Amanda Tattersall, like many in the Western media, is hellbent on distorting the truth about what is happening in Hong Kong. When professional media commentators and journalists spin alternative truths about events that may affect millions of people and result in anarchy and death, they leave their own credibility in tatters. Urghhlings. Why do they communicate falsities? When I watch the news, there are often instances when journalists and writers deliberately use the wrong word disparagingly. It is not only unfair reporting but can be sinisterly dangerous. They could well encourage warped views or worse, inspire evil as a result, intentionally or not.
Tattersall is well credentialed, a scholar and a change maker who is an academic in the University of Sydney. Funded by Halloran Trust of the University, she has ample resources to get to the truth about Hong Kong. There are many private citizens from many parts of the world who have travelled to Hong Kong on their own budgets to discover the truth for themselves. Professionals like Tattersall continue to spin her conversations such as in The Conversation and distort the truth. Western media willingly report the violence by the police, whereas the mob violence is rarely mentioned. Google generally only shows images of police violence when you search for protesters violence in Hong Kong. A quick internet search will show support for the students coming from all sides of society including the elderly, and will lead you to conclude that it is the police waging assault on the facts. Nothing is mentioned of the biased assault on the facts by Western media. For us in the West, we need to rely on information from news outlets such as Channel News Asia; one of their headlines said “You don’t know what you’re doing” as Hong Kong’s elders hit back at protesters. Otherwise, there is little balance in the reporting by Western media. Every coin has two sides. The repercussions of distorting the truth is for their conscience to face.
In her article on 1st October 2019, Tattersall asserts that Hong Kong is “crippled with an undemocratic Legislative Council” and Hong Kongers are “terrified” not to to win democratic rights. Why does she not start by informing her readers that under British rule for 155 years, they were not given any democratic rights at all? There was never any universal suffrage; she misleads the uninformed that “Beijing will continue to encroach on their political freedoms.” It is her choice of words that grates on me. I have underlined them in the quotes that follow. Would she ever use the word “weapon” to refer to riot control equipment used by any Western police force? She writes, “Riot control weapons were deployed against the protesters and those near the protests were subject to random searches.” In any violent street protest, is it unreasonable for the police to conduct searches on those arrested at the scene? Is it really random that those arrested were at the scene?
She continues, “Always an asymmetric war, students initially responded in self-defence – using umbrellas, helmets and masks to hold their position on the streets.” This is not a war! Please do not help start one. If the protesters did not resort to violent conduct, bashing anyone including senior citizens who disagree with their opinions or object to their destructive behaviour, disrupt transport systems, throw Molotov cocktails, and attack and damage government buildings, why would there be a need for self-defence? No, they initiated a violent, destructive campaign and physically harmed the police. That is not self-defence.
The last time tear gas was used by Australian police was to put down a riot in 2005, at the Christmas Island migrant detention centre. No one accused the police of using excessive force; tear gas was never considered a weapon. But, in Tattersall’s article, she further distorts the facts: “As the police’s weapons have become more excessive – tear gas fired in train stations, rubber bullets shot into faces, sponge grenades, water cannons – the students’ responses have become increasingly indignant.” Here she implies the students are reacting to unwarranted police brutality. Which police and anti-riot force would not protect their own personnel and quell unrest that have turned violent? Are tear gas and water cannons not standard equipment used by most of the authorities in the world? Excessive? She continues to call them weapons implying instruments that maim and kill. Shooting rubber bullets into faces implies deliberate action by the police. I would like to see her and her ilk handle a violent group of people hellbent on exacting physical harm on those who try to uphold the law. To describe the students’ response as indignant is a joke. Although an author, she obviously does not understand the word. Can protesters be considered merely annoyed or angry when they force the closure of a major international airport, cause billions of lost revenues every month to the city’s businesses – a decrease of over 50% in August retail sales (according to the city’s Retail Management Association), their worst performance in history – destroy business premises and beat up anyone including elderly citizens who try to reason with them? To be fair, she accurately reports that the students (The Braves, she repeatedly calls them), have “engaged in targeted actions like street fires, petrol bombs and vandalism to public infrastructure and government sites, like the city’s mass transit system.” But, she softens their violence by using words such as “targeted actions” and “vandalism”. Come on, Tattersall, vandalism?! I think she is a vandal to civil rights. Where is the balanced reporting? Half the population just want to get on with making a livelihood, juggling work with family commitments, and saving whatever they can for a better future. What about their civil rights to enjoy peace, prosperity and security? In their fight for freedom of rights, the protesters deny others the basic right of freedom of movement? Surely, Western media cannot be blind to such blatant curtailing of freedom to travel to and from work? If any person dares to storm into a government building, tears down the Aussie flag, throws it into the River Torrens, hoists up another nation’s flag, that person would be quickly hauled into prison as a traitor. But, the likes of Tattersall will choose to remain silent on such unpatriotic behaviour as shown by some young Hong Kong protesters.
Tattersall reveals her devious intent at the end of her article. She coaxes The Braves to follow the successful strategies used in the French Revolution. “Perhaps history can provide some inspiration”. “In Paris, the protesters fought street battles and built barricades, but the leaders also built for themselves the kind of state they envisioned living in. They constructed their own National Assembly, which advanced the idea of universal male suffrage.” She asks her readers to imagine the protesters creating their own Legislative Assembly. In short, she is inciting the students to overthrow the government of Hong Kong. She is fully aware that protesters may die in their war (her word) against China. I fear for The Braves, learned people like Tattersall should not lead them to their graves. The governments of Hong Kong and China have been extremely restrained so far in bringing back law and order to Asia’s premier financial center. Not a single protester has been killed even though the violent mobs have been attacking police and fire-bombing public places on their daily rampage for almost six months. Tourist numbers dropped over 51% in September. How much more self-inflicted damage will be tolerated before authorities take measures to end this debacle? Let us hope the inflicted damage does not turn into a bloodbath. Urghhling.
Here is the link to her article. https://theconversation.com/amp/with-no-end-in-sight-and-the-world-losing-interest-the-hong-kong-protesters-need-a-new-script-124007
On Australia’s own doorstep, West Papua, we saw violent crackdowns by the Indonesian military in recent weeks. Yet, Australian media and Australian governments have been relatively silent over the deaths of many student protesters – estimated at thirty-three – in Jayapura and Wamena. The official pronouncement from the foreign affairs department is lame, that all sides of the conflict should exercise “absolute restraint”. Now, why don’t we all exercise absolute restraint with regard to Hong Kong also? Especially those like Amanda Tattersall. Inciting a civil war similar to the French Revolution is simply criminal.
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