mandag 19. august 2019

Hong Kong’s dilemma: fight or resist peacefully

Ellie Lau, a 21-year-old student, was one of thousands of protesters who flooded Hong Kong’s airport this week. There, she and a friend had an uneasy conversation about the future. As they joined throngs of demonstrators dressed in black sitting on the floor of the arrivals hall they talked about exhaustion and uncertainty – emotions they have suppressed over the past two months of protesting against their government.

“It’s already very hard for us. All the people I know are all very tired physically and mentally. We don’t know what we should or can do,” says Lau. “I will ask myself, ‘What else can I give up for this movement for the future of Hong Kong?’ We don’t usually talk about it, but we are all thinking about it.”

Hong Kong’s biggest political crisis for decades, triggered in June by its determination to push ahead with an extradition bill that to many represented Beijing’s tightening hold over the city, has reached a stalemate. Campaigners are frustrated that weeks of protests – including peaceful rallies, mass disruptions of the city and violent clashes – have failed to force the government to respond.