SAR must show its resolve to reject violence: China Daily editorial
Coming the day before the city marks six months of the unrest, Sunday's rally in Hong Kong was billed by its organizer as the "last chance" for the special administrative region government to accede to the demands of the opposition camp.
It was the first time the Civil Human Rights Front had been granted permission to hold a rally since Aug 18 after what it claimed was a million-strong assembly degenerated into a riot.
But instead of demonstrating support for the threat of further disruption, Sunday's march served to show how much the opposition camp has become detached from the general public, as the number of participants was fewer than the organizer boasted of beforehand.
Many residents in Hong Kong are fed up with the violence and disruption that have plagued the city for months. The record turnout for the district council elections showed they want to express their views peacefully.
Authorities have repeatedly banned major rallies in recent months citing the risk of the escalating violence of hardcore protesters. And the depths to which some radical elements are prepared to sink was revealed before Sunday's rally, when the police displayed a firearm and other weapons seized in overnight raids in which 11 people were arrested. Apparently they were prepared to hijack Sunday's rally by staging a shooting incident for which the police would be blamed for any injuries or fatalities.
The downsizing of the rally indicates that an increasing number of residents have realized that the violence and vandalism by the rioters, which often seem to be just for the hell of it, serve only the interests of the anti-Beijing cliques and their overseas backers, not the interests of Hong Kong.
That the SAR's economic data deteriorated significantly the third quarter has brought home to many the reality that the opposition camp is willing to offer the city as a sacrificial lamb to Washington's anti-Beijing schemes.
There is a growing realization in Hong Kong that there are some who are willing to use Hong Kong and its youths as pawns in their games. These people blinded by prejudice are willing to see what was one of the world's freest and most orderly societies be taken over by the rule of mob in pursuit of their objectives.
That a peaceful, law-abiding society could descend into such chaos so quickly is because of the unholy alliance of manipulators whose only stake in Hong Kong is how they can use it to cause trouble for Beijing. The SAR government must remain steadfast in upholding the rule of law and demonstrate to residents its resolve to defend their interests and never to succumb to violence.