Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hong Kong Democracy Movement Heats Up

It seems like the whole world is full of governments trying to control their people and people taking to the streets in protest.  It's hard to keep track of them all.

But I spent a year in Hong Kong, just after Tiananmen, when everyone was jittery because the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong coming in 1997, looked a lot more ominous after June 4, 1989. 

A recent white paper from the Beijing government on Hong Kong sent the notice that elections the people of Hong Kong had been expecting soon, would have Beijing approved candidates only.

This has pushed democracy advocates into action.

(Reuters) - Violent clashes between Hong Kong riot police and students galvanized tens of thousands of supporters for the city's pro-democracy movement and kick-started a plan to lock down the heart of the Asian financial center early on Sunday.
Leaders and supporters of Occupy Central with Love and Peace rallied to support students who were doused with pepper spray early on Saturday after they broke through police barriers and stormed the city's government headquarters.  [For the whole article, click here.]

Part of Hong Kong is attached to mainland China.  Then there's Hong Kong Island, the heart of the business district.  Central - as in "Occupy Central" above - is where many of  the modern office buildings and the main government offices are located.  I don't have a good feeling about how this is going to end.

One of those arrested, according to the Reuters piece, is 17 year old student leader Joshua
Wong has already won one major victory against Beijing. In 2012, he forced the Hong Kong government to shelve plans to roll out a pro-China national education scheme in the city's schools when the then 15-year-old rallied 120,000 protesters.
 Here's a BBC article
And China Daily's take on this.
It says China's deployed 7000 police to keep order.  If there were 70,000 protesters, that would mean one cop for every 10 protesters.  Even if there were 700,000 it would still one cop for every hundred protesters.  Now do you understand why I don't feel good about this.

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