In the video below, what looks like a Hollywood movie is the reality just a couple of weeks ago in Hong Kong. Riot police and protesters have been clashing for months as the streets become filled with hundreds of tear gas canisters and Molotov cocktails. Having covered the G20 summit in Toronto, these scenes appear much more tense than what I saw during those protests, and even those were filled with vandalism, pepper spray, burning cars and rubber bullets.
There are obviously two perspectives as to what is going on, the Mainland China perspective and that of the Hong Kong protesters who feel Mainland China is acting wrongly. From the perspective of Mainland China, the protests in Hong Kong are fundamentally the result of Western interference and attempts at a ‘soft recolonization’ of Hong Kong. Their arguments have some merit.
From the Hongkongers perspective, tensions rose after the introduction of an extradition bill that threatened residents’ freedoms. Protesters are demanding Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam resigns. They are also calling for:
- The complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill
- The government to withdraw the use of the word “riot” in relation to protests
- The unconditional release of arrested protesters and charges against them dropped
- An independent inquiry into police behaviour
- Implementation of genuine universal suffrage
As with many things people are feeling at the moment, big government has been overreaching for quite some time, and freedoms continue to be cut while quality of life in our fast-paced modern society diminishes. What we must remember when viewing these issues is we can’t singularly look at each one and determine whether it’s right or wrong so easily. People are exposed to ‘hits’ from every direction to their wallets, freedom, health, lifestyle and psyche and our world is reflecting the feeling that ‘enough is enough.’
Since much of the time we aren’t sure what else to do, people fight back, they do what they think will lead them to being heard and having a solution brought forth. is this the best way forward? Perhaps not, but when it becomes clear to people that their governments and the voting process do not work in their benefit nor favor, this is sometimes what they revert to.
Video credit: Tom Grundy/HKFP
More at http://www.hongkongfp.com – Hong Kong’s only not-for-profit, independent English-language news source.
H/T: Twisted Sifter