In the protest against the extradition bill that has been suspended, young people of Hong Kong are known to be at the forefront. Many protest leaders who are still in their 20s, including Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, both are 22 years old, and Nathan Law, 26, is the leader of Demosisto, a pro-democracy youth activist group in Hong Kong. They demand big changes that are also claimed to change the future of their entire generation.
Although the Hong Kong government has suspended the bill in response to widespread reaction, protests continue, often leading to violence and vandalism. Demonstrators have also used the momentum of the protest to advocate for broader democratic freedom as a whole, but on the one hand are reluctant to solve problems with negotiations.
Hong Kong is known as one of the world’s major economic centers. But not many people know that Hong Kong is also home to extreme inequality. The gap between the rich and the poor is shocking. According to the latest census report, the richest 10 percent of households produce 44 times more than the poorest 10%. Half of the protesters are middle class, according to a field survey conducted by a local university. In fact, the continued demonstration and anarchist actions can directly disrupt the economic side and also make other Hong Kong people who do not participate in the protest threatened.
Tensions between the pro-Hong Kong government and Hong Kong’s pro-democracy even occurred in Australia and Canada.
Hundreds of pro-Hong Kong protesters at the time held an action in Sydney on Saturday (08/17/2019), marching across the city while shouting “One China”. Because after all, Hong Kong stood with the system “One Country Two Systems” with China.
The demonstrators also raised the Chinese flag, and carried placards bearing messages to end the riots and violence in Hong Kong.
“There have been many violent acts and violent demonstrations in Hong Kong. And the people of Hong Kong suffer because of it. We want to voice our call for peace and order in Hong Kong,” Zhao, the action coordinator and lawyer based in Sydney, told AFP.
The mass of Hong Kong pro-democracy students then moved from the campus and took to the streets and tried to attract a greater mass, with up to hundreds of people supporting the Hong Kong democracy movement in major cities in Australia.
Local police even had to break up heated confrontations in Melbourne and Sydney after pro-Government Hong Kong activists met with pro-Hong Kong masses. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Canada, two groups of demonstrators were involved in tensions outside the Chinese consulate in the city for two days kneeling.
Initially Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators condemned the brutality of the Hong Kong police who were then tasked with maintaining public order and security, while the Hong Kong pro-Government group condemned the violence of demonstrators in Hong Kong. A similar confrontation then took place on Saturday outside the SkyTrain station in Vancouver.
“Love Hong Kong, love China; there is no secession, no violence,” said a protester who waved the Chinese national flag.
Demonstrators in their protests often voiced opinions followed by anarchist actions such as storming and destroying public facilities and government offices, including ruining the Hong Kong legislative building while smashing the windows of city government buildings and covering the walls with graffiti.
Demonstrators should be able to contain their anger and express their opinions with civilization and avoid anarchist and provocative actions. Beside harming Hong Kong’s image in the international eyes, the economic impact and division in Hong Kong society itself can be a frightening time bomb for Hong Kong’s survival. Opening dialogue spaces can be chosen to equate perceptions between the local Government and the demonstrators so as not to push Hong Kong into destruction.