Hong Kong Protests: Freedom Fighters or Hooligans?
As the weeks go by, Hong Kong protests have grown more violent as the Chinese government continues to attack them. China views them as dangerous hooligans who need to be stopped. Most of the rest of the world sees them as freedom fighters.
“Let me make it clear.We are now standing between the free world and the dictatorship of China. If we are in a new Cold War, then Hong Kong is the new Berlin. Hong Kong is now in the battlefield for two very different, opposing ideologies: Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights versus dictatorship regardless of fundamental rights. I just hope the world could realize that Hong Kong people deserve democracy.” Joshua Wong, Protest leader
Police don’t seem to care where they throw tear gas, whether there are protesters or not. They have been seen beating protesters, arresting many. Asian gangs have also caused violence against the protesters.
In the heart of #HongKong‘s shopping, district, Causeway Bay, there were no protesters, just reporters, shoppers & bystanders. @erinhale, who was feet away, confirmed that no warnings had been given. Popo is crazy, as #Hongkongers warn one another these days. See for yourself. pic.twitter.com/EPt1wCkn3L
— Ray Chan (@ray_slowbeat) September 8, 2019
The protesters waved American flags, sang the Star Spangled Banner, and called for President Trump to “liberate” Hong Kong from the Chinese. That won’t happen, of course, because HK was given to China in a deal with the British Government. But if the Chinese government tries something like the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989, then things could change drastically.
Hong Kong protesters wave American flags & sing the Star Spangled Banner as they call on President Trump to ‘liberate’ the city
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 8, 2019
Protesters halted their demonstrations on September 11, to honor those who were killed that fateful day in America. Chinese State media claimed the protesters were going to attack on that date, which was ludicrous.
In stark contrast to China Daily’s Facebook post yesterday, which ridiculously claimed Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were planning a 9/11 style attack, protesters are actually calling a suspension in memory of the fallen today https://t.co/vyOLlck5iV
— Rachel Blundy (@rachelblundy) September 11, 2019
The Hong Kong protests continue nightly, as thousands take over select malls. They have a new theme song: “Glory to Hong Kong” which has only existed for a short time, yet most of them have it memorized.
Protesters are now taking over a dozen malls nightly.
— Joshua Potash 🆘 (@JoshuaPotash) September 12, 2019
During a recent festival, Hong Kong protesters climbed local mountains with lights and laser pointers. Special “mooncakes” that are a tradition in that festival, were created with protest themes such as “Be Water.”
Thousands of Hongkongers formed human chains at two of the city’s iconic hilltops on Friday evening in a show of solidarity with pro-democracy protesters. #HongKong #China #antiELAB #hongkongprotests VId: Alex Chau.
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) September 13, 2019
From peak to shinning peak, pro-democracy protesters light up Hong Kong mountaintops with lights, banners and laser pointers. Together they practice singing “Glory to Hong Kong,” and chant “5 demands, not one less,” – one demand being universal suffrage. Taken from Victoria Peak. pic.twitter.com/24sUw7F7il
— Marcus Yam 火 (@yamphoto) September 13, 2019
Hong Kong protesters have demanded:
1. The withdrawal of the extradition bill
2. Cease referring to the protests as riots
3. Investigating police abuses
4. Release of all protesters
5. Universal suffrage for the Office of Chief Executive.
— CSIS (@CSIS) September 13, 2019
School aged children formed chains in a show of solidarity with the protesters.
Thousands of children in Hong Kong formed human chains outside schools to show support for pro-democracy protesters, after police arrested 150+ demonstrators over the weekend: pic.twitter.com/E1f5jsVzv7
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 9, 2019
Not all is peaceful in the Hong Kong protests. Pro-Beijing, Communist flag waving groups have begun to clash with the pro-democracy protesters, sometimes tearing apart their memorials. Some protesters have lost their temper and attacked those who confront them. They have trashed some public places and torn up turnstyles.
Some #HongKong citizens spontaneously clean the windows, walls and streets that are posted or painted by protesters as Hongkong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department didn’t take any actions to clean them. pic.twitter.com/q8rWtCzkoF
— Liam Stone石立安 (@liamstone_19) September 12, 2019
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam was visibly saddened by a broken turnstile when she surveyed the damage done by protesters to an MTR station. In other news, Lam has yet to visit a single hospitalized citizen injured by the police. pic.twitter.com/z0UFqVSEyR
— Jason Y. Ng (@jasonyng) September 9, 2019
Update! Just four hours after witnessing pro-Beijingers tearing apart the PE memorial, she has passed by the station again and the entire display has been completely rebuilt – and looks even nicer 😀 How can you not love our tireless Hong Kong protesters? 🥰 pic.twitter.com/rsdbnITpvG
— LeestandswithHongKong (@Lee_Cobaj) September 12, 2019
The international community should have seen this unrest coming a long time ago. When Britain made the deal with China to return Hong Kong to their control, Hong Kong was a thriving hotspot of international commerce. China wanted it back because of that prosperity. But with this violence and protests, they are being hit squarely in the pocketbook.
The handover occurred on July 1, 1997. It was supposed to be a system of “one country two systems” and remain autonomous for 50 years. While they were promised universal suffrage (right to vote) under the basic law, they have not received it. Instead of free elections, they have an appointed administrator. The people of Hong Kong want their lives without the interference of the mainland government.
Are they hooligans or freedom fighters? You decide.
Featured photo: screenshot via SBS news on Twitter