torsdag 14. mai 2020

Hong Kong is pushing a controversial national anthem bill just as protests are kicking off again

After five months of being at the forefront of the coronavirus pandemic, new infections in Hong Kong have slowed to a trickle, and the city is slowly getting back to normal. Which, these days, means protests.

Many are not waiting for the final coronavirus restrictions to be lifted. During protests over the weekend, police arrested some 230 people on a variety of charges, including unlawful assembly and refusing to abide by social distancing regulations. Such disturbances are only likely to increase, with summer being the city's traditional protest season around the key anniversaries of June 4, for the Tiananmen Square massacre, and July 1, which marks Hong Kong's handover to Chinese control, as well as a host of new key dates created by last year's protests.

The government has attempted to wield public opinion against the protesters, pointing out that people are already hurting economically from the coronavirus crisis and now is not the time for further public disturbance. The heavy police response to initial protests also seems designed to dissuade anyone on the fence from joining in.