Hong Kong Protests

Chelsea Gates

While the anti-government protests in Hong Kong have been occurring since June, they have only recently began to receive mass media coverage. After twenty-one weeks of protests, citizens and local law enforcement are growing tired of the violence and vandalism; including some protesters themselves. 

According to a report from CNN, these protests began in June over a recently withdrawn bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China. The protests progressively shifted towards an anti-government, pro-democracy movement. Protesters released five major demands, and only one has been met so far. Both sides of the protests have initiated violent attacks on the other; police are releasing tear gas on protesters, and protesters are throwing petrol bombs at police, vandalising shops and subway stations, and setting fires across the city. (Yeung, 2019)

This prompts the question; when does the violence truly go too far?

CNN interviewed Marcus, a 22-year-old protester, and he said that he draws the line at “unneeded violence.” Like many protesters, he views the actions of his peers as “largely justified.” When asked about a specific incident, in which a man was accused of being an undercover cop and attacked by protesters in an airport, Marcus claimed that while the level of violence might have been unnecessary, there was adequate evidence that the man was indeed an undercover cop. (Yeung, 2019)

Many protesters fear that citizens will lose their protected freedoms of speech and press & assembly; and that the previously semi-autonomous city will be consumed by mainland China. 

Tweets from the NBA’s general manager Daryl Morey in solidarity with protesters turned the country of China against the league; in which sparked controversy, due to the fact that the Chinese account for 10% of the NBA’s revenue. The Chinese believe that Morey should have been disciplined for his comments. But supporters in the United States believe that more should have been done to defend his right to state his opinions. Majority of protesters support the exposure, however, they are not as supportive towards Lebron James, who voiced his opinion on the matter and claimed that Morey “wasn’t educated on the matter.”