But this is also an exact description of the rising violence between two bitterly distrustful religious communities that I witn
essed on the streets of my native Belfast in British-ruled Northern Ireland exactly－uncannily－half a century ago as a te新亚博体育注册会所
enager in that unforgettable, agonizing August of 1969. The lessons I learned then would serve the people of the H
新亚博体育注册会所品茶微信ong Kong Special Administrative Region well today before they bring an unimaginable disaster upon themselves.
Violent protests against authorities never bring peace. They only bring war, destruction
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streets. Prosperity never follows violent protests. At best, there is mass unemployment and despair as local bu
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tories and hire workers when those factories could be razed in one of the endless clashes.
The “freedom” the demonstrators in Hong Kong have been demanding is illusory. It is fool’s gold. It is the mythical pot o
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utonomous rule, has been that it is considered a secure, predictable and safe place to do business wit
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der and more serious they become, the more that incalculable advantage will be eroded.
When I was a young boy, Belfast was still the largest ship building center on earth. In the late新亚博体育注册会所品茶微信
1960s, the British government invested in two gigantic gantry cranes called Goliath and Samson－at the time the
largest such pieces of machinery in the world－to build super oil tankers. They still stand today as tourist attr
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orthern Irish Civil War (known with masterly understatement as “The Troubles”) saw to that.
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rial wasteland peopled only by ghosts. Even after peace finally returned to Northern Ir
eland, after 30 years of civil strife, the great complex on Queen’s Island never recovered, never revived.