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Protest Crowds in Hong Kong, June 2019

In June 2019 the Chinese government in Beijing tried to impose its will on the people of Hong Kong through the passage of a law that would allow them to extradite anyone in Hong Kong to Beijing, presumably for activities they thought were anti-government or opposed to one-party Communist rule.  People in Hong Kong, who have enjoyed special status since the U.K. turned Hong Kong over to China, were understandably upset over this new law and millions of them took to the streets.  This video, submitted by Tim Wiseman (see the Bumpkin reports in the Life section of this blog), shows hundreds of thousands of protesters racing through the streets from the vantage point of a high-rise office building.  This short, time-lapse film is extraordinary–but you must watch it until the end.   Tim’s report from Hong Kong during the protests (so far) is as follows:

 

Reporting to you live from Hong Kong.

It is this Bumpkin Reporter’s first time around a legitimate protest.  And given the scale (one million) duration (nearly one week so far) and conflict (80 people injured), this is genuine civil unrest.

First and foremost.  Whatever you read about the policy/law they are trying to pass about extradition, remember this is about only one thing:  Mainland China slowly sucking the freedom and independence from Hong Kong.

Sunday:

The BIG protest.  I only caught a glimpse from a taxi, but is was a sea of humans in white T shirts. Differing reports on size, but I can tell the difference between 240,000 and one million and it was definitely closer to the million.  People slowly marched thorough the streets peacefully and disbanded around 10:00 pm.

Protesters crowd the streets by the hundreds of thousands

Monday:

Legislature announces they will review the new law on Wednesday.  Word goes out to mobilize.

Tuesday night:

People start gathering around the legislative building, which is two blocks from my office.  We start getting regular “risk notifications” from our corporate risk team.  It’s a code “yellow” telling us to avoid certain areas due to congestion.  If our office, nobody has any concern and neither do I especially given how peaceful the Sunday demonstration was.

Protesters assembling in Hong Kong

Wednesday:

Things start getting interesting.  The risk notification emails start coming hourly telling us about street closures, train and bus issues and some of the local business closing down for the day (banks, retail stores, etc)

We can see gathering masses from the office window

At noon the office decides to tell everyone they can go home.  Most everyone is unconcerned and remains.

Afternoon – we hear news that tear gassing starts.  My friend in the building next door is sending videos – you can see the gas and crowds.

More risk emails stating that our building has added additional security, closed most of the doors, etc.  I’m not worried, but I’m paying close attention. Remember, we’re only 2 blocks away.  Nobody is concerned about personal safety, but more about not being able to get home because of transportation issues.

Legislature calls off the session since they can’t get to the building

People slowly start to filter out of the office and we shoo most everyone out by 5 pm.

I head home but take a circle around the building and there are several thousand people milling around in the streets with ponchos, umbrellas (its raining off and on) and masks.

Evening – at home, read about how serious things got.  Protesters got too rough and the police pushed back hard.  Tear gas and batons. About 80 injured.

A line of police confront the protesters and the tear gassing begins

Thursday: 

Back in the office. Normal office day. Heavy rain so things are quiet on the streets.  By midday transportation is back to normal.

Read about how protesters were using a special encrypted texting app to coordinate efforts.  Further read that the app was brute-force attacked by mainland china to try and disable it. (which proves the point that China is stepping on the neck of Hong Kong – which is the entire reason for the protests)

Friday (today) :

Totally quiet. Regular day at the office.  Plans are in place for a major Sunday protest again.  Many of my younger co workers are making plans to be there all day.  The older colleagues just shrug and say they have too much work to do. If things spill over into Monday we are having a flex work day (from home) if needed.

Many thanks to Tim Wiseman for sharing his Bumpkin journal and the accompanying video of protesters racing through the streets.

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