Hong Kong police used reasonable force in dealing with protesters, and they are not violent compared with some of their foreign counterparts who use mounted police and batons to subdue the crowds, New People’s Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said.
For the first time in nearly a decade, police used tear gas and pepper sprays to disperse protesters in Hong Kong who are pressing for genuine universal suffrage in the territory.
Observers note that the rallyists were peaceful during their assembly, and as such, police should have exercised maximum tolerance.
They also note that in other countries, police had to resort to more violent means of dispersing crowds because the protesters were destroying property and throwing petrol bombs at them, which is very different from what is happening in Hong Kong, RTHK reported on Monday.
Speaking at a local radio program, Ip, a former secretary for security, also said the protesters were well-organized and taxi drivers were complaining that the civil disobedience campaign had affected their business.
Meanwhile, Fanny Law, Executive Council member and former secretary for education and manpower, said Hong Kong people should not be fighting each other.
She urged the public to act sensibly and peacefully, adding that they can fight for democracy with love and peace.
On whether police used excessive force on the protesters, Law said the matter should be left to the Independent Police Complaints Council to review what happened.
She said she hopes the parties involved can sit down and hold a dialogue to sort things out. However, Law said it is unlikely that Beijing will change its mind on the electoral reform framework for the territory even if the students boycott their classes or people join the Occupy Central movement.
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