What You Need To Know About the HK Protests
Ukraine, Ferguson, Syria, and now Hong Kong – it seems that the entire world is standing up for their beliefs, and with news over the Hong Kong protests known as the Occupy Central Movement flooding the Internet on the daily we found it more than necessary to address the present situation. Here’s our breakdown on the event and on what this means in terms of importance.
In 1997 Britain and China came to an agreement during which Hong Kong’s sovereignty was “traded over” to the Chinese government. Thus Hong Kong came to be officially known as a “Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.” Via an ideology of autonomy, referred to as “one country, two systems”, the Chinese Communist Party promised Hong Kong that they would have electoral freedom, however on August 31st of this year they hindered the possibility of the Special Administrative Region to move to democracy by limiting the 2017 electoral candidates to only three people who would be established by a nomination committee in China. So, basically, Hong Kong got screwed over.
What Happened Next
In order to keep things even more constricted, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, met up with the top tycoons of Hong Kong on September 22nd in order to create business alliances that translate into power alliances. Meaning: if the rich can remain rich with China as their governor why would they change that? That same day thousands of university students began peacefully protesting for pro-democratic reforms, a sit-in that would last a week and would be followed up a few weeks later by a larger sit-in, the Occupy Central Movement, which would take place in Central, the leading business district of Hong Kong.
Police Attack, Leaders Emerge
If the aphorism “history repeats itself” is true then what happened next should be no surprise. Police closed in on the protesters, armed with pepper spray, tear gas, and batons, all of which they unleashed on the students prior to engaging in hundreds of arrests. The use of violence resulted in more violence, with students and police clashing overnight, most of which happened in the city government headquarters.
The riots have seen an increase in supporters and a notable emergence of leadership by 17-year-old Joshua Wong, an activist who has been demanding freedom and democracy for Hong Kong since he was 15. His young age doesn’t just symbolize bravery and courageous strife – it means that the youngest generations to live under Chinese rule are also some of the citizens most against the situation.
In another unsurprising move, the Chinese government has resulted in a social media blackout – citizens of the world power are being manipulated into thinking that all’s well, in fact most don’t even know there’s any reason to think otherwise. However, looking at Hong Kong media the contrast is insane; pictures of brutality, skies raining pepper spray, and resistance are in constant flux. Particularly impressive is the outlet that Instagram has been for amassing and spreading updates on the situation which is from where we’ve collected the images for this article.
The protests don’t hint at any dwindling in the immediate future, and while we might feel helpless as to how to assist all we can do for now is send positivity and keep up to date with everything that happens. #StayStrongHongKong we’re listening to you.