Have those LIHKG.com radical protesters suddenly decided to turn over a new leaf and become followers of Gandhi? A group that claims to speak for the online gathering site for protesters, extremists and secessionists has issued a statement declaring its peaceful intentions – sort of. “To avoid being confused with fake protesters pretending to be us while committing crimes and violent acts, we declare we are against the following acts. Anyone who commits such acts are not our members. These are: ● No injury to innocent bystanders and no raping or robbing of such people; ● No disrespect for truth-telling reporters, medical personnel and foreign friends; ● No targeting of innocents, but only those people, groups or companies that are associated with absolute communist powers; ● No hijacking of police vehicles or their contents; ● No using of any batons that look like police batons; ● No robbing of police guns to make excuses for the force to shoot us or other innocent people.” Sounds like a move in the right direction. But could it possibly be true? Hong Kong’s Sha Tin station closed after angry crowd vandalises facilities We have no idea who those people are behind the declaration. LIHKG.com is an online site for a motley crew of malcontents and angry people. It’s not one group but many. They share a hatred of communist China, the local police and government, but little else. The declaration was issued after at least four middle-aged men were severely beaten by black-clad protesters over the weekend in Yuen Long, for no other reason than making threatening gestures, singing the national anthem or getting drunk. Apple Daily says female reporter assaulted by four men in restaurant Why the references to rape and robbery? Have there been such unreported cases? As for guaranteed safety for “truth-telling” journalists, I suppose it’s open season on the lying ones. The whole declaration is a PR exercise in damage control. It’s hinting that violence committed against bystanders may have been the work of undercover police or mainland agents. Any crimes committed during protests in future will be “false flag” operations to blame and malign the protest movement. Sorry, but this doesn’t cut it. If it looks, swims and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Not all but too many of you are hooligans, rioters and vigilantes. You can’t have it both ways. If you want to perpetrate violence, either because you enjoy it or it’s a means to an end, you need to own up – and take the heat.