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2019–20 Hong Kong protests

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2019–20 Hong Kong protests
Part of democratic development in Hong Kong,
the Hong Kong–Mainland China conflict
and the protests of 2019
反送中遊行 002.jpg
Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protest (48108527758).jpg
2019-09-15 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protest 036.jpg
2019-09-13 Lion Rock, Hong Kong 04.jpg
Hong Kong protests - Panorama.jpg
Demonstration against extradition bill, 12 June 2019.jpg
LR-7557 (49049938866).jpg
A collection of various protest scenes in Hong Kong
Date
  • 15 March 2019 – present (2 years, 4 months and 3 weeks, total )
  • 9 June 2019 – 1 January 2020 (6 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, mass marches)[1]
Location
Caused by
GoalsFive Demands
  • Full withdrawal of the extradition bill from the legislative process
  • Retraction of the characterisation of the 12 June 2019 protests as "riots"
  • Release and exoneration of arrested protesters
  • Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into police behaviour
  • Universal suffrage for Legislative Council and Chief Executive elections
MethodsDiverse (see tactics and methods)
StatusOngoing
Concessions
given
  • Bill suspended on 15 June and officially withdrawn on 23 October[8][9]
  • Police partially retracted characterisation of protests on or before 12 June as "riots", except for five individuals in Admiralty on 12 June[10]
Parties to the civil conflict
Lead figures
Protesters
(no centralised leadership)

Supported by:

Deaths, injuries and arrests
Death(s)2
Injuries
Arrested7,950+ (as of 2 May 2020)[22][lower-alpha 2]
Charged1,200+ (as of 19 March 2020)[25]

Template:2019–2020 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests

The 2019–20 Hong Kong protests are a series of protests triggered by the introduction of the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill by the Hong Kong government.[26][27] Had it been enacted, the bill would have allowed the extradition of wanted criminal suspects and criminal fugitives to territories with which Hong Kong does not currently have extradition agreements, including Mainland China and Taiwan.[28] This led to concerns by some that the bill would subject Hong Kong residents and visitors to the jurisdiction and legal system of Mainland China, thereby undermining the region's autonomy and people's civil liberties,[29][30][31][32] and infringe on privacy and freedom of speech laws. As the protests progressed, the protesters laid out five key demands, namely the withdrawal of the bill, an investigation into alleged police brutality and misconduct, the release of all arrested protesters, a retraction of the official characterisation of the protests as "riots", and Chief Executive Carrie Lam's resignation along with the introduction of universal suffrage for election of the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive.[33][34]

Despite a demonstration attended by hundreds of thousands on 9 June 2019, the government persisted with the bill.[35][36] Protesters gathered outside the Legislative Council Complex to stall the bill's second reading on 12 June,[37][38][39][40] resulting in an intense standoff between the protesters and the police who deployed tear gas and rubber bullets.[41] An even bigger protest took place on 16 June, just one day after the suspension of the bill, as protesters insisted on the complete withdrawal of the bill and reacted to the perceived excessive use of force by the police on 12 June.[42] The anniversary of the handover on 1 July 2019 saw the storming of the Legislative Council Complex,[43] and subsequent protests throughout the summer spread to different districts.[44] Police inaction when suspected triad members assaulted protesters and commuters in Yuen Long on 21 July 2019,[45] the police storming of Prince Edward station on 31 August 2019, and the large-scale demonstrations during the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on 1 October, caused further escalation of the protests.[46]

Lam eventually withdrew the bill on 4 September 2019,[47][48][49] but still refused to concede to the other four demands. Claiming to curb further protests, Lam invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance on 4 October 2019 to implement an anti-mask law, to counterproductive effect.[50] As the protests dragged on, confrontations escalated as both sides became increasingly violent. The number of police brutality and misconduct allegations increased.[51][52][53] Some protesters escalated their use of radical methods such as throwing petrol bombs,[54][51] conducting vigilante attacks against perceived provocateurs,[55][56] and vandalising supposed pro-Beijing entities.[57] Rifts within society widened as activists from both sides assaulted each other, with lawmakers from both sides and protest organisers being attacked or intimidated.[58][55] Two student deaths as well as the shooting of an unarmed protester in November 2019 further intensified the protests. Protesters' occupation of two university campuses to block key thoroughfares ended with sieges by authorities and resulted in many of injuries and arrests.[59]

The government and the police received the lowest approval ratings in public opinion polls since the 1997 handover.[60][61][62] Their performance contributed to the unprecedented landslide victory of the pro-democratic bloc in the 2019 District Council election, which was widely viewed as a de facto referendum on the protest movement.[63] The Central People's Government has characterised the protests as the "worst crisis in Hong Kong" since the handover in 1997 and alleged that foreign powers were instigating the conflict,[64] though the protests, which continued through to 2020, have been largely described as "leaderless".[65][66] The United States passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on 27 November 2019 to support the protest movement;[67] solidarity rallies were held in dozens of cities abroad. Counter-protesters held several pro-police rallies.[68]

There have been two deaths associated with the protests: Chow Tsz-lok, a student who died after a fall inside a car park in Tseung Kwan O,[62] and Luo Changqing, an elderly man who died as a result of reportedly being struck on the head by a brick thrown by a protester during a confrontation between two opposing groups.[69][70][71][72][73] In addition, protesters have linked the protests to at least nine suicides.[74]

Large-scale protests are currently halted due to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.[75]

Background[edit source | edit]

Direct cause[edit source | edit]

The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 was first proposed by the government of Hong Kong in February 2019 in response to the 2018 murder of Poon Hiu-wing by her boyfriend Chan Tong-kai in Taiwan, where the two Hong Kong residents were visiting as tourists. As there is no extradition treaty with Taiwan (because the government of China does not recognise its sovereignty), the Hong Kong government proposed an amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (Cap. 503) and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance (Cap. 525) to establish a mechanism for case-by-case transfers of fugitives, on the order of the Chief Executive, to any jurisdiction with which the city lacks a formal extradition treaty.[32] One such jurisdiction would be mainland China.

The inclusion of mainland China in the amendment is of concern to different sectors of Hong Kong society. Pro-democracy advocates fear the removal of the separation of the region's jurisdiction from mainland Chinese laws administered by the Communist Party, would erode the "one country, two systems" principle in practice since the 1997 handover. In addition, Hong Kong citizens lacked confidence in China's judiciary system and human rights protection due to its history of suppressing political dissidents.[76] Opponents of the bill urged the Hong Kong government to explore other avenues, such as establishing an extradition arrangement solely with Taiwan, and to sunset the arrangement immediately after the surrender of the suspect.[32][77]

A Reuters report claims that the Beijing officials had been pushing for an extradition law for 20 years. Xiao Jianhua, a Chinese billionaire residing in Hong Kong, was allegedly abducted by Chinese agents across the border in January 2017 as a spillover of China's paramount leader and general secretary Xi Jinping's mass anti-graft campaign. The incident was widely reported in Hong Kong, sparking fear among residents. That same year, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Chinese Communist Party's internal anti-corruption body, began pressing Beijing officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs about the urgent need for an extradition arrangement, which it thought to be less damaging politically than kidnapping or snaring fugitive mainlanders in Hong Kong.[78]

Underlying causes[edit source | edit]

The 2019–20 Hong Kong protests came four and a half years after the Umbrella Revolution of 2014. It had begun after the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) regarding proposed reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system, which were largely seen as restrictive. However, the movement ended in failure as the government offered no concessions.[79] Since then, democratic development has stalled: only half of the seats in the Legislative Council remain directly elected, and the Chief Executive of Hong Kong continues to be voted on by the small-circle Election Committee. The 2017 imprisonment of Hong Kong democracy activists further dashed the city's hope of meaningful political reform.[80] Citizens began to fear the loss of the "high degree of autonomy" as provided for in the Hong Kong Basic Law, as the government of the People's Republic of China appeared to be increasingly and overtly interfering with Hong Kong's affairs. Notably, the Legislative Council oath-taking controversy ended with the disqualification of six lawmakers following a ruling by the NPCSC; the Causeway Bay Books disappearances sparked concerns over state-sanctioned rendition and extrajudicial detention.[81][80] Another example considered representative of Hong Kong losing its freedoms is its steady fall on the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index. Despite universal suffrage being part of Hong Kong's basic law, in the 2019 report Hong Kong was scored 6.02/10, classing it on the index as a "flawed democracy", being only 0.02 points off a hybrid regime. Hong Kong was only scored 3.59/10 for Electoral process and pluralism. This was the lowest score in the category for a flawed democracy and lower than some authoritarian countries. Of 167 countries, Hong Kong ranked 75th while mainland China ranked 153rd.[82][83]

The rise of localism and the pro-independence movement was marked by the campaign for the 2016 New Territories East by-election by activist Edward Leung.[84] As fewer and fewer young people in Hong Kong identified themselves as Chinese, pollsters at the University of Hong Kong found that the younger respondents were, the more distrustful they were of the Chinese government.[81] By 2019, almost no Hong Kong youth identified themselves as Chinese.[85] The Moral and National Education controversy in 2012 severely shook young people's confidence in the systems which they believed protected their rights. With the approach of 2047, when the Basic Law is set to expire, along with the constitutional guarantees enshrined within it, sentiments of an uncertain future drove youth to join the protests against the extradition bill.[79] For some protesters, the Umbrella Revolution was an inspiration that brought about a political awakening.[79] Others, who felt that peaceful methods were ineffective, resorted to increasingly radical methods to express their views.[6][86] Media noted that unlike the 2014 protests, protesters in 2019 were driven by a sense of desperation rather than hope,[87][88] and that the aims of the protests had evolved from withdrawing the bill to fighting for greater freedom and liberties.[89]

Unaffordable housing prices were also cited as an underlying cause of anger among Hong Kongers.[90][91] Hong Kong is "the world's most expensive city to buy a home".[92] It has not secured affordable or public housing for the city's population[93] because, since the colonial period, the city's politics have been ruled largely by the business elite.[94] This has meant a few powerful families have significant influence over property development, with the construction of commercial properties on key real estate with limited competition.[95][96] With the business elites exerting great influence, Hong Kong also suffers from income disparity.[97] The city had the second highest Gini Coefficient in the world in 2017.[98] Youths, in particular, have little social mobility and have to compete for jobs with Mainland Chinese.[97][99] Salaries for university graduates in 2018 were lower than those of 30 years ago.[97] Many protesters in Hong Kong were young and educated. A survey conducted by three local scholars, who handed out questionnaires to 6,600 individuals during 12 protest events between 9 June and 4 August 2019, revealed that nearly 60% of the protesters were under the age of 30, and about 75% of the protesters had received tertiary education.[100]

Objectives[edit source | edit]

