Genius protestors, dumb journalist:
Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong have, perhaps unwittingly, united themselves with another protest movement some 8,000 miles away. Activists demanding free elections for the semi-autonomous territory have been holding their hands up in the air in a symbol of non-violent protest, a gesture many in the US recognize from recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri after an unarmed 18-year-old was shot to death by police.
Most Hong Kong protesters aren’t purposefully mimicking “hands up, don’t shoot,”as some have suggested. Instead, the gesture is a result of training and instructions from protest leaders, who have told demonstrators to raise their hands with palms forward to signal their peaceful intentions to police.
Asked about any link between the gesture and Ferguson, Icy Ng, a 22-year-old design student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University said, “I don’t think so. We have our hands up for showing both the police and media that we have no weapons in our hands.” Ng had not heard of the Ferguson protests.
No, writer Lily Kuo, of course the Hong Kong protestors aren’t emulating or thinking of Ferguson — they have bigger (and much more local) concerns than fanning the Democratic base in time for November. Honestly, this is just the stupidest story framing I’ve read in a long time. “Hands up” is a universal gesture, just like anyone anywhere could figure out what drawing a single finger across the throat means, even if by some chance they’d never seen it before.
That said, whoever came up with the idea of using Hands Up! as a peaceful protest gesture deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. During the Tiananmen crackdown, China was still a nobody on the world stage, and just beginning the process of opening up the economy. Today, Beijing’s thugs are like newly rich mobsters, desperate for the respect they think they’re owed.
A crackdown today, against protestors with their hands already up in the air…
…well, I’ll leave the results up to your imagination.
UPDATE: More from Sonny Bunch. Would you believe this idiotic Hong-Kong-as-Ferguson meme seems to have begun with Max Fisher at Vox?
Shills and hacks, tying any and everything into keeping the Senate blue.