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matthewrodier939 karma

I didn't see any looting personally in Hong Kong. I was present overnight at Polytechnic University and someone broke into the 7-11 but when there are hundreds of people in an area where they can't get out and they are running low on water breaking into a store to get some doesn't qualify in my opinion. All the stores they would break into in HK it seemed to be just to damage the owners and destroy the place, they weren't looking for anything of value to take. I was inside a Xaomi store in Mong Kok for instance when it was on fire. They sell cell phones there but no one wanted a phone, they just wanted to smash and burn the place. Their targets were almost always related to CCP, Fujian Triads, or the Maxim Corporation for different reasons. One time they vandalized a bank by mistake bc they thought it was connected to the CCP but they publicly apologized after learning they were wrong.

matthewrodier934 karma

Yes. I think that there was an escalation of police violence over the time I was there, and in turn some of the protesters became more violent. There is only so many months people will show up and march and get tear gassed before they start throwing rocks, then police started tear gassing people before the approved legal protests had even ended so at a certain point I think a lot of people came to question whether peaceful protests were even possible. There was graffiti all over Hong Kong that said something to the effect of: "it was you who taught me that peaceful protests do nothing." Wish I could remember the exact phrasing off the top of my head but I am on painkillers due to my injuries on Sunday night.

matthewrodier886 karma

The protests in the US have been more calm on average for one thing, although that may change. In Hong Kong towards the end of 2019 when I was there, late August to about Christmas, it had already gotten to the point where you knew you were getting tear gassed and bad and it was just a matter of are they bringing in the water cannons and the APC's. Also the protesters in HK often unleashed heavy amounts of molotov cocktails at police when the protesters were trying to retreat. That may have happened here but hasn't been a widespread tactic to my knowledge.

matthewrodier861 karma

On Sunday night covering a protest that turned into a riot in DC I was surrounded by a few angry protesters and confronted, they were accusing me of being an undercover cop. While explaining that I am a journalist I was struck from the right. Didn't see who or what hit me, but it broke my jaw in 4-5 places on my right side and once on the left. Spent three nights in the hospital after and had to have my jaw reconstructed with three titanium plates. I am home just trying to heal now, no field work for a few weeks at least.

matthewrodier783 karma

Many of them remain hopeful but there is a lot of sadness and a general sense of dread for the future from what I can tell from talking to my friends. They hope it won't get too bad but feel that it will and just don't know when that will come.