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Hong Kong Police Warn of More Arrests After Sweep of Activists

Hong Kong Police Warn of More Arrests After Sweep of Activists(Bloomberg) — Hong Kong police arrested prominent opposition figures including Joshua Wong — and warned other protesters could share their fate at illegal demonstrations this weekend — raising tensions as authorities seek to quell pro-democracy demonstrations that have raged for almost three months.The 22-year-old Wong, who was scheduled to speak about the protests in the U.S. next month, was among well-known pro-democracy activists arrested by police on Thursday and Friday. Those arrested included Wong’s fellow leader of 2014 Occupy protests, Agnes Chow; independence advocate Andy Chan; and District Councilor Rick Hui.Police said more than 20 people were arrested since Thursday, and warned at a briefing Friday that others could be charged if they take part in protests without official approval. A colonial statute passed during a wave of deadly riots in the 1960s allows authorities to the power to imprison those who participate in unlawful assemblies for as long as five years and more than 900 have been arrested on a variety of charges since June.The arrests were part of a broader push back against the largely leaderless protest movement, which flared up in June over now-suspended legislation allowing extraditions to China before widening into a broader push for more democracy. The Civil Human Rights Front — the organizer of the biggest recent demonstrations — said Friday it was forced to cancel a rally planned for Saturday after police withheld approval.The crisis in the former British colony threatens to distract from Chinese President Xi Jinping’s celebrations of 70 years of Communist Party rule on Oct. 1, which will highlight the country’s rebound from imperialism, war and inner turmoil. Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive, Carrie Lam, earlier this week called for a dialogue with the opposition, while refusing to rule out invoking a sweeping colonial-era law that allows for easier arrests, deportations, censorship and property seizures.“We still keep on our fight and we shall not surrender,” Wong told reporters as he and Chow emerged from court after being released on bail on charges related by unlawful assembly. “I urge the international community to send a message to President Xi, sending troops or using emergency ordinance is not the way out.”The summer’s political unrest has been the worst since the city’s return to Chinese rule in 1997, with demonstrations that have resulted in often-violent clashes between protesters and police. Political observers said the moves ran the risk of drawing more people into the streets for unauthorized rallies, which can more easily get out of hand.“Such actions are tantamount to inciting trouble at a time when the government is talking about dialogue and trying to lower the temperature,” said Kevin Yam, a political commentator and member of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Progressive Lawyers Group. “You can’t on the one hand say, ‘Let’s lower the temperature, let’s talk, let’s make nice,’ and on the other hand do something like this.”Ronny Tong, a member of Lam’s advisory Executive Council, acknowledged that “the timing could have been better,” said said he had faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law and the police.“The most important thing is that Hong Kong is a place where the rule of law still is alive and kicking,” Tong said. “We have a very able and independent judiciary. And the police know that. They know that unless they have a reasonable chance of a conviction, they would not try to arrest somebody at random only to give out a political message.”Separately, Reuters reported Chinese authorities had earlier this month rejected a Hong Kong government proposal to formally withdraw extradition legislation that sparked the protests. The bill’s withdrawal and an independent inquiry into the unrest were seen as the most feasible compromises, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed senior Hong Kong government official.Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. warned employees not to take part in a general strike planned for next week, after the airline’s chief executive, Rupert Hogg, stepped down to take responsibility for the uproar over airline staff’s participation in earlier actions. Two other organizers of recent protests, including CHRF leader Jimmy Sham and Max Chung, were attacked Thursday in the latest of several reported incidents of mob violence against activists.891 Arrests, 2,071 Tear-Gas Canisters: Hong Kong’s Protests By the NumbersTaiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen — who has helped resuscitate her re-election prospects by criticizing Beijing’s handling of the protests — was among the first officials to express concern about the arrests. She called on authorities to comply with their promises of democracy, freedom and human rights to the city’s people, according to a statement from her office.While the three arrested activists are among Hong Kong’s most prominent opposition voices — Wong was the subject of a Netflix documentary titled “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower” — none was seen as a central figure in the recent protests. The decentralized movement relies on social media apps and chat rooms to propose and revise protest plans on the fly.Still, Wong has come under scrutiny for his meetings with U.S. officials, with China’s foreign ministry singling out one particular meeting with a U.S. diplomat. Wong was also planning to travel to the U.S. in September to speak out against what he described as authorities’ plans to establish “martial law” ahead of the National Day holiday.Countdown to 2047: What Will Happen to Hong Kong?: QuickTakeThe latest charges against Wong resulted from his role in a June 21 rally, in which he encouraged demonstrators to surround the police headquarters complex in Wan Chai, days after his release from jail on separate protest-related charges. Chan, the pro-independence founder of the banned Hong Kong National Party, said in a post on his personal Facebook page that he was stopped at the city’s airport departures area on Thursday night.“They’re trying to plant a seed of fear in people’s minds, so that people will stop from attending protests, either the one tomorrow or ones in the future,” said Alvin Yeung, a pro-democracy lawmaker. “But my judgment is they won’t succeed, because Hong Kong people are very brave.”(Updates with Executive Council member comments in eighth paragraph.)\–With assistance from Sheryl Tian Tong Lee and Shawna Kwan.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Annie Lee in Hong Kong at olee42@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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HK arrests three prominent activists in crackdown

