As protests rage on into their fifth month, tension and violence between police and protestors in Hong Kong continues to increase.
“A pro-democracy protester was shot at close range and a counterprotester was set on fire as violence continued to engulf Hong Kong on Monday morning, with the disturbing images of street fights and escalating attacks from both sides drowning out an appeal by the city’s embattled leader for an end to demonstrations,” according to Fox News.
Protestors have been engaged in street demonstrations since June, when the government in Hong Kong first introduced a bill that would have allowed for residents of the semi-autonomous state to be extradited to mainland China to face criminal proceedings. The brutal Communist Chinese regime has a history of criminal justice malfeasance, and is not exactly known for due process or transparency in criminal matters. This triggered residents of Hong Kong – a historically democratic state – to fight back against its own government, which they felt was selling them down the river.
Over the course of the following months, protests remained relatively civil. The government in Hong Kong capitulated to the original demand of the protestors – the tabling of the extradition bill – but the protestors added four more demands, including universal suffrage.
As the protests have continued, clashes between police and protestors have become more violent.
“In another alarming interaction, a police officer is seen shooing away a group of protesters at a street intersection, then drawing his gun on one masked demonstrator who approaches him,” Fox News said. “As the two struggle, the officer points his gun at a second protester who walks toward him and shoots him at close range in the stomach area.”
A disturbing video shows a Hong Kong resident, who was reportedly a counterprotestor, being doused with gasoline and set on fire:
It appears that the protests are devolving into chaos, both on the side of the protestors and the police. Meanwhile, the world is looking on, watching closely for a response from mainland China, which has a history of quashing protests. One Tiananmen Square protest veteran warned of Chinese aggression after Jimmy Sham, a well-known protestor in Hong Kong, was beaten bloody by an unknown entity of masked individuals.
“The Communist Party is determined to let blood flow in Hong Kong,” Wang Dan said last month.
“Some friends have advised Hong Kong protesters not to resort to violent measures. They said it would draw violence from the country,” he continued. “But Jimmy Sham had always promoted peaceful, sensible and non-violent (demonstrations), and had followed the principle again and again while organising rallies, but [he] still received the murder-like attack.”
Meanwhile, there appears to be no sign that the protestors will give in anytime soon, and no sign of budging on behalf of the Hong Kong government.
“If there’s still any wishful thinking that by escalating violence, the Hong Kong [special administrative region of China] government will yield to pressure, to satisfy the so-called political demands, I’m making this statement clear and loud here: that will not happen,” Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam reportedly said.
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