Why Are People in Hong Kong Protesting the Government?

Hong Kong
On June 16, 2019, nearly 2 million people clogged the streets of Hong Kong in a protest. The protests have continued since then.

Since June 2019, protestors have held weekly demonstrations in Hong Kong. Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997. As a British colony, Hong Kong was a democratic territory. Then Hong Kong was handed to China. China promised that the territory could have its own local government and that residents of Hong Kong could have freedom of speech. But China and Hong Kong have very different forms of government. China appoints a chief executive, the leader of Hong Kong. The current leader is Carrie Lam.

What caused the protests? Carrie Lam proposed a law that could allow China to detain [to keep someone in jail] Hong Kong residents who disagreed with their policies. They could even move people from Hong Kong to China. On June 9, almost a million people protested peacefully in Hong Kong. They didn’t want the law to be considered. A few days later, the protests became more violent. A few of the protestors were arrested. In Hong Kong, protestors can be called “rioters.” Someone arrested for rioting could be sentenced to ten years in prison.

Carrie Lam, announced she would suspend voting on the proposal. But Hong Kong residents viewed this as just a way to delay the decision. Since June 17, there have been protests every week. Protestors want the laws to be more democratic. They want the protestors to not be called rioters. And they want the protestors who were sent to jail to be released. They also want Lam to resign from office. Then Hong Kong could elect its own leader.

What Do You Think? What can make people protest their government? Do you think protests are a good way to change things?

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