Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The protests continue

The protests in Hong Kong continue and the pictures we are seeing are very dramatic. Thousands of people have taken to the streets. There a police in riot gear and there has been a lot of tear gas. I'm amazed at how little attention most media outlets are paying to this. For me this is a huge deal! But what's it all about?

It's complicated. Hong Kong is under the control of China, a communist country, but it isn't governed the same way as the mainland. They have an arrangement called “one country, two systems.” At the heart of the current protest is an election. The chief executive will be elected through the Hong Kong’s first ever democratic election scheduled for three years from now. Beijing has refused to allow open selection of candidates for that position.

As I wrote here yesterday, this reminds me very much of Tiananmen Square on the mainland back in 1989. The protesters are from various groups and are not totally united and Hong Kong is a very large city. The protesting has been pretty limited as far as where it is taking place. There is also a large spectrum of opinion in Hong Kong and not everyone agrees with these protests. I find it heartwarming though when so many people come together and stand strong for freedom.

So how will this all end?  Will Occupy Central (the main protest group) change China's mind?  Demanding full democracy doesn't seem like something China would cave in on, but think back to 1776 when a group of men and women in North America refused to pay taxes since they had not legislative representation.  We all know how that one ended!

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