Initially the protesters only demanded the withdrawal of the extradition bill. Following an escalation in the severity of policing tactics against demonstrators on 12 June 2019, the protesters' objective was to achieve the following five demands (under the slogan "Five demands, not one less"):[101]

  • Complete withdrawal of the extradition bill from the legislative process: Although the chief executive announced an indefinite suspension of the bill on 15 June, the reading of it may be resumed quickly. The bill was "pending resumption of second reading" in the legislative council. It was formally withdrawn on 23 October 2019.[102]
  • Retraction of the "riot" characterisation: The government originally characterised the 12 June protest as "riots". Later the description was amended to say there were "some" protesters who rioted. However, protesters contest the existence of acts of rioting during the 12 June protest. Through the government's characterisation of the protests as "riots", any protester who was arrested could spend up to 10 years in prison.
  • Release and exoneration of arrested protesters: Protesters consider the arrests to be politically motivated; they also question the legitimacy of police arresting protesters at hospitals through access to their confidential medical data in breach of patient privacy.
  • Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into police conduct and use of force during the protests: Civic groups felt that the level of violence used by the police on 12 June, specifically that against protesters who were not committing any offences when they were set upon, was unjustified; police performing stop-and-search on numerous passers-by near the protest site without probable cause was also considered abusive.[103] Some officers' failure to display or show their police identification number or warrant card, despite being required to do so by the Police General Orders, is seen to be a breakdown of accountability.[104] The existing watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Council, lacks independence, and its functioning relies on police co-operation. As the number of allegations of police brutality and misconduct continued to rise, some Hong Kong protesters began to call for the police force to be disbanded.[105]
  • Resignation of Carrie Lam and the implementation of universal suffrage for Legislative Council elections and for the election of the Chief Executive:[106] Currently, the chief executive is selected by the 1,200-member Election Committee, and 30 of the 70 legislative council seats are filled by representatives from different sectors of the economy, forming the majority of the so-called functional constituencies, most of which have few electors.

History[edit source | edit]

Early demonstrations[edit source | edit]

Police used tear gas to disperse protesters gathering outside the Legislative Council Complex on 12 June 2019.

A sit-in by the pro-democracy group Demosistō held at the Central Government Complex on 15 March 2019 was the first protest against the extradition bill.[107] The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), a platform for 50 pro-democracy groups, launched a protest march against the bill on 31 March and another on 28 April 2019.[108] The anti-extradition issue attracted more attention when pro-democratic lawmakers in the legislative council launched a filibuster campaign against the bill. In response, the Secretary of Security John Lee announced that the government would resume second reading of the bill in full council on 12 June 2019, bypassing the Bills Committee, whose role would have been to scrutinise it.[109]

With the possibility of a second reading of the bill, the CHRF launched their third protest march on 9 June. While police estimated attendance at the march on Hong Kong Island at 270,000, the organisers claimed that 1.03 million people had attended the rally.[35][78] Carrie Lam insisted second reading and debate over the bill be resumed on 12 June.[110] Protesters successfully stopped the LegCo from resuming second reading of the bill by surrounding the LegCo Complex. Riot police dispersed protesters using controversial methods such as kettling, firing tear gas, bean bag rounds and rubber bullets, and allegedly assaulted journalists in the process.[111] Police Commissioner Stephen Lo declared the clashes a "riot".[112] Police were subsequently criticised for using excessive force, such as firing tear gas at a crowd peacefully protesting near CITIC Tower,[113][114] and for the lack of identification numbers on police officers' uniforms.[115] Following the clashes, protesters began calling for an independent inquiry into police brutality; they also urged the government to retract the "riot" characterisation.

Organisers claimed two million attended the CHRF march on 16 June 2019, while the police put the figure at 338,000.

On 15 June, Carrie Lam announced the bill's suspension but did not fully withdraw it.[116] A 35-year-old man committed suicide in protest of Lam's decision.[117] CHRF claimed that 2 million people had participated in the 16 June protest, while the police estimated that there were 338,000 demonstrators at its peak.[42]

Storming of Legco and spillovers[edit source | edit]

Protesters briefly occupied the Legislative Council Complex on 1 July 2019.

The CHRF claimed a record turnout of 550,000 for their annual march on 1 July 2019, while police estimated around 190,000 at the peak;[118][119] an independent polling organisation estimated attendance at 260,000.[120] The protest was largely peaceful. At night, protesters stormed the Legislative Council; police took little action to stop them. Partly angered by several more suicides since 15 June 2019, protesters smashed furniture, defaced the Hong Kong emblem, and presented a new ten-point manifesto.[121][122][123]

After 1 July 2019, protests spread to different areas in Hong Kong.[124][125][126] The first anti-extradition protest in Kowloon was held on 7 July, from Tsim Sha Tsui to West Kowloon station.[127] Clashes occurred later in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok. Once again, police officers' failure to display their warrant cards was a source of contention.[128] A peaceful protest on 14 July in Sha Tin escalated into intense confrontations with the police when the protesters were kettled inside New Town Plaza.[129][130] Mall owner Sun Hung Kai Properties drew criticism from protesters for allowing the police to enter the shopping centre without due authorisation.[131][132]

Protesters marching on Castle Peak Road during the "Reclaim Yuen Long" protest on 27 July 2019 in response to the 21 July Yuen Long Attack.

CHRF held another anti-extradition protest on 21 July on Hong Kong Island. Instead of dispersing, protesters passed the police-mandated endpoint,[133] and headed for the Liaison Office in Sai Ying Pun, where they defaced the Chinese national emblem.[134] While a standoff between the protesters and the police occurred on Hong Kong Island,[135] groups of white-clad individuals, suspected triad members, appeared and indiscriminately attacked people inside Yuen Long station.[136] Police were absent during the attacks, and the local police stations were shuttered, leading to suspicion that the attack was coordinated with police. Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho was later seen greeting members of the group, which led to accusations that he approved of the attack.[136]

On 27 July, protesters marched in Yuen Long, despite opposition from rural groups and the police. The protest escalated into violent clashes inside Yuen Long station.[137] The next day, protesters again defied the police ban and marched to Sai Wan and Causeway Bay.[138] To support the arrestees charged with rioting, protesters rallied near the police stations in Kwai Chung,[139] and Tin Shui Wai, where protesters were attacked by fireworks launched from a moving vehicle.[140][141]

General strike and escalation[edit source | edit]

Protesters returned to Mong Kok on 3 August 2019, though some marched to block the Cross-Harbour Tunnel toll plaza in Hung Hom.[142] Protests escalated into clashes between the police and residents in Wong Tai Sin near the disciplined services quarters.[143] Marches in Tseung Kwan O and Kennedy Town on 4 August and in Tai Po on 10 August escalated into citywide conflicts as protesters dispersed wherever the riot police were deployed.[144][145] A call for a general strike on 5 August was answered by about 350,000 people according to the Confederation of Trade Unions;[146] over 200 flights had to be cancelled.[147][148][149] Protests were held in seven districts in Hong Kong. To disperse protesters, the police used more than 800 canisters of tear gas.[150] Protesters in North Point were attacked by a group of stick-wielding men, leading to violent clashes.[151][152]

Protesters pointing their laser pointers at a newspaper outside the Space Museum, mocking an earlier police demonstration that aimed to illustrate the danger of laser pointers, which was seized from an arrested student union president.[153][154]

Various incidents involving alleged police brutality on 11 August—police shot bean bag rounds that ruptured the eye of a female protester, the use of tear gas indoors, the deployment of undercover police as agents-provocateurs, and the firing of pepper ball rounds at protesters at a very close range—prompted protesters to stage a three-day sit-in at Hong Kong International Airport from 12 to 14 August, forcing the Airport Authority to cancel numerous flights.[155][156][157] On 13 August, protesters at the airport cornered, tied up and assaulted men they accused of being either undercover police or agents for the mainland, who were later identified as a tourist and a Global Times reporter.[158][159] A peaceful rally was held in Victoria Park by the CHRF on 18 August to denounce police brutality. The CHRF claimed attendance of at least 1.7 million people.[160] The police put peak attendance in the Victoria Park football areas at 128,000.

On 23 August, an estimated 210,000 people participated in the "Hong Kong Way" campaign to draw attention to the movement's five demands. The chain extended across the top of Lion Rock.[161][162]

Starting from the Kwun Tong protest on 24 August, protesters began to target railway operator MTR after it closed four stations ahead of the legal, authorised protest.[163] During the protests of 25 August in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing Districts, hardline protesters threw bricks and gasoline bombs toward the police who in turn responded with volleys of tear gas; police water cannon trucks were deployed for the first time.[164] During the protest, one officer fired an upward warning shot, marking the first use of a live round since the demonstrations broke out in June.[164][165]

Ignoring a police ban, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong Island on 31 August following the arrests of high-profile pro-democracy activists and lawmakers the previous day.[166][167][168] At night, the Special Tactical Squad stormed Prince Edward station, where they beat and pepper-sprayed the commuters inside.[46] Protesters rallied outside the Mong Kok police station in the following weeks to condemn police brutality and demanded the MTR Corporation release the CCTV footage of that night as rumours began to circulate on the internet that the police's operation had caused death, which they denied.[169][170]

Decision to withdraw the extradition bill[edit source | edit]

Protesters marched to the US consulate on 8 September 2019.

On 4 September, Carrie Lam announced the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill once Legco reconvened in October and the introduction of additional measures to calm the situation. However, protests continued to insist on all five demands being met.[171][172] On 8 September, the protesters marched to the US consulate to call for the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.[173][174] During the month, protesters organised various flash mob rallies to sing the protest anthem "Glory to Hong Kong".[175][176] They continued their attempts to disrupt the airport's operations,[177] and held pop-up mall protests, which targeted shops and corporations perceived to be pro-Beijing.[178]

The police using water cannon trucks outside the Government HQ during the 29 September 2019 march.

A mass protest on 15 September descended into chaos in North Point as a group of locals, which allegedly included a sizeable number of people of Fujianese origin, physically assaulted protesters.[179] A protest in Yuen Long saw a man from Protect the Children group who was brought to an alley and surrounded by numerous officers abused by an officer in an incident similar to the beating of Ken Tsang during the 2014 protests.[180] The police later denied the accusation, saying that videos only showed a "yellow object" being kicked. The police response was widely derided.[181]

Carrie Lam held the first public meeting in Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai with 150 members of the public. Protesters demanding to talk to her surrounded the venue and trapped her inside for four hours.[182] On 29 September, there was an anti-Chinese Communist Party rally in defiance of a police ban. Solidarity protests were held on the same day in over 40 cities around the world.[183]

National Day and invocation of emergency law[edit source | edit]

Hong Kong protesters threw eggs at the portrait of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and paramount leader of China Xi Jinping on 1 October 2019 during the 70th National Day of the People's Republic of China.

