Hong Kong protestors participated in a sit-in on March 15, 2019 in retaliation against the Fugitive Offenders Amendment Bill. If this bill is put into action, Hong Kong fugitives would be extradited to mainland China and Taiwan. To have their voices heard, the protestors officially hit the streets in June, participating in road-blocks, sit-ins, and other forms of protest.
However, the peace did not last very long, and it quickly led to a violent relationship between citizens and police. In response to the revolts, the police responded with tear gas. Later, this resulted in protesters being banned from wearing masks. A week later, a police officer shot an activist participating in a road-block. The day ended with a man being set on fire by protesters.
The bill was first proposed in Feb. when a citizen of Hong Kong had escaped trial in Taiwan. The government thought it was unacceptable that the law did not allow him to be tried, so they responded with the Fugitive Amendment Bill. This would allow fugitives to be tried in the country the crime was committed in, even if they fled to another country.
Attention was truly drawn to the protests worldwide once the Yuen Long Attack occurred. The Yuen Long Attack was a two day event where protestors mobbed a train station and attacked civilians.
A mob of about 100 men dressed in white attacked and injured 45 people, including one pregnant woman. Many people accused the police of not doing their job of protecting the public because they arrived right after the mob had left, despite the numerous phone calls. No arrests were made. From here, the violence continued to increase.
Aleena Bano, a junior at Mt. Hebron stated, “I think if these protests were to happen here in the United States, it would be shut down immediately if it got too violent. We saw this with the Baltimore riots a few years ago.”
Despite the violence in the county, and as the months go on without a pleasing answer for the activists, the people have continued to fight for what they want.
The protests in Hong Kong have lasted for an abnormally long amount of time according to some.
“I don’t think they are going to give up, they don’t really have a choice. Because the minute they give up, then they’re going to extradite anyone from Hong Kong back to Mainland China. It seems like they haven’t given up, the news is just covering up a lot of it,” says history teacher Mr. Philip Herdman.
As New Years rolled around and people around the world welcomed the year of 2020, Hong Kong spent their New Year’s showing a new decade wouldn’t stop them from having their voices heard. Hong Kong residents show no signs of backing down, and continue protesting to this day.