Hong Kong Chaos

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Hong Kong Chaos

Olivia Frank, Reporter

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Recently in Hong Kong riots have broken out.  For months the original protests were over a controversial extradition bill that could have had residents of Hong Kong sent back to mainland China. Since then the protest has evolved to be about much wider concerns about democracy in the former British colony and the fear of losing a “high degree of autonomy” in general.

Ensuing actions by the police as well as what was seen as an illegitimate legislative process of the bill are said to be what sparked additional protests throughout the city. Protestors also claim that the chaos they are causing is also because of police brutality. As the protests have progressed, five key demands have been laid out. These demands include the withdrawal of the bill, the release of arrested protestors, a complete retraction of the characterization of the protests as “riots”, the resignation of chief executive Carrie Lam, and the introduction of universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

Since June over a million people have been marching for this cause but the government has insisted that it would keep pushing the bill. The refusal to withdraw the bill caused a violent confrontation between the protestors and the police outside of the Legislative Council Complex. Tear gas and rubber bullets have been deployed as a result. Spreading through different districts confrontations were met involving the police, activists on both sides, suspected triad members and local residents. The bill was finally withdrawn on October 23 but the protesters are still angered over the other four demands. As the protests went on the confrontations between both sides became increasingly more violent. This resulted in the police seizing the nearby Chinese University of Hong Kong as retaliation. This resulted in a large number of major injuries from both sides as well as mass arrests.

 

The protests have been described as “leaderless” and have upheld the water to pressure the government using that and other various tactics. These protests have resulted in two deaths and several suicides. Protesters had targeted airports as a safe place to protest off the streets but since then it has become a commonplace of confrontation. Currently, the protestors have been named as violent mobs and criminals. China is afraid that if these protests continue it will hurt more than just the global image of the city.

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