Have you ever heard of a 17 year old kid named Joshua Wong? Maybe you haven't, but the good ol' boys in Beijing certainly have. Young Mr. Wong is one of the prime movers and shakers in what has been dubbed in the western media as Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution.
This isn't the first time Josh Wong has been up to no good as far as the mainland leadership is concerned. A few years ago they wanted to introduce what they called, "National Education," into the Hong Kong school system. Basically it was a propaganda ploy meant to teach children that the communist government is a really great thing, always had been, always will be, and everyone should do whatever they tell them to. Wong founded a movement he called "Scholarism," to combat it. Thousands of students took to the streets and the Hong Kong legislature put the kibosh on the whole program, despite the support Leung Chin-ying, the guy who is in charge of the place. According to NBC, Wong was 14 at the time.
Now he is one of the faces of the demonstrations which have clogged the city's streets with tens of thousands of students, their teachers, and young business people.
When Britain handed Hong Kong over to the Chinese in 1997 the citizens were promised a policy of, "one country, two systems," and a degree of autonomy not seen anywhere on the mainland. The legislature is elected by the people and pro democratic members have been in the majority ever since. However, since the change in power, the head of the former royal colony has been chosen by a committee of 1,200, the vast majority of them central government toadies.
In theory the current system is supposed to be replaced by free elections for a head man, or woman beginning in 2017. At the moment there is a catch to the deal, worthy of not just the communists, but American tea party slimes like Al Gerhart.
Back when Gerhart was the Oklahoma campaign hot shot for Ron Paul, he told supporters that before any of them could be a Paul delegate to republican county conventions they would have to be vetted by, "the national campaign." What he actually meant was they had to be approved by, Al Gerhart. The government in Beijing has decided the elections in 2017 can be free, but they get to have prior approval of all the candidates running. In other words, people of Hong Kong you can pick from any number of guys, so long as we know they are going to do exactly what we tell them.
Given the ultimatum, everyone hit the bricks led by people like Wong. Leung, not the brightest of bulbs, ordered Hong Kong's police to break up the peaceful demonstrations with pepper spray, plus tear gas canisters and, if needed, a well placed blow to the head with a truncheon. It was his subtle way of saying go home and shut up.
The immediate result, besides a western media running amok chanting, Tiananmen Square...Tiananmen Square, was that even more people jumped into the middle of the protests. Facing the growing unrest, not to mention a social media and television blitz which the mainland felt they had to censor, Leung finally displayed enough sense to have the police back off. The demonstrators have remained, according to all reports peaceful, but determined and the cops watchful, but tolerant.
There is no telling how long the young people will stay in the streets, because honestly, they are fighting for a lost cause and at some point they'll realize it. Look at it from the government's perspective. If you give an inch in Hong Kong, then the next thing you know you're dealing with a virus called democracy on the mainland. NBC reports Beijing had 70 of Hong Kong's wealthiest individuals fly into town for a little chat with President Xi Jing Ping. One can only imagine that conversation.The result of it could end up being the most unholy cabal in the history of the world. One side wants to run the place without question and the other wants to make money with no questions asked.
Indeed, let's get the little fuckers off the street and everyone will be happy.
Given the circumstances, no wonder the Beijing press is calling Joshua Wong everything from an extremist to a buffoon. Unfortunately for him, if things continue, we all may be calling him an inmate, or worse. The terrible truth is, if you have the attention of a totalitarian government when you are a teenager, your life expectancy drops dramatically. It is the nature of the business.
Will the People's Liberation Army roll out the tanks? Not now. Tiananmen Square taught the mainland leadership about public relations and Hong Kong remains too much of a wedge into the international market place for them to come down with a heavy hand.
Will Joshua Wong win his fight? There isn't a chance--not to mention the odds are he will go mysteriously missing sometime soon. It is even money the hit will be paid for by the government who won't tolerate him, or the billionaires who would rather not deal with people rocking the boat.
God bless the idealists, because they are all doomed one way or another.
That is why some cynics around here are writing blogs, rather than getting involved.
sic vita est