Undocumented boy's case being blown out of all proportion
There are all kinds of thugs and hooligans but the most dangerous kinds are the ones with an ideology or a political cause.
They don't just want money and territories. They seek power and want to influence public opinion. Because they exploit real social or political issues, it's often not easy to dismiss their concerns.
Their appeal lies in their being a vehicle or an excuse for people, especially among the young, to vent their hate, anger and frustration under the guise of legitimate concerns about society's ills.
That is precisely the danger with fringe pan-democratic groups like Civic Passion, Localism Power and Hong Kong Indigenous.
The furore of the undocumented 12-year-old Siu Yau-wai is a case in point. The boy from the mainland came out with the help of unionist lawmaker Chan Yuen-han after spending nine years in hiding.
That provoked the anger of those fringe groups, the first two of which surrounded Chan's office and branded her "a Hong Kong traitor" over the weekend.
The 40-plus crowd shouted: "Chan Yuen-han, go to hell, Siu Yau-wai, return to the mainland."
Do these people have no shame or decency?
They then moved on to a school, which helped assess Siu's learning abilities, to bang on its doors and windows, intimidating parents and reducing at least one young pupil to tears.
The groups claimed they were doing it for Hong Kong's interests.
Hong Kong Indigenous plans to continue the protests today.
The more articulate of the groups said Chan and Siu were selling "a sob story" so Siu and his relatives could exploit local resources.
But they were wrong about the case.
Siu has been given a temporary permit so he won't be arrested in the streets. It does not mean he has been given the right of abode.
The school has only tested his scholastic abilities, but is legally barred from offering him a place. His grandmother has been charged with aiding and abetting a person in breaching conditions of stay while the whole family is under active investigation.
So let's not blow this case out of all proportion for another excuse to go after mainlanders.