Steve: Her act of courage reminds me of Tank Man in Tienanmien Square (see photo, below).
Two stories: Newsweek and Mashable.
Both stories have their “leanings.” Read with discernment.
Video of ‘Furious and Fearless’ Elderly Woman Confronting Hong Kong Police and Protesters Goes Viral
A viral video of an emotional elderly woman who took a stand between lines of riot police and pro-democracy protesters on Saturday is dividing social media users in Hong Kong.
The video, filmed during clashes in Hong Kong’s northwestern area of Yuen Long, shows the distressed woman remonstrating with riot police who had been using tear gas and rubber bullets to try and disperse anti-government protesters.
Several journalists shared images of the unidentified woman on Sunday, with freelance journalist Laurel Chol describing her as “furious and fearless.”
Veteran pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong then shared a video of the woman, in which she could be seen standing facing police lines and shouting at officers as protesters tried to drag her out of harm’s way. According to Wong, “she cried and asked riot police not to fire bullet towards youngsters.” As of Monday, the video had been retweeted by 5,400 users and received more than 11,000 likes.
Elderly citizen standing in front of the police line to defense #YuenLong demonstrators. She cried and asked riot police not to fire bullet towards youngsters. httpss://t.co/CoVW5lJUb2 pic.twitter.com/5qtp04dncv
— Joshua Wong é»ƒä¹‹é‹’ (@joshuawongcf) July 28, 2019
But as the video spread, other users pointed out that the woman’s allegiance was not so clear-cut. Journalist Isabella Steger posted a photo of the woman, noting she “told the protesters to leave, and said that she wouldn’t leave if they didn’t leave.” Subsequent tweets from other users suggested Wong’s characterization was misleading and partisan.
[Steve: Why would she not want everyone to go home and for peace to be restored? It’s not politically correct, but it’s understandable.]
This weekend’s protests were some of the most violent yet, with running clashes between protesters and police in Yuen Long and in downtown Hong Kong.
The demonstration in Yuen Long was held to protest last weekend’s attack on passengers in the Yuen Long subway station. The incident marked a dark turn for the current round of protests, as white shirt-wearing armed men ran amok in the station, indiscriminately attacking bystanders and those returning home from a march downtown.
Journalists, children and a pregnant women were among those beaten. At least 45 people were injured, one of them critically. Pro-democracy forces have claimed that the men belonged to pro-Beijing triad gangs, and were either ordered or allowed to attack civilians by a complicit government and police force.
The Hong Kong government, led by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, dismissed suggestions that police were working with the gangs, though social media users shared videos showing armed men in discussions with police and a pro-Beijing lawmaker. Though Lam promised an investigation, she also condemned the protesters for undermining the rule of law in the territory.
This weekend, protesters and riot police fought again in Hong Kong’s downtown area. Officers were trying to keep marchers away from the China Liaison Office, which is Beijing’s most visible representation in the city. The building was targeted last weekend, and its walls and seal defaced by graffiti and black paint.
The protests, which began in March, are a response to a proposed change to Hong Kong’s extradition laws, which would have allowed the region’s government to extradite criminals to China for trial.
Opponents of the extradition legislation feared it would enable Beijing to target political opponents in Hong Kong and undermine the “one country, two systems” accord under which the island has been governed since it was transferred from British to Chinese rule in 1997. The system affords Hong Kong people significant personal and political freedoms not enjoyed by mainland Chinese residents.
A woman shouts at police officers as they advance towards protesters in the district of Yuen Long on July 27, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. Laurel Chor/Getty
Incredible photo shows an elderly woman standing up for the youth in Hong Kong
Alex Nedd, Mashable, July 29, 2019
A powerful image of an elderly woman trying to stop the Hong Kong protests has gone viral after photographer Laurel Chor posted her picture on Twitter.
Chor posted the picture in response to reporter Joshua Long’s video of the same woman asking riot police not to shoot the young protesters. Her image only added to the growing mythos of the woman in the blue shirt who really, really wanted the cops to behave themselves.
Laurel Chor described the woman as “furious and fearless.”
These recent protests in Hong Kong specifically came about after 45 people were injured in a mob attack on a subway station in Yuen Long on the border between Hong Kong and mainland China. During that attack on July 24, men in masks attacked civilians, many of whom were returning home from participating in the anti-extradition protests that have rocked Hong Kong since March.
After that attack, protesters shored up in the Yuen Long subway and have been struggling against riot police all week, with the police often resorting to violence and injury to remove protesters from the station. The woman in Laurel Chor’s picture appears to be angrily appealing to the police, telling them not to fire rubber bullets or harm any of the protesters.
Neither Chor nor any of the other reporters who captured footage of this brave woman got the opportunity to talk to her, or even to ask why she defended the youth of Hong Kong so passionately, but the picture of this badass alleged grandma getting all up in the cops’ faces has renewed some peoples’ faith in an older generation.
What a beautiful & brave woman. Her courage & love for her fellow citizens is uplifting in the world such as it is. Much respect for her.
— Punachick45 (@punachick45) July 28, 2019
What an amazing woman. The people of Hong Kong are awe inspiring
— JJ (@transcended) July 28, 2019
May Yuen Long grandma remain as furious and fierce as she needs to be.