Hong Kong seethes one year on, but protesters on the back foot

first_imgHong Kong on Tuesday marks a year since pro-democracy protests erupted, but a resumption of city-wide unrest is unlikely as activists reel from mass arrests, coronavirus bans on public gatherings and a looming national security law.Seven months of massive and often violent rallies kicked off on June 9 last year when huge crowds took to the streets to oppose a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China.Battles between police and protesters became routine, leaving in tatters the city’s reputation for stability, and a population divided. Topics : Beyond a withdrawal of the extradition bill, the protest movement’s core demands — such as universal suffrage and an inquiry into police tactics — have been rejected by the city’s leadership and Beijing.Instead, China has unveiled plans to impose a more sweeping law — one that will bypass the city’s legislature entirely — banning subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign interference. China says an anti-subversion law will only target “a small minority” and will restore business confidence. ‘Anti-virus software’In a speech on Monday Zhang Xiaoming, the deputy head of Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, likened the law to “anti-virus software”. “Radical separatists have been mistaking the central government’s restraint and forbearance for weakness and timidity,” he said.”They have gone too far”.”No person or organization will succeed in intimidating the (Hong Kong) Government by extreme means,” the city’s pro-Beijing leadership said in a statement on Monday.Opponents fear the law will bring mainland-style political oppression to a business hub supposedly guaranteed freedoms and autonomy for 50 years after its 1997 handover from Britain.”First [Beijing] loses the hearts and minds of Hong Kong’s people and then it seeks to force them to be loyal,” said Kong Tsung-gan, an activist who has published three books on the protest movement.”This is a long-term struggle, the Communist Party is upping the ante, and Hong Kong people will have to be willing to suffer and sacrifice much more than they have up to now to see their way through,” Kong said.Over the last year around 9,000 people have been arrested and more than 1,700 people charged, but by the time the deadly coronavirus hit the city in January, the protest movement was already on the back foot. The virus has made any protest effectively illegal, with emergency laws banning gatherings of more than eight people even though local transmissions have been virtually eradicated.Still, protests have bubbled up again since the security law plans were announced — including tens of thousands defying a ban on a June 4 gathering to mark the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.  Messaging groups used by protesters have called for people to come out in force on Tuesday evening, although locations will only be announced an hour ahead of time. The tactic is a bid to thwart police, who now move swiftly against such gatherings to enforce anti-virus restrictions.Student groups and unions have also announced plans to canvas members over possible strike action in coming days, but Hong Kong’s labor movement has limited influence.”I don’t think the passion has subsided much, but the problem is that many actions are now not allowed in the current circumstances,” Leung Kai-chi, an analyst at the Chinese University, told AFP.last_img read more

Cesc Fabregas explains why his Chelsea team were winners and Arsenal were not

first_img Comment Advertisement Advertisement Cesc Fabregas was a key figure at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger (Picture: Getty Images)While falling short of tipping a winner, he believes Arsenal need the win more than Chelsea as the Gunners have ‘nothing’ at the moment.‘Arsenal need it more,’ Fabregas continued. ‘Chelsea basically every year has won a trophy, so it’s a different animal in this case.‘In terms of trophies, Arsenal needs it more and for confidence for next year and getting into Europe. ‘Chelsea are in the Champions League and Arsenal has nothing at the moment.’MORE: Arsenal or Chelsea? Cesc Fabregas predicts who will win FA Cup finalMORE: Borussia Dortmund consider Man Utd flop and Arsenal target Memphis Depay as Jadon Sancho replacementFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Cesc Fabregas explains why his Chelsea team were winners and Arsenal were not Metro Sport ReporterFriday 31 Jul 2020 8:07 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.8kShares Cesc Fabregas won two Premier League titles with Chelsea but none with Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)Cesc Fabregas says the Chelsea teams he played in were much more ruthless and willing to win at all costs than his Arsenal sides, which made the difference between winning trophies and failing to do so.The Spaniard played for Arsenal from 2003-11 and picked up just one trophy in that time, the 2005 FA Cup, before he left for Barcelona.He returned to the Premier League with Chelsea and in four-and-a-half seasons at Stamford Bridge, the midfielder won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and a League Cup.It has been a wonderfully successful career for Fabregas, who has also won the World Cup and two European Cups with Spain and La Liga with Barcelona, so he knows what makes a winning team.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTLooking back on his time with the Gunners and the Blues, he feels it was too much style and not enough substance at Arsenal, whereas Chelsea were all about the results and it worked.‘Some teams I played in at Arsenal and Chelsea were similar in terms of talent, but the difference I felt straightaway is that at Chelsea we were ruthless,’ Fabregas told the Telegraph.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘At Arsenal there were fantastic, top, top players, but at Chelsea we didn’t really care if one day we had to win 1-0 by not touching the ball for the whole match.‘At Arsenal, and it was maybe partly my fault at some point as the leader and captain that I was, sometimes we forgot that to win leagues and Champions Leagues, you need to win ugly. ‘When I was young I always wanted to play the beautiful game, but there are always five or six games a season that you need to struggle but win. At Chelsea we did that. We were very competitive and very experienced. That’s the main difference.’The 33-year-old, who is still looking to add to his trophy cabinet at Monaco in Ligue 1, will be watching when his two former Premier League clubs meet in the FA Cup final on Saturday at Wembley.last_img read more