The protest must remain nonviolent if it wants to be successful.
The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong is looking like a rare plant these days. Democracy worldwide is in crisis. Autocratic states are on the rise. The people of Hong Kong are fighting for their freedom. For months they have been taking to the streets. The indestructibility of their will to freedom is admirable. Their resilience brings Beijing's rulers to sleep. Hong Kong's struggle for freedom deserves support.
That does not make the movement unassailable. The majority of Hong Kong citizens peacefully take to the streets. They rightly complain of police violence. The government has eroded the rule of law. The separation of powers and the fundamental freedoms that Beijing has promised the city are under pressure. At the same time, however, some protesters have become radicalized. Several times they targeted and injured people. The despair is understandable. The violence is not. The peaceful demonstrators must therefore distance themselves from the violence. Their silence harms. The images of violence serve Beijing as ammunition.
The movement must remain persistent. But people are demanding political rights. This also brings obligations. Accountability to others is one of them.