The Hong Kong protests, originally started in March 2019, are ongoing. It is crucial to understand what is going on and why it is so important.
In late March, the government of Hong Kong introduced a bill known as the “Fugitive Offenders Amendment Bill”.The bill allowed for the extradition of fugitives to areas in which Hong Kong does not currently have extradition agreements with.
One of the places named in this bill was mainland China. This has caused some concern that residents and tourists in Hong Kong could be subjected to the unfair justice system of China. In turn, this bill spurred widespread protests, not only in Hong Kong, but in other countries as well.
Protestors demand the government to perform five actions in order to quell the outraged people: the withdrawal of the bill, the release of arrested protesters, investigation into police brutality and misconduct, a retraction of the labelling of the protests as riots, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam's resignation (1). The phrase “five demands” has been a sort of working catchphrase for the protestors, a rallying cry that the people of Hong Kong use to inspire hope and the continuation of their mini-revolution.
The bill was finally suspended in late September, but protestors felt it was a little too late. From here, the violence seen in the protests started to spike. From an 18-year-old being shot in the chest, to a lawmaker being stabbed by a man feigning support for the government, to a standoff between college students and police, it may seem as if these protests are off the rails.
On the other hand,when you consider what the people of Hong Kong are fighting against, doubts surrounding their actions seem to fade even in the minds of the most conservative-minded people. The Chinese micro-state has seen a bit of a political revolution as well, with the pro-democracy party of Hong Kong now controlling almost every council seat possible. he people are still not satisfied, and with almost a million and a half people showing up to a demonstration on New Year’s Day, the protestors show no signs of slowing down until their demands are met. As Thomas Paine laid out for the common man of America in Common Sense, “Every thing that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, 'TIS TIME TO PART.”, words that the protestors in Hong Kong seem to adhere to as they remain steadfast in their efforts to preserve their freedom.