HK arrests three prominent activists in crackdown

Joshua Wong – the face of Hong Kong’s umbrella movement – has been arrested, on suspicion of organizing illegal protests.

Two other prominent political activists in the city have also been arrested, as authorities clampdown on a wave of unrest that’s gripped the city.

Wong is a pro-democracy icon but hasn’t been a prominent figure in the current movement.

The recent protests so far have had no identifiable leaders.

But on Friday (August 30), Wong’s political party Demosisto said he was pushed into a private car, and then escorted to the city’s police HQ.

They say Agnes Chow, another one of its members, has also been arrested.

(Soundbite) (English) ISAAC CHANG, DEMOSISTO, SAYING:

“We believe that the high-profile arrests before the 31st of August protest is because they want to spread ‘white terror’ towards the Hong Kong protesters and Hong Kongers”

Police said both were arrested on suspicion of ‘organizing and knowingly participating in an unauthorized assembly’.

They said the third activist, Andy Chan, was arrested on suspicion of participating in riots and attacking police in July.

It comes after police banned a march for Saturday (August 31) a day that marks five years since Beijing ruled out universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

The organizer of the banned weekend march, Jimmy Sham, was attacked by two men on Thursday (August 29), armed with a knife and baseball bat.

Amnesty International issued a statement, saying: “The repeated harassment of pro-democracy activists, combined with police bans on demonstrations, has created a climate of fear for peaceful protesters.”

Nearly 900 people have been arrested since June, as the embattled city heads into its fourth month of protests.



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The Latest: Hong Kong democracy activists granted bail

The Latest: Hong Kong democracy activists granted bailThe pro-democracy group Demosisto says Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow have been granted bail. Demosisto leader Wong and member Chow were arrested Friday morning on suspicion of inciting and participating in an unauthorized assembly. Wong is also suspected of organizing the unauthorized assembly.



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Hong Kong democracy activists arrested, protest march banned

Hong Kong democracy activists arrested, protest march bannedHong Kong police arrested well-known activist Joshua Wong and another core member of a pro-democracy group Friday, and authorities denied permission for a major march in what appears to a harder line on this summer’s protests. The organizers of Saturday’s march, the fifth anniversary of a decision by China against allowing fully democratic elections for the leader of Hong Kong, said they were calling it off after an appeals board denied permission. Andy Chan, the leader of a pro-independence movement, was arrested at the airport Thursday night.



