2019 Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Bill Protests

#NoExtraditionToChina

The 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests are a series of demonstrations in Hong Kong and other cities around the world, demanding the withdrawal of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 proposed by the Government of Hong Kong.

We fear that the bill will cause our city to open up to the mainland Chinese law and that people from Hong Kong can easily become subject to a corrupted legal system under the Chinese communist party.

Millions of people filled streets of Hong Kong, the protests eventually escalated as the Police decided to use excessive force including shot teargas and rubber bullets to protestors and press including foreign journalists. 72+ people were injured with 2 in critical condition.

Groups of officers were filmed beating up a defenceless young woman, insulting and attacking local + foreign press, in one video officers called protestors “Freedom C*nt” and asked to “F*ck your mother”

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Story Timeline

Upcoming Protests: 16 June 17 June

First Protest: 31 March

The first protest, launched by Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) on 31 March, started from Luard Road (Southorn Playground) and ended at Civic Square. Protesters chanted "With extradition to the mainland, Hong Kong becomes a dark prison" and "Stop the evil law".

Lam Wing-kee, the owner of Causeway Bay Books who disappeared along with his other colleagues in 2015, led the rally along with other pro-democracy group members. Lam has since left Hong Kong for Taiwan due to fears for his personal security.

The organisation said that 12,000 attended the march, while the Hong Kong Police Force estimated just 5,200 people. The organisers stated that there would be further protests if the government still insisted with the bill.

Second Protest: 28 April

On 28 April, 130,000 protesters joined the march against the proposed extradition law according to organisers, while police estimated that only 22,800 joined. The turnout was the largest since an estimated 510,000 joined the annual 1 July protest in 2014. The rally started from Causeway Bay to the Legislative Council in Admiralty, which is a 2.2 km route. It took more than 4 hours. Vice-convenor of the CHRF, Figo Chan Ho-hang, threatened to escalate its opposition if the government did not withdraw the bill.

A day after the protest, Chief Executive Carrie Lam was adamant that the bill would be enacted and said the Legislative councillors had to pass new extradition laws before their summer break, even though the man at the heart of the case used to justify the urgency of new legislation Chan Tong-kai had been jailed for 29 months shortly before. Chan received a prison sentence of 29 months on 29 April. However, since he had already been detained for 13 months since his arrest in Hong Kong, his sentence would end in August 2020. Secretary for Security John Lee said that Chan could be released by October at the earliest since good behaviour in prison can result in a one-third reduction of a prisoner's sentence, and he would then be free to leave the city.

Lawyers' Silent March: 6 June

In a rare protest, more than 3,000 Hong Kong lawyers, representing around one quarter of the city's lawyers, marched against the bill. Wearing black, they marched from the Court of Final Appeal to the Central Government Offices on 6 June. They then stood in front of the government headquarters looking at the building for three minutes silently.

The march was organised by Dennis Kwok, Legislative Councillor for the Legal constituency. It was the fifth, and largest, protest march held by lawyers in Hong Kong since 1997 after a series of intrusions by the Chinese Government.

While lawyers expressed grave reservations about the openness and fairness of the justice system in China, limited access to a lawyer, and the prevalence of torture, Secretary for Security John Lee said the legal sector did not really understand the bill. A senior barrister complained that government's inability or unwillingness to listen was polarising, adding that it was "so stupid, so arrogant".

Third Protest: 9 June

In response to the proposed bill, the Civil Human Rights Front called a march from Victoria Park, Causeway Bay to the Legislative Council in Admiralty on 9 June—an approximately 3km (1.86mi) route. Hundreds of thousands of protesters were drawn to the street, wearing white to symbolise "light and brightness" and justice, chanting "Scrap the evil law," "Oppose China extradition" and "Carrie Lam resign" and waving Taiwanese flags on the day.

Protesters brought Hong Kong Island to a halt from early afternoon until late at night. The MTR enacted crowd control measures in which the police ordered trains not to stop at Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Tin Hau stations for several hours. Protesters had to get off at Fortress Hill in order to join the protest from there. Police urged protesters to march from Victoria Park before the 3 pm start-time to ease overcrowding. During the march, there were several times when protesters come to a standstill due to the limited road space. People demanded that the police opened up more roads. It was only after some protesters climbed over a metal barricade and walked on lanes originally reserved for traffic that police opened up all lanes on Hennessy Road, having previously refused to do so.

A huge number of protesters were still leaving Victoria Park up to four hours after the start time and were still arriving at the end-point at Admiralty seven hours after the protest began.

Jimmy Sham, convener of the CHRF said that 1.03 million people attended the march—the largest protest Hong Kong has seen since the 1997 handover—surpassing the turnout seen at mass rallies in support of the Tiananmen protests of 1989 and 1 July March 2003. The police countered with an estimate of 270,000 at its peak. In the Hong Kong Free Press, Evan Fower noted that the police had "become notorious for using highly selective methods to significantly underreport numbers, but that the demonstration was "beyond doubt ... the largest one-day protest in Hong Kong's history".

Other than the march, more than a dozen ships carrying banners with slogans supporting the bill cruised Victoria Harbour. Around 20 supporters from the Safeguard Hong Kong Alliance—a pro-government group—showed up at Tamar to support the bill around 12 pm.

Fourth Protest: 12 June

Protests resumed on 12 June following an announcement from the government that the bill will continue its reading. Sit-ins in the government headquarters have taken place since the morning. It is alleged that the police intentionally prevented newcoming protestors from reaching the designated protest site. As the crowd built up at the MTR exit on the other side of the bridge of the government headquarters, skirmishes occurred and eventually the crowd broke into Harcourt Road, the main traffic route of Hong Kong Island. An hour-long occupation by tens of thousands followed, mimicking the Umbrella Movement in 2014.

In the afternoon, the police fired 150 tear gas, 20 beanbag shots, several rubber bullets and smoke bombs on protesters outside the Legislative Council's complex. Protesters, while chanting "withdraw!" and moving barricades, wore face masks, goggles, umbrellas and makeshift body armour to protect themselves.

The government and police controversially declared that the protest had "turned into a riot". Seventy-two people aged between 15 and 66 have been injured, with two men in a critical condition. SCMP stated that the protests were "reminiscent of—and even more intense than—the Occupy protests of 2014".

Parties has blamed the police for their actions during the protests. The pro-democracy camp condemned the level of force used and stated that the force used is not proportional as protesters are " weapon-less young people". The Hong Kong Journalists Association said that the police "trampled on reporters", and that the police has ignored the safety of the reporters. They complained that the police have unreasonably interfered their work with flashlights and by dispersing them. HKJA added that some police officers has insulted them with foul language, called them “trash", and shouted to them "reporters have no special privilege".

Overnight, 2,000 protesters from religious groups held a vigil outside the government offices, with some singing hymns and joining in prayers. Various trade unions, businesses and schools also vowed to stage protests. The Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union has called for a city-wide strike for a week. At least 4,000 Hong Kong teachers have followed the call.

NEXT Protest🚨

Members of a pro-democracy group staged a stunt at an MTR station on Friday to call on Hongkongers to join their rally on Sunday against the controversial extradition law and the city-wide general strike on Monday.

Seven members of Demosisto, founded by student leaders such as Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, knelt down at Mei Foo MTR Station at 7am, chanting slogans and holding placards marked ‘Boycott Class, Labour Strike, Save Hong Kong’.

Their activity was live-streamed on video on the group’s Facebook page. It followed a call by the Civil Human Rights Front, which organized the rally last Sunday – that drew over a million people, for another protest march this Sunday, plus a city-wide general strike on Monday.

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