New violence, unknown future: This is Hong Kong

As Hong Kong’s #OccupyCentral protests crept into a second week, activists in Mong Kok were confronted with violence from unknown anti-occupy activists.

As Hong Kong’s #OccupyCentral protests crept into a second week, demonstrators in Mong Kok were attacked by unknown anti-occupy activists. While the origins of the attackers remain unclear (rumor and allegations continue to circle) their penchant for violence surprised many of the protestors in attendance. To make matters worse, Hong Kong police seemed unable, or —according to some— unwilling to step in and protect the demonstrators.

These attacks drove leaders of the Hong Kong Federation of Students to reject Chief Secretary Carrie Lam’s offer to meet and discuss their demands. For now, Hong Kong residents (and the many who have their eyes fixed on this increasingly restive island) can only wait and see.

*Earlier this week, I reported on the generational differences between the protestors in Hong Kong’s streets. Read the full piece here (via Al Jazeera America.)

Developing: M23 Rebels move on Goma, DRC.

While the details are still hazy, some sources are reporting that M23 rebels have captured Goma, home to United Nations peacekeepers currently deployed in the DRC. With “the heaviest fighting in Eastern Congo” since a 2008 rebel offensive in the same region, the rapidly escalating violence has been lost amidst today’s coverage of the crisis in Gaza.

Jason Stearns, an expert on the Congo, author of the acclaimed Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, has been following the story full-time. On his highly recommended blog, Congo Siasa, he writes: “It would appear that we are heading toward the end of ceasefire,” noting the devolving agreement between the M23 rebels and the Congolese army.

The latest news from the ground has left many to speculate on the intentions (and consequences) of the latest rebel advance. Phil Moore, a photographer who works in the area, tweeted about the conditions on the ground after previous weeks of fighting:

A few civilians pick through Kanyarucinya, with M23 around. Collecting firewood from the frames of what were their houses yesterday.

More to come… if anyone is listening.