The violence over the freedom of Hong Kong citizens is no longer limited to Hong Kong. Students numbering in the hundreds gathered on the campus of the University of Queensland, staging a sit-in to protest Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill, that if passed, would permit Hong Kong to extradite criminals to mainland China, a country with significantly fewer freedoms for citizens, and serious human rights issues.
During the protest, pro-Beijing counter protesters arrived on the scene, and “They drove us to the lawn and surrounded us for half an hour,” says student Christy Leung. Shortly after, she says the counter protesters began attacking the pro-democracy students.
As the protests, which first began 31 March, 2019, rage on, harsher and more frequent violence against the protesters is being reported by those present. Most recently, protesters have posted testimony, photos, and videos of large crowds of masked people wearing white shirts, sometimes called Wumao, ambushing protesters and violently beating them, allegedly at the behest of the Hong Kong police and government. Protesters note that police officers were seen leaving the scene shortly before the attacks in the Yuen Long area of Hong Kong.
“If those who are pro-independence lead to the subversion of the fate of the country; with Hong Kong and the 1.3 billion people in the motherland having to pay a huge price, why shouldn’t these people be killed?”
– Junius Ho
“The behavior of some radical protesters challenges the central government’s authority, touching on the bottom line principle of ‘one country, two systems,’” said Colonel Wu, in reference to the unique system of governance that separates Hong Kong from the direct control of mainland China. “That absolutely cannot be tolerated” He continued.
Hong Kong is embroiled in a fight for its soul. The protesters are seeking liberty, and resisting the seemingly all-powerful pull of Mainland China, and the dystopian, authoritarian future it promises to the people of Hong Kong if this bill is passed.