On 1 October 2019, mass protests and violent conflict occurred between the protesters and police in various districts of Hong Kong during the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. This resulted in the first use of live rounds by police. One 18-year-old student protester was shot in the chest by police in Tsuen Wan while trying to hit a policeman with a rod.[184][185][186] Police said the officer had acted in self-defence.[187] The police fired around 1,400 tear gas canisters and made 269 arrests on one day, setting a record for both since the protests began in June.[188]

Protesters setting up a makeshift roadblock ignited with fire in Causeway Bay on 6 October 2019 in a march protesting against the invocation of the emergency law.

Carrie Lam invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to impose a law to ban wearing face masks in public gatherings, attempting to curb the ongoing protests on 4 October.[189] The law's enactment was followed by continued demonstrations in various districts of Hong Kong, blocking major thoroughfares, vandalising shops perceived to be pro-Beijing and paralysing the MTR system.[190][191][192] Protests and citywide flash mob rallies against the anti-mask law and the invocation of the emergency ordinance persisted throughout the month.[193][194] During a march on 20 October, the gates of the Kowloon Mosque were sprayed with blue-dyed water by a water cannon truck during a police clearance operation, forcing Lam and the police to apologize to the Muslim community.[195][196]

Secretary for Security John Lee officially withdrew the extradition bill on 23 October.[197] Protesters surrounded the Tai Hing Operational Base in Tuen Mun on 28 and 30 October after it allegedly leaked tear gas into the surrounding residential area.[198] On 2 November 2019, a mostly peaceful but unapproved election rally organised by the pro-democratic bloc at Victoria Park quickly turned chaotic.[199]

Intensification and sieges of the universities[edit source | edit]

Doxxing uncovered the details of a police officer's wedding in Tseung Kwan O which were leaked.[200] Protesters intending to crash the event set up roadblocks around Sheung Tak Estate and clashed with the police late at night on 3 November 2019. Alex Chow Tsz-lok, a 22-year-old student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), was later found unconscious on the second floor of the estate's car park. He was suspected to have fallen from the third floor. He died on 8 November following two unsuccessful brain surgeries.[201][202] After his death, protesters engaged in flash mob rallies against the police and attended vigils in various districts of Hong Kong. They accused the police of obstructing the ambulance on the way to the car park for at least 20 minutes, causing a delay in treatment. The police denied the accusation.[203]

The police confronted the protesters at the entrance of the Chinese University of Hong Kong on 12 November 2019.

In response to Chow's death, protesters planned a city-wide strike starting on 11 November. These disrupted transport in the morning in various districts of Hong Kong.[204] That morning, a policeman fired live rounds in Sai Wan Ho, wounding an unarmed 21-year-old.[205] Police defended the officer alleging the protester was trying to grab his gun.[206] On 11 November, police also fired tear gas in Central during a lunchtime protest, causing businesses to close early.[207] On 14 November, an elderly man died from a head injury which he had sustained the previous day during a confrontation between protesters and government supporters in Sheung Shui.[208][73]

For the first time, during a standoff on 11 November, police shot numerous rounds of tear gas, sponge grenades and rubber bullets into the campuses of universities, while protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs.[209] Student protesters from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) confronted the police for two consecutive days.[210] After the conflict, protesters briefly occupied several universities, which became their strongholds as they crafted various improvised offensive weapons inside.[211][212] A major conflict between protesters and police took place in Hung Hom on 17 November after protesters took control of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and blockaded the Cross-Harbour Tunnel. Thus began the siege of PolyU by police which ended with them storming onto the campus and arresting several protesters and volunteer medics in the early morning of 18 November.[213][214] Various escape attempts were thwarted by police.[215]

Protesters in Yau Ma Tei on 18 November 2019 as they attempted to breach the police's cordon line to break through to protesters trapped inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

With PolyU under complete lockdown by police, and students inside running short of supplies, protesters outside the campus attempted to penetrate police cordons to break through to those trapped inside but were repelled by tear gas and pepper balls.[216] Police action in Yau Ma Tei resulted in a stampede which was denied by police but confirmed by firefighters.[217] On subsequent days, more protesters from PolyU surrendered to police,[218][219] Hygiene on campus quickly deteriorated, and the protesters inside reported being mentally and physically weak.[220] More than 1,100 people were arrested in and around PolyU over the course of the siege.[221][222] The siege was ended on 29 November.[223]

Electoral landslide and New Year's Day protests[edit source | edit]

Protesters gathered in a shopping mall in Sheung Shui on 28 December 2019 to protest the influence of parallel trading and cross-border shopping.

The 24 November 2019 District Council election, considered a referendum on the government and the protests, attracted a record high voter turnout.[224] The results saw the pro-democracy camp win by a landslide, with the pro-Beijing camp suffering their greatest electoral defeat in Hong Kong's history.[225][226] The unprecedented electoral success of the pro-democracy voters, the mass arrests during the PolyU siege, and faster response by police contributed to a decrease in the intensity and frequency of the protests in December 2019 and January 2020.[227]

Protesters returned to the streets on 1 December in Tsim Sha Tsui to reiterate their five demands. Police fired volleys of tear gas into the crowd and revoked the Letter of No Objection one hour after the march began,[228] alleging that protesters were throwing smoke bombs.[229] In an 8 December mass march held to maintain pressure on the government, more than 800,000 protesters came to the streets, according to the organiser CHRF. Meanwhile, police reported the peak turnout at 183,000. The CHRF-organised march was its first permitted by police in nearly four months.[230]

The rest of December saw the return of pop-up mall protests, with clashes occurring in several major shopping centres around the city, including New Town Plaza, which had been a site of clashes throughout the protests. These pop-up protests continued during the Christmas season.[231][232][233] On 22 December, a rally to support the Uighurs who were placed in the Xinjiang re-education camps by the PRC government turned chaotic as protesters and the police confronted each other after a Chinese flag was torn down.[234][235][236]

Protesters flood the streets during the New Year's march.

On 1 January 2020, a protest was held by the CHRF in support of the protesters' demands.[237] Organisers claim over 1,030,000 people participated in the protest, while police said peak attendance was 60,000.[238] Police cut the march short and responded with tear gas after protesters vandalised HSBC's headquarters in retaliation for the bank and the police seizing over HK$70 million (US$9 million) in donations for the protests from Spark Alliance in December.[239][240]

Coronavirus crisis and the revival of protests[edit source | edit]

For further information, see COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong
A fire was started inside the lobby of Fai Ming Estate, Fanling after the government proposed to use the public housing estate as a quarantine facility.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in mainland China, the number of large-scale rallies has dwindled further because of fears that they might facilitate the spread of the virus. Despite this, the pro-democratic movement's tactics were repurposed to pressure the government to take stronger actions to safeguard Hong Kong's public health in the face of the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong.[241] Protesters demanded all mainland travellers be banned from entering Hong Kong. From 3 to 7 February 2020, hospital staff (members of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance) launched a labour strike with the same goal.[242][243] On 3 February, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that while only three of the 14 crossing points with mainland China, including the airport, would be left open, she rejected a full border closure because of the "very close relationship" between the people on both sides which entailed "very legitimate and genuine cross-border traffic".[244]

People responded negatively to the government's attempt to set up quarantine and clinical centres in neighbourhoods close to residents and marched to express their discontent or blocked roads to thwart the government's plans across the territory.[245][246] Between late January and early February, improvised explosive devices were found in various locations at the Caritas Medical Centre in Cheung Sha Wan, Shenzhen Bay Control Point, on a train at Lo Wu station, and petrol bombs were thrown at four police stations and a patrol car, in a wave of action over the government's failure to close the city's border and supply protective gear.[247] Some of the protest activities have also switched to using an online format.[248]

As the coronavirus crisis escalated further in February and March 2020, the scale of the protests dwindled further.[75][249] Protests activities continued regularly in Tseung Kwan O, Yuen Long and Mong Kok every month.[250][251][252] On 19 April 2020, police arrested 15 pro-democracy activists including Jimmy Lai, Martin Lee and Margaret Ng for their activities in 2019, drawing international condemnation.[253] Police have used coronavirus laws banning groups of more than four, for example, to disperse protesters outside Prince Edward station on 31 March,[254] and several shopping mall singing protests as the pandemic relieved in Hong Kong.[255]

Clashes between protesters and counter-protesters[edit source | edit]

Jimmy Sham, a protest organiser and the convenor of CHRF, was attacked twice during the protests.
Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho, who defended the assailants of the Yuen Long attack,[256] was stabbed.

Clashes between protesters and counter-protesters had become more frequent since the movement began in June 2019. During a pro-police rally on 30 June, their supporters began directing profanities at their opposition counterparts and destroyed their Lennon Wall and the memorial for Marco Leung, leading to intense confrontations between the two camps.[257] Pro-Beijing citizens, wearing "I love HK police" T-shirts and waving the Chinese national flag, assaulted people perceived to be protesters on 14 September in Fortress Hill.[58] Lennon Walls became sites of conflict between the two camps, with pro-Beijing citizens attempting to tear down the messages or removing poster art.[258][259] Some protesters and pedestrians were beaten and attacked with knives near Lennon Walls by a single perpetrator[260] or by suspected gang members.[261] A reporter was stabbed and a teenager distributing pro-protest leaflets had his abdomen slashed in the Lennon Tunnels near Tseung Kwan O and Tai Po respectively.[262][263] Suspected gang members also attacked protesters in Sheung Shui with retractable batons on 14 November, sparking fears that they were police officers in disguise.[264]

Some civilians allegedly attempted to ram their cars into crowds of protesters or the barricades they set up.[265][266] In one instance, a female protester suffered severe thigh fractures.[267] Protest organisers, including Jimmy Sham from the CHRF, and pro-democratic lawmakers such as Lam Cheuk-ting and Roy Kwong were assaulted and attacked.[263][268][269][270] On 3 November, politician Andrew Chiu had his ear bitten off by a Chinese mainlander who had reportedly knifed three other people outside Cityplaza.[271][272] Meanwhile, pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho was stabbed and his parent's grave was desecrated.[273][274]

White-clad men assaulted commuters and protesters with sticks inside Yuen Long station on 21 July 2019.

