The Fight For Democracy

Aiden Nesci, Staff Reporter

Beginning in June 2019, the Hong Kong protests have been increasingly violent. Hong Kong’s Extradition Bill states that criminals can be extradited back to mainland China. This upset Hong Kong citizens because the city is supposed to have judicial independence, meaning that mainland China is not able to interfere in how Hong Kong deals with criminals. The bill has been suspended but it was too late, as the protests became less about the bill and more about the government as a whole.

On June 9, one of the largest protests happened with an estimated 517,478 people attended to protest the bill. Despite the protests, Chief Executive Carrie Lam put out a statement that the bill would still happen. The protests became more violent on June 12, with Hong Kong’s riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters. Despite the efforts of the police, the protesters successfully got the bill delayed further.

On June 15 the bill was suspended indefinitely by Lam, but the protests were moving on from just the bill. The following day, nearly 2 million protestors flooded the streets. Rather than protesting the bill, they instead protested the cruelty that riot police issued at the June 12 protest. Estimates were ranged from 500 thousand to over two million people in attendance for protest. Various protests have continued and are still going on to this day.

Celebrities and major companies have come out against and in support of the protests. Houston Rockets Manager Daryl Morey put out a tweet in support of the protests. This sparked  controversy upon the NBA with players such as Lebron James condemning Morey on his tweet. Because of James’ comment, the protesters burned his basketball jerseys in the streets of Hong Kong during a protest.

The protests have had a large effect on Hong Kong’s economy, with tourism decreasing by 50 percent. One major protest happened in a Hong Kong airport, causing all flights in and out of the city to be canceled. The airport lost 76 million dollars as a result of the protest. 

The future of Hong Kong is currently unknown, as the protests are still going on to this day. With the protests lasting five months, it’s unclear if  the protests will end anytime soon.