FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY for HONG KONG SAVE HONG KONG!
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1.What is happening in Hong Kong?
The people of Hong Kong are out in the streets marching. This is an historical and crucial moment for the future of Hong Kong. Hong Kong citizens have been protesting and marching for more than a month in the streets against a bill- The extradition bill. It will lead people who have committed the crime in China, regardless the nationality, would be extradited to China for trial, that includes political and religious prisoners. The neglection of the government over public opinion has led 1 million people, which is more than 1/ 7 of its population marching the street peacefully. However the government decided to respond the crowd using pepper spray, tear gas, CS gas, rubber bullet etc... which in return causing 2 million people, a double of the number of protesters, marching the street next week. The protest is about a lot more than a bill, it is about the status of Hong Kong and the power that China has over it. It is about a fight to preserve human rights, democracy and freedom that people have in Hong Kong. After 2 protests and chaotic clashes, the government has decided to postpone the bill. So, if the government decides to compromise, what else do we want?
Today Hong Kong's people have 5 requests that are fighting for:
1. Full withdrawal of the extradition bill law.
2. Withdrawal of defining the protests as ‘riots’
3. The unconditional release of all arrested protesters.
4. Set up an independent commission to investigate and process Police's abuse of power.
5. Dissolve the Legislation Council with an executive order and have a genuine Universal suffrage.
2. Isn’t Hong Kong a part of China?
Yes, politically it is part of China, and the majority of the protesters are not trying to undermine this fact. China and Hong Kong are two very different places with a complex political relationship however as a former colony of the UK, when we were handed from UK to China in 1997, we were guaranteed to be a high degree autonomy for 50 years, until 2047. The idea of ‘One country, two systems’ is supposed to be an experiment and to be applied to Taiwan in the future if it comes to the case. Ideally in Hong Kong, freedom of speech, press freedom, freedom to assembly is protected. However, just like the food you order in a restaurant and the picture in the menu, you would realise reality can be really different from expectation, in fact, as China grown stronger, our freedom is eroded continuously in all sorts of perspectives. But the past 22 years under Chinese rule have shown that this formula was never an equation: one country always took precedence over two systems.
3. So, What is the situation now?
After more than a million people attended the first round of marches, the Hong Kong government has seemed to disappear from view. The inaction of the administration has left the police, normally the agency of last resort, as the only public interface between the authorities and those they govern. That “contact” has increasingly taken the form of teargas, rubber bullets and bean bags fired at the people’ (The guardian, 2019), and every protests the situation only get worse. Two weeks ago, hundreds of white-shirted mafias rampaged through subway trains brutally beating all in their path with bamboo poles and metal rods, especially targeting at the protesters. Yes this was no movie. The police were mysteriously and suspiciously absent and emergency services didn’t answer the 24,000 phone calls seeking help. By the end of last Sunday night, 45 people were in hospital. The absence of authority reflects the disappearance of governance during this political crisis, and when the chief executive (you can consider it as a mayor of a city) has emerged, she has been seen flanked by police, praising police actions or visiting injured policemen in hospital. She has not, as yet, visited any ordinary citizens injured by the gang members. (The Guardian, 2019) She is only seen as a puppet controlled by China. In the absence of dialogue, violence is the only conversation between the two sides and every weekend the stakes are ratcheted higher. While police force is getting more violent to the protesters, with expected political prosecution , in return this has fuelled a weekend insurgency among a very small number of radical protesters, whose methods are increasingly supported by desperate and disenchanted peaceful demonstrators. (The guardians) Nobody can predict what Hong Kong will look like at the end of the summer. What is certain, though, is that the city can no longer return to the way it once was. Lim, Louisa and Ilaria, Maria Sala. “It’s as if Hong Kong is now unmoored, so fast have the old ways unravelled.” The guardian, 28 July 2019
4. Why the Universal Suffrage is so important?
People are the base of a democracy " DO HEAR THE PEOPLE"
If HK's Legislature votes on the bill most probably it will pass. Hong Kong's people don't vote for their Leaders, the Chief Executive is nominated by a small group and approved by China. Like most of the Democracy also Hong Kong has legislature with democratically elected representatives. It is called Legislative Council and it has 70 seats. Hong Kong has many political parties pro-democracy or pro-China. In the history the pro-democracy party from 1998 have always won but they occupy LESS than half of the seats in the Legislative Council because when Hong Kong's people go to vote the can only vote for 40 of the 70 seats available, the others 30 are chosen by business groups of Hong Kong. These 30 seats are voted by corporations, and big business group who has an incentive to be friendly with China, those 30 seats are occupied by pro-china political parties. When Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997 Hong Kong and China signed an agreement that eventually all members of the Legislative Council would be elected by the citizen with UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, but this never happen and ever since the handover pro-china parties have controlled the Legislative Council despite have never won more than 50% of the popular vote. The agreement " one country two system" wouldn't last forever, in 2047 Hong Kong is expected to fully become part of China. China isn't waiting for the deal to expire, pro-democracy leaders have been arrested and convicted under the rule of chinese leader Xi Jinping. 9 leaders were arrested for the protest in 2014, according to court Tai, Chan and Chu conspired to encourage “unlawful obstruction of public places and roads.” The other six activists were convicted of varying charges for their involvement in the 2014 campaign. In 2003 1 million hongkongers successfully fought a law that would have punished speaking out against china. In 2014 tens of thousands of protesters occupied the city for a month to protest China's influence over HK political elections.
5.What can you do?
‘The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.’ Martin Luther King Technically, nothing much. You can sign and share this petition and you can also sign the petition ‘‘Condemn Hong Kong Police for Excessive Force against Citizens & Form Independent Committee." (visit the website by simply google condemn hong kong police for excessive force)
But more importantly, we want you to witness what we are going through and show us your support. ‘You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.’ (Lincoln)
As China has grown stronger, other countries tend not to voice out against China. However, on an individual level, we want you to know, somewhere in the world, there are people trying to hard to fight for what you guys have earned- Democracy and Freedom. So, don’t take it for granted!
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