The 2019 Yuen Long attack occurred following a mass protest organised by the CHRF on 21 July. Suspected gangsters vowed that they would "defend" their "homeland" and warned all anti-extradition bill protesters not to set foot in Yuen Long.[275] Perpetrators were indiscriminately attacking commuters in the concourse and on the platform of Yuen Long station, as well as inside train compartments, resulting in a widespread backlash from the community. The Department of Justice has since been criticised by some lawyers for making "politically motivated" prosecutions. After the Yuen Long attack, assailants had not been charged several weeks after the event, while young protesters were charged with rioting within several days.[276] The protesters were attacked with fireworks in Tin Shui Wai on 31 July,[140] and then attacked by knife-wielding men in Tsuen Wan[277] and suspected "Fujianese" gang members wielding long poles in North Point on 5 August, though they fought back against the attackers.[278][279]

External video
The 31 July 2019 incident in which protesters were attacked by fireworks launching out of a moving vehicle (BBC News)
The 11 November 2019 incident in which a man was set on fire by a protester (Bloomberg)

Amidst frustration that police had failed to prosecute pro-government violent counter-protesters and being increasingly distrustful of police because of this,[280][55] protesters began clashing more frequently with counter-protesters. They clashed inside Amoy Garden on 14 September and then in North Point the next day.[179][281] Hard-core protesters also began to carry out vigilante attacks—described by protesters as "settling matters privately" (私了)—targeting individuals perceived to be foes.[55][280][57] Both pro-Beijing actress Celine Ma,[282] and a taxi driver who drove into a crowd of protesters in Sham Shui Po on 8 October, were attacked.[283]

A middle-aged man was doused with flammable liquid and set on fire by a protester when he confronted the protesters at Ma On Shan station on 11 November.[284][285] On 14 November, an elderly man died from a head injury sustained earlier during a confrontation between a group of protesters and several pro-government Sheung Shui residents.[69][70][71][72][73] On 1 December, a 53-year-old man clearing a roadblock near the Mong Kok police station was hit with a drain cover by a demonstrator suffering severe head injuries.[286][287]

Deaths[edit source | edit]

By suicide[edit source | edit]

Marco Leung Ling-kit on scaffolding at Pacific Place before he fell to his death on 15 June.

A Guardian article dated 22 October 2019 reported that "protesters have tracked at least nine cases of suicides that appear to be linked directly to the demonstrations" since June.[74] In five of these cases, the victims left a suicide note referring to the protests, and three were attributed to events following the extradition bill.[288][289][290][291] One note stated: "What Hong Kong needs is a revolution."[292][293]

The first suicide took place on 15 June 2019, when 35-year-old Marco Leung Ling-kit climbed the elevated podium on the rooftop of Pacific Place in Admiralty, and hung banners on the scaffolding with several anti-extradition slogans.[294][289] He wore a yellow raincoat with the words "Carrie Lam is killing Hong Kong" in Chinese written on the back.[294] After a five-hour standoff, during which police officers and Democratic Party legislator Roy Kwong attempted to talk him down, Leung fell to his death, missing an inflatable cushion set up by firefighters.[289][117][294] A shrine appeared at the scene soon afterward.[294]

A 21-year-old Education University of Hong Kong student jumped to her death from Ka Fuk Estate in Fanling on 29 June.[295][296] She had left two notes written on a stairwell wall with a red marker.[297][290][298] The next day, a 29-year-old woman jumped from the International Financial Centre.[299][291] On 4 July, a 28-year-old woman died after jumping off a building in Cheung Sha Wan.[300] A fifth suicide occurred on 22 July, when a 26-year-old man died after jumping from Kwong Yuen Estate after an argument with his parents about his political stance and being driven from the house.[301]

Two British citizens, one with a Hong Kong identity card, who stayed at the hotel K11 ARTUS were found dead on the morning of 15 January 2020.[302] The police found white powder thought to be cocaine[302] and suicide notes in English and Chinese, expressing support for the protesters,[303] opposition to the by-then-withdrawn bill,[302] and sadness over the protests.[302]

During confrontations[edit source | edit]

Shrine at the site where
Chow Tsz-lok fell.

On 8 November 2019, a HKUST student, Chow Tsz-Lok, died from severe head injuries sustained early on 4 November after falling from the third floor onto the second storey of a car park in Tseung Kwan O. This was close to an area where authorities were dispersing protesters attempting to disrupt a policeman's wedding.[304][305] The cause of his fall remains unknown, but protesters blamed police, which they denied.[306] Video footage shows that Chow was walking alone[304] and that there was no police presence in the car park when he fell.[307] Investigators ruled that Chow could not have fallen as a result of tear gas since no one in the vicinity was affected and no smoke filled the area.[308] Protesters also accused the police of obstructing ambulance access to Chow delaying his treatment.[306] In turn, the police said that roadblocks set up by protesters had prevented vehicles from passing.[305] The Fire Services Department stated that the ambulance assigned to Chow was blocked by buses and private vehicles and it had not come in contact with the police who were on duty.[309] Chow's death was the first fatality linked to a scene where police officers and protesters clashed.[309] The incident has been the subject of unsubstantiated claims, widely spread online, about police responsibility for Chow's death.[310] Amnesty International and others demanded an independent investigation of the incident.[311][307]

External video
The 13 November 2019 Sheung Shui clash, including the fatal throw (SCMP)

On 14 November, Luo Changqing,[69] a 70-year-old man, died from head injuries sustained the previous day[312][69][208] when he was hit in the head by a brick thrown at him by a protester.[313][314][315][316][317][318] His death is the first fatality directly attributed to the violent protests.[319][320] On 13 November in Sheung Shui, a violent clash erupted between a group of anti-government protesters and pro-government residents,[69][70][71][72][73] during which both groups hurled bricks at each other.[321][208] The pro-government group were trying to clear the bricks left in the street by protesters.[322][323][324] The man was a bystander recording the conflict using his mobile phone[321][324] and was one of the locals who was clearing the bricks earlier.[321] The victim, identified as an outsourced worker of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department,[325] was hospitalised in a critical condition.[321][324] The police classified his death as a murder case as they believe that the attacker "maliciously [and] deliberately" carried out the act.[323] Five people were arrested.[326]

Tactics and methods[edit source | edit]

A subway near Tai Po Market station, dubbed the "Lennon Tunnel"
Pepe the Frog became a symbol of resistance during the protests. "Give me Liberty or Give me Death!" alludes to Patrick Henry's speech in support of the American Revolution.
A Winnie the Pooh toy used to symbolise Xi Jinping with the Chinazi flag stuck on it, used in the 1 December 2019 protests

The protests have been described as being largely "leaderless".[66] Although no group or political party has claimed leadership over the movement, civic groups and prominent politicians have played a supportive role, such as applying for Letters of No Objection from the police or mediating conflicts between protesters and police officers.[327] Protesters commonly used LIHKG, an online forum similar to Reddit, as well as Telegram, an optionally end-to-end encrypted messaging service to communicate and brainstorm ideas for protests and to make collective decisions.[66] Unlike previous protests, those of 2019 spread over 20 different neighbourhoods, so the entire territory witnessed them.[328] Protesters and their supporters remained anonymous to avoid prosecutions or future potential retaliation from the authorities, employers who shared a different political orientation, and corporations which kowtowed to political pressure.[329]

For the most part there are two groups of protesters, namely the "peaceful, rational and non-violent" (Chinese: 和理非) protesters and the "fighters" group (勇武).[330] Nonetheless, despite differences in methods, both groups have refrained from denouncing or criticising the other. The principle was the "Do Not Split"—(不割席) praxis—which was aimed to promote mutual respect for different views within the same protest movement.[331] While Carrie Lam has been calling on the public to condemn and cut ties with the violent protesters,[332] the movement has been able to maintain public support. In October, 59% of respondents agreed that it was understandable for protesters to escalate their actions as large-scale and peaceful demonstrations had failed to force the government to concede, according to pollsters from CUHK.[61]

Moderate group[edit source | edit]

For further information, see Art of the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests

The moderate group participated in different capacities. The peaceful group held mass rallies, flash mobs, and engaged in other forms of protest such as hunger strikes,[333] forming human chains,[334] launching petitions,[335] labour strikes,[336] class boycotts,[337][338] and disrupting traffic.[339] A protest anthem, "Glory to Hong Kong", was composed, its lyrics crowdsourced on the LIHKG online forum, and sung by flash mobs in shopping centres.[340] There were religious gatherings where protesters sang hymns.[341] Some of them volunteered as first-aiders, while others supported the hardline protesters by providing supplies and logistical support.[86][342] Lennon Walls were set up in various Hong Kong districts and neighbourhoods to spread messages of support to the protesters and to display protest art.[343][344] Protesters had set up pop-up stores that sold cheap protest gadgets, provided undercover clinics for young activists,[345][346] and crowdfunded to help people in need of medical or legal assistance.[347] A mobile app was developed to allow crowdsourcing the location of police.[348]

To raise awareness of their cause and to keep citizens informed, protest supporters, working under pseudonyms, created protest art and derivative works, many of which mock the police and the government.[349] A significant project was raising funds to place advertisements in major international newspapers.[350] At events, protesters waved the national flags of other countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, calling for their support.[351] Twitter and Reddit were used to deliver information about the protests to raise awareness to users abroad,[352][353] while platforms like Facebook and Instagram were employed to circulate images of alleged police brutality.[354] Protesters held "civil press conferences" to counter press conferences by police and the government.[355] Protesters also attempted to inform tourists about the protests by staging sit-ins at Hong Kong International Airport; AirDrop was used to broadcast anti-extradition bill information to the public and mainland tourists.[356] An #Eye4HK campaign, in solidarity with a female whose eye was allegedly ruptured by a beanbag round shot by the police, gained momentum around the world.[357] The Lady Liberty Hong Kong statue was also crowdfunded by citizens to commemorate the protests.[358]

Efforts were made to transform the protests into a long-lasting movement. Protesters have advocated a "Yellow Economic Circle" (黃色經濟圈).[359] Supporters of the protesters labelled different establishments based on their political stance and chose to patronise only in businesses which are sympathetic to the movement, while boycotting businesses supporting or owned by mainland Chinese interests.[360][361] Apps were developed to help users identify the political orientation of different shops.[362] Flash mob rallies were held in the central business districts as office workers used their lunch break to march on the street.[363] The protests prompted various professions to set up labour unions that compete with pro-Beijing lobbies to pressure the government further.[364] Newly elected District Council members put forward motions to condemn the police and used their power to assist the detained protesters.[365] Pro-democratic lawmakers also put forward a motion to impeach Lam, though it was rejected by the pro-Beijing lawmakers in December 2019.[366]

Radical group[edit source | edit]

Protesters adopted the black bloc method and wore helmets and respirators to protect themselves.
A surveillance lamppost was destroyed by protesters on 24 August 2019.[367]

