Two months have passed since the first anti-extradition protest on June 9. For 10 consecutive weeks, waves of protests have swept across Hong Kong, creating countless memorable moments and demonstrating the courage, resilience, and tenacity of the Hong Kong people.
Moment 1: History made with millions of hearts
On June 9, more than 1 million Hong Kong people took to the streets to join the “anti-extradition march.” The unprecedented scale rocked the world and even U.S. President Trump expressed his surprise.
Seven days later, a record-breaking 2 million Hong Kong people took part in a protest, showing the world their unwavering determination to reject the amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance.
Hong Kong has a population of 7.4 million, which means that over one-quarter of the Hong Kong people participated in the demonstration. Why are so many Hong Kong people protesting?
Fundamentally, the protests reflect the tenacity and courage of Hong Kong people in defending their homeland to protect the universal values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law, while resisting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s destruction of human dignity.
Moment 2: Hongkongers stand in solidarity
During the protests, many Hong Kong citizens defended the young demonstrators and stood up to the police.
A mother who bravely stood in front of the armed police trying to convince them to cease fire and stop attacking protesters even prayed to God to help the police. A video clip of this moment touched the hearts of viewers both at home and abroad.
Another woman in Yuen Long confronted the policy loudly: “What are these young people fighting for? For Hong Kong!” (00:26~00:31). “The young people are not armed. You have no conscience and are heartless.” (00:52~00:58) (Twitter)
The police brutality against the protesters shocked the Hong Kong people, causing many to take to the streets for the first time and demand the police to stop their violence against the protesters.
These moments demonstrated Hongkonger’s solidarity, conscience, compassion, and respect for life and for each other, which are values rejected by the Chinese communist regime and by the Hong Kong government.
Moment 3: Protesters’ sacrifices earned the support of senior citizens
Week after week of protests to fight for Hong Kong’s freedom and democracy by its young demonstrators touched the hearts of its senior citizens. The concerns over the Hong Kong police’s violent crackdown and arrest of the young people motivated thousands of senior citizens in their 70s and 80s to declare their support for the protesters and urge the police to cease their excessive use of force.
Historically, Hong Kong’s elderly people have rarely participated in social movements, marches, or protests, but thousands of them held rallies to support the young people and to condemn the police brutality. The young people’s courage and sacrifices have united Hong Kong people of all ages toward their common goals.
Historically, Hong Kong people have been reputed to be cold and indifferent, but the recent events have completely changed such a perception. Hongkongers are demonstrating with their actions that they are warmhearted and they care for each other.
Young Hongkongers risking their lives for Hong Kong’s future — their enthusiasm and courage has moved the older generations and inspired them to protect and speak up for the young people, as well as to express their love for their homeland.
Hongkonger’s conscience, compassion, and cross-generational support created one of the most memorable moments in the anti-extradition protest.
Moment 4: A friend in need is a friend indeed
Another of the most memorable moments during the protests that touched the hearts of millions around the world, regardless of nationality or ethnicity, came from the rationality, non-violence, and kindness demonstrated by the Hong Kong protesters. A prime example is when an ambulance divided the human sea.
On the day of the demonstration on June 16, when an ambulance carrying protesters who had fainted was trying to rush them to the hospital, the jam-packed crowds parted like the Red Sea for the ambulance and clapped their hands to cheer on their fellow demonstrators inside the ambulance. The world praised the rationality, self-discipline, and kindness of the Hong Kong people.
Exhausting savings to protect fellow demonstrators
Many demonstrators exhausted their savings to purchase helmets, facemasks, protective gear, and supplies in order to protect their fellow demonstrators and help rescue those who got attacked and injured by the police.
“Hong Kong has become a battlefield, but humanity and compassion shone through the rain of bullets.”
Amid unprecedented trials and tribulations, Hongkongers have shown their sincerity and humanity. They put the safety of others before their own with their selflessness, compassion, and thoughtfulness.
Hongkongers’ actions presented to the world that the power of kindness has the ability to touch hearts far and wide, while at the same time creating a stark contrast to the atrocities and violation of humanity by the CCP and the Hong Kong government.
Moment 5: Hong Kong protesters named Most Influential People by ‘Time’ magazine
On July 16, Time magazine published its “25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2019” and Hong Kong’s anti-extradition protesters were listed among them.
Despite lacking central leadership during the anti-extradition demonstrations, anonymous online platforms and mobile communication software served as a command center creating efficient communication channels for the protesters to successfully organize and mobilize for every anti-extradition protest.
The selection of the anti-extradition protesters by Time magazine highlights three significant points:
First, the unwavering tenacity of the Hong Kong people and their peaceful and rational approach has attracted the attention and acknowledgment of the international community.
Second, the unity of Hong Kong’s young people for a common ideal has exhibited the spirit of Hong Kong’s millennials who successfully coordinated, collaborated, and executed the demonstrations without central leadership.
Third, the Internet has enabled people with new tools to take the initiative, collaborate, and communicate with each other to fight against a totalitarian system.
Translated by Chua BC and edited by Angela