Hong Kong’s unprecedented protests & police crackdown, explained
September 29, 2014
Protest marches and vigils are fairly common in Hong Kong, but what began on Friday and escalated dramatically on Sunday is unprecedented. Mass acts of civil disobedience were met by a shocking and swift police response, which has led to clashes in the streets and popular outrage so great that analysts can only guess at what will happen next.
What’s going on in Hong Kong right now is a very big deal, and for reasons that go way beyond just this weekend’s protests. Hong Kong’s citizens are protesting to keep their promised democratic rights, which they worry — with good reason — could be taken away by the central Chinese government in Beijing. This moment is a sort of standoff between Hong Kong and China over the city’s future, a confrontation that they have been building toward for almost 20 years.
On Wednesday, student groups led peaceful marches to protest China’s new plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 election, which looked like China reneging on its promise to grant the autonomous region full democracy (see the next section for what that plan was such a big deal). Protest marches are pretty common in Hong Kong so it didn’t seem so unusual at first.
Things started escalating on Friday. Members of a protest group called Occupy Central (Central is the name of Hong Kong’s downtown district) had planned to launch a “civil disobedience” campaign on October 1, a national holiday celebrating communist China’s founding. But as the already-ongoing protesters escalated they decided to go for it now. On Friday, protesters peacefully occupied the forecourt (a courtyard-style open area in front of an office building) of Hong Kong’s city government headquarters along with other downtown areas.
The really important thing is what happened next: Hong Kong’s police cracked down with surprising force, fighting in the streets with protesters and eventually emerging with guns that, while likely filled with rubber bullets, look awfully militaristic. In response, outraged Hong Kong residents flooded into the streets to join the protesters, and on Sunday police blanketed Central with tear gas, which has been seen as a shocking and outrageous escalation. The Chinese central government issued a statement endorsing the police actions, as did Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing chief executive, a tacit signal that Beijing wishes for the protests to be cleared.
You have to remember that this is Hong Kong: an affluent and orderly place that prides itself on its civility and its freedom. Hong Kongers have a bit of a superiority complex when it comes to China, and see themselves as beyond the mainland’s authoritarianism and disorder. But there is also deep, deep anxiety that this could change, that Hong Kong could lose its special status, and this week’s events have hit on those anxieties to their core.
This began in 1997, when the United Kingdom handed over Hong Kong, one of its last imperial possessions, to the Chinese government. Hong Kong had spent over 150 years under British rule; it had become a fabulously wealthy center of commerce and had enjoyed, while not full democracy, far more freedom and democracy than the rest of China. So, as part of the handover, the Chinese government in Beijing promised to let Hong Kong keep its special rights and its autonomy — a deal known as “one country, two systems.”
A big part of that deal was China’s promise that, in 2017, Hong Kong’s citizens would be allowed to democratically elect their top leader for the first time ever. That leader, known as the Hong Kong chief executive, is currently appointed by a pro-Beijing committee. In 2007, the Chinese government reaffirmed its promise to give Hong Kong this right in 2017, which in Hong Kong is referred to as universal suffrage — a sign of how much value people assign to it.
But there have been disturbing signs throughout this year that the central Chinese government might renege on its promise. In July, the Chinese government issued a “white paper” stating that it has “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong and that “the high degree of autonomy of [Hong Kong] is not an inherent power, but one that comes solely from the authorization by the central leadership.” It sounded to many like a warning from Beijing that it could dilute or outright revoke Hong Kong’s freedoms, and tens of thousands of Hong Kong’s citizens marched in protest.
Then, in August, Beijing announced its plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 elections. While citizens would be allowed to vote for the chief executive, the candidates for the election would have to be approved by a special committee just like the pro-Beijing committee that currently appoints the chief executive. This lets Beijing hand-pick candidates for the job, which is anti-democratic in itself, but also feels to many in Hong Kong like a first step toward eroding their promised democratic rights.
And this is brilliant. Because it demonstrates that racism isn’t only present in clearly malicious and evil people, in the Malfoys and Blacks - it’s also there in warm, kind, funny people who just happened to learn some pretty toxic things growing up in a pretty toxic society. And they can unlearn them too, with some time and effort. Ron eventually accepts Hagrid’s parentage, lets Lupin bandage his leg and in the final battle, he worries about the safety of the house elves.
Some people are prejudiced because they are evil, and some people are prejudiced because they don’t know better yet. And those people can learn better, and become better people. And that’s an important lesson. The lesson taught about discrimination shouldn’t be “only evil people do it”, because then all readers will assume it doesn’t apply to them. Instead old JK teaches us “you too are probably doing it, and you should do stop ASAP”.
para sa lahat ng nagmamahal kay Kathryn at Daniel
might be the rawest pic I ever seen. and he got a bag of chips in his hand
THIS IS SO FUCKING METAL
With his dreads and his american flag shirt, this is everything
I want this to be one of those photos that lasts forever you know
This photo is gonna go down in history its fuckin unbelievably powerful
Flobots gonna have some new lyrics.
on the far left of the picture, you can see a small figure (possibly two) wearing what looks like dark jeans and a black tee with a white long-sleeved shirt underneath; the white sleeve is clearly visible at child-size, child-height, the curb they’re standing on it’s far enough away for that to be an adult body
this is fucking important to know, especially given how the cops/media are twisting and misrepresenting the protesters’ actions as ‘violence’
The more I learn about this fellow, the more of a hero he becomes.