Radical protesters adopted the "be water" strategy, inspired by Bruce Lee's philosophy, often moving in a fluid and agile fashion to confound and confuse the police.[368] They often retreated when police arrived, only to re-emerge elsewhere.[369] In addition, protesters adopted black bloc tactics to protect their identities. Frontliners' "full gear" consisting of umbrellas, face masks, helmets and respirators to shield themselves from projectiles and teargas.[370] Furthermore, protesters used laser pointers to distract police officers and damaged surveillance cameras to protect their identity.[370] When they were arrested, in many cases, they would shout out their names as they feared that lawyers and family would be unable to reach them in detention; some would even yell that they were not "suicidal".[371] At protest scenes, protesters used hand gestures for nonverbal communication, and supplies were delivered via human chains. Radical protesters shifted to organising extemporaneous flash mob protests.[372][373] Different protesters adopted different roles. Some were "scouts" who shared real-time updates whenever they spotted the police,[374][375] while others were "firefighters" who extinguished tear gas with kitchenware and traffic cones.[376]

Starting in August 2019, radical protesters escalated the controversial use of violence and intimidation. They dug up paving bricks and threw them at police; others used petrol bombs, corrosive liquid and other projectiles against police. Petrol bombs were also hurled by protesters at police stations and vehicles.[377][378] A police officer had two petrol bombs thrown at him by protesters after he had accidentally shot a 14-year-old teenager in self-defence, in Yuen Long on 4 October.[192][379] A reporter from RTHK suffered burns after he was mistakenly hit by a petrol bomb, despite protesters rushing to extinguish the flames.[380] During sieges at the universities, protesters created makeshift catapults to launch petrol bombs,[381] thousands of which were found inside the school campuses after the sieges was ended.[382] As a result of clashes, there were been multiple reports of police injuries and the assault of officers throughout the protests.[165][383] One officer was slashed in the neck with a box cutter,[193] and a medical liaison officer was shot with an arrow during the PolyU siege.[384] The police also accused the protesters of intending to "kill or harm" police officers after a remote-controlled explosive device detonated on 13 October near a police vehicle.[385] Protesters also directed violence towards undercover officers as agents-provocateurs (捉鬼).[386] On 23 December, a man fired a pistol at the police in Tai Po and was arrested for illegal firearms possession.[387] The courts heard that he had been part of a group of five involved in a conspiracy to kill policemen with firearms and explosives at a rally.[388]

Corporations that protesters accused of being pro-Beijing, such as Best Mart 360,[lower-alpha 3] Yoshinoya and Maxim's Caterers, mainland Chinese companies such as the Bank of China, Xiaomi and Commercial Press, and shops engaging in parallel trading, were also vandalised, subject to arson or spray-painted.[390][391][392][393] Protesters also directed violence at symbols of the government by vandalising government and pro-Beijing lawmakers' offices,[394][395] and defacing symbols representing China.[396][280][57] The MTR Corporation became a target of vandalism after protesters had accused the railway operator of kowtowing to pressure by Chinese media,[163] and as a result, a large proportion of stations were vandalised and subjected to arson. Several stations were closed for consecutive days due to severe damage.[397][398] Protesters also disrupted traffic by setting up roadblocks,[339][142] damaging traffic lights,[399] deflating the tires of buses,[400] and throwing objects onto railway tracks.[401] Local terrestrial broadcaster Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) and local news outlet, HK01, were accused of pro-government bias, and protesters physically assaulted their news crews and damaged their equipment and vehicles.[402][403] Protesters occasionally intimidated and assaulted mainlanders.[404] The assault of reporter Fu Guohao, who was suspected of being a mainland agent by the protesters at the airport on 13 August, was acknowledged to be a "setback" in maintaining public support.[405]

The government, the police and state-run media often labelled the radical protesters as "masked rioters",[406] while The Guardian noted that there was "little of the random smashing and looting that characterises most riots", quoting a statement from an academic at the Education University of Hong Kong to the effect that vandalism by demonstrators was focused on what they perceived to be targets that embodied injustice.[52]

Online confrontations[edit source | edit]

Doxing and cyberbullying were tactics used by both supporters and opponents of the protests. Some protesters used these tactics on police officers and their families and uploaded their personal information online.[407] By early July 2019, an estimated 1,000 officers' personal details had been reportedly leaked online, and nine individuals had been arrested. Affected officers, their friends and families were subject to death threats and intimidation.[408] On 25 October 2019, Hong Kong Police obtained a court injunction prohibiting anyone from sharing any personal information about police officers or their families.[409] Some protesters who found their personal information and photos circulating on pro-Beijing pages on Facebook and other social media platforms after they had been stopped and searched by police, suspected the leaked photos were taken during the stop-and-searches. In a response, police said they had procedures to ensure that their members complied with privacy laws.[410] HK Leaks, an anonymous website based in Russia, and promoted by groups linked to the Communist Party of China, doxed about 200 people seen as being supportive of the protests. An Apple Daily reporter who was doxed by the website was targeted with sexual harassment via "hundreds of threatening calls".[411] University student leaders also received death threats.[412] According to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, as of 30 August 2019, the proportion of doxing cases involving police officers comprised 59% of all reported and discovered cases. The remaining 41% of doxing cases involved other people such as protesters, those holding different political views, citizens and their family members. The proportion of cases involving non-police officers increased from 28% two days prior.[413]

A Lennon Wall at Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI). HKDI was the school Chan Yin-lam attended before her death in September 2019.

Both sides of the protests spread unverified rumours, misinformation and disinformation, which caused heightened reactions and polarisation among the public. This included tactics such as using selective cuts of news footage and creating false narratives.[310][414][415][416] The prevalence of conspiracy theories originated from people's distrust towards the government and the lack of police accountability.[417] Following the Prince Edward station incident, pro-democracy protesters laid down white flowers outside the station's exit to mourn the "deceased" for weeks after rumours circulated on the internet alleging that the police had beaten people to death during the operation.[371] The police, fire service, hospital authority and the government all denied the accusation.[418] Several deaths, most notably, that of Chan Yin-lam, a 15-year-old girl whom the police suspected had committed suicide, were the subject of a conspiracy theory that alleged that the police murdered them for participating in the protests and covered-up the deaths.[419][310][417] Rumours suggesting that gang members would launch another attack on the day following the attack on 21 July 2019 left Yuen Long a "ghost town" for a day.[420] The pro-Beijing camps spread rumours that female protesters were offering "free sex" to their male counterparts, and that the CIA was involved in instigating the protests after photographs of Caucasian men taking part in the protests were shared online.[421][422] The police were also accused by several media outlets and prosecutors of lying to the public.[423][424] According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Hong Kong's spread of misinformation was the result of the deep mutual distrust between both camps, and that as the protests escalated, existing beliefs galvanised, causing people to become more inclined to share unverified news.[416]

On 19 August 2019, both Twitter and Facebook announced that they had discovered what they described as large-scale disinformation campaigns operating on their social networks.[425][426] Facebook found posts included altered images and taken them out of context, often with captions intended to vilify and discredit the protesters.[427] According to investigations by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, some attacks were coordinated, state-backed operations that were traced to the Chinese government.[428] A report by the ASPI found that the purported disinformation campaign promoted three main narratives: condemnation of the protesters, support for the Hong Kong Police, and "conspiracy theories about Western involvement in the protests."[429] Google, Facebook, and Twitter banned these accounts. After having videos banned on YouTube, some of China's online commentators uploaded their videos via platforms such as Pornhub instead.[430] The state-run China Daily spread fake news suggesting the protesters would launch a terrorist attack on 11 September 2019.[431] In September, the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the International Federation of Journalists and the Centre for Law and Democracy released a joint statement urging key social media platforms to take steps to stop the disinformation campaign orchestrated by the Chinese government to disrupt public narratives.[432]

China launched several cyberattack attempts against Telegram and LIHKG protesters' key platforms for online communication, with both suffering from several distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks during key moments of the protests. Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, called the attack a "state actor-sized DDoS" and suggested that the attacks were orchestrated by Chinese IP addresses. The DDoS attacks coincided with the protest on 12 June 2019.[433] Anonymous LIHKG moderators also suggested that the DDoS attack on 31 August 2019, which was the date for a mass protest, was launched by Chinese websites including Baidu Tieba.[434]

Criticisms of police responses[edit source | edit]

Allegations of police misconduct[edit source | edit]

A water cannon truck firing blue-dyed liquid at protesters
A police officer firing tear gas canisters on 31 August 2019.
Hong Kong police storm Prince Edward station and attack civilians on 31 August 2019
External video
The 1 October 2019 Tsuen Wan shooting incident (HKFP)
The 11 November 2019 Sai Wan Ho shooting incident (HKFP)

Hong Kong police were accused of using excessive and disproportionate force and not following both international safety guidelines and internal protocols while using their weapons.[435][115] According to Amnesty International, police aimed horizontally while firing, targeting protestors' heads and torsos.[115][210] Police use of bean bag rounds and rubber bullets allegedly ruptured the eyes of several protesters and the eye of an Indonesian journalist.[436][437][438] Police were found to have been using tear gas as an offensive weapon,[439] firing it indoors inside a railway station,[439] and using expired tear gas, which could release toxic gases upon combustion.[440] The use of tear gas sparked public health concerns after a reporter was diagnosed with chloracne in November 2019.[441] Between June and November 2019, approximately 10,000 volleys of gas had been fired.[442] Chemical residues were found on different public facilities in various neighbourhoods.[443][444][lower-alpha 4]

Several police operations, in particular in Prince Edward station where the Special Tactical Squad (STS) assaulted commuters on a train, were thought by protesters and pro-democrats to have disregarded public safety.[446][129] Police were accused of using disproportionate force[447] after an officer shot two young protesters with live ammunition in Tsuen Wan and Sai Wan Ho on 1 October 2019 and 11 November 2019 respectively.[lower-alpha 5][453][454] An off-duty officer accidentally shot and injured a 15-year-old boy in Yuen Long on 4 October 2019 when he was assaulted by protesters who accused him of bumping into people with his car.[455] The siege of PolyU, which was described as a "humanitarian crisis" by democrats and medics,[456][216] prompted the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres to intervene as the wounded protesters trapped inside ran out of supplies and lacked first-aid care.[216]

The kettling of protesters,[129] the operations inside private areas,[457] the deployment of undercover officers who were suspected of committing arson and vandalism,[417][458] the firing of pepper ball rounds at protesters at a near point-blank range,[459] the suspected evidence tampering,[460][461] the dyeing of Kowloon Mosque and the use of the water cannon trucks against pedestrians,[435][196] insufficient protection for police dogs,[462] accessing patients' medical records without consent,[463][464][465] and how police displayed their warning signs[466] were also sources of controversy. A police officer was arrested in April 2020 for perverting the course of justice after he allegedly instructed a teen to throw petrol bombs at a police station he works at.[lower-alpha 6][467] Some police officers wore face masks,[468] did not wear uniforms with identification numbers or failed to display their warrant cards,[469][128] making it difficult for citizens to file complaints. Police were also accused of driving dangerously. A police officer was suspended after he hit one protester and dragged him in the process on 11 November 2019 with his motorcycle,[470][471] while a police van suddenly accelerated into a crowd of protesters, causing a stampede as STS officers exiting from the van chased protesters in Yau Ma Tei on 18 November 2019. Police defended the latter action as an appropriate response by well-trained officers to attacks by protesters, and that "[driving] fast doesn't mean it is unsafe".[472]

