Hong Kong in the first year, but sees protesters on the back foot




Seven months of mass and often violent rallies began on June 9 last year, with more than a million people taking to the streets to protest a bill that would allow China to surrender to the mainland.

On the 31st anniversary of the breakup of anti-Beijing demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989, protesters attended a candlelight vigil carrying the mask of the Hong Kong independence mask, calling for police to carry out a massive crackdown on public health. Annual Warning. Maiden, Victoria Park, June 4, 2020, in Victoria Park.

On the 31st anniversary of the break-up of anti-Beijing demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989, protesters attended a candlelight vigil carrying a Hong Kong Independence flag, wearing a protective mask, calling for a large-scale crackdown on public health. Annual Warning. Maidan, June 4, 2020, at Victoria Park, China. (Reuters)

Anti-Beijing protests broke out on a year-long hiatus on Tuesday, as mass arrests, sanctions on coronavirus meetings, and national security laws shut down the city's widespread unrest.

Seven months of mass and often violent rallies began on June 9 last year, with more than a million people taking to the streets to protest a bill that would allow China to surrender to the mainland.

As the government dug in, fighting between police and protesters became routine, turning the city's reputation into a tiger and population in a coup against Beijing.

Messaging groups used by protesters called on people to hold flashmob meetings in the evening, though places would be announced one hour ahead of time.

The strategy is aimed at preventing growing police against such celebrations to enforce anti-virus restrictions.

Student unions and unions have announced plans to cancel more members from strike action in the coming days, but Hong Kong's labor movement has had limited impact.

The appointment of city leader Carrie Lam, an unpopular supporter, came as a response to questions about the unrest during her tenure on Tuesday.

"Hong Kong will not tolerate such anarchy," he added on all sides to "learn a lesson."

Lam said Hong Kong needs to prove that residents are "fair and intelligent citizens of the People's Republic of China" if they want to maintain their independence and autonomy.

On January 19, 2020, the Chinese Communist Party boycotted the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong, calling on the protesters to call for electoral reforms.

'Antivirus Software'

Under the 1997 treaty with Britain, totalitarian China agreed to give Hong Kong some independence and autonomy for 50 years.

The fears of protests over the past decade have provided relief to those who are caught up in time, Beijing denies.

Analysts say the position of voice dissatisfaction for Hong Kong has steadily decreased over the past year.

"I don't think the hobby has diminished a lot, but the problem is that a lot of work is not allowed under current conditions," Leung Kai-chi, an analyst at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), told AFP.

Francis Lee, head of CUHK's School of Journalism, said: "People are waiting for the opportunity. They want to come out again ... but they don't."

In addition to the repeal of the extradition bill, the main demands of the protest movement - such as investigating universal suffrage and police tactics - have been rejected by city leadership and Beijing.

Instead, China has unveiled plans for a more comprehensive law - which bypasses the city's legislature altogether - to prevent vandalism, isolation, terrorism and foreign intervention.

China said the anti-vandalism law was aimed at “a small minority” and restored trade confidence.

International companies such as HSBC and Standard Chartered have recently issued auxiliary statements that rely heavily on access to major markets.

On Monday, Beijing's Hong Kong and Macau affairs office deputy head Zhang Xiang compared the "anti-virus software" law to a speech.

"Radical separatists are banned for the abstinence and weakness and timeliness of the central government," he said.

Opponents fear that the law will bring mainstream-style political repression to the trade center.

On May 24, 2020, anti-Beijing protesters revisited Beijing's plans to implement a national security law in Hong Kong, China.
Anti-Beijing protesters have again opposed Beijing's plan to implement a national security law on May 24, 2020 in Beijing, China. (Reuters)
Anti-vandalism laws are routinely used to seal dissent on the mainland.

Sung-gan, an activist congressman who has published three books on the protest movement, said "First (Beijing) Hong Kong loses the hearts and minds of the people and then wants them to be loyal."

“This is a long-standing conflict, a Communist party that upholds ancestry, and Hong Kong people should be willing to suffer and sacrifice as much as they want to find their way so far,” Kang said.

About 9,000 people were arrested last year and more than 1,700 were charged, but by the time the deadly coronavirus came to town in January, the protest movement was already on foot.

Although the local broadcasts are almost over, the virus effectively forbids any protests as emergency laws prohibit more than eight meetings.

However, protests have sprung up since the announcement of plans for the Security Act, including tens of thousands, on the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Rift, observed on June 4.


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