I find that, when writing bios, it’s really helpful to look at a list or a chart like the one above. Picking two or three traits from each chart and building a character based around them will give you a really interesting bio, because they will serve as a reminder that characters need depth and dimension.
Independent and clever.
Independent, clever, pretentious, and stubborn.
The first combination doesn’t come with any flaws, whereas the second will provide a more dynamic character.
Israel has begun it’s campaign in launching the biggest ground assault on Gaza in more than 5 years.
The people of Gaza have absolutely no chance at this point. Israel will do anything to wipe Gaza off the planet. WE MUST TAKE ACTION. BOOST
The Israeli government has given the military permission to mobilize up to 40,000 additional reservists as it steps up an offensive in the Gaza Strip aimed at eradicating the source of the Palestinian Rocket Fire.
The last time a ground invasion occurred was in 2009 when 4,000 Israeli troops were deployed in Gaza. The death toll added up to 13 Israeli deaths (3 from friendly fire) and 1,417 Palestinian Deaths which included 114 women and 431 children.
This time there are ten times as many troops being deployed. Already casualties from rocket fire are escalating well past precedent; One can only imagine the toll this ground invasion will take on the Palestinian people.
The only way the fighting will end is if Israel agrees to a peace treaty that gives Palestine their land back along the original 1967 borders declared by the United Nations (which still allocates a disproportionately larger amount of land to the Israeli people).
Please signal boost this to spread awareness and pray for the civilians of both countries involved.
"I Heart You" album @agentyellow. Songs are available on http://starmusic.abs-cbn.com/shop/shoppingcart.html #kathniel #danielpadilla #kathrynbernardo - k
reblog and make a wish!
this was removed from tumbrl due to “violating one or more of Tumblr’s Community Guidelines”, but since my wish came true the first time, I’m putting it back. :)
OH MY FUCKING GOD, IT’S BACK ON MY DASH.
THIS SHIT WORKS OKAY, I AM DEAD SERIOUS.
The last time I saw this on my dash, I didn’t think it would happen, so jokingly I wished I could go to a fun. concert.
AND GUESS WHAT, I WENT TO A FUCKING FUN. CONCERT.
THIS SHIT WORKS, TRY IT.
I SAW THIS ON MY DASH THE OTHER DAY AND THOUGHT “ITS WORTH A TRY” SO I WISHED I COULD GET A 3DS
LITERALLY LIKE 4 DAYS LATER MY DAD SENT ME A PICTURE OF THE 3DS XL HE BOUGHT FOR ME WHILE I WAS AT SCHOOL
IM STILL FREAKING OUT ABOUT THIS
holy fuck, I didn’t expect this to work, I was like psh, whatever it’s just a quick reblog, but I wished my Dad would actually respond back to me AND HE FUCKING DID A FEW DAYS LATER, I GOT A FUCKING TEXT FROM MY DAD TODAY WHO HASN’T SPOKEN OR RESPONDED TO ME IN MONTHS HOLY FUCK WHAT IS THIS MAGIC IT WORKS.
I WANTED TO SEE MY BOYFRIEND AND I DIDN’T THINK I’D GET DAYS OFF BUT THIS WEEKEND I’M HEADING UP THERE??? THIS IS CRAZY SHIT
SO LIKE I JOKINGLY WISHED FOR MY OWN LEN KAGAMINE AND THEN LIKE A WEEK LATER I GOT A LEN NENDOROID??? H ELP
WTF OKAY SO THIS SHOT ACTUALLY WORKS BECAUSE WHEN I WISHED, I HAD WISHED MY CRUSH WOULD LIKE ME BACK AND GUESS WHAT? I HAVE A BOYFRIEND NOW. WHAT THE HELLLLL?????
ok I’ve said this before but IM DOING IT AGAIN THE FIRST TIME I SAW THIS, MY WISH DID COME TRUE SO I REBLOGED AGAIN AND SAID IT IN THE TAGS BUT THEN I WISHED FOR SMTH ELSE AND IT LITERALLY LITERALLY HAPPENED LIKE A COUPLE DAYS LATER WHAT THE HELL SO NOW IM WRITING THIS HERE FOR YOU BC I DONT BELIEVE IN THIS CRAP BUT STILL IT’S AN AWFULLY BIG COINCIDENCE
THE BOY I FELL I LOVE WITH LEFT TO TRAVEL THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD AND HAS BEEN GONE NOW FOR 3 MONTHS. WE HAVENT SPOKEN SINCE BECAUSE I DIDNT WANT TO MAKE HIM FEEL TRAPPED TO ME AND NOT ENJOY HIS TIME SO I WAITED FOR HIM TO CONTACT ME FIRST. I SAW THIS ON A PARTICULARLY LOW DAY WHEN I WAS MISSING HIM SO MUCH I CRIED FROM THE PAIN, GUYS I REALLY LOVE HIM, SO I THOUGHT MEH WHAT THE FUCK, AND WISHED HE WOULD JUST LET ME KNOW HE WAS OKAY.
HE FUCKING CALLED ME 20 MINUTES LATER
20 FUCKNG. MINUTES. LATER.
GOOD THINGS DO HAPPEN. AND ITS IN THIS POST.
I wish for someone to leave something in my ask.
OKAY SO I ASKED FOR A HEDGEHOG AND NOW GUESS WHO HAS A PET HEDGEHOG