In a knife attack on Wednesday, a firebrand pro-Beijing politician in Hong Kong was wounded, the latest tit-for-tat political violence to break out in a city filled with months of pro-democracy protests.
A man holding a bouquet of flowers approached Junius Ho on Wednesday morning as the politician was campaigning in his constituency of Tuen Mun, a town near the border with China, with party members.
He gave the flowers to Ho, asked to take a picture, then pulled a knife out of his pocket before hitting his victim in his head.
Ho and his helpers immediately overpowered the man in Cantonese who could be heard screaming: “Junius Ho, you scum!”Police said three men, including the attacker, were injured in the incident.
A police source, who refused to be named, told AFP that Ho had received a stab wound on his chest’s left side and that the attacker had been arrested.
Ho, 57, was aware when he entered the ambulance.
Along with leader Carrie Lam of Hong Kong and police chief Stephen Lo, Ho has become one of the protesters of democracy’s most loathed establishment figures.
Yet on July 21, after being filmed shaking hands with a group of men in Yuen Long City who went on beating protesters with sticks and poles, hospitalizing 40 people, he shot to notoriety. He has given multiple speeches supporting the police force in Hong Kong and echoing the protesters ‘ condemnations of Beijing, often using the language of an incendiary. Last month, because she is married to a British journalist, he accused a prominent opposition lawmaker of “eating foreign sausage.”
Ho’s office was ransacked by protesters after the Yuen Long attack, and his parents ‘ graves were also vandalized.
Hong Kong has been disrupted by almost five months of large and increasingly violent demonstrations calling for greater political rights and transparency from the police. With no diplomatic solution in sight, street conflicts broke out with increasing frequency on both sides of the ideological divide.
There have been attacks on eight pro-democracy figures, including protest organizer Jimmy Sham, who was hospitalized last month by hammering men.
A man with a knife assaulted demonstrators for democracy on Sunday, including a local politician who had bitten off his ear.
But violence is far from unilateral.
Crowds of pro-democracy protesters also routinely beat their ideological opponents, usually during rallies in spontaneous mob violence.
On Saturday, an unconscious man was beaten and stripped naked in the Mongkok district.
Beijing has shown no willingness to meet the demands of the demonstrators and activists show no sign that they will leave the streets with 22 consecutive weekends of unrest.
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