Editorial:People's livelihood threatened by spiralling violence

【明報專訊】AFTER the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation came into force, incidents of severe violence were seen in multiple districts across Hong Kong. Shopping malls closed to stay out of trouble and the MTR could only provide limited services. Even convenience store chains which are supposed to open around the clock had no choice but to close all their stores before dusk, as if a curfew were already in force. The city was in effect semi-paralysed during the past weekend. It is true that the invocation of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) by the government was controversial. Opponents might be sceptical about or dissatisfied with the decision, but that cannot be used as a pretext for the crazy escalation of violence by the small batch of violent activists. Wilful acts of arson, vandalism, gang beating and vigilantism must be condemned. Whether the invocation of the ERO was constitutional is a question that should be deliberated by the court, not handled by violence. Amid the violence engulfing the city, a state of anarchy seems to be looming. As of now, not only does one have to think thrice about which colour to wear, but even what people deem to be the basics of their daily routine like coming home safely or withdrawing money from ATM machines is no longer guaranteed. How distressing it is to see people on tenterhooks and Hong Kong knowing nowhere to go.