Police were accused of locking down Prince Edward station, thereby preventing medical personnel from treating the wounded inside,[446] and of obstructing paramedics from helping Alex Chow Tsz-Lok, thereby delaying treatment, a claim that police denied.[309] The arrest of voluntary medics during the siege of PolyU was condemned by medical professionals.[473] Police were accused of using excessive force on already subdued, compliant arrestees. Videos showed the police kicking an arrestee[474] pressing one's face against the ground,[475] using one as a human shield,[476] and stomping on a demonstrator's head.[477] Police were also accused of sitting on a protester's head, though they defended the action, saying that the officer was using "minimum necessary force".[478] Protesters reported suffering brain haemorrhage and bone fractures after being violently arrested by the police.[479] Amnesty International stated that police had used "retaliatory violence" against protesters and mistreated and tortured some detainees. Detainees reported being forced to inhale tear gas, being beaten and threatened by officers; police officers shined laser lights directly into one detainee's eyes.[53][480][481] They were accused of using sexual violence on female protesters.[482] A female alleged that riot police officers gang raped her in Tsuen Wan police station, while the police reported that their investigation did not align with her accusation.[483] Some detainees reported police had denied them access to lawyers and delayed their access to medical services.[481][484] Many of these allegations were believed to have taken place in San Uk Ling Holding Centre.[485]

Police near Lan Kwai Fong, Central on 31 October 2019. Police were accused of obstructing reporters from taking photographs by shining flashlights at them.[486]

Police were accused of interfering with freedom of the press and of injuring journalists during various protests.[487][488][489] Police were also accused of spreading a climate of fear[490] by conducting hospital arrests,[491][492] arresting people arbitrarily, targeting youngsters,[493][53] banning requests for demonstrations,[494] and arresting high-profile activists and lawmakers.[495] Some bystanders caught up in the protests were beaten, kicked, pushed, or pepper sprayed by officers.[435][496][497][498] Police inaction during the storming of the Legislative Council Complex was divisive,[499] and their slow response towards the Yuen Long attack sparked accusations they had colluded with triad members.[16] Lawyers pointed out that police inaction, such as shutting the gates of the nearby police stations during the Yuen Long attacks might constitute misconduct in public office,[500][16] while the IPCC reported that the jamming of the emergency hotline during the attack was also a common criticism.[501] Police were accused of applying double standards by showing leniency towards violent counter-protesters.[502] Police denied all of these accusations.

Some uniformed officers used foul language to harass and humiliate protesters and journalists,[503] insulted mediators,[504] and provoked protesters.[505] The slur "cockroach"—whose dehumanising qualities have been recognised in the social sciences and psychology—was used frequently by frontline officers to insult protesters; police sought to counter this development, and suggested that in several instances, verbal abuse by protesters may have led officers to use the term.[506] An officer was reprimanded by his superiors for shouting derisive comments to protesters about the death of Chow Tsz-lok.[507] Police described a man wearing a yellow vest who was taken to an alley, surrounded by police officers, and apparently physically abused by one of them, as a "yellow object". Their claim that it was impossible to recognise a person in the video footage was widely criticised.[181]

Accountability of the HKPF[edit source | edit]

Police Commissioner Stephen Lo (left) and his successor Chris Tang (right) rejected the formation of an independent committee to investigate police brutality.

The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) launched investigations into alleged incidents of police misconduct during the protests. Protesters demanded an independent commission of inquiry instead, as the members of the IPCC are mainly pro-establishment and it lacks the power to investigate, make definitive judgements, and hand out penalties.[508][509][171] Carrie Lam rejected this demand and insisted that the IPCC was able to fulfill the task.[510][511] On 8  November 2019, a five-member expert panel headed by Sir Denis O'Connor and appointed by Lam in September 2019 to advise the IPCC, concluded that the police watchdog lacked the "powers, capacity and independent investigative capability necessary" to fulfill its role as a police watchdog group and suggested the formation of an independent commission of inquiry given the current protest situation.[512] Members of the panel quit after negotiations to increase the IPCC's powers fell through. The panel reiterated their criticisms of the IPCC, while its chair Anthony Neoh said that the suggestions by the expert panel had exceeded the "statutory functions" of the police watchdog.[513][514] Despite calls from both local[515] and international opinion leaders, both police commissioners Stephen Lo and Chris Tang rejected the formation of an independent committee,[516] with Tang calling the formation of such committee an "injustice" and a "tool for inciting hatred" against the force.[435]

Police modified the Police General Orders by removing the sentence "officers will be accountable for their own actions" ahead of the 1 October 2019 confrontation. Police sources of Washington Post have said that a culture of impunity pervades the police force, such that riot police often disregarded their training or became dishonest in official reports to justify excessive force.[435] Some frontline officers reportedly believed that they were entitled to punish the "rioters", contravening rules that minimum force should be used. Police officers who felt that their actions were not justified were marginalized.[517] Police commanders reportedly ignored the wrongdoings and the unlawful behaviours of frontline riot police and refused to use any disciplinary measures to avoid upsetting them.[435] As of December 2019, no officer had been suspended for their actions or charged or prosecuted over protest-related actions.[435] When the District Councils were passing motions to condemn police violence, Tang and other civil servants walked out.[518] The lack of prosecution against officers sparked fears that the police could not be held accountable for their actions and that they were immune to any legal consequences.[435]

Impacts[edit source | edit]

Effects on the economy[edit source | edit]

Protest at the Hong Kong International Airport on 26 July 2019.

Official statistics showed that Hong Kong had slipped into recession as its economy had shrunk in the second and third quarters of 2019.[519] Retail sales had declined and consumers' appetite for spending had decreased.[520] During the days of protests, protesters brought "mixed fortunes" to businesses according to the South China Morning Post. Some restaurants saw their customers cancel bookings, and certain banks and shops were forced to close their doors. Supplies of goods were also halted or obstructed because of the protests. Meanwhile, some shops prospered as nearby protesters bought food and other commodities.[521] Because of lower consumer spending, several luxury brands delayed shop openings.[522] Stock of protest supplies such as gas masks ran low in both Hong Kong and Taiwan.[523]

The protests also affected property owners. Fearing the instability in Hong Kong, some investors abandoned the purchases of land. The desire to purchase properties also declined, as overall property transactions dropped by 24% when compared with the Umbrella Revolution. Property developers were forced to reduce selling prices.[524] Trade shows reported decreased attendance and revenue, and many firms cancelled their events in Hong Kong.[525] The Hang Seng Index declined by at least 4.8% from 9 June 2019 to late August 2019. As interest in trading waned, companies that had already applied for initial public offerings (IPO) in Hong Kong urged their bankers to put their listing on hold. August 2019 recorded only one IPO, which was the lowest since 2012; two large IPOs were shelved in June and July 2019. Fitch Ratings downgraded Hong Kong's sovereignty rating from AA+ to AA due to doubts over the government's ability to maintain the "one country, two systems" principle; the outlook of the city was similarly lowered from "stable" to "negative".[526]

Tourism was also affected. The number of visitors travelling to Hong Kong declined by 40% in August 2019 compared to a year earlier,[527] while the decline was 31.9% for the days during and after National Day.[528] As a consequence, both the tourist sector and the food and beverage industry saw an increased unemployment rate.[524][529] Flight bookings also declined, with airlines cutting or reducing services.[530] During the airport protests on 12 and 13 August 2019, the Airport Authority cancelled numerous flights, which resulted in an estimated US$76 million loss according to aviation experts.[531] Hong Kong Disneyland also revealed that there were fewer guests visiting. Many mainland tourists avoided travelling to Hong Kong due to safety concerns. Various countries issued travel warnings to their citizens concerning Hong Kong.[532]

Effects on society[edit source | edit]

Lam's administration was criticised for its performance during the protests. Her perceived arrogance and obstinacy,[533][97] her extended absence, reluctance to engage in dialogue with protesters, and subpar performance at press conferences,[534] were believed to have enabled the protesters to escalate events.[535] At a press conference on 5 August 2019, Lam explained her absence from the public eye in the preceding two weeks. She was concerned about the risk to organisers over the possible disruption by protestors of public events and press conferences.[536] Lam had been supportive to the police, saying that they were only enforcing the law, and insisted that police brutality accusations were not true. This led to accusations that Lam and her administration endorsed police violence.[537] According to polls conducted by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute, Lam's approval rating declined to 22.3 in October 2019, lowest among all chief executives. Her performance was categorised as "disastrous" as was that of Secretary for Security John Lee and Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng.[60] Ma Ngok, a political scientist, remarked that the government "has lost the trust of a whole generation" and predicted that youths would remain angry at both the government and the police "for years to come".[538] According to The Diplomat, the emergence of the concept of "mutually assured destruction" (攬炒) saw protesters become more radical to compel the administration to concede. The establishment waited for demonstrators' aggression to increase so they could justify greater militarisation of the police and dismiss the protesters as "insurgents" and also their demands.[539] Rifts formed within the government with Lennon Walls being set up in government offices and civil servants organising rallies.[540]

A riot police officer holds a blue flag warning the protesters to disperse at an unapproved march.

The reputation of the police took a serious drubbing following the heavy-handed treatment of protesters.[541][542] In October 2019, a survey conducted by CUHK revealed that more than 50% of respondents were deeply dissatisfied with the police's performance.[61] According to some reports, their aggressive behaviours and tactics have caused them to become a symbol that represents hostility and suppression. Their actions against the protesters resulted in a breakdown of citizens' trust of the police.[543][544][545] Citizens were also concerned over the ability of the police to regulate and control their members and feared their abuse of power.[546] The suspected acts of police brutality led some politically neutral or political apathetic citizens to become more sympathetic towards the young protesters.[547] Fearing Hong Kong was changing into a police state, some citizens actively considered emigration.[548] As for the police, some lower-ranking officers reported feeling "lost and confused", citing "a lack of leadership" during important moments.[549] There was reportedly discontent with the government, as its extended absence left the police as the only group to clash with the protesters, resulting in both groups developing immense mutual hatred for each other.[534] The police cancelled foot patrols because of fears officers may be attacked,[550] and issued extendable batons to off-duty officers.[546] Frontline officers and protesters insulted each other using degrading terms.[506][551][552] Police officers also reported being "physically and mentally" tired, as they faced the risks of being doxed, cyberbullied, and distanced by their family members.[553] Police relations with journalists,[488] social workers,[554] medical professionals[555] and members from other disciplined forces[556] became strained.

