The western media has given very little attention to the massive protests in Hong Kong, but the story is a big deal.
The protestors have taken to the streets to protest the Chinese government. The massive crowds began gathering in June to protest a new law that would have allowed the Chinese government to extradite Hong Kong citizens to mainland China to answer for alleged crimes.
The protestors fear that this extradition law would be abused by the Chinese government, allowing them to target those who speak out against the communist regime.
As I wrote in a previous article, the relationship between Hong Kong and China has always been a rocky one. Hong Kong was under British control for 150 years until, in 1997, it was handed over to China. Since then, the two countries have frequently been in conflict. Technically, Hong Kong is part of China and is subject to the Chinese government. However, Hong Kong also has its own semi-autonomous government that is frequently at odds with China.
The citizens of Hong Kong are bringing attention to oppressive acts of the Chinese.
China continues to silence dissent and violate human rights on a grand scale. The Communist Party has been oppressing Christians, Muslims, and other religious groups, and has tried to erase atrocities like the Tiananmen Massacre from the history books.
Human rights activists in Chinese jurisdictions are subjected to inhumane treatment, including arbitrary detention and unfair imprisonment, and many simply disappear under mysterious circumstances. The government maintains tight control over the internet, mass media, and academia.
The Latest Update from Hong Kong
On Monday, the BBC reported that “police fired tear gas at several locations as protesters rallied into the night, setting fires and besieging police stations. In the North Point district, which has a reputation for pro-Beijing sympathies, men wielding long poles clashed with demonstrators before falling back.
More than 80 people were arrested, in addition to the 420 detained since 9 June. In that time, police said they had used more than 1,000 tear gas canisters and 160 rubber bullets.
Protest leaders had called for a general strike. While many people made it to work, in some areas protesters blocked trains from leaving stations and scuffled with commuters. Several lines of the Mass Transit Railway(MTR) were suspended for a time, and the Cross-Harbor Tunnel was also blocked.”
The protests, which started out as a demonstration against the extradition law, has developed into a wider indictment of the Chinese regime. The BBC reported that the extradition bill has now been suspended, however, the demonstrators want it fully withdrawn.
They also are demanding an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality and the dropping of riot charges linked to the protests.
The longer these protests occur, the more likely it becomes that the Chinese will send in their military to end the demonstrations. This has been their method with other protests, most notably the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989.
Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that this time. However, it is becoming increasingly more likely that the Chinese will make a move in the near future.