Protests in Hong Kong call for free elections in response to law restricting candidates

Garrett Largoza, Contributing Writer ||

Since Sept. 26, protests in support of democratic process have been taking place in Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China. The protests focus on genuine elections in 2017 and the resignation of Leung Chun-ying, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Recently, the Hong Kong government attempted to pass a law that would require all candidates running for the position of Chief Executive to be pre-approved by a committee friendly to the Chinese Communist Party, according to CNN. Critics of the law argue that it impedes democracy by allowing the government to decide who can or cannot run for office, with many Hong Kong residents of the opinion that they should be able to elect their own leaders without interference from the government in Beijing.

Initially, students began protesting peacefully before taking to the streets in response to the proposed law. Protests began on Sept. 26 and quickly swelled into demonstration encompassing thousands of people. On Sept. 28, Occupy Central with Love and Peace, a pro-democracy civil disobedience group, became involved with the protests.

Shortly after the protests began, local police attempted to disband participants, leading to more people protesting in response to the police’s tactics.

The Boston Globe reported that the police have used pepper spray to repel protesters. Protesters now use umbrellas to not only block the sun, but also to stop the police from hitting them with pepper spray. This has led some to call these protests the “Umbrella Revolution.”

Recently, the Hong Kong government announced that on Monday, it would forcibly clear all protestors from the streets to end the demonstrations, according to an article in USA Today. Protesters did not give any indication or comment that they would submit to the government’s claim.

Organizations and governments such as the United Nations, the United States, Britain, France, and more have called for a peaceful solution to the protests.

In 1997, Hong Kong transitioned from British control to part of Chinese rule. Hong Kong operated as a port and center of commerce for many years, entrenching a capitalist system.

 

First-year Garrett Largoza is a staff writer. His email is glargoza@fandm.edu.

print

Leave a Reply