Because of the internal redeployment of staff within the force to deal with the protests, anti-crime operations were "smaller and less frequent than in the past". Criminals took advantage of the lowered police presence to commit crimes,[557] leading to certain illegal acts such as home and shop burglaries being committed between June and October 2019 with higher frequency than the same period the year before.[558] The Hong Kong government spent nearly HK$950 million for officers' overtime payments during the protests in the period from June to November 2019.[559]

The protests deepened the rift between the "yellow" (pro-democracy) and "blue" (pro-government) camps created since the Umbrella Revolution. People who opposed the protests in a self-dubbed "silent majority", including wavering sideline supporters and moderates who say that they have been driven away by the violence, argued that protesters were spreading "chaos and fear" across the city, causing damage to the economy and harming people not involved in the protests. On the other hand, protesters justified their actions by what they saw as the greater good of protecting the city's freedoms against the encroachment of mainland China.[68] Both sides claimed that rule of law in Hong Kong was undermined during the protests. While the government, the police and gvovernment supporters criticised the protesters for breaking the law and using violence to extort the government to accept the demands, the protesters and their sympathizers felt that selective law enforcement, selective prosecution, police brutality, questionable judge remarks,[lower-alpha 7] and the government's blanket denial of all police wrongdoings all harmed rule of law and expressed their disappointment that the law cannot help them achieve justice.[561] Anti-mainland sentiments swelled during this period.[562] Family relationships were strained, as parents argued with their children over their attending protests, either because they felt that the protests may cost them their future, or they disagreed with their children's political stance or the manner of the protests.[547][563][564][565][566] Social workers voiced their concerns for some young protesters whose mental health had become unstable.[552] A recent study published by The Lancet stated that many Hong Kong residents were experiencing high levels of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.[567][568] Experts noted the eruption of despair in the city during the protests, though protesters had chanted rallying cries urging people not to commit suicide.[569]

The elderly marching on 17 July to support young people's anti-extradition bill protests.

As the protests continued to escalate, citizens showed an increasing tolerance towards confrontational and violent actions.[570] Pollsters found that among 8,000 respondents, 90% of them believed that the use of these tactics was understandable because of the government's refusal to respond to the demands.[571] The protest movement enabled the citizens of Hong Kong to become better equipped to challenge the government when its policies were perceived to be controversial, such as those during the Wuhan coronavirus crisis.[572] Unity among the protesters was seen across a wide spectrum of age groups, with middle-aged and elderly volunteers attempting to separate the police and the young protesters in the frontline and providing various forms of assistance.[573] Various professions organised rallies to stand in solidarity with protesters.[lower-alpha 8] To express their support, sympathisers of the protest movement chanted rallying cries from their apartments every night,[580] wrote Christmas cards to injured protesters and those in detention,[581] and rallied outside Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre where the detainees are held.[582] While some moderate protesters reported that the increase in violence alienated them from the protests,[68] public opinion polls conducted by CUHK suggested that the movement was able to maintain public support.[61]

Reactions[edit source | edit]

Hong Kong government[edit source | edit]

Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the press conference with Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng and Secretary for Security John Lee one day after the massive protest on 9 June 2019.

Carrie Lam continued to push for the second reading of the bill despite a mass anti-extradition bill protest that attracted one million people, (according to the organisers) saying that the government was "duty-bound" to amend the law.[583][584] Following the 12 June conflict, both Police Commissioner Stephen Lo and Lam characterised the conflict as a "riot". The police later backed down on the claim, saying that among the protesters, only five of them rioted. Protesters demanded that the government fully retract the riot characterisation.[585] Lam's analogy as Hong Kong people's mother attracted criticisms after the violent crackdown on 12 June.[586]

Lam announced the suspension of the bill on 15 June,[587] and officially apologised to the public on 18 June two days after another massive march.[588] In early July, Lam reiterated that the bill "had passed away" and reaffirmed that all efforts to amend the law had ceased, though her use of language was thought to be ambiguous.[589] During July and August 2019, the government insisted that it would not make any concessions, and that Lam could still lead despite calls asking for her resignation. As for the demand to set up an independent commission to investigate police misconduct, she insisted that the existing mechanism, the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) would suffice.[590][9]

After condemning the protesters for storming the legislature on 1 July for their "use of extreme violence"[591] and defacing the national emblem during the 21 July protest,[592] Lam suggested in early August 2019 that the protests had deviated from their original purpose and that their goal now was to challenge China's sovereignty and damage "one country, two systems".[536] She suggested that radical protesters were dragging Hong Kong to a "point of no return"[536] and that they had "no stake in society",[593] a remark that was criticised by some civil servants.[594]

Following a rally on 18 August that was attended by more than 1.7 million people, Lam announced that she would create platforms for dialogue.[595] On 4 September, Lam announced that she would formally withdraw the extradition bill, introduce measures such as introducing new members to the IPCC, engage in dialogue at the community level, and invite academics to evaluate Hong Kong's deep-rooted problems. However, protesters and democrats had previously affirmed that their five core demands must be answered.[33] Her concession was described as "too little, too late", as the conflicts would not have escalated had she withdrawn the bill during the early stages of the protest.[171][172] The first dialogue session was held on 26 September 2019. However, critics doubted Lam's ability to solve the problem during these discussions since a Chinese envoy had stated previously that the HKSAR government would not make any more concessions.[596]

On 5 October 2019, after what Lam referred to as "extreme violence" had taken place, an emergency law from the colonial era was enacted to ban face masks in Hong Kong—without declaring a state of emergency—which sparked criticism from various human rights organisations.[597] Some political analysts warned that invoking the emergency law would be "the beginning of authoritarianism in Hong Kong."[598] The democrats filed a judicial review to challenge Lam's decision,[599] and the High Court ruled that the mask ban was unconstitutional.[600] In April 2020, after the government had filed an appeal, the court ruled that the ban is only unconstitutional during legal demonstrations, and ruled that the police cannot physically remove the face masks worn by violaters.[601]

The Department of Justice applied for and was granted an injunction against damaging the disciplined services quarters,[602] and a temporary court order that banned the public from harassing police officers or posting their personal information online. The ban was criticised for the possibility of producing a chilling effect on free speech; it was also criticised for having an excessively broad scope.[603][604] Cheng Lai-king, the chairwoman of the Central and Western District Council, was arrested for sedition after she shared a Facebook post which contains the personal information of a policeman who allegedly blinded the eye of an Indonesian journalist. The arrest was controversial as the sedition law was established during the colonial era and was rarely used.[605]

To cope with the ongoing protests, on 15 November 2019, the police had appointed no more than 100 Correctional Services Department (CSD) officers as special constables to assist them.[606] Several protesters who were detained at Pik Uk Correctional Institution reported that they were tortured and physically abused by CSD guards. They reported that the guards beat their hands and feat, slapped their face, then forced them to slap themselves after they were taken to a room without security camera during their time in detention. CSD responded by saying that all detainees can file a report to the internal CSD Complaints Investigation Unit.[607]

Domestic reactions[edit source | edit]

Activists including Joshua Wong and Nathan Law met House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Chris Smith at the US Congress.

The pro-Beijing camp supported the government in promoting the bill, though U-turned when the government withdrew the bill.[608] They condemned the use of violence by protesters, including breaking into the LegCo Complex and using petrol bombs and unidentified liquids against the police,[609][610] and used the term "rubbish youths" (Chinese: 廢青; pinyin: fèi qīng; Jyutping: fai3 tsing1) to refer to high school- and university-age participants.[611] They maintained their support for the Hong Kong Police Force and held various counter-demonstrations to support them.[612][613][614] On 17 August 2019, a pro-government rally organised by the Safeguard Hong Kong Alliance took place in Tamar Park. Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) chair Starry Lee disagreed with setting up an independent commission to investigate police behaviour as she felt that it would "dampen their morale".[615] Felix Chung, a Liberal Party lawmaker, supported the withdrawal of the bill, though he felt that an independent commission should be set up to investigate the whole incident.[616] Some lawmakers, including the HKFTU's Alice Mak, were said to have vented their anger toward Lam as her decision to suspend the bill may harm their chances in the upcoming elections.[617] Members of the Executive Council, Ip Kwok-him and Regina Ip alleged that there was a "mastermind" behind the protests but could not provide substantial evidence to support their claim.[618]

Many lawmakers from the pan-democratic camp, such as Ted Hui and Roy Kwong, assisted the protesters in various scenarios.[619] Other activists, such as Ventus Lau, organised and coordinated numerous rallies calling for international support.[620][621] Responding to the escalation of the mid-August protests at the airport, the convenor of the pro-democratic lawmakers, Claudia Mo, while disagreeing with some protesters' actions, asserted that her group of lawmakers would not split with the protesters.[622][623][624] Fernando Cheung warned that Hong Kong was slowly becoming a "police state" with the increasing violence used by police.[625] Pro-democrats also criticised the arrests of several lawmakers before the 31 August protest, saying that such arrests were an attempt by the police to suppress the movement,[626] and condemned the violence directed at the protests' organisers, lawmakers and election candidates.[627] Former government executives, including Anson Chan, the former Chief Secretary for Administration, issued several open letters to Carrie Lam, urging her to respond to the five core demands raised by protesters.[628] Joshua Wong, Denise Ho and several other democrats also provided testimonies during the US congressional hearing for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.[629]

In August, 17 members from the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce released statements condemning the escalating protests because of the instability they had brought to the city's economy and business community, as well as the negative effects on society as a whole.[630] Annie Wu, the daughter of Maxim's founder and also a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, condemned the protesters at the United Nations Human Rights Council and suggested that Hong Kong should give up the "lost" protesters.[631][632] On 30 October, Abraham Shek, a lawmaker representing the Real Estate and Construction constituency, supported the formation of an independent commission and said that the problem could not be resolved by addressing the severe housing shortage.[633] Tycoon Li Ka-shing took out a two-page advertisement in newspapers, urging people to "stop anger and violence in the name of love", and quoting a Chinese poem: "The melon of Huangtai cannot bear the picking again".[634]

The 2019 Hong Kong District Council election was held on 24 November, the first poll since the beginning of the protests, and one that had been billed as a "referendum" on the government.[635] More than 2.94 million votes were cast for a turnout rate of 71.2%, up from 1.45 million and 47% from the previous election.[636] This was the highest turnout in Hong Kong's history, both in absolute numbers and in turnout rates.[637] The results were a resounding landslide victory for the pro-democracy bloc, as they saw their seat share increased from 30% to almost 88%, with a jump in vote share from 40% to 57%.[637] The largest party before the election, DAB, fell to third place, with its leader's vote share cut from a consistent 80% to 55%, and their three vice-chairs losing. Among those who were also legislators, the overwhelming majority of the losing candidates were from the pro-Beijing bloc.[638] Commenting on the election results, New Statesman declared it "the day Hong Kong's true "silent majority" spoke.[639]

