Freedom isn’t free.
Last week, waves of protests against an Extradition Bill took place in Hong Kong. The first protest gained international attention, as one million demonstrators marched peacefully to oppose this controversial legislative proposal.
As the local government remained indifferent, the protest turned ugly and clashes were seen between the young protesters and riot police. 150 canisters of tear gas, 20 rounds of bean bag bullets, and several rounds of rubber bullets were used to disperse the protesters. Violence erupted at this global financial centre’s protest, and the government decided to suspend the legislation.
Within a few days, two million Hongkongers demonstrated again to demand the withdrawal of the Extradition Bill, resignation of Hong Kong’s leader, and release of protesters being charged with “rioting”. The Hong Kong leader only apologised. The bill wasn’t completely withdrawn.
Between these events, a tragedy occurred. A 35-year-old surnamed Leung climbed up to the rooftop of a shopping mall and displayed a banner, reading “No extradition to China, total withdrawal of the Extradition Bill, we are not rioters, release the students and injured, Carrie Lam steps down, help Hong Kong.” After standing for 5 hours, he fell to the ground and was later certified dead.
Mr. Leung’s death is, perhaps, a symbol of Hong Kong’s bygone legacies. Arguably, Leung has become the first man to die in the name of defending Hong Kong’s core principles of “One Country, Two Systems”, “High Degree of Autonomy” and “50 Years Remain Unchanged” under an international treaty signed between Britain and China in 1984.Continue reading