The past several weeks have seen a resumption of the All-black Protest activities that have been on a hiatus after the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong began in late 2019. Even amidst the restrictions and lockdowns, Hong Kongers were protesting in luxury shopping malls about the complete lack of political representation felt in light of the intransigence of Carrie Lam refusing to step down after her gross mismanagement led Hong Kong to the brink of civil collapse.
In the past several days, the protests have increased in intensity and the police have taken more aggressive steps to arrest peaceful protestors, but also to detain and deport journalists who are keeping this story alive.
This is all occurring in the midst of further pushes by the largely unelected (through universal suffrage) pro-Beijing wing of the Legislative Council aims to push through a raft of unpopular measures aimed at curtailing the free speech of Hong Kongers
Their likely aim is to pass these measures before further election losses in September. These elections include the remaining 55% of the LegCo that is actually popularly elected by the people, which collectively must stand against the pro-Beijing elites and their “functional constituencies,” who effectively control 45% of the legislature and the entire executive branch despite representing considerably less than 10% of the entire Hong Kong population.
The CCP has been colluding with pro-Beijing forces, including the DAB party, working since the British handed Hong Kong over to China on a silver platter in 1997. In recent months they have increase these efforts including slimming down the chain of command in Hong Kong and its relationships with the CCP. These include Luo Huining (駱惠寕) in Hong Kong at the Liaison Office and Xia Baolong (夏寶龍) in Beijing at the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. Both men were put into their positions earlier this year and have thoroughly proved their loyalty to CCP chairman Xi Jinping.
Protests did die off in Hong Kong for a time due to Lam’s failure to contain Coronavirus, namely by refusing to shut down travel with China or close the borders causing the spread to continue much longer than originally anticipated. Now that the spread of the virus has been plateauing, and with the displeasure of the citizens with a government never having dissipated, protests are ramping back up. The amount of people currently protesting in Hong Kong is approaching the numbers seen in late 2019.
This is making Beijing and the corrupt Hong Kong leadership even more frightened. They have done everything they can, such as those that catalyzed these protests in the first place, the extradition law, but also new ones aiming to restrict free speech when critical of the PRC. As they’re snatching of power throughout Hong Kong and from outside their borders, they’re learning that they cannot silence the Hong Kong people and their desire to be free and in control of their own political destiny.
That is why we’re seeing, as has been done since the beginning of the protests, ever escalating level of belligerence on the part of those trying to oppress the Hong Kong people. Currently this bellicosity and aversion to compromising even an inch to the Hong Kong people is taking many forms.
An example of this is a new proposed law that would make it illegal for people in Hong Kong to mock the Chinese National Anthem, a reprehensible act threatening free speech rights in Hong Kong. While this may seem relatively benign in comparison to things like the extradition law, which could literally send citizens to their deaths in China, it is a very apt example of how basic freedoms are being eroded in Hong Kong.
For example the US, country with some of the most liberal Free Speech laws in the world, allows its people to burn the country’s flag. While most Americans would not like the flag burning, it is fundamentally the right of the citizens to speak out and protest the government in whatever way they see fit, regardless of who might take umbrage.
Just days ago, the Hong Kong Independent Police Complaint Council (IPCC) released a report that essentially amounted to state-sponsored propaganda, and by state we mean the People’s Republic of China. The stated purpose of the report was to analyze what had happened in the Hong Kong protest since June of last year. Amnesty International called the report “misleading” and said, “the report has no impartiality, and the IPCC has no power to conduct a truly independent investigation. In fact, this report fails miserably to even ‘provide a big picture.’” (https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/05/hong-kong-impotent-and-biased-ipcc-report-into-protests-fails-to-bring-justice-any-closer/)
When a government grows beyond the reproach of its citizens, it has outlived its usefulness and ability to protect rights that should be guaranteed to every person on this planet.
Hong Kong protesters are not going away, every day their numbers grow, and they become increasingly resolute in their disdain for the corrupt leaders. While greedy corporate outlets in the mainstream media may have forgotten about Hong Kong, the FCP has not and we never will. We who genuinely care about the freedom and equality of all citizens will never ever stop protesting, petitioning our leaders, and telling everyone we know that Hong Kongers deserve to breathe free air in a representative democracy, one promised to them in the Basic Law by the PRC, and have leaders who are accountable for their actions
Writers: Jordan F., Abby P. and Ari B.