Hong Kong Protesters Are Not Fooled by Only Postponing the Bill

Hong Kong

For weeks, Hong Kong protesters have been under fire from police as they raid the streets. Young activists are persistent in the withdrawal of Leader Carrie Lam’s extradition bill, as well as her resignation.

On July 9, 2019, protesters took Lam’s response to interviewer questions, if she would comply with demands to step down two years into her term, as a sign she has already begun the resignation process.

When asked about the postponed bills possible withdrawal, Lam expressed doubts about future government efforts “to bring the legislation back for a vote. I reiterate here, there is no such plan. The bill is dead.”

Pressure from rioting protesters led to Lam declaring the bill “dead,” despite the lack of official withdrawal, as to control the growing backlash – infuriating protesters. Young activists have immediately assessed her words to be “lies” and “untrustworthy,” threatening to take further action.

Not even her impending departure will persuade young protesters to recede, looking for the reformation of authority. Thus, local demonstrators have called for a full investigation into the police tactics used against protesters.

On July 1, 2019 hundreds of citizens overtook the legislative council a month after announced they would indefinitely suspend the controversial bill. Activists and protesters stormed the streets, smashing through the glass doors of the Legislative building, fearing that if the protest died down the bill would be reinstated.

The purpose of the bill is said to allow Hong Kong to turn over citizens accused of a crime to mainland China for judgment. Although Hong Kong is a part of China, their relationship is complicated. With the policy “one country, two systems” Hong Kong secured their freewheeling press, uncensored internet, and others. These free speech protections would have otherwise been denounced on the mainland. If detained in China, however, Hong Kong citizens are at risk of punishment if deemed to be “critical of Beijing.”

This risk is supported by previous accounts of Hong Kong booksellers spirited across the border by Chinese police. Detained on the mainland, booksellers were spirited across the border and convicted of selling “banned books.” Other citizens have endured the same procedure, some disappearing completely and never heard from since.

The rallies throughout the country are sparked by the anger and knowledge of having their rights and freedom censored by Beijing. Many Chinese mainland citizens give their sympathies but mostly keep to themselves in fear of Chinese officials. Despite the fear, there are still those that attend rallies, holding banners – staying away from violent confrontations.

However, in the wake of the extradition bill declared “dead” activists have devised a new strategy to “export their revolution” to the mainland. This move is a risk many activists are willing to take as protesters build up “Lennon Walls” across Hong Kong. Each wall is layered with sticky notes from supporters. Posted under bridges, and near temples, colorful notes show support for the resistance, reminding each other to “fight together”

Written by Brielle R. Buford

Sources:

Japan Times: Some mainland Chinese living in Hong Kong find the courage to join in protests

Reuters: In Challenge to Beijing, Hong Kong activists attempt to take fight to mainland

The Washington Post: Hong Kong protesters to continue after bill declared dead

Reuters: From Iron Lady to lame duck: Hong Kong leader’s departure seen as mere matter of time

The New York Times: What Is Hong Kong’s Extradition Bill?

Japan Times: Some mainland Chinese living in Hong Kong find the courage to join in protests

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of johnsls’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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