Another worrying development is that, over the weekend, soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army “volunteered” to leave their base in Kowloon to help clean up the roadblocks near a university. This could be a violation of the Basic Law – which doesn’t allow PLA interference with Hong Kong affairs unless requested – and is a blatant signal from Beijing that military intervention is a possibility.
Polling suggests that the movement still enjoys significant support among Hong Kongers. However, the government continues to refuse permission for mass peaceful protests. Rather than answering the movement’s call for an independent commission into police violence and a restart of the political reform process, the government is adding fuel to the fire. It has in effect declared war against the young.
At the time of writing, the police are storming the Polytechnic campus and making arrests. The situation is grave. But the students appear to be unwilling to give up their hopes for this beautiful but imperilled city.