Saturday's South China Morning Press carries a report headlined: "Fortress Wan Chai prepares for worst." Anything an angry anti-capitalista could possibly lift in the area around the conference centre has been welded to the ground; miles of wire meshing and barricades are in place. The paper's op-eds include a tête-à-tête that will be typical of the week ahead: the World Bank's head honcho for Asia-Pacific salivating over freer trade vs. a former Filipino minister who describes the global trade regime as a "cesspool of distortion".
The prospect of police over-exuberance has brought a letter from Amnesty to Hong Kong security chief Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, reminding him that "the vast majority of protesters in Hong Kong are expected to be peaceful. Their rights to freedom of association and expression must be fully upheld.”
By contrast, HK Magazine, a slick freesheet distributed outside the Fragrant Harbour’s less salubrious watering holes (cover story: ‘The Empathetic Imp: A Christmas Tale’), includes a helpful A-Z guide for visiting rioters. I quote:
“SKYSCAPERS. Yes, we have lots of them. Yes, they’re really big. No you can’t go up them. No, we don’t understand why either. Yes, one crazy Frenchman even climbed a couple of them. But don’t let that give you any ideas ….
“URBANIZATION. We like it. Can’t you tell?"