A Timeline of the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Protest in Hong Kong

Paintings on the wall at Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, on October 8th, 2019. Credit: Tiffany Wang

Today marks the 4th month of the Hong Kong Protest, the city has transformed into a place of battle for democracy. Traces of protests can be spotted everywhere, from graffiti on the streets to blooming Lennon Walls in all 18 districts in Hong Kong. From the initial demonstration for the Anti-Extradition Protest to the Five Demands and fight against the Anti-Mask Law, Hongkongers have experienced months of confusion, white terror and fear. Below is a timeline of Hong Kong’s struggle for freedom against the government.

June 2019 

June 9: 1 million Hongkongers participated in an Anti-Extradition Law march from Victoria Park to Chater Garden. Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced a second reading of the Amendment of the Extradition Bill on the same night.

June 12: Protestors surrounded the Legislative Council in the morning, causing the Legislative Meeting to be cancelled. In the afternoon, protestors took over streets and roads. Demonstrators at Tim Wa Avenue began setting up blocks using crowd control barriers. Collisions between protestors holding umbrellas and the police broke out. The police employed tear gas to disperse protestors.

On the same day, the official Twitter account for Telegram stated that it went under a severe DDoS attack by a large group of hackers in order to disrupt its communication system. The source of the attack was then discovered to be from mainland China.

June 15: A protestor committed suicide as an objection to the bill amendment. The bill was “delayed”.

June 16: 2 million Hongkongers participated in another march to demand the withdrawal of the bill. During the demonstration, protestors swiftly allowed ambulances to pass through the crowd, earning international recognition of the peaceful and civilised manner of protest. The Five Demands were declared:

  1. Full withdrawal of the extradition bill

  2. A commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality

  3. Retracting the classification of the protests as “riots”

  4. Amnesty for all arrested protesters

  5. Immediate implementation of dual universal suffrage for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive

July 2019

July 1: Around 550 thousand civilians flooded the streets during the annual July 1st Protests. Some demonstrators lowered the National Flag and replaced it with a Black Bauhinia Flag in the morning. In the afternoon, protestors began to smash windows and doors of the Legislative council and unprecedentedly stormed, occupied and vandalized the Legislative Council at night.

July 9: Carrie Lam reiterated that the extradition bill was “dead”.

July 17: Organizers reported that over 9000 people attended a pro-democracy elderly march from Chater Garden in Central to outside the Admiralty government headquarters in support of the ongoing protests.

July 21: Triads from Fujian dressed in white shirts attacked random civilians in the Yuen Long MTR Station. The police shut down police stations at times of need, arriving 39 minutes after calls for help. Some patrol officers were filmed walking away from the scenes instead of aiding innocent civilians.

August 2019

August 2: Around 40 thousand attended a civil servant’s pro-democracy rally to urge the government to respond to the Five Demands.

August 5: A citywide strike was carried out for the Five Demands and the attack in Yuen Long Station on July 21. Services across Hong Kong came to a standstill.

August 7: Keith Fong Chun-yin, the president of the Baptist University Student Union, was arrested under the possession of a laser pointer, which was deemed as an offensive weapon.

August 11: A protestor was shot in the eye by police bean bag rounds during a protest, permanently losing her vision.

August 12: Following the news of the girl who was blinded by the police, thousands of protestors demonstrated at Hong Kong International Airport, chanting slogans and promoting the situation of Hong Kong to tourists. Hundreds of flights were cancelled. The police admitted the use of expired tear gas on protestors during a press conference.

Demonstrators distributed and displayed different multilanguage slogans and posters for tourists from all around the world at the Hong Kong International Airport on August 12th, 2019.

August 14: Two pilots who have voiced out in support of the protest were fired by Cathay Pacific under pressure from Beijing.

August 18: At least 1.7 million protestors participated in another march from Victoria Park to Central in heavy rain.

Protestors filled the streets of Causeway Bay as they march for democracy with no fear of the harsh weather on August 18th, 2019.

August 31: Riot police entered the Prince Edward MTR Station and indiscriminately attacked civilians and protestors on board of trains. Paramedics and the press were denied entry into the station, the number of injuries was unknown. Alleged deaths of protestors under police brutality began to surface.

September 2019

September 4: Carrie Lam announced that the Extradition Bill was officially withdrawn, after over 3 months of protest.

September 9: High school students formed human chains across different districts of Hong Kong in support of the Hong Kong protests.

September 10-21: Protests and assemblies against police brutality and the five demands continued. Protestors increased in the violence. Pro-government shops and properties were destroyed, vandalised and burned, including MTR gates in multiple stations. In particular, branches of companies under Maxim’s Catering, e.g. Starbucks, were trashed by protestors after Annie Wu, the daughter of Maxim’s founder gave a speech condemning the protests and supporting Beijing’s harsh stance against pro-democracy demonstrators.

A Starbucks Coffee Branch vandalised and trashed at Tseung Kwan O.

September 23: During the police conference, a video of officers abusing their power and beating a subdued protestor was shown. Police official Vasco Williams claims that the officers were just kicking a “yellow object”, causing city-wide rage.

September 26: Carrie Lam held a 4-hour public dialogue session at Elizabeth Stadium, Wan Chai.

Mid to End of September: 31 protestors who were previously detained at San Uk Ling Holding Centre were sent to the North District Hospital. 6 of the protestors suffered severe injuries and bone fractures. Allegations of inhumane treatment and torture towards protestors within the facility began to service. Protests turned violent as protestors began attacking the police with Molotov Cocktails during collisions as well as vandalising and damaging pro-government shops and Chinese-funded banks. Some even took matters into their own hands and injured pro-government people who provoked conflicts during rallies.

September 29: The Global Anti-Totalitarianism March was carried out. An undercover policeman pointed his gun at unarmed civilians and fired a warning shot of the first real bullet in the Hong Kong protest. Verby Indah, an Indonesian journalist who was reporting the situation live at the time, was shot in the eye by a police projectile, causing permanent loss of vision.

October 2019

October 1: An 18-year-old protestor was shot by the police with real bullets in the chest at point-blank range during a demonstration in Yuen Long against National Day celebrations, marking the first firing of live ammunition upon protestors by the police. 6 rounds of real bullets were fired on the day, and another protestor was shot in the hand on the same day. 269 protestors were arrested.

“October 1st, The Country Mourns” sprayed on the pillar at Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, on October 8th, 2019. Credit: Tiffany Wang

October 4: Chief Executive Carrie Lam proposed and implemented the Anti-Mask Law in one day after invoking the Emergency Regulation Ordinance. Demonstrations broke out the same night unprecedently in all 18 districts across Hong Kong. Protestors destroyed and burned MTR stations, pro-government shops, and Chinese-funded banks.

October 5: Another protester, 14, was shot in the thigh by real bullets. All MTR services around Hong Kong were suspended.

October 6: Protest marches against the Anti-Mask Law and the Emergency Regulations Ordinance were carried out on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Districts.

October 8: Daryl Morey, manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted an umbrella logo with the slogan: “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” China subsequently suspended broadcasts of Houston Rockets games in China. Morey and the NBA issued apology statements and the pro-protest tweet has since been deleted.

Hong Kong has gone through 4 months of tireless protests since June. Lives were lost for the movement, and the increasing tension and conflicts have resulted in city-wide destruction. Still, the people of Hong Kong are determined to chase a dream that many may deem as impossible. As tear gas smoke and angry voices envelope the city, Hongkongers must find a way to prevail in their fight for freedom. Persistence is one of Hong Kong’s core values. Even when situations seem dire, Hongkongers always stand their grounds and push through any hardships they may face. Their drive is simple: Faith. Under the rule of a totalitarian government, the people must voice out for justice against all odds, and Hongkongers are a tough crowd.

Five Demands, Not One Less. Fight For Freedom, Stand With Hong Kong.

“Resist” painted on the wall at Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, on October 8th, 2019. Credit: Tiffany Wang

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