Date
23 August 2017
A group of men confront pro-democracy protesters standing behind police officers in Causeway Bay on Friday. Photo: AFP
A group of men confront pro-democracy protesters standing behind police officers in Causeway Bay on Friday. Photo: AFP

Beijing authorities allegedly orchestrate triad protest scuffles

Triads could be behind the scuffles at the Occupy Central protest site in Mong Kok last week, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.

Quoting unnamed sources, the report said triad members were alleged to have been commissioned to clear the Mong Kok site under a secret “stability maintenance” project masterminded by national security authorities in Beijing.

It was rumored that gang members were handed a sum of HK$200,000 (US$25,787) to HK$300,000 a day for disguising as Occupy Central protesters and their opponents to start quarrels and fights in order to defame the civil disobedience campaign.

According to sources, triad members could be paid HK$1,000 for three hours of protest against Occupy Central. For those who were able to create chaos among the crowd, the pay was doubled to HK$2,000.

The pay rose to HK$5,000 for people who wore a yellow or blue ribbon and engaged themselves in scuffles. Additional fees would be paid for media attention, which could take the overall pay to HK$10,000.

The pay for team leaders would be double what front line people pocketed, so the more “brothers” they mobilized, the more their income.

Police had confirmed that some of the people arrested after the conflicts on Friday have triad background.

While People’s Daily, the Beijing mouthpiece, have published articles attacking Occupy Central, there were also reports that mainland authorities have paid people to travel to Hong Kong to upset activities organized by Occupy Central.

It was reported these special agents were paid 500 yuan (US$81.44), with transport and meals thrown in.

According to Apple Daily reporters, a large group of anti-Occupy Central protesters seen at the junction of Nathan Road and Argyle Street on Saturday were very likely mainlanders, judging from their dress code, accents, and even the specially strong blend of tobacco that they smoked.

The group of people vanished during dinner time, leaving behind a large pile of cigarette butts on the floor.

This is not the first time mainlanders were deployed to counter social activities in Hong Kong. In August, witnesses reported that coaches full of mainland visitors were passing the Shenzhen Bay border control point, with anti-Occupy Central signages displayed on their windshields.

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EL/AC/JL

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