HONG KONG PROTESTORS
Protesters in Hong Kong Find Themselves in The Line of Violence.
October 29, 2019
On October 1, 2019, the people of China gathered in the capital to watch the military parade march through and celebrate seventy years since the People’s Republic was founded. Once the festivities resumed in the evening, protesters gathered in Hong Kong to begin a peaceful protest. This was not the first protest sparked in Hong Kong. In fact, protests have been going on since around June of this year. They began due to this being the twenty second anniversary of Britain handing over the territory to China. According to a CNN report, the groups of protesters want a withdrawal of the extradition bill, less police brutality, their protests to not be classified as riots and all protesters that have been arrested so far to be released. Unfortunately smaller locations, such as Kowloon, allowed their protests to become increasingly violent. Buildings were being vandalized and some were burnt. This caused the police to get involved and resulted in a student protester getting shot.
The first protester to be shot by the police was eighteen-year-old student named Tsang Chi-kin. The Chinese media issued a statement saying that was, “…totally legal and appropriate.” Tsang Chi-kin was leading a group of protesters who largely outnumbered officers. This group had been throwing bricks and swinging metal poles at the police officers. The protesters separated one officer from the group of police knocked him to the ground and beat him with metal pipes. Once the separated officers came back, they attempted to rescue the officer on the ground. One of the officers pulled out his handgun and aimed it at Tsang Chi-kin. Chi-kin swung his pipe at the officer’s trigger hand and the officer fired. Chi-kin remained on the ground untreated for a while before he was taken to the hospital. The student was able to have the bullet removed, and has been reported to be
Officers using handguns and protesters swinging metal bars is not the full extent of the disruption these protests have lead to. Tear gas, a gas that is commonly used to control riot crowds and causes irritation of the eyes, was used in these crowds. Upon the arrests, the police officers were removing the protesters gas masks, resulting in injury to the protesters. Vandalism has also been another issue caused by these protests. Protesters have been vandalizing the legislative building with spray paint and destroying the windows. The damage continues into the lives of the protesters as well. So far, there have been eight suicides that have been blamed on the situation as well. Many of them left suicide notes, citing the bill that they are protesting to change. The first suicide, was Cheung Sha Wan who jumped to her death after a standoff with the police. They were unable to talk her down, and when she jumped, she missed the inflatable that had been set up, thus falling to her death. This location stands as a memorial that allows mourners to pay respects to this victim.
The violence of the Hong Kong protests show no sign of slowing down. Protesters are standing their ground, and many people think this may be a turning point. A defense analysis named Malcom Davis is expressing great concern for the protesters. Davis told the Washington Post“ I think that we are in the stage now, where things are going to slide towards some sort of military or People’s Armed Police imtervention. And that could be a devastating situation for the protesters.”