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Democrats quash climate debate push from activists

Democrats quash climate debate push from activistsThe Democratic National Committee on Saturday quashed a push from climate activists and some national party members who want a 2020 presidential primary debate devoted exclusively to the climate crisis. The national party committee voted 222-137 at its summer meeting in San Francisco against a resolution that effectively would have rolled back debate rules set by Chairman Tom Perez and freed presidential candidates to participate in a climate-only debate. The move drew rebukes from the Sunrise Movement and other activists who say the party leadership is ignoring young voters’ priorities.



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Hong Kong activists showed up to clean up a train station after violent clashes there with police

Hong Kong activists showed up to clean up a train station after violent clashes there with policeHong Kongers on Monday returned to the scene of clashes between police and protesters — except this time, they came armed with cleaning supplies.



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HK activists, Beijing supporters demonstrate in London

HK activists, Beijing supporters demonstrate in LondonDemonstrators backing the democracy activists in Hong Kong marched in London on Saturday, as counter-protesters staged a rival rally. Protesters supporting the activists paraded banners reading “Will Britain hold China to its promise on Hong Kong’s freedom?”, “Power to the people: stand with Hong Kong” and “Will Boris surrender to China?”, referring to new Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Others said “The only place I want pepper is in my noodle soup”, “SOS: please save Hong Kong” and “No China extradition”.



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Guatemalan activists protest migrant asylum pact with US

Guatemalan activists protest migrant asylum pact with USHundreds of Guatemalans gathered Saturday to protest an agreement that President Jimmy Morales’ government signed with Washington to require migrants passing through the Central American country to seek asylum here, rather than pushing on to the U.S. The protesters also carried signs calling for Guatemala to maintain its sovereignty and expressing support for a United Nations-backed anti-corruption commission that Morales expelled from the country.



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Trump news: President’s ‘embarrassing mess’ parade speech widely mocked, amid arrests over July 4 fights between MAGA fans and left-wing activists

Trump news: President’s ‘embarrassing mess’ parade speech widely mocked, amid arrests over July 4 fights between MAGA fans and left-wing activistsDonald Trump delivered his controversial ”Salute to America” address in Washington, DC, on Thursday amid hammering summer storms, his speech managing to avoid partisan politics but marred by an extraordinary gaffe in which he claimed the 1775 revolutionary army “took over the airports”.The president also promised to “plant a US flag on Mars” and encouraged young Americans to sign up for military service, despite receiving no fewer than five deferments himself preventing him from serving in the Vietnam War.While the event featured the Air Force flypast and spectacular fireworks display Mr Trump had promised, it was also defined by an unseemly brawl breaking out between protesters and members of the alt-right militant group Proud Boys after the former set fire to the stars-and-stripes in front of the White House.The president meanwhile saidon Friday he may issue an executive order over his 2020 Census demands. The US Constitution specifically assigns the job of overseeing the census to Congress, limiting the authority of the president over it, which could complicate an effort to add the question via presidential missive.“We’re working on a lot of things including an executive order,” Mr Trump told reporters outside the White House as he left for his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.In a court filing in response to a Maryland-based federal judge’s deadline, the Department of Justice indicated it has not yet come up with a new legal rationale for adding the question after being blocked in the Supreme Court on 27 June.US District Judge George Hazel said on Wednesday that if the administration did not reach a decision he would press ahead with considering allegations based on newly discovered evidence that the decision to add the question was motivated by racial bias.The Justice Department said in its court filing it objects to the case moving forward.Critics have called the citizenship question a Republican ploy to scare immigrants into not participating and engineer a population undercount in Democratic-leaning areas with high immigrant populations. They say that officials lied about their motivations for adding the question and that the move would help Trump’s fellow Republicans gain seats in the US House of Representatives and state legislatures when new electoral district boundaries are drawn.Mr Trump on Friday said the “number one” reason for adding the question was for the drawing of electoral districts, which is not the legal reason the administration gave for adding it.He and his supporters say it makes sense to know how many non-citizens are living in the country. His hard-line policies on immigration have punctuated his presidency and 2020 re-election campaign.Additional reporting by Reuters. Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load



