Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Living in a Police State

You may have seen reports on the news about the Hong Kong police trying to dismantle the barricades and various roadblocks that had been raised seemingly overnight all over Central and Admiralty when the protests first began.

While I haven't witnessed any chainsaws or fisticuffs, I have noticed (and indeed it would be impossible not to notice) the dramatic increase in the number of police all around Admiralty. 

Yesterday on my way to grab some lunch I was disconcerted to suddenly see a horde of police swarm the park in front of my work building.  Conspicuous in their blue uniforms and berets (what is that about??), some of the policemen also had big rolled up banners strapped to their back. It was not clear to me what they were trying to do, though it seemed they were getting into some kind of formation.

Ambulances with their lights flashing and sirens blaring zoom periodically around my work building, but they never seem to be carrying any passengers and I have not yet figured out their purpose.

Yesterday we were encouraged to leave work early, given the possible deterioration of the situation.  It seemed a little alarmist to me but I guess better safe than sorry.  On my way home, the police vans made a rather imposing caravan.  More vans were zooming toward Admiralty as I progressed home in the opposite direction.

I never see the police actually doing anything, however.  They just seem to be standing around, diligently following the set number of paces they have been instructed to take, and waiting and watching.  And waiting and watching.  Which I guess is creepy enough as it is.

As I was running on the treadmill at the gym today and observing lines of policemen and women standing in the middle of the street in perfect lines under the beating sun, it occurred to me that they must be really bored.  Their job is probably 99% waiting and standing around, and 1% actual action.

I went to look at the street after my workout - the barricades are still there.  Most of the barricades erected around my office are also still there.  It'd be putting it mildly to say that I really don't understand what's going on right now.

The air is permeated with a sense of anticipation and watchfulness.  I think it's fair to say that everyone wants to know what is going to happen next. 
"I love [a] free Hong Kong" or "I love freedom in Hong Kong"

No comments:

Post a Comment