Editorial : May peace be with Hong Kong

【明報專訊】THE originally peaceful demonstration against the amendment of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance has finally turned violent, with radical activists charging the police cordon line and the police using weapons such as rubber bullets and bean bag rounds to disperse demonstrators who occupied the roads. The unrest was deemed a riot by the government. As Hong Kong society was again thrown into turmoil, it is indeed distressing to see the situation unfold. Hong Kong people's right of peaceful and lawful demonstrations should be protected. However, it is also the duty of the police to put a stop to illegal occupying actions. All sides ought to keep calm and exercise restraint to prevent the escalation and spreading of violence. The protests are just like the grasses that will not be destroyed by any prairie fire. The government must face the fact that even if the road occupying protestors are dispersed today, they will come again tomorrow. Similarly, the demonstrators must also face the fact that even if they can postpone the Legislative Council meeting today, it is unlikely that it can be postponed forever. In the end, the issue of amendment or not still has to be resolved within the system. Only by peaceful demonstrations calling for a "conscientious vote" at the Legislative Council can the clashes be avoided and the harm to Hong Kong be reduced.