(TMU) — In the recent wave of demonstrations to sweep Hong Kong, tensions between protesters and police have continued to escalate.
The protests began with a simple demand for the government of mainland China to cancel a controversial extradition treaty, which would allow the government to arrest citizens of Hong Kong to face charges in China.
However, after weeks of violent clashes with government agents, the list of demands from the protesters has grown to include the release of detained activists and retribution for the police brutality seen during the demonstrations.
According to Foreign Policy, many of the protesters are now calling for all-out liberation from China and independence for Hong Kong.
The protesters in Hong Kong are fighting technologically advanced police forces, but have developed ingenious guerilla tactics to counteract the technological disadvantage.
One recent video, broadcast by Hong Kong’s Now TV, shows a large group of protesters shining laser pointers at police in order to disrupt their facial recognition cameras. Protesters have also taken additional measures, like spray painting camera lenses on the street or around government offices.
In addition to helping crowds remain anonymous by disrupting the cameras in the moment, the lasers can also cause permanent damage to the sensitive lenses on the facial recognition cameras.
According to the International Laser Display Association, “lasers emit concentrated beams of light, which can heat up sensitive surfaces”—like camera sensors—”and cause damage.”
Images de «Science fiction» à Hong Kong: les manifestants pointent des lasers sur la police pour empêcher la reconnaissance faciale du gouvernement chinois https://t.co/qkLdGbxl7n @aletweetsnews pic.twitter.com/zovVac5Y95
— L'important (@Limportant_fr) July 30, 2019
The protesters have also come up with some clever ways of defending themselves against teargas. As you may notice in the video above with the laser pointers, many of the protesters are carrying umbrellas. The umbrellas are used as makeshift shields which protect them from the tear gas.
Many comparisons have been made to the traditional Roman battle formation in which the soldiers lock their shields together to protect the whole group from arrows and other projectiles, as seen in the image below.
As the video below shows, the protesters have neutralizing teargas down to a science.
Another neat Reddit comment I stumbled across while through responses to this video about How Hong Kong protesters deal with tear gas."A few facts about tear gas.1.) It's not a gas. It's physical particulate which needs to stay hot to smolder. It cools as it spreads so it doesn't spread very far very long.2.) Because it's not a gas, dousing with water cools the can and interrupts the smoke, minimizes pain from the emissions and takes the sting out of the air.3.) Because it's not a gas, the sting/choke falls out of the air rather quickly as the smoke cools. This is why salvos of multiple canisters have to be lobbed together to be at all effective.4.) They're not cheap so police departments never have more than a few hundred on hand in the field. If you can eliminate only 1 in 3 as they fall towards you, the whole effect is minimized. You can catch and douse these things all day and just waste the department's money and buy valuable time.5.) The chemical sciences are strong with HK Chinese… They are putting their cultural specialties to work."So in short, while tear gas is effective, there are pretty accessible counter measures.
Posted by Patanjali Shearer on Monday, July 29, 2019
Earlier this week, the Chinese government agency responsible for managing Hong Kong threatened that “should the chaos continue, it is the entire Hong Kong that will suffer,” according to Business Insider.