Sunday, November 24, 2019

Hong Kong ablaze as protests intensify: 'We might as well go down fighting'

The protests in Hong Kong continue to intensify, as hope wanes among natives, some of whom say they are afraid but might as well go down fighting. Recent reports indicate that children as young as 11 are now fueling the protests and violence between protesters and police is growing. 
According to The Wall Street Journal Friday, the protests of late have been some of the most bloody to date and schools have been driving Hong Kong's uprising against China's ruling party. 
Demonstrations that involved millions of people against a contested extradition law and police brutality have been roiling the Asian city-state since June. 
Since the British left Hong Kong in 1997 the southeastern autonomous region of China has been governed by the constitutional principle known as "one country, two systems," a principle now thrown into question in light of massive pressures from Beijing to adhere to its demands. 
The conflict escalated last week as protesters at Hong Kong Polytechnic University shot arrows at the police who responded with tear gas. Universities have become particularly potent battle zones where clashes have caused Chinese students from the mainland to flee. High school students are also participating in the protests. 
"High schools serve as natural points of contact for protesters to find like-minded supporters, organize and plan. They have also become venues for dispute between student protesters and students who support mainland China’s rule. 
Teachers say that even as they try to mediate arguments on playgrounds and classrooms, they are under scrutiny, too, and fear losing their careers if they are seen as advocating protests," 
The Journal reported. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday — called The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act — aimed at supporting the Hong Kong protesters in a rebuke of sorts to Chinese suppression of the demonstrations. 
China, in turn, subsequently rebuked the Senate resolution, referring to it as U.S. interference in its domestic affairs. Among the popular chants the protesters use is "Five demands, not one less," the Atlantic reported Nov. 12. 
Those demands include the complete withdrawal of an anti-extradition bill, an independent commission to investigate police misconduct, a retraction of riot charges against protesters, amnesty for protesters that have been arrested, and universal suffrage. 
The contested extradition law would send suspected criminals to be extradited to mainland China for prosecution. 
“But we cannot give up,” one protester told the Atlantic, “because if we do, there will be no future for us anyway. We might as well go down fighting.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beijing has gambled that China no longer needs Hong Kong. Looks like they will find out soon enough.