Hong Kong extradition law: local students feel 'furious, hopeless and sad' at police inaction on Yuen Long clash

Hong Kong extradition law: local students feel 'furious, hopeless and sad' at police inaction on Yuen Long clash

Teenagers share concerns that the government allowed the police to delay their response in order to deter further protests against the fugitive bill

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Men in white T-shirts attacked black-clad protesters and passengers.
Photo: Winson Wong/SCMP

Speaking to Young Post, a secondary school student who did not wish to be named said they felt “furious, hopeless and sad” following the late-night violence at a Yuen Long railway station on Sunday which left at least 45 people injured.

Police arrived at 11.15pm, around 45 minutes after the attacks began.

Another anonymous student said they felt powerless and hoped the government would set upan independent commission of inquiry into police actions, which is also one of the five core demands of the anti-Elab protesters.

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Draymond Lam, 17, from Sing Yin Secondary School, said he believed the events were only the beginning, and that he felt the police had treated the attackers as friends.

“The government deliberately allowed this to happen, just as a way to deter the protesters … [to] send them the message that you guys [Hongkongers] can’t live without the police force.”

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There was no sight of police officers as dozens of men in white T-shirts, who witnesses suggested were triad gangsters, stormed into the station around midnight by forcing open closed entrances. They hurled objects at protesters and commuters alike, and assaulted members of the public, including journalists.

Jason Chan, 16, also from Sing Yin Secondary School, was very concerned by this. “That’s actually insane. It seems that the triads are not under control. What’s most disgusting was that police arrived very late. It was certainly unacceptable for police to perform like this,” Jason said.

“The police didn’t even apprehend any [of the mob]. Everyone knew that there was selective law enforcement.”

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Police have been accused of deliberately responding slowly to calls for help, with some members of the public saying they could not get help even by calling 999. On Sunday night, police stations in Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai closed their gates to prevent people from seeking help. Commissioner of Police, Stephen Lo Wai-chung, explained the gates were closed because large groups of protesters were “besieging” the stations.

Speaking to RTHK early yesterday morning, Yau Nai-keung, assistant police commander of the Yuen Long district, said his colleagues did not find any men carrying offensive weapons. However, there has been a number of videos circulating online and on social media that show police in riot gear speaking to groups of men in white shirts holding wooden and metal poles.

“I feel that they didn't do their duty, all cameras show the gangsters had weapons, but police saying they could not find any was unacceptable,” one of the anonymous students we spoke to said.

 

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
We feel powerless and sad, say students

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