After three months of protests, beatings, violence, and intimidation, the people of Hong Kong get to keep their region safe from communism. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has withdrawn the controversial bill that would allow Chinese officials to extradite breakers of Chinese law to the mainland.
This is BIG!
It’s a HUGE win for democracy…
But an even BIGGER win for the people of Hong Kong.
This shows them that their voice matters…
That, in a democracy, the people truly hold the power. Lam’s taking the bill off the table is proof of this.
This battle has been going on for MONTHS!
The people began to protest in June, justifiably angry that this bill created a loophole for communism to rule in Hong Kong without Hong Kong actually becoming communist.
The people knew this…
And took to the streets to protest this unfair and underhanded move to by their own government, protecting their rights as citizens.
The Power Of The People
The protestors started to marching and haven’t really let up since, making five demands of their government officials. In addition to canceling the extradition bill, protestors asked for more democracy by allowing universal voting, amnesty for arrested protestors, changing the verbiage of the government calling the protests “riots”, and an independent inquiry into police brutality.
Lam saw fit to grant just this first demand…
But protestors and citizens are hoping that there is some kind of resolution found for the rest of their demands as well.
The fact that she has made a complete 180 on this subject is interesting. Up until today, she has adamantly refused to withdraw the extradition bill – but something has obviously changed.
“We must find ways to address the discontent in society and look for solutions,” the besieged leader said in a statement, “After more than two months of social unrest, it is obvious to many that this discontentment extends far beyond the bill.”
And she’s right…
People can only be oppressed for so long before they begin lashing out at those in power.
Her delay in removing the bill, while it may placate some for now, could have come too late; there are many, even some among her own colleagues, that acknowledge that what started out about the bill has grown into something even bigger.
Power TO The People
One of Hong Kong’s lawmakers, Michael Tien, said as much in a statement: “I believe the withdrawal of the bill … may be too late because this movement has become more than the bill.”
And if what is coming out of the protestors camp is accurate, then Tien may be making an accurate prediction.
One of the leading activists for the movement in Hong Kong, Joshua Wong, had a few things to say on Twitter about the move: “Initial response to Carrie Lam: 1. Too little and too late now — Carrie Lam’s response comes after seven lives sacrificed, more than 1,200 protestors arrested, in which many are mistreated in the police station.”
“Too little too late…”
That seems to be a running theme with this situation. While it started out about the bill, the protestors aren’t happy or content with getting just one of their demands answered.
Wong continued, “Carrie Lam’s repeated failure in understanding the situation has made this announcement completely out of touch – She needs to address to ALL Five Demands: STOP PROSECUTION, STOP CALLING US RIOTERS, INDEPENDENT INQUIRY OF POLICE, and FREE ELECTION!”
One down, four more to go…
The only question is: will the protestors get satisfaction?
Or will they have to accept this is the only request they’ll be given?
If Lam doesn’t bend…
It’s safe to say that the protests will continue.
However, while today’s victory may not be total…
It is still something the free world should take a moment to celebrate.
This could have gone in a worse direction and we should all be thankful that cooler heads prevailed.
Let’s hope that Lam and other officials continue down this road to liberty and freedom. The future of Hong Kong depends on it.
“Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.” ― Bob Marley