Hundreds gathered on the streets of Hong Kong today to protest a law that would permit China to extradite persons who are suspects from Hong Kong to face charges in China. The organizers claim that 500,000 or more came to protest wearing white clothing and chanted slogans of ‘Step Down’ and ‘Shelve the Evil Law’.
This protest occurred three days before the HK government plans to have the bill approved, which will happen before the end of the month according to Reuters.
A protester brought a sign which said ‘Make Hong Kong Great Again’, adorned with a photo of Trump firing the Chief Executive of Hong Kong World: Carrie Lam who can still withdraw this bill.
Those who do not support this move claim that it gives the Chinese government right to take anyone from Hong Kong due to political or unintentional business offenses.
Foreign governments like the US have protested as well owing to the impact the bill will have on the rule of law in Hong Kong, and a dip in financial markets. The city had been handed back from the British to China in 1997, with an underlying condition that it would run on a separate legal system that may change if this bill comes to pass.
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Lawmakers and protesters alike have pressured Lam to withdraw this archaic and oppressive bill. Democratic Party member James To spoke to the crowds on Sunday night and said that Lam must withdraw this bill as well as resign as the entirety of Hong Kong was against her.
Officials of the administration have been defending the plan and say that remedies and reliefs including local judges to adjudge the case before approval by Lam are in place. In a comment, one such supporter said that the administration is listening to a large spectrum of opinions and is open to suggestions to improve the circumstance.
Reuters has reported that protesters and families, including workers, business executives, and persons from various walks of life were protesting even as temperatures soared at 90 degrees. A wheelchair-bound protestor, 78 years of age, said that he was one of the first to arrive, and was here for the fight.
Debate to amend the bill is set to take place on Wednesday, and will likely be passed in June. A similar protest had occurred earlier in 2019, where 100,000 people had taken to the streets of Hong Kong.