What’s happening in Hong Kong?
- The protests are being held in order to achieve universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Although democracy had been promised for 2017 in 2008, China announced this August that Hong Kong people would only be able to vote from a pool of 2-3 specially selected candidates (all of whom would definitely have pro-China sentiments)
- University students held a week-long boycott of classes to protest for true democracy in Hong Kong
- Today riot police were deployed against peaceful protesters. Equipped in full riot gear the police used pepper spray to deter the protesters, mainly students and youths but also some elderly people have reported being sprayed point blank
- It is estimated that over 50,000 people have joined the protest and this number continues to grow
- This is the largest political protest in Hong Kong since our independence from the UK in 1997
- Although the protests remain peaceful, police have now started to use tear gas and have brought out long guns loaded with rubber bullets (there hasn’t yet been a report of any bullets being shot)
- Over 80 arrests have been made including students as young as 16 for taking part in these protests
- They are cutting cell phone receptions in the protest area so that people can’t share any information
- Violence is increasing as police continue to instigate protesters
- All this comes right before the October 1st celebration of the 65th anniversary of founding of the People’s Republic of China
- There are rumours that the PLA (the Chinese army) are going to be brought into the city tonight
More facts about Hong Kong:
- We run under a one country, two systems policy with China meaning that we are part of China but have our own government and laws.
- Protests for universal suffrage have been held throughout the summer but these are the biggest yet
- Anti-China and anti-government sentiments are at their highest levels yet. Survey results showed that 1 in 5 people are thinking of emigrating from the city.
- In June, China issued a white paper essentially telling Hong Kong to remember their place and re-asserting their authority over the city
The scenes from the protest look awful. In my 17 years in Hong Kong I’ve never seen anything like it. The world needs to know about this and say something before we get a recurrence of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
I hope everyone stays safe. Hong Kong stay strong.
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