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“Give one an inch and one will take a mile”
Earlier this week, the Hong Kong protests hit 15 consecutive weeks and their 100th day of protesting (if you consider the protest beginning on June 9th like I do). That is over a quarter of the year now! Let’s take a look at the stats: as of September, at least 2100 people are injured and over 1,400 protesters have been arrested. These numbers are just remarkable and to really appreciate all of this, we need to remember why this protest even started.
The Hong Kong protests first started in order to kill the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill (and if you don’t know the story, I wrote a post on the protest origins) and millions of people flooded the streets; preventing politicians from getting into any legislative buildings. Until finally, the extradition bill was considered “dead” but not withdrawn on July 9th. Protesters were not satisfied with this result. They wanted a full withdrawal of the bill and they made a list of demands that they wanted to see met before they called an end to the protests.
The 5 demands
Hong Kong protesters came up with a list of 5 key demands.
Amnesty for arrested protesters
An investigation into the police brutality
The resignation of Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive
Full democracy from China
Never take democracy for granted
This is a pretty hefty list of demands especially the last one. But Hong Kong citizens are a proud people. They are extremely nationalist and will only identify as Hong Kongers not Chinese. Also, Hong Kongers understand that if they are still grasped by China’s autocratic hands, they will never be free.
If you live in a democratic country, it is important to remember the luxuries that we have today. We can say what we want and essentially live pretty carefree. Hong Kongers don’t get that and they know that. That’s why there’s blood on the streets. That’s why they are willing to commit economic suicide by asking the United States to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Bill of 2019. That’s why Taiwan, another Chinese territory, sent over 2,000 gas masks to Hong Kong because Taiwanese people are in the same boat. That is why they’ve been protesting for 15 straight weeks. There will not be a better time to express their concerns and if they give up, then they give up on freedom.