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Biden Showed ‘Paternalistic’ Side During Anti-Rape Campaign, Activists Say

Biden Showed ‘Paternalistic’ Side During Anti-Rape Campaign, Activists SayWoolston/ShutterstockTaking the stage at the 2016 Oscars to introduce more than 50 survivors of campus sexual assault, then-Vice President Joe Biden received a standing ovation from the star-studded crowd. Smiling at the A-list audience, he joked that he was the “least qualified person here” and urged viewers to “change the culture” around campus sexual assault—an issue he had made his signature cause over the previous five years.U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden introduces singer Lady Gaga after making a plea to prevent sexual abuse at the Oscars in 2016. ReutersBut now, as Biden prepares for a possible presidential run—and as multiple women allege he made them feel uncomfortable—activists say Biden often stumbled in his fight against campus sexual assault. Multiple activists told The Daily Beast that Biden’s approach to sexual violence, while well-intentioned, was shot through with paternalism.“His language was very gendered about men having to protect women,” said Jasmin Enriquez, an anti-rape activist who attended several of Biden’s “It’s On Us” events. “It was just that benevolent sexism of ‘Men have to be the heroes,’ not ‘Nobody should have to experience sexual violence ever.’”“It infantilizes women and takes away their level of their own control,” she added later. Biden became vice president at the beginning of the campus anti-rape movement, which spurred investigations into more than 200 universities for their treatment of survivors. The Obama administration jumped on the problem, issuing new guidelines for campus sexual assault probes and signing a survivors’ bill of rights. Biden served as the public face of many of these reforms, giving speeches, meeting with survivors, and launching a national media campaign to combat sexual assault.Activists who worked on the issue say they appreciated having such a prominent champion in the White House, and everyone who spoke to The Daily Beast said they felt Biden’s intentions were good. Even Enriquez said that, though Biden was not a poster child for what an ally should look like, he did “use the power that he had available to him to open the White House to conversations about sexual violence.” But activists also said that Biden’s approach could come off as patronizing. One activist described the politician as having a “save the girls” mentality, which focused more on being a knight in shining armor than a partner in a women-led fight.“I think that his approach to the issues often feels more like a protective grandfather than an ally working with survivors who are agents in their own right,” said the activist, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her employment. “I don’t doubt that comes from a place of affection and concern, but that is different than looking at women as agents, as equal partners in this fight, or even as people from whom he should be taking the lead.”Others have called attention to Biden’s tendency to lump together women and children, such as in a recent speech where he recalled his father telling him never to “raise his hand to a woman or a child.” In one of his most famous speeches on campus sexual assault in 2017, Biden focused on the men in the audience, saying it was “our responsibility, men in particular, but all of us, to stop this culture.”In notes sent to Biden’s office in 2014, Enriquez’s organization pushed back on some of this gendered language, saying that his national anti-rape campaign, It’s On Us, “should be for people as a whole.” “There could be subtleties that focus on messaging towards men, but the message and brand as a whole has to lend itself to all people, regardless of their gender identity, for them to want to participate,” the leaders of the organization wrote. Enriquez said Biden’s office responded to that note with a one-sentence thank-you email.Several other activists told The Daily Beast they were frustrated with aspects of the It’s On Us campaign. Wagatwe Wanjuki, an anti-rape activist who has previously received funding from the organization, said she found it odd that Biden made himself the spokesperson for a movement that was ostensibly about survivors. (The vice president was the only one to speak before sharing the Oscars stage with the 50-plus sexual assault survivors.)Caroline Heldman, an Occidental College professor and author of a book on the campus anti-rape movement, said Biden could at times seem “dismissive of the expertise of survivor activists.” “He was not only the savior, he was the knower—the possessor of knowledge in the room about sexual assault, even when he was surrounded by experts on violence,” she said.In recent weeks, multiple women have claimed that Biden touched them inappropriately at public events. None of them have described the incidents as sexual in nature, but all said it made them uncomfortable. Several