Hong Kong Riots


Flor Mendez, Writer

Hong Kong has been facing major political problems. Hong Kong belongs to China but they have their own currency, political system, and cultural identity.  Protesters are now demanding greater democracy and an inquiry into alleged police brutality. According to BBC News, the protesters are adamant they want to see the withdrawal of the extradition bill, which they fear could lead to Hong Kong residents who legally protest against Chinese activities “disappear”.

     On 9 June, at the first of the big marches, between 240,000 people took to the streets, in a bid to get the bill thrown out. Violence ensued and riot police used tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators, of which they were arrested and others had their details taken. In August violent outbreaks at Hong Kong airport set a newly combative tone, with protesters attacking and temporarily detaining two people. A smaller group of protesters had ended with clashes and vandalism, including putting a banner in the seat of government that said: “there are no rioters, there is only tyranny”. Among the protests, there was one in reaction to an attack on dozens of residents, journalists, and subway stations passengers in the Yuen Long area of the New Territories, close to the border with the mainland, which some have blamed on triads and others have claimed may have been instigated by the Chinese. 

      There have been about 1,117 people arrested. People trade blows and verbal abuse, with outbreaks of violence occurring mainly in the North Point and Fortress Hill area. Protests supporting the Hong Kong movement have spread across the globe, with rallies taking place in the UK, France, the US, Canada, and Australia. According to BBC News, the police said protesters threw as many as 100 firebombs over the weekend and displayed one they seized. The police arrested 63 people in Prince Edward and the Mong Kok subway stations. They included a 13-year-old boy who was arrested with two gasoline bombs. So far, China’s leaders have not commented publicly on the violence over the weekend. The mainland Chinese news media, though, warned the protesters that the central government would not back down. The protests are still going on and we don’t know when they will end.