Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam is considering invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to put an end to the protests in Hong Kong.

Lam’s invocation of this law would give Hong Kong authorities police powers that include censoring the media, blanket authorization to enter and search properties, and the imposition of prison terms with life sentences.

The ordinance Lam is considering invoking has not been used in 50 years, but according to a report in the South China Morning Post, Lam has not taken that option off the table.

Hong Kong lawmaker Au Nok-hin warned that Lam’s invocation of these emergency powers would lead to the “total destruction” of Hong Kong’s capitalist system.

University of Hong Kong law professor Simon Young called the ordinance “basically a state of martial law.”

Hong Kong protesters have made five demands of the government.

  1. Withdrawal of the extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to China and Taiwan.
  2. An investigation into police brutality.
  3. A retraction of Lam’s description of the protesters as rioters. Rioting is a crime in Hong Kong punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
  4. Amnesty for arrested protesters.
  5. Full voting rights. At present, only half of the seats in Hong Kong’s legislative council are directly elected by voters. Lam was elected by a 1,200 member committee that many consider controlled by China.

Lam has refused the protesters’s demands, and with the protesters likely to continue, Lam’s escalation of police force via martial law also looks likely.

Riot police are already using rubber bullets and water cannons on the protesters. Many protesters began wearing an eye patch in solidarity with a woman who was shot in the face with a rubber bullet by Hong Kong police.

Chinese troops have already been gathered near the Hong Kong border.

Protesters in the streets of Hong Kong have been seen waving the American flag as a symbol of freedom.

The U.S. State Department spoke out against China’s doxxing of a U.S. diplomat, calling China a “thuggish regime” for releasing details on U.S. diplomat Julie Eadeh after she met with prominent anti-Beijing activists at a Hong Kong hotel.

China has a well known history of killing protesters, and their communist government has killed a reported 60 million people.

Millions of Chinese were forced out of their homes and off of their farmland, and forcibly moved to cities during the communist Chinese upheaval. Workers in Chinese slave labor factories have jumped to their deaths so often that Apple contractor Foxconn was forced to install nets around one of its buildings.