Violence During Hong Kong Protests Continues and Worsens

JJ Cinchonski, Staff Writer

As time goes on, the protests by the people in the city of Hong Kong—an autonomous city of China—continue with no faltering on the sides of the authorities or the protesters. The protests have initiated a war between the authorities and the protesters, with exchanges of tear gas between each group, the police firing rubber bullets into the crowds and the crowds throwing items such as firebombs right back at the police. The situation has escalated to the point where the Chinese military is threatening to interfere. The big question is, how did this large scale of violence between the authorities and the citizens of Hong Kong spark in the first place?

Towards the middle part of this year, the government of Hong Kong considered allowing extradition to China. Extradition is the process of sending criminals from their current residence to the country where they are tried for a crime. In this case, extradition means that criminals, actual or alleged, can be sent from Hong Kong to China for trial. Even though Hong Kong is part of China, the two regions have distinct legal systems requiring a formal extradition bill in order to send criminals between the two.

This angered the people of Hong Kong because they knew that those sent to China for trial would not be given a fair trial, and that there would be a minuscule chance that people extradited to China would ever return. The protests started in June. Even though the extradition bill was suspended by Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, many protesters have taken this opportunity to bring up other issues and demands for the benefit of the people and Hong Kong as a whole.

The protesters wants to turn Hong Kong into a democratic government, led by the pro-democracy group Demostiso. The people of Hong Kong want change, more rights, and more of a say that the current government is not providing them with. Fortunately, Demostiso can give the people what they want. Alongside the demand for democracy, the people who protest no longer want their movement to be referred to as a riot, for they feel that makes them seem like barbaric savages when they are really protesting for a good cause. The protesters are also demanding the release of people who were arrested and jailed on behalf of the protests, as well as the ability to pursue legal action against the police department of Hong Kong for its brutality.

As of today, there seems to be no end to these protests. The Chinese military is increasing its presence in Hong Kong in order to stop the protest and the Hong Kong government has not given in to many of the protesters demands. The violence between the protesters and the authorities escalates every day. One protester even declared that now the protesters are willing to resort to violence since peaceful protesting has done nothing substantial. All of these components combined have caused a stalemate between the government and the protesters. The worst part about this whole situation is that many fear a repeat of Tienanmen Square in Hong Kong. A repeat of an event like that would cause many fatalities, much national and international outrage as well as more protests, which would cause even more violence on a long, bloody chain.