The Protest of Freedom


Photo Credit: Lin Zhendong

Protestors rally at Hong Kong on June 26 to protest the extradition bill.

Allison Sun, Contributor

Hong Kong, the city that has the world’s most free economy, used to be a colony of the British Empire at the end of the first Opium War. The territory was returned to China in 1997. As a special administrative region in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from mainland China under the principal of “one country, two systems”. Hong Kong is uncensored, which means you are able to access to “foreign Internets”, such as, Google, YouTube, and Instagram. However, Hong Kong’s Freedom now is endangered. Three months ago, Hong Kong started a protest with two million people involved. It began with the aim of withdrawing an extradition bill proposed by the Hong Kong government. If the bill were enacted, it would allow local authorities to detain people who are wanted in places that Hong Kong does not have extradition agreements with. Initially, the bill was fairly non-controversial, but later concerns were raised that the bill would place Hong Kong citizens and visitors under mainland Chinese jurisdiction, while at the same time, undermining the autonomy of the region, and people’s rights and freedom in Hong Kong. This protest is called the anti- extradition bill protest, mainly demanding full withdraw of the extradition bill. But, as the protest continued on without a official government response to end it, violence caused the police forces to take actions. Protesters who carried weapons and damaged the city’s infrastructure were arrested. As the anger of protesters boiled, the protest devolved into total chaos and more demands were made. Now, protesters not only demand full withdraw of the extradition bill, they also want retraction of the characterization of the protests as “riots”, release and exoneration of arrested protesters, establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into police behavior, universal suffrage for legislative council and chief executive elections, and resignation of Carrie Lam, a Hong Kong politician and Chief Secretary for Administration.