mandag 22. juli 2019

How four deaths turned Hong Kong's protest movement dark

On a hot summer night earlier this month, a few thousand people gathered in Hong Kong to honor a 28-year-old woman who many of them had never met. Under the glow of Hong Kong's harbor-side Ferris wheel, they lit candles, sang songs, and left messages to her on colorful Post-it notes, calling her "brave." "We will accomplish what is left to be done," wrote one.

The death of the woman -- known to most of the world by her last name, Mak -- was the fourth suspected suicide to be connected by local media to ongoing demonstrations, sparked initially by a controversial extradition bill that many feared could further limit freedoms in the semi-autonomous city. The bill has been suspended, but over a period of just a few months the movement has developed into something bigger -- and darker. Some demonstrations -- including one on Sunday night -- have ended in aggression, with protesters using metal barricades to charge police, and police firing rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters.