There are dates on the calendar that bring back uncomfortable, distressing or even painful memories—of natural disasters, of gun violence, of bloody government crackdowns. They give us what pop psychologists call “anniversary blues.” Today is one of those days.
Saturday marks five years since the Chinese government decided against fully democratic elections in Hong Kong, sparking the 2014 Umbrella Movement that followed. On the eve of this important anniversary in the pro-democracy movement, authorities in Hong Kong arrested dozens of pro-democracy activists on Friday. Among them were Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow.
The Progressive Lawyers Group explains the current law does not allow mainland China to extradite suspects from Hong Kong, but once the amendments are made, anyone who is considered a suspect by mainland China can be sent to the Chinese court, regardless of nationality, as soon as they set foot in Hong Kong.
Lawyer Chris Ng still recalls the chaos of the unrest in Mong Kok in 2016, when clashes over the authorities’ attempts to clear street hawkers escalated into brick hurling and the police firing warning shots into the air.
Hundreds of democracy activists protested outside government headquarters in Hong Kong on Thursday, marking the third anniversary of the start of the Occupy Central campaign for fully democratic elections that brought hundreds of thousands onto the city's streets at its height. Kevin Yam, convenor of the pro-democracy Progressive Lawyers Group, said the struggle for democracy in the former British colony was unlikely to be achieved quickly, however.
"This isn't a flash in the pan; it's going to take a lot of ongoing, hard work from everyone," Yam said. "We will have to swallow our anger and work patiently."
In one of the largest protests since 2014's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, 22,000 protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday. The immediate catalyst for their protest was the jailing last week of three Umbrella Movement protest leaders. Joshua Wong, the international face of Hong Kong's democracy movement, together with his fellow student leaders Alex … Continue reading Beijing’s ‘lawfare’ against dissent in Hong Kong unites fractious opposition
Three years after the 79-day Occupy protests calling for greater democracy in Hong Kong, the young leaders of the movement are going to jail.
Joshua Wong, 20, Nathan Law, 24, and Alex Chow, 26, were sentenced to six months, eight months, and seven months, respectively, by a court in Hong Kong today (Aug. 17) for their actions in the 2014 protests, also known as the Umbrella Movement. Wilson Leung, a practicing lawyer in Hong Kong and member of the Progressive Lawyers Group, said that he still believes judges in Hong Kong are independent of the government. “However, we strongly disagree with the government treating political problems as ‘law and order’ problems and focusing on the prosecution of protestors,” he said.
Hong Kong’s democracy movement has suffered the latest setback in what has been a punishing year after three of its most influential young leaders were jailed for their roles in a protest at the start of a 79-day anti-government occupation known as the umbrella movement. “It smacks of political imprisonment, plain and simple,” said Jason Ng, a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group and the author of Umbrellas in Bloom, a book about Hong Kong’s youth protest movement.
Nearly three years ago, several Hong Kong youth with hopes of greater democracy led a downtown protest that ballooned into thousands and lasted for 79 days. Now, they’re going to jail. “It felt like a punch in the stomach,” said Jason Y. Ng, a lawyer, a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group and personal friend of Wong’s, who has written a book about the Umbrella Movement.
HKFP recently spoke to four authors from a series of soon-to-be-published English titles reflecting on the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer of sovereignty to China. Among the writers featured in the Penguin series is Financial Times correspondent Ben Bland, who attempts to decipher the identity of Hong Kong’s post-handover generation, and lawyer Antony Dapiran, who puts the city’s protest culture into historical and social perspective.
When more high-profile protests such as the Umbrella Movement failed to bring real changes to our political system, what should we realistically aim to achieve through the July 1 marches? When the proliferation of new media allows us to express our political sentiments and views more easily, are protests or marches still relevant? When society is filled with diverse voices, is it still possible to deliver clear and strong messages through rallies?
The July 1 march has its unique and symbolic meaning to us. However, if we want to keep on fighting, what is the way forward?
(Forbes) For the first time since mass protests shut down some of the city's busiest districts and grabbed the world's attention, pro-democracy activists were out on the streets again this afternoon to continue their campaign.