Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Many protests add up to a big picture of a Hong Kong united in opposition to the extradition bill and Carrie Lam's administration!

Journalists turned protesters to condemn police violence 
and defend press freedom this past Sunday
The Fourth Estate ensured there were lots of photo ops
during the event ;b

Earlier this evening, thousands of silver-haired individuals took part in a protest march in support of younger extradition law protesters.  Although nominally a silent march, it seemed like many of the participants couldn't resist the opportunity to give voice to their demands (such as in this Tweeted video clip, where they can be heard chanting "Carrie Lam, step down" in Cantonese).

The assembly point for today's march was Chater Garden, the site of protest rallies organized in recent weeks by mothers who also wanted to show that the extradition bill is not just the concern of young Hong Kongers.  With a far shorter route than, say, those for the mega protest marches of June 9th and 16th, many people who would have had major difficulty completing those others were able to take part, including a silver-haired attendee with one leg who propelled himself along on crutches.   

I have to admit: that photo of that determined individual caused me to well up.  It also got me thinking back to an assertion made by someone who refuses to believe that the majority of Hong Kongers are against the proposed -- and supposedly now "dead" but not yet withdrawn -- extraditioon bill that even if it really was the case that two million people went out into the streets on June 16th to show their opposition to it, the fact that "only" two million people did so meant that there still are over five million Hong Kongers who have no problems with it.   

More specifically, I think that assertion doesn't stand to reason because I am sure there are lots of opponents to the bill whose physical health makes it so that they are unable to go out on the streets to protest against it; and this particularly so since some of the marches are now getting so many people out on the streets at the same time as to literally bring traffic -- foot and vehicular -- to a standstill!  And then there also are people unable for other reasons to take part in the protests, including because they have to work on those days and at those times that those protests are taking place.  

Among them are those members of the Fourth Estate whose job it is to cover the protests.  And while it might be said that the press is supposed to be impartial, the fact of the matter is that, especially after being subjected to police brutality or witnessing this happening to their colleagues -- or "just" fellow humans -- in recent weeks, it is only to be expected that they will end up taking sides.  Thus it was that, this past Sunday, Hong Kong journalists and their supporters staged a protest of their own -- against police violence and for press freedom -- and that at this event, signs calling for Carrie Lam to step down along with such as the Hong Kong colonial flag were in evidence as well as blown up photographic evidence of inappropriate policing that has taken place at recent extradition bill protests.    

Taken by themselves, today's silver haired protest march and the press' on Sunday might not amount to much, especially in terms of numbers of participants.  But I think the fact that they have taken place and are among a whole series of protests occuring in various parts of Hong Kong that have included ones organized by mothers and will include one by social workers later this week as well as more "regular" protest organizers like the Civil Human Rights Front says a great deal about the level -- and varied circles -- of opposition that there is to the extradition bill and Carrie Lam's administration in Hong Kong society these days. 

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