Mainland China reactions[edit source | edit]

For further information, see Media and social media during the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests

The Chinese government expressed their opposition to the protests, while taking measures against the protests and their supporters. The protests were depicted by the government and media as separatist riots.[640] Beijing accused the movement of displaying "characteristics of colour revolutions" and "signs of terrorism".[641][642] The Beijing government and state-run media accused foreign forces of interfering with domestic affairs and supporting the protesters.[65] These allegations were criticised by those who were blamed,[643] and CNN noted that China had a record of blaming foreign forces for causing domestic unrest.[644] On 22 October 2019, following similar protests and violence in Catalonia and Chile, the Chinese government accused Western media of hypocrisy for not providing similar coverage and support to those protests.[645][646] Chinese diplomats and ambassadors in more than 70 countries broadcast Beijing's position on the protests to shape international opinion, though observers remarked their attempts were unlikely to be successful.[647] PRC President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have repeatedly backed Lam's administration and the police.[648]

Chinese state media outlets largely ignored the protests until 17 April 2019.[649] The protests were mostly censored from Mainland Chinese social media, such as Sina Weibo, though state-owned media and Chinese social media users later condemned the protesters, although Western media accused them of launching a disinformation campaign to disrupt public narratives.[650] State-run media pressured various companies, including railway operator MTR Corporation, airline Cathay Pacific, and the Big Four accounting firms[651] to take a hardline approach against employees who took part in the protests. Cathay Pacific witnessed a huge managerial reshuffling and began firing pro-democratic employees after the Civil Aviation Administration of China threatened to block Cathay's access to Chinese airspace,[652] while the MTR began to close stations and end its service early after being criticised for transporting protesters.[653][654][655] Chinese media also attempted to appeal to the "silent majority"[656] and blame the protests on Hong Kong's education system.[657] It also hailed police officers as "heroes",[658] demanded the government take more "forceful" actions and the court to hand out heavy punishments,[659][660] and advocated that police shoot protesters with sniper rifles during the PolyU siege.[661]

Foreign envoys reported the deployment in late August of a sizeable number of People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops to Hong Kong, going well beyond the usual rotation and bringing the number of PLA troops there to possibly twice the level from before the start of the protests. Drills by the People's Armed Police were observed across the border in Shenzhen in August.[662] The army itself also filmed and uploaded a video of an anti-riot drill in Shenzhen, which was considered a "thinly veiled warning to Hong Kong" by Time.[663] On 6 October 2019, the PLA issued its first warning to the protesters, who were shining laser lights on the exterior of the PLA garrison in Kowloon Tong.[664] On 16 November, soldiers appeared publicly for the first time in the streets, in plain clothes and unarmed, to clear roadblocks and other debris left during protests alongside local residents, firefighters, and police officers before marching back to the Kowloon Tong barracks. The government insisted the soldiers had were volunteers, and that it had made no request for assistance.[665] The act was criticised by pro-democrats who deemed it a violation of the Basic Law.[666] The Chinese government required goods mailed from Mainland China to Hong Kong to be investigated while goods which were believed to relate to the protests were forbidden from being mailed.[667][668] Chinese authorities also detained several individuals in mainland China after they voiced their support for the protesters.[669]

On 4 January 2020, the State Council dismissed Wang Zhimin from the role of director of the Hong Kong Liaison Office and elected Luo Huining as his successor. The decision was widely linked to the poor performance of the pro-government candidates at the District Council Elections in November, and Wang's perceived poor judgment of how the protests evolved.[670][671] Zhang Xiaoming, who held the position of director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, was demoted and replaced by Xia Baolong in February 2020.[672] The new directors took a more active role in influencing Hong Kong's political environment, triggering the Basic Law Article 22 controversy in April 2020.[673]

International reactions[edit source | edit]

As a result of the protests, many nations issued travel warnings for Hong Kong.[674] Demonstrations in reaction to the protests took place in locations around the world, including: Los Angeles, Berlin, Canberra, Frankfurt, Melbourne, London, New York City, Seoul, San Francisco, Paris, Delhi, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Montreal, Toronto, Hanoi, Rome, Barcelona, Osaka, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Santiago, Vilnius and Vancouver.[675][676][677][678][679] Solidarity rallies held by Hong Kong international students studying abroad were often disrupted by mainland Chinese supporters.[680][681][682] Following the death of Chow Tsz-lok, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng was heckled and jostled by protest supporters when she was entering Bloomsbury Square in London to give a lecture. She fell to the ground and injured her arm.[683] Some protesters in the concurrent 2019 Catalan protests have claimed inspiration from, and solidarity with the Hong Kong protests.[684][685] Journalist Michael Reid saw the 2019 Latin American protests as being inspired by the French yellow vests movement, the Catalan protests and the Hong Kong protests.[686]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo comments on 18 November 2019.

Some radical protesters fled to Taiwan to avoid prosecution.[687] The Hong Kong protests were considered a contributing factor in the landslide victory of Tsai Ing-wen during the 2020 Taiwanese presidential election. Tsai has repeatedly shown a supportive attitude toward the Hong Kong protesters and used Hong Kong as an example to display the threats posed by the "one country, two systems" principle to Taiwan's autonomy and democracy during her presidential campaign.[688]

In the United States, the House of Representatives and Senate both unanimously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in light of the extradition bill and protests, with amendments that differ between the two versions needing resolution before being presented to President Donald Trump for approval.[689][690][691][67] Trump signed the bill on 27 November, alongside a companion bill restricting US exports of crowd control devices to the Hong Kong police forces.[692] Various US politicians have expressed disapproval of corporate decisions related to the protests.[lower-alpha 9][693][694][695][696]

A former employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong, Simon Cheng, reported in an interview with the BBC that he was tortured by Chinese officials during his 15-day detention in China in August 2019. He had been detained by mainland officials for allegedly "soliciting prostitutes".[697] According to Cheng, his captors, who he believed to be secret police,[698] called him "a British spy and secret agent", and subjected him to torture in what he called a "tiger chair" to make him confess that he had been instigating unrest in Hong Kong on behalf of the British government. Cheng's statements were deemed credible by UK government sources. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab released a statement saying that he was "outraged by the disgraceful mistreatment".[699] In response to the political and media backlash, Chinese state media later released footage of the Cheng's confession, and CCTV footage of him entering and leaving a clubhouse. Cheng stated that he had made the confession after he had been threatened by China's police that he would otherwise be unable to contact his family and be detained indefinitely.[700]

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet demanded the Hong Kong government conduct an investigation into police use of force against the protesters; she subsequently said that she was "troubled and alarmed" by the escalating violence used by the protesters.[701] Amnesty International praised the protesters for their dedication despite facing "abusive policing tactics" which include the "wanton use of tear gas, arbitrary arrests, physical assaults and abuses in detention" by the HKPF.[702] Kenneth Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, was denied entry to Hong Kong at Hong Kong International Airport on 12 January 2020. He had come to the city to release the 2020 World Report by his group.[703] It features a picture of a mass demonstration in Hong Kong on the front cover. Hong Kong officials insisted that the decision to bar Roth from entry had been made in Hong Kong, not in mainland China.[704]

Norwegian lawmaker Guri Melby announced in October 2019 that she would nominate the Hong Kong people for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, adding that the protest movement deserved recognition "for its brave efforts".[705] On 5 February 2020 the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Chair Marco Rubio and co-chair James McGovern also announced their intention to nominate the Hong Kong protesters for the Nobel Peace Prize, recognising the protesters who have "risked their lives, their health, their jobs, and their education to support a better future for Hong Kong".[706]

See also[edit source | edit]

Notes[edit source | edit]

  1. The number of civilians injured is certainly understated, because some protesters sought medical help from underground clinics due to mistrust in the government services.[21]
  2. The figure includes an unknown number of repeat arrests occurring in the course of the protests. According to an article in the South China Morning Post, as of 10 October 2019 there were close to 2,400 arrests, with about 60 being repeat arrests.[23] The number of arrestees currently in custody is uncertain as of 18 April 2020.[24]
  3. As of 28 November 2019, of the 102 stores of the snack food chain, 75 had been trashed or firebombed a total of 180 times after being accused of having ties to "Fujian gangs" that have clashed with protesters. The company denied the allegation.[389]
  4. The government refused to disclose the chemical composition of the gas, citing "operational concerns".[445]
  5. Police defended the officer's actions at the Tsuen Wan incident saying that he and his colleague's lives were at risk as a group of protesters was assaulting another officer at the time.[448][449] Protesters argued that the officer shooting the man's chest was unnecessary and that he had other less lethal alternatives available at his disposal.[450][451] Explaining the Sai Wan Ho incident, police alleged the unarmed young man was trying to grab the officer's service weapon.[452]
  6. The teen was arrested before any petrol bomb was thrown.
  7. Judge Kwok Wai-kin was removed from all protest-related cases after he had expressed sympathy to a stabber who attacked three people in September 2019 near a Lennon Wall. Kwok has called the attacker a "victim" of the protests.[560]
  8. These professions included: teachers, civil servants, the aviation industry, accountants, medical professionals, social workers, the advertising sector, and the finance sector.[574][575][576][577][578][579]
  9. Notable incidents including China temporaily suspending its broadcasts of National Basketball Association matches after Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protests and Blizzard Entertainment banning an eSports player from tournaments after he expressed his support for the protests sparked outcry in the western world.

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "Coronavirus Hardens Local Anger in Hong Kong". US News and World Report. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  2. Cheng, Kris; Grundy, Tom (15 June 2019). "Hong Kong democrats urge leader Carrie Lam to drop extradition law plans entirely and resign; Sunday protest to proceed". Hong Kong Free Press. Archived from the original on 15 June 2019. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  3. Wong, Tessa (17 August 2019). "How Hong Kong got trapped in a cycle of violence". BBC News. Archived from the original on 17 August 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  4. Sala, Ilaria Maria (21 August 2019). "Why There's No End in Sight to the Hong Kong Protests". The Nation. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  5. 林鄭月娥電視講話 宣布撤回修例 拒設獨立委員會 (in Chinese). Stand News. 5 September 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Archived copy" 傘運感和理非無用 勇武者:掟磚非為泄憤. Ming Pao (in Chinese). 18 August 2019. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Hong Kong mask ban defied for third day as mobs go on rampage". South China Morning Post. 7 October 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  8. "Hong Kong's 'dead' extradition bill finally buried as government formally withdraws it". South China Morning Post. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "So the bill is 'dead'…but how dead, exactly? Lam's choice of words raises eyebrows". Coconuts Hong Kong. 9 July 2019. Archived from the original on 17 July 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  10. Ng, Kang-chung; Sum, Lok-kei (17 June 2019). "Police roll back on categorisation of Hong Kong protests