In June, Hong Kong’s protest started due to the extradition bill that allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China under certain circumstances. Protestors insist that the bill would give China advantages over Hong Kong and would attack activists and journalists. After a few weeks of protest, leader Carrie Lam said that the bill will be suspended soon.
However, as the protesters thought the bill would be revived, thousands of people came out to the streets and clashes between polices and protesters frequently happened. As time passed, the clashes were escalating to a more violent level.
Both protestors and the police were injured and the level of injury was hard to imagine. Protestors would fight the police using poles, petrol bombs, and other steel objects. In the process of defending, a police officer, in October, shot a bullet in the chest of an 18-year-old high school student. On The day when the high school student was shot, there were at least 51 people who were sent to the hospital and at least two people were in critical condition. Protests were becoming too violent and fights were happening in the streets almost every day. In addition, protestors would suddenly beat up innocent people and revolts in public were easily seen.
Especially, protestors would come to the airports and start beating up people with metal pipes. Flights were canceled or rescheduled due to the dangerous atmosphere in Hong Kong. Due to weak security in the airport, foreigners or travelers who visited Hong Kong had to stay overnight or several days in the airport to avoid the risk they might face. Not only airports, but the protestors would vandalize random shops in the city.
The “silent majority” — people who oppose the unrest — is growing slowly and publicly, and they are appearing critical of the protests that are happening. They spread the notion that the protestors are spreading chaos and fear across the city. The violence is affecting many people and hurting the economy. The group has grown to approximately 240,000 members.
Some protesters have apologized for the harsh and high-level violence, but many insist that apologizing isn’t enough.
The violence was an infringement on people’s right to daily life. Some couldn’t understand why certain actions and violence were taken, because for example, destroying ATMs and vandalizing the subway system was hard to relate to universal suffrage.
Schools that were canceled due to the dangerous protests have started recently, and the protests have lost momentum as fewer people have come out to the protests in the last few weeks. However, it is still hard to say that the streets are safe in Hong Kong.