Hong Kong Withdraws Extradition Bill, Too Late

Hong Kong Withdraws Extradition Bill, Too Late

Hong Kong Withdraws Extradition Bill, Too Late

Does anyone remember how the demonstrations in Hong Kong began anymore? This all started with an extradition bill.

This would have been an amendement to change the current separate judicial system in Hong Kong to allow China to extradite whomever it wanted into mainland China, and their court system. After widespread demonstrations, the bill was abandoned, but that didn’t stop the protests. Not in the least. The bill was simply a catalyst for the desire for real freedom that had been simmering below the surface since the Hong Kong handover in 1997.

Well, now the Hong Kong government has officially withdrawn the extradition bill from legislative consideration.

The proposed legal amendment, which would have allowed fugitive transfers to mainland China, led to a large-scale protest march on June 9 which – according to the organiser – was attended by one million people.”

The government refused to axe the bill, citing the need to close a legal loophole. Protesters and police then clashed outside the legislature on June 12, resulting in the first use of tear gas by police since the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Demonstrations have continued every weekend since.”

Despite the scrapping of the bill, protesters’ demands have evolved into calls for an independent commission of inquiry into police’s handling of the unrest, retraction of the use of the word “riots” to characterise the protests, amnesty for all arrested protesters, as well as universal suffrage. Many have also called for disbanding of the police force.”

If the Hong Kong government had done this back in July, then things might have turned out differently. But they did not, and here we are. The demonstrations have gone far beyond one extradition bill. It’s now taken root and showed all the shadows in the glossy, showy picture that China wished to present to the world, exposing an underbelly of communist dictatorship and human rights abuses.

China has not been shy about stamping out protests in brutal ways before, but this time was different. There was no way for China to pull off a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown without it being instantly broadcast all over social media, despite Twitter being banned in China. That kind of attack may still happen, but now all eyes are on China.

And honestly, thanks to the cowardice of the NBA, both its leadership and its stars, the protests in Hong Kong have now been given a glaring spotlight that won’t be going away anytime soon. That wasn’t what Daryl Morey intended, that wasn’t what Adam Silver intended, and that wasn’t what China intended – but look at what has happened now.

And as the people continue to draw attention to Hong Kong, more influential voices are finding a spine.
Good for Shaq. Good for those wearing shirts at NBA games to constantly remind the entire league and everyone watching of what is happening. The people of Hong Kong have cast their lot for freedom. We need to stand with them.

Featured image: Hong Kong skyline via Pixabay, Pixabay license

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1 Comment
  • Kristian H says:

    All the entertainment / opinion appearances of Shaq show a simply joyful and generous man.

    Here, he is beyond right.

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