Two Million Protesters Flood Streets of Hong Kong: What’s It All About?

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by Mish Shedlock, The Maven:

Protests began a week ago when the Hong Kong government passed a bill authorizing extraditions to mainland China.

The extradition legislation would allow residents and visitors to be sent for trial in China’s Communist-controlled courts, effectively squashing freedom of speech.

Hong Kong’s chief, Carrie Lam, rescinded the bill and even issued a rare apology following a week of massive protests, but that is not enough.

The protesters demand the resignation of Lam who insisted on pushing through the legislation despite the initial public outcry.

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Please consider Almost 2 Million Protesters Hit Hong Kong Streets.

Hong Kong rose up in defiance, jamming the streets with as many as 2 million people to demand leader Carrie Lam’s resignation a day after she suspended a contentious extradition bill. Anger spilled over at a proposed law protesters say threatens the island’s tenuous autonomy from a more authoritarian China.

“I have never seen such a big crowd,” said Bonnie Leung, a leader of the protest organizers.

Hong Kong Protest Google Earth View

Apology Too Late

Lam issued a formal apology on Sunday night. A government statement said she “pledged to adopt a most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements in serving the public.”

Already, her decision to suspend the bill was considered, compared to the harder line normally adopted by her backers in China, as extraordinary. But protesters noted that her apology did not go much further in substance – leaving open the options of fully killing the measure or her resigning.

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Peaceful Protest

Lianain Films on Twitter

Beijing Puppet

The leader of Hong Kong is nothing more than a Beijing puppet.

Wikipedia notes “The highest government office of Hong Kong, the Chief Executive, is selected by a 1,200-member Election Committee (EC) which is divided into various subsectors and dominated by pro-Beijing politicians and tycoons.”

2019 Hong Kong Standstill

Kids, Not Rioters

The Guardian reports: They’re kids, not rioters: new generation of protesters bring Hong Kong to standstill.

On Wednesday, demonstrations spiraled into the worst political violence since the handover from British rule, with police firing teargas and rubber bullets and attacking protesters.

“Before this week I had never been on a protest,” said 28-year-old Lau. “But I am a teacher, and I realised if I didn’t come I wouldn’t be able to face my students. This is their future.” Like many others, she had been unnerved by the arrests of activists and did not want her full name printed.

Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, had agreed to suspend the extradition bill after a week of protests, perhaps the most serious government climbdown in the face of public pressure since a security law was dropped in 2003. But if she hoped to defuse public anger before Sunday’s march, she badly misjudged the city’s mood.

“Suspending the law but not cancelling it is like holding a knife over someone’s head and saying, ‘I’m not going to kill you now.’ But you could do it any time,” said Betty, an 18-year-old protester who just finished school. “We’re fighting for our freedom.”

“Our demands are clear. She hasn’t addressed any of them,” said a protester, William Cheung, 31. “And why can’t she apologize in front of a camera, rather than in a dry official statement?”

Many protesters also carried white flowers in tribute to a man who fell to his death on Saturday night while hanging up a large protest banner on a building in the town centre. Several people described the 35-year-old, who has not been identified, as their movement’s “first martyr”.

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