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  1. ITV Report

Is it right to brand 2019 clashes in UK and Hong Kong anarchy?

From the summer protest-led chaos across UK cities to the ongoing violent clashes in Hong Kong, scenes of anarchy appear alive in 2019.

Demonstrators in Hong Kong were branded anarchists by The South China Morning Post after mobilising in the streets to fight for the rights of citizens.

And Extinction Rebellion, who led the climate change protests in Britain, were recently branded an extremist anarchist group by a former Scotland Yard head of counter-terrorism.

But are we misusing or misunderstanding the term?

Violent clashes have broken out in Hong Kong over the rights of citizens. Credit: AP

Professor Ruth Kinna urges a rethink in her new book 'The Government of No One: The Theory and Practice of Anarchism'.

"I don't think anarchy is mindless violence," professor and author Ruth Kinna told ITV News.

"The people who are coming out on the streets in Hong Kong clearly have concerns about the nature of the government that they're living under and the ways in which that may change."

Prof Kinna said the work of organisations like Extinction Rebellion "chimes with a lot of anarchist ideas" but questions whether the more than 1,000 protesters arrested earlier this year fit the definition of anarchists.

Professor Ruth Kinna says the work of organisations like Extinction Rebellion 'chimes with a lot of anarchist ideas.' Credit: PA

Professor Kinna explained: "A civil disobedient is someone who will make a protest, make a stance, in order to be arrested and serve their time and an anarchist sometimes think that legitimises the state in ways they don't want to recognise.

"What anarchists are trying to do actually is to push shared values of liberty, equality, fraternity."

So why do anarchists get such a bad press?

"They don't reinforce our conventional political norms and I think that makes them look scary and dangerous," she argued.