Staff Editorial: We stand with Hong Kong protestors

The Hong Kong protests started in June after a law was proposed in February that would allow people accused of crimes to be extradited to mainland China.

Carrie Lam, chief executive of Hong Kong, argued that the bill was needed after a criminal case where a man was accused of killing his girlfriend in February 2018 fled from Taiwan to Hong Kong.

Some, especially the activists, saw this bill as a sign of washing away Hong Kong’s autonomy that China promised would be maintained for 50 years in a “one nation, two systems” basis in 1997 when Hong Kong returned to Chinese control.

We at The Daily Eastern News agree that the bill would have aided in taking away Hong Kong’s autonomy and were pleased to learn that the bill was retracted.

That was, however, the only demand of the protesters’ that has been met so far, so the protests are still occurring in Hong Kong and they are increasing in violence since the first protest on June 9. 

The New York Times reported hundreds of thousands of people participated in the first protest on June 9, and that it started out peaceful, but just three days later police had resorted to violence and were using pepper spray, batons and tear gas on the protesters in order to disperse them. 

Police tactics only fueled protesters further, rather than deter them as the police had hoped, and they increased their list of demands to include protecting their freedoms, democracy and Hong Kong’s autonomy, as well as amnesty for the arrested protesters and direct elections for all lawmakers and the chief executive.

Some protesters were also fueled to retaliate with even more violence.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that during the day’s protests, Hong Kong police shot a protester and another man was set on fire.

Other reports told of burning cars, shattered windows

There were 287 arrests made on Monday, 190 of which were students, which brings the total number of protest-related arrests since the events sparked in June to over 3,500.

We at The Daily Eastern News stand by the student activists and support their fight for democracy.

Sometimes in the United States we take for granted the rights we have under our democracy like freedom speech, religion and press.

As the protests in Hong Kong continue to progress, we should reflect on why those in Hong Kong are fighting as hard they are and be grateful that we do not have to do the same.