It’s important to remember what is going on outside the U.S.A. As an example, did you have any idea about the protests going on in Hong Kong? No, not the Umbrella Movement of 2014 but the ongoing protests to protect the Hong Kong government.
To clarify a little bit, since Xi Jinping came to power, he’s been making moves to limit Hong Kong’s semi-independence. One of his newest actions was the extradition bill. This says China can extradite criminals from and through Hong Kong. The bill was where Hong Kong drew the line. They are afraid that if they accept the bill they will be crippling their own government and democracy. Therefore, the Hong Kongese decided to take action.
It all started this year on Sunday, March 31. On this day, Hong Kong performed their first of many protests against the extradition bill. Since then, there have been many other peaceful and violent protests. For instance, on July 1st, protesters stormed their Parliament. They smashed walls and windows as well as defaced a majority of it. On the other hand, while there was a lot of damage (It’ll cost up to 6 million dollars to repair) nobody actually got hurt. It wasn’t until August 24 that these protests got very violent. As they protested in the streets of Hong Kong, protesters threw bricks and Molotov cocktails (grenades) at the police. Due to this, police used water cannons and real guns. The day before – August 23 – was the day of the very first Hong Kong human chain protest. According to NBC News, the chain was 28 miles long. It consisted of thousands of Hong Kongers all of which fighting to keep their government theirs.
In some of the more peaceful protests, police used pepper spray, rubber bullets, and tear gas to ward off and disperse protesting crowds. Because of this, Hong Kong protesters will commonly wear hard hats and surgical masks in order to protect themselves. They also build barricades out of whatever they can find, or bring, which is usually metal gates and zip ties.
Last but not least, in an article by the South China Morning Post, these protests have been going on for almost six months. Yet, there have been no signs of stopping. In addition, police have made close to 1,117 arrests. The question is, are the protests going to stop anytime soon? If they’re not, are they going to get any more violent?
By: Peyton Erb
Photo Credits: https://www.hongkongfp.com