ACU students from Hong Kong are watching events unfold in their home country as students lead pro-democracy protests.
Hong Kong is in the throes of a revolution that expanded into an anticipated city-wide protest movement with an unprecedented turnout on Monday.
The city-wide protest is a byproduct of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement. Occupy Central demands the resignation of Chief Executive CY Leung and democracy for Hong Kong. The protest is another symptom of civil disobedience in Hong Kong that has increased since the beginning of the year.
“This protest is mainly led by students, and most of my old classmates are pretty involved in it,” said Edison Zhu, junior accounting major from Hong Kong. “They post everything on Facebook which is the way I actually learned of it.”
This round of protests is not led by a specific organization, and it is not located in a specific park. The protest is free-form. It is coalescing in intersections, city streets and overpasses. Students, parents and individuals from numerous social strata are joining together to voice their disapproval.
Zhu said the protests are a tool to reclaim Hong Kong’s democracy and the right to vote for Hong Kong’s chief executive, the leader of Hong Kong.
Protestors have disregarded police demands to disband and continue to occupy massive areas of Hong Kong business districts. The protestors’ disobedience presents a perplexing problem for the president of China, Xi Jinping. Even mild compromises, at this point, would open the door for future protests and demands.
“What Hong Kong is fighting for, I totally support,” said Jason Lo, freshmen elementary education major from Hong Kong. “We want true democracy, we don’t want a central government deciding for us what we want. In my opinion, there isn’t anything that you can do, the government has already said no. You can fight all you want, but there isn’t going to be a result. It will only result in casualties.”
Though change may not occur soon, this turn of events marks an important shift in the relations between Hong Kong and China. The peaceful and steadfast nature of the protests mean that despite being in a tight situation, President Xi will be forced to show his hand.