anti-rape activists were among those bothered by the touching—a particularly striking experience given Biden’s repeated comments about the importance of consent. Survivor Caitlyn Caruso told the New York Times that Biden had rested his hand on her thigh during an event on sexual assault at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2016. Activist Sofie Karasek wrote in the Washington Post about an “unwelcome, uncomfortable” interaction with Biden at the Oscars, in which Biden leaned in and touched his forehead to hers when she recounted an emotional story. Wanjuki told The Daily Beast about a similar experience at the same event, where she said Biden grabbed her hands backstage without her permission. “I’m there because I’m a survivor and he knows that,” she said of the experience. “Just to assume that I wanted to be touched felt jarring.”Lady Gaga holds hands with survivors of sexual abuse after singing her Oscar-nominated song "Til It Happens to You" at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. Vice President Joe Biden made a special appearance at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday to advocate for victims of sexual assault and introduced a powerful performance by Lady Gaga that featured survivors of sexual abuse. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni – TB3EC2T0ICV7EREUTERSBut the activists said their discomfort went beyond the touching, into the way Biden approached the issue of sexual assault. By painting himself and other men as saviors, they said, he unintentionally took agency away from female survivors.“I just feel like a paternalistic way of doing it is kind of antithetical to what you stand against,” Wanjuki said. “If you’re actually dealing with the core concepts of rape culture, thinking about protecting women and protecting survivors isn’t going to fix that.”Other sexual assault activists have come to Biden’s defense. Actress Alyssa Milano, a prominent figure in the MeToo movement, pointed to his work with It’s On Us and called him a “champion on fighting violence against women.” Some have highlighted his role in passing the landmark 1994 Violence Against Women Act. Another activist present at the 2016 Oscars, Chloe Allred, told The Daily Beast she had a positive experience with Biden and that he was “very warm and caring.” Biden’s campaign did not respond to several requests for comment.Even the activists who criticized Biden’s approach said they appreciated his commitment to addressing sexual assault, which is one of the reasons they did not speak up sooner. According to Heldman, “Everyone was so appreciative that he used his power to advance the cause that we overlooked it.”Zerlina Maxwell, a political commentator who serves on the Biden Foundation advisory council on Violence Against Women, said she thought the former vice president was a strong advocate for women and that his gaffes stemmed from a generational divide. But she also did not think this should shield him from criticism.“His motivation or his desire to do advocacy on this particular issue… comes from a paternalistic sort of protective headspace: ‘I want to protect women,’” she said. “I think some survivors find that condescending.”“His intentions are good, but again, we’re not talking about intentions, we’re talking about the impact,” she added.Biden himself addressed the controversy in a video released Wednesday. Though he stopped short of apologizing for his behavior, Biden acknowledged that times had changed and that he would be “more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space” in the future. During public remarks on Friday, he joked twice about touching attendees with their consent and later told reporters he was “not sorry for anything that I have ever done.”Biden also angered activists earlier this month when he failed to directly apologize for his treatment of Anita Hill, the law professor who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during confirmation hearings in 1991. At an event on sexual assault this week, Biden said he regretted that he “could not come up with a way to get [Hill] the kind of hearing she deserved” as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He did not apologize for his own actions.Kamilah Washington, a sexual assault activist who also attended the 2016 Oscars, said Biden’s failure to apologize to the women he made uncomfortable only made the situation worse. She said men like Biden were often applauded “just for being in the room” in conversations around sexual assault, and said it is crucial that they are now being held to a higher standard.Of herself and her fellow activists, she added: “There’s a sense that we’re all out for blood and want to ruin people's careers, but usually all people want is acknowledgement and accountability that isn’t blanketed in excuses.” “It needs to be humbling for people who are being held to account, and I don’t think he’s there,” she said.Read more at The Daily Beast.



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