I am a Western educated Hong Konger who has seen the protests up close. AMA!
Hello all! I was born in Canada but spent most of my years in Hong Kong until my university years which were spent in Britain.
I’m pro-protestor, but am able to see both sides of the arguments. I’ll attempt to answer your questions as well as possible. Ask me anything!
https://imgur.com/a/QS6Ienz - video taken last week at the 1.7 million strong protest march. Not showing my face for obvious reasons.
EDIT: some context, why we are protesting and the Five Demands laid out by protestors.
Earlier this year, Chief Executive (essentially the mayor of Hong Kong) Carrie Lam proposed an extradition bill which would enable local authorities to arrest, detain and extradite people who are wanted in regions the SAR currently do not have extradition treaties with, the main one of which is mainland China. The casus belli for this was regarding a murder case which took place in Taiwan. However, many Hong Kongers view this as a serious threat to Hong Kong’s autonomy and the start of a path down autocratic communism which would allow people to be extradited to the mainland for perceived slights where the legal system is terribly corrupt.
What started off as peaceful marches and protests turned violent once the police started using tear gas and rubber bullets against protestors who were using tactics reminiscent of the 2014 Umbrella Revolution; organizing sit ins on major roads, marching etc. Now, there is a list of five demands which is being touted by protestors which the government is refusing to not only agree to but even acknowledge.
Full withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill. Lam has earlier suspended the bill and declared it ‘dead’, but a mere suspension could mean another push to pass it once the current storm is over.
An independent enquiry into police brutality or alleged excessive violence and collaboration with triad (gangs) groups around the city. There are allegations that the police cooperated with triad groups to attack protestors. I won’t go into detail here, but here’s a good read: https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/07/22/hong-kong-police-made-no-arrests-mob-assaulted-commuters-protesters-journalists-yuen-long/
Retraction of the ‘rioter’ definition and classification of the protestors, a crime which carries a potentially hefty jail sentence.
Amnesty for those who have been arrested - around 750 since the start of the protests.
Universal suffrage for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive. At the moment, only half the seats in Legco - the body which makes the city's laws - are directly elected by voters. The Chief Executive is elected by a 1,200-member commitee considered to be mainly controlled by Beijing. This is also a goal which was slated in Basic Law, which details the region’s relations with China and rights of citizens.