HONG KONG: ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS BACK AGAIN


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Last Sunday afternoon, demonstrators were chased by police through a number of shopping malls as protests started heating up, reconfirming the anger of citizens demanding independence from mainland Chinese authority and the resignation of Carrie Lam, the current chief executive of the city.
After a period of quiet due to stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID, what is being referred to as “Mother’s Day flash mobs” took place at multiple locations throughout the city. Police confronted and chased protesters in at least eight different malls, conducting stop and search procedures, and issued fines for violating the anti-coronavirus ban against public gatherings.
That evening, tensions between police and protesters stretched out onto streets. In one neighborhood, police used batons and pepper spray to disperse crowds. A university student participating in a street demonstration stated to a reporter, “This is just a warm-up, our protest movement needs to start again.”
Over 250 protesters were arrested. Eight were hospitalized.
The Chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association, Chris Young, said, “Some journalists who were sprayed by pepper spray were not allowed to receive immediate treatment, and they were requested to stop filming.”
While Chief Executive Lam did withdraw the controversial extradition law last fall that ignited the huge protest movement of 2019, which saw millions take to the streets, she has resisted conceding any further demands including an independent investigation into police brutality during the seven months of continuous protests.
A huge rally is being planned for 1 July, the anniversary of the transfer of Hong Kong sovereignty from Great Britain in 1997 to its status as a semi-autonomous region with mainland China. Rally organizers expect two million citizens to participate, regardless of any stay-at-home orders, which might still be in effect to deal with COVID-19.
TREND FORECAST: Considering that most of the world is wrapped up in the 24/7 COVID news hysteria cycle, with little international coverage of events that are again heating up in Hong Kong, the Chinese government will begin to exert more military pressure to quell the protestors.
 

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