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 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.
Time lapse video shared online on how hundreds of thousands marched to protest against an extradition bill #extraditionbill in Hong Kong pic.twitter.com/hOps5KF5VC
— Stella Lee (@StellaLeeHKnews) June 9, 2019
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.
Police throw tear gas into a crowd of protesters in #Hong Kong.
Protests against #HongKongExtraditionLaw escalated on June 12, with police using pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bags to dispel crowds.#HongKongProtests #HongKong #ExtradictionBill pic.twitter.com/dRKEVeSNcB
— The Epoch Times – China Insider (@EpochTimesChina) June 12, 2019
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:
Full withdrawal of the extradition bill
A commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality
Retracting the classification of the protests as “riots”
Amnesty for all arrested protesters
Immediate implementation of dual universal suffrage for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive
Official: organizer says 2 millions of people marching today.#NoChinaExtradition pic.twitter.com/aiDI8sri4P
— Nathan Law 羅冠聰 😷 (@nathanlawkc) June 16, 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.
Hong Kong protests right now. Thousands smashing their way into legislative building. All in hard hats and masks pic.twitter.com/BnRcmhj3Hn
— ANDREW THOMAS (@andthomsydney) July 1, 2019
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.
Protesters in Hong Kong are getting attacked by masked thugs.
Terrifying footage => pic.twitter.com/dsLacbxToz
— Gissur Simonarson 🇮🇸🏴 (@GissiSim) July 21, 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.
The city of Hong Kong went on strike today.#HitTheirPockets
— Joshua Potash 🆘 (@JoshuaPotash) August 5, 2019
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
one of the “protest children” member was dragged to an alleyway and got beaten up by #hongkongpolice. in the police press conference, police said they are kicking a yellow object which they do not know what it is.#hongkongprotests #freehk @SolomonYue @SenRubioPress #hongkong pic.twitter.com/wjlWWEtHHx
— CH (@CH_HONGKONG) September 23, 2019
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 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 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.
Despite the rain, thousands have turned out in Hong Kong to protest the government’s use of emergency powers. A steady stream of umbrellas flowing through the city centre pic.twitter.com/CZIgagcvcD
— Emma Graham-Harrison (@_EmmaGH) October 6, 2019
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.