For those who have no clue what I'm referring to, this is a good article to read: Hong Kong Protests: What You Need To Know.
I want to direct everyone to my best friend's post about this event on his blog here.
Also, for those interested in following live the events as they unfold, I recommend this Reddit thread here.
***NOTE: I am not currently in Hong Kong right now, so I'm only getting my information from online media sources. I encourage everyone to follow various news sources to obtain information.
|Photo credit to Tyrone Siu/Reuters|
For those who don't know what's going on in Hong Kong right now...tensions have been rising between China and Hong Kong (not that it's a new thing, it's been so since 1997). The recent protests stem from the Chinese government's move to introduce political reform to Hong Kong. Previously, I wrote a post about the Civil Referendum regarding voting for the Chief Executive (here) and briefly mentioned the "White Skin Book", which is how the Chinese government aims to interpret and implement legal reform. These events have all led to the pro-democracy protests known today as Occupy Central (by now, we can even say it's Occupy Hong Kong).
Everyone remembers 6/4 or the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Although these events were set in China, Hong Kong looked to this event as a beacon of hope for democracy throughout the nation. The wounds from then are still fresh.
How are the protests happening right now in Hong Kong going to be any different?
As of up to the minute news (as I'm struggling to find words), the Hong Kong police have been throwing tear gas at protestors, adults and children alike, to deter them from crowding various districts of Hong Kong. A friend of mine reported seeing terrified children witnessing violence from the police.
University and high school children have left their homes and their schools to join in this protest. The city is in total chaos. MTR station entrances are barricaded.
Despite all of this, I am receiving reports that Occupy Central protestors remain non-violent. There are no broken store-front windows and no torched cars. The situation right now involves blocked traffic and barricaded areas. Yet, protestors are using umbrellas and masks to protect themselves from the tear gas and brute force used on them by the police. What madness is this?!
|Me in front of the High Court before the lawyers' march in June 2014.|
I am so proud that the people of Hong Kong, especially young students, are taking the time to educate themselves and stand up for what they believe is right. Their courage is admirable and I wish them nothing but the best.
This is not a conflict that will be solved anytime soon, but it is comforting to believe that there are people willing to stand up to the Chinese government and demand their rights to democracy.
To those in Hong Kong as this is happening, please stay safe.
If you are a part of these protests, definitely stay safe. Stay strong. Stay vigilant. I support you.