Amidst the recent Ebola outbreaks in the United States and reports on the battles against Isis in the Mid-East, there has been a significant decrease in media coverage of the present crisis in Hong Kong.
Only a week has passed since the beginning of the relentless grassroots protests for democracy, just one week. Now, only a day remains until the central Chinese government’s deadline to get Hong Kong back to work and school.
What will happen tomorrow?
As I am no journalist, professional or amateur, I can only write about what I read, what I hear and what I saw.
What I read and hear is that despite the peaceful protestors, the Hong Kong police have implemented violence and not just tear-gas; there have also been reports of the police sexually harassing protestors and worse. The conspiracies about the origins of these police actions and the co-involvement of crime organizations have only served to further fear and distrust of Beijing.
Vending machine Umbrellas
They are calling this the “Umbrella Revolution” because protestors are resorting to using mere umbrellas to protect themselves from the tear gas and rubber bullets.
What I saw a month ago was a much different thing. I saw a peaceful, productive, modern, international city that is also this dynamic and breathtakingly beautiful island.
“This is not a struggle between democracy and non-democracy, but merely different understandings on the realization and implementation methods of democracy. In the final analysis, the central government is the most powerful supporter of democracy in Hong Kong,” the newspaper said. –taken from an article posted today on Al Jazeera. Take this for what you will, but it sounds to me like officials are splitting hairs to avoid talking about what is actually happening on the ground.
To me, the issue is non-political. Regardless of your position on democracy, there are people peacefully standing up for their rights for freedom from Chinese governmental control and they are being attacked for it and intimidated into retreat by the police, who are supposed to be protecting them.
As the protesters lose their support, the movement loses momentum, which is exactly what the Chinese government wants. For whatever it’s worth, I feel like we need to pay closer attention to what is happening in Hong Kong and stand up to the bully. Why is the US so interested in instilling democracy in the Mid-East yet it does nothing to support threats on democracy in Hong Kong? What will happen if protests continue against government wishes? What will China do about it?
I admittedly don’t know much about this and I don’t know the answers to these questions. I realize that I may not be in a position to enact real change, but I know I can stand with those who need support– even if the only way I can say anything is through the internet.
“You may never know what results come of your actions, BUT if you do nothing there will be no results.” Mahatma Ghandi