One year back, Hong Kong saw one of its most violent days on 1 October as the pro-democracy movement raged, however this year the city was largely silent.
The date denotes the founding of the People’s Republic of China, widely celebrated on the mainland.
In 2019, it was called “day of mourning” by Hong Kong nonconformists stressed over China’s growing control.
This year, Beijing-forced security law and COVID have ended most protests.
Requests for demonstrations were not allowed by the specialists – with the COVID pandemic and security concerns cited as reasons.
Proponents of the security law state it was needed to quell the sort of violence that was seen in Hong Kong for a while a year ago.
What Happened In 2020?
In the early hours of the day, city authorities held a small ceremony with a flag raising and helicopters flying the colors of both China and Hong Kong.
In the midst of tight security and stepped up riot police presence, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam hailed that “stability has been restored to society while national security has been protected, and our people can keep on making the most of their basic rights and freedoms”.
However, while fear stopped numerous from protesting, some Hong Kongers didn’t hesitate to tell reporters what they truly thought.
“Today is a day for public mourning,” Mr. Choi told Reuters. “What should we celebrate for?”
“Many individuals need to voice out their requests peacefully,” Roger Tsang said but that the “severe police brutality” was threatening individuals into silence. “The co-called “peacefulness” is an illusion.”
What’s more, protests were not entirely quiet. A few small activists bunches sporadically gathered to protest and chant slogans in Causeway Bay.
Authorities’ say that at least 86 individuals were arrested, most of them for unauthorized get-together.
What Has Changed Since A Year Ago?
In response to the previous years’ repeated floods of protests, Beijing this summer introduced a wide-ranging new security law for Hong Kong.
It introduces heavy penalties – up with life in jail – for offenses including subversion and severance.
Critics have called it “the finish of Hong Kong”, saying it effectively curtails protests and freedom of speech.
But supporters say it was needed to stamp out the chaos of anti-government protests.
The law came, which came into effect on 1 July 2020, has already been invoked in a string of arrests and a few prominent pro-democracy activists have fled the nation for fear of arrest.
Simply this week, the US said it would priorities Hong Kongers – along with citizens from a few different nations – for its refugee affirmation program.
What Did 2019 Look Like?
On 1 October, while Beijing was celebrating 70 years of Communist Party rule, Hong Kong experienced one of its most “violent and chaotic days”.
Demonstrations had started peacefully but escalated when the police used tear gas and water cannons to drive back groups of protesters who fought officers with poles, petrol bombs and other projectiles.
An 18-year-old was shot in the chest with a live bullet and in any event, 66 people were harmed during clashes.
The protests and violence had raged for months in Hong Kong with mass demonstrations calling for democracy and less impact from Beijing.
Large rallies repeatedly descended from peaceful protest into prolonged clashes between little gatherings of frontline protesters and police.
A previous British state, Hong Kong is part of China yet residents of Hong Kong prize civil liberties, for example, free speech, the right to protest, and an entirely independent and robust judiciary, as allowed in the Basic Law.
This news is originally posted on BBC