For the most part, the massive protests of the communist Chinese government by the citizens of Hong Kong, which have drawn nearly two million people into the streets, have been non-violent.

But that began to change Saturday as police cracked down on protestors, physically beating some. Channel News Asia blamed the protestors, saying they provoked police.

“Frontline protesters pulled together a barricade of traffic barriers and bamboo construction poles, spray-painting walls with insults directed at the police,” the report said. “As the afternoon wore on some fired stones from slingshots, prompting a charge from police wielding batons and pepper spray. Tear gas swept across the road as protesters retreated, leaving a trail of broken bottles and at least one small fire in their wake.”

Authorities reportedly described several people who were arrested as “a large group of violent protesters.”

It has been difficult to get the full story of the developments in Hong Kong. The regime in Beijing has cutoff Twitter access in the region. Channel News Asia is a Singaporean-based news outlet, which is a little more trustworthy than Chinese state-run media, but still likely to side with the massive power in Beijing over the protestors in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Big Tech has dutifully done its part to quell the mostly-peaceful resistance by running ads on Twitter on behalf of Chinese state media, claiming that the protestors have been behaving violently the whole time.

We reported:

Twitter finds itself in hot water again Monday after it was caught running ads which were critical of peaceful protests in Hong Kong on behalf of the brutal Communist Chinese regime in Beijing.

“Pinboard and other users have observed Twitter running ads from China’s state-backed media outlet Xinhua attacking the Hong Kong protesters opposed to both a (since-suspended) extradition bill and broader dissatisfaction with the government,” according to a report in Engadget. “The ads try to portray the protests as ‘escalating violence’ and calls for ‘order to be restored.’”

Pinboard is a news feed, and it posted the following Tweet criticizing the Chinese state-run media as “propaganda,” and attaching a screenshot of a Tweet from Xinhua.

“Two months on, the escalating violence in Hong Kong has taken a heavy toll on the social order,” the Chinese paper said. “All walks of life in Hong Kong called for a brake to be put on the blatant violence and for order to be restored.”

But there have been very few reports of violence from international press, who have been watching the scene in Hong Kong unfold very closely. Outside of a few skirmishes with police during an airport standoff eight days ago, the protestors – nearing 1.7 million in numbers – have been peaceful. It’s actually a truly amazing feat.

“I just came home from a completely peaceful march where possibly a million Hong Kong residents came out, with no police in sight, to call for basic democratic rights,” Pinboard said later. “What greets me is straight up lies from Xinhua about ‘bands of thugs,’ courtesy of Twitter advertising.”

As questions remain about the actual situation on the ground, the world is watching to see how a brutal dictatorship will handle Hong Kong’s freedom fighters.

China is known for cracking down against such uprisings – sometimes violently – to keep the established order in place.