Writer: Zoe Lau
Editor: Tonwaan Apiratikiat
Graphic Designer: Nasya Nethania
Here are the basics...
Geographically, Hong Kong and Macau are in China but systematically and judicially they are both independent. The rest of mainland China uses socialism with Chinese characteristics, which can be described to be as communist society. The Hong Kong government has slowly but steadily given in to Beijing, and has failed to deliver genuine democracy. We didn’t have an electoral reform until our Umbrella Revolution merely six years ago. The Umbrella Revolution was a 79 day occupation strike after the 2014-15 Hong Kong Electoral Reform where Beijing had heavily infiltrated the system and influenced the candidates, making it an unfair election. It took a 79 day strike for the government to recognize it, and resulted in too many casualties.
Hong Kong, Sep 24 2014 (Vincent YU, AP)
Six years later, the extradition bill was introduced. It allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China under certain circumstances. Protestors argued the bill would give China greater influence over Hong Kong and could be used to target activists and journalists (Which they have, many activists have been arrested and have not been given a trial.)
So what’s the problem? We’ve had our electoral reform, everything should be fine now. Well, China has introduced a new national security law in Hong Kong. The law criminalises secession (breaking away from China) and subversion (undermining authority of the government). This means that freedom of speech, expression and movement would all be criminalised. The day the security law is introduced is the day democracy in Hong kong dies.
I, alongside many others, live in fear of what the Chinese Communist party will do to us. The police have been injuring and killing innocent protesters without warning as well as having fired close shots without giving warning, which is against the law. There have been cases of the police sexually harassing young girls protesting, telling them to strip down in the middle of the street for a “check over” or tackling a startled teenager. They also failed to protect the citizens against triad attacks the night of Yuen Long, where an armed mob of alleged triad members dressed in white indiscriminately attacked civilians on streets with steel rods and rattan canes, before attacking passengers in nearby Yuen Long station including the elderly, children, journalists and lawmakers. The police have arrested people without reason and have sent them to jail without a fair trial. They have allegedly killed some protesters and blamed it on suicide or accidental death. Blood has been spilled and the very people who are meant to be protecting us are the ones inflicting the wounds.
Hong Kong, July 1st 2020 (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
Hong Kong needs your help; we need your support. People advocate for human rights and liberation but when we needed the world the most, it stood silent and still. Then COVID-19 stuck, and on top of the lack of support from the global community, harassment against Asians rose. Not only did we have to hear people ask if we ate bats, but we were fighting foreign battle that was overlooked by the rest of the world. We were in our own fight, against our own leaders. We are suffering, and the government is benefitting
from the lack of global awareness. People may think that it isn’t a huge deal, or that they can’t help because they are too far away from the problem, but the truth is that we’re just asking for some sort of support, for people to educate and raise awareness, after silently being oppressed by our government for 6 years.
The Five Demands of Hong Kongers:
The Full withdrawal of the extradition bill
Inquiry into alleged police brutality and transparency
Retracting the classification of protesters as “rioters”
Justice and Freedom for arrested protesters
Dual universal suffrage
Seeing the western media ignore the cries of protesters and overlook what has been going on for a decade now makes everything feel bleak and hopeless. (TW) Some have taken their own lives, feeling like they were trapped and alone.
#Save12 has been trending on the timelines of Hong Kong Twitter, as 12 advocates have been wrongfully abducted by the Chinese border police and are now detained in China. The new Security Law allows the trials to be biased and private- and they can face up to life in prison or the death penalty.
Educate yourself and the people around you. Check on BBCNews for unbiased updates on the new laws, there are multiple instagram accounts that report information in English: @internationalfuckccp @bristolstandswithhk @nottsstandwithhk @nlforhk and many more on Twitter and Instagram. Sign petitions, raise it to your local MPs and Government Representatives, show China that the whole world has their eyes on them.
Please help us fight. Fight for those who are oppressed, for those who are captured and abducted and are being treated as less than human, fight. We need to know that the rest of the world will have our back, just like we’ve had theirs.