The Hong Kong Protests Continue to Rage On

Charlie Romano, Writer

For the past couple of months, the people of Hong Kong have continued their protests against the country’s government and the People’s Republic of China in order to protect their democracy, with support from people all over the world. Since March 2019,  the people of Hong Kong have been protesting against the government and their plan to allow the government of mainland China to extradite the people of Hong Kong. 

According to an article by BBC, “The proposed changes would have allowed for the Hong Kong government to consider requests from any country for extradition of criminal suspects, even countries with which it doesn’t have an extradition treaty and including mainland China, Taiwan and Macau.” Basically this means that at the request of any country, Hong Kong would be allowed to hand over the information of criminal suspects even if it lacks an extradition treaty with the country.  

As the protests have raged on these past few months, both sides keep the protest alive as more crimes are committed by both sides. According to an article by Reuters, police have used both pepper spray and tear gas in order to subdue the protesters. “The number of protesters had grown by the minute earlier in the afternoon, streaming down Nathan Road to the water’s edge, in front of the dramatic backdrop of Hong Kong island, but many fled after the tear gas and pepper spray were fired.” This reaction was in response to protesters setting buildings on fire and beating up both pedestrians and police officers within the area. 

Many people involved in the protests are younger citizens of Hong Kong that would be heavily impacted by the loss of freedom that will be lost with the expiration of “The Basic Law,” a set of laws that allows the citizens of Hong Kong to have freedom of speech. Although the leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, suspended the extradition bill, the protesters demands eventually grew larger, demanding full democracy and transparency about what the police are doing.

However, as the protests continue to rage on, there have been companies within the United States also getting involved in support of China, while others are supporting the protesters. Companies such as the National Basketball Association, Tiffany & Co., and Blizzard Entertainment have attempted to cut support for the ongoing protests. Most of the controversies around these western companies and their stance on the protests mainly stems from either retracting statements that can be interpreted as support for the cause. However, the main reasons these companies are withdrawing their support is that Chinese companies have large stakes in the company and losing those investments could be dangerous. 

The people of Hong Kong have been protesting and will continue their protest until they’ve successfully protected their democracy from the governments of mainland China and Hong Kong.