It’s been three months since Hong Kong’s anti-extradition bill protests began. The country’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam — who’s been the face of the government throughout the turbulence — has not officially responded to the protesters’ five requests. Ms. Lam was sworn into office by Chinese President Xi Jinping on July 1, 2017, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Beijing.
“[Ms. Lam] needs to come up with feasible ways to defuse the crisis,” said Andrew Fung Ho-keung, chief executive of Policy Research, adding that condemnation of the protesters will not bring peace to Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, grievances are accumulating among the protesters and their anger has been fueled to the point of near explosion. They’ve been calling for a citywide strike throughout the Internet since early August.
“Young people are very discontented with the system — they find it unfair,” Anthony Cheung, a former secretary for transport and housing and now a professor at the Education University, said to Financial Times. “They feel they have no say over their future and the system just props up vested interests.”
Youths were even seen kneeling down at an MTR station holding signs that begged the public to join the strike.
“These four youths have been kneeling there for three hours. One of them even fainted. What kind of society has Hong Kong become for it to require young people to devote themselves like this?” grieved one witness.
“We are willing to sacrifice our future for you. Would you like to strike with us?” read a sign held by one of the youths.
“Make history. All five demands must be fulfilled,” read another.
“They started kneeling down there at 6 p.m. Some were worried that the kids must be exhausted, so they offered towels, chairs, and food … But they didn’t accept them. Three hours later, one of the kids fainted from hunger and exhaustion, so they ended it then,” said another witness.
“I don’t think they should have to behave so humbly to gain the support of citizens — but I will always stand by their side. Go ahead, Hong Kong!” another commented.
“For the people of Hong Kong to unite together is to call for freedom for the next generation. I support you! Thank you for your generous dedication. Go ahead and I thank you for your effort,” read a popular post on social media.
Translated by Sharon and edited by Emiko Kingswell