They are in for one hell of a fight. In the face of the possibility of Beijing authorizing live rounds for use against the protestors fighting back at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, several hundred student protestors stand strong…hopefully. The city around them attempted to break the police blockade using umbrellas as shields before tear gas drove them back. The students who’ve turned the university into a fortress are now being urged by the university president to turn themselves in.
In case you forgot WHY all of this is happening, let us backtrack to June and reiterate what is going on. See Hong Kong, the former British colony was allowed to maintain certain freedoms when the British gave the city up in 1997. They were to enjoy a semi-autonomous way of life until 2047 when they’d be brought into the fold of “big” China. However, there was an extradition bill set to be voted on in Hong Kong that would allow China to extradite and prosecute Hong Kong citizens for actions that were criminal in China, but not in Hong Kong. As time went on, the protestors demanded even more freedoms to combat Beijing’s power grab in Hong Kong. This did not sit well with the powers that be, who ask for nothing really, except that the citizens obey, at every turn, the government.
So now here we are, at a point of no return as we wrote last week. Despite the tear gas and rubber bullets, the students have already allegedly put an arrow through a police officer (media officer’s) leg. Petrol bombs and Molotov cocktails being flung by arm or catapult have so far kept the police at bay. The uncertainty now is if the police are going to be authorized to use live rounds. Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong has urged people to just obey the police. The same police who’ve beaten and arrested peaceful protestors. The same police that have destroyed property. The same police that have made it necessary for Hong Kongers to scream their names at the top of their lungs along with “I will not commit suicide”, as many protestors have “committed suicide” after being taken into custody.
As the world remembers the defiance shown in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, we urge the students and protestors to completely disregard the statements made by both Carrie Lam and the president of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Don’t obey. Don’t cave. The world is watching. The world is with you and we will remember.