK!

  • The people of Hong Kong will not win as long as the CCP is in power. Clearly the CCP would like to shoot every protester dead but are only restrained by international economic pressure.

  • Hong Kong activities abused freedom of speech savotage other people business are not freedom of speech, division tactics of so-called human rights is part of democracy foreign interfering China internal affair like they did in middle East, Asia, UN they want the new world ORDER impliment one government to slaves all people to served the beast.

  • these people are destroying businesses and i love how he downplays the assaults on leo. Im with HK police to bring peace back to Hk.

  • what a nonsence, 75% approve of this fiasco. its the other way around. the protests are now being hijacked by radicals. the next stage of the protests is civil war as most are really fed up with the radicals and they dont use sticks and bars

  • already 11 dead in santiago. just in a couple of days of protests. in hong kong noboddy died in 5 months. the hk police is being extremely lienient and soft. this guy shld thank his lucky star

  • Only the minority support this movement in hongkong . Therefore its considered a riot. The rioters are destroying public property and attacking police officers. Should I say more?

  • He is talking rubbish and not speaking the truth. Violence was rampant, there were arson everywhere, destructions were massive, innocent people who don't agree with them were savagely beaten and humiliated. The rioters were even attempting murder. This is his version of non violence and peaceful movement.

  • The funny thing is that all that the CCP had to do was to keep their word and let Hong Kong have their own government without intervention from mainland until 2038.
    So this mess was all caused because lack of honor of the CCP. A classic example of the own evil being the cause of their fall.

  • don't destroy subway stations or private shops. Destroy police Stations and Cathay Pacific Airline or the Chinese Bank s

  • The key phrases in interview and western media are "LARGELY peaceful protests", " government not responding to our demands…",, "need to keep up pressure…", " police brutality ." ,

  • Many of what he say is truth, but I doubt the data. Most working class who got a kid or family are angry about how violent protester disturb the city. There are a least 30% of the population were not taking side before the protest. Today, with at least 50 case of pro-government citizens speak out and then getting beat into the ground, I believe the protester are being isolated more then ever, although they do become the ruler of the street, but many citizen view them as gank. I wish it is that easy kid, but the real world isn't game, You can't quit in the middle. It may seems easy to take the city, but running it is a different story, good luck.

  • "non violent protests"? lol we all can see exactly the opposite thing from these so called protesters
    and btw HK "human rights activist" means a traitor, an asset of National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which is controlled by USA or just CIA agent.

  • Hong Kong "protesters" ,rioters actually, employs "non-violent tactics" ….. I just fell off the chair hearing this and stop watching. They think everyone is blind to the pictures of destruction to properties, businesses & infrastructure, attacks on people with different views & the police, etc.
    Tsk tsk tsk …. shameless show.

  • hk police brutality and random arrests of young people in hong kong, totally destroyed rule of law in hong kong. people of hk and foreigners no longer safe to walk in hong kong. during the protest, young men and women were tortured and murdered by police kidnapping.

  • Don't question me or comment on here; ask your congress or parliament representative to bring it up why China is still allowed to trade with the world via the WTO when they are enacting Nazi Germany.

  • Facial recognition…Well AI might be good voer there because all those damn dog eaters all look the same, really !

  • I'll buy a Free Hong Kong Shirt for sure! I really wish that Johnson Yeung and his partners will survive the assassination attemps by the CCP and continue to live a long rich life!!!

  • I live in Hong Kong. How about rioters stabbinh police with a knife and beating up people who don't agree you people's idea. Government should authorize more power to police.

  • I love how Beijing talks like Taiwan wants to come over to Beijing's rule when in reality EVERYONE despises the Chinese Communist Party. The CCP is the most hated political entity on Earth!

  • students are paid 10000 HK$ per violent event and 3000 HK$ if they just participate per event.
    The students will not risk jail without money.

  • No one wants bloodshed more than ccp and it may be time for someone to step up and burn themself alive. Such a gruesome act has long term value to destabilize the regime. It gives protesters a symbol and the regime a narrative problem.

  • The last emperor of China as a Democrat REPUBLIC of China as the legal holder of the Hong compact was under the legal Jurisdiction of the government of the Democrat REPUBLIC of China = Taiwan not communist China! The force of threat of live in a communist Re education camp by high Durestant the force on the last emperor was against international law! Of sovereign to area of compact to Hong Kong, the British had no legal authority to sign a new compact with communist China while the sovereign Jurisdiction of the Democrat REPUBLIC of China = Taiwan's is still in the u.n. defense charter! As a sovereign government with legal RIGHTS over the Jurisdiction of Hong Kong! As by violation of international compact an treaties the REPUBLIC of China still has as the sovereign Jurisdiction over Hong Kong citizen! By international law! The original compact of Hong Kong is in London Museum an the legal Jurisdiction is in the records of Taiwan in the government records! A case of Petition can be made by the citizens of Hong Kong to the u.n. by Taiwan all Hong Kong citizen are still under the sovereign Jurisdiction of the REPUBLIC of China by the sovereign Jurisdiction of Taiwan as part of the REPUBLIC by Jurisdiction the compact between communist China an Britain was not lawfull!.out

  • "more than 75% of HK people are behind the protesters"??????? If true, please continue.. When HK and all that is HK has destroyed itself completely , I am sure You will still think it is worth it. You can demand as in any country in the world, but whether peaceful or not , you will never given in any country in the world.

  • HK you can't win. 1st you under Chinese's government. 2nd you also be surrounded by Chinese army. 3rd US can't help you now because they really busy for freedom of navigation.

  • Glad to see embracing of non violence being encouraged, as I shared with one of the movement's leaders last month. Ghandi's and the Dalia Lama's way most effectively builds concensus. Hence growth and effectiveness of the movement's goal world wide.


  • They would be in such a better position if they had a good leader. They are, right now, fighting Martin Luther/ Martin Luther King jnr's fight right now but they do not have a Martin Luther/ Martin Luther King jnr. If they could find a Hong Konger who both crystalizes the ideals of the protest and catalyzes action for it THEY WOULD BE SET. But I am worried that without it, it might burn itself out and tyranny will win the war of attrition.

  • Hk human rights activists are not fighting for democracy not people right as we have witnessed they are fighting for 1agenda that is to bring down hk government and China, look at the violent surfaced Everyday…you have broke the law, what type of activist are you…of course police uses force when u broke the law

  • Haha the opening interview statement "I've noticed that HK protests have focused on non-violent tactics.." just made me crack up laughing. Both the HK police and protestors are violently responding to each other! What propaganda..

  • No Chinese internet army in here haha . Free Hong Kong and Hong Kong deserves better, instead of being controlled by stupid china

  • Fuck china fuck winnie the pooh try to censor me now china u can't freedom of speech baby yeaaaaa suck my dick to the president of china

  • They should cover the ground in inexpensive soap
    half a millions bottles of soap will make it impossible to move the police around, if they use water cannons they will drown the city in bubbles

  • You guys are a shame to fair reporting with your anti-China propaganda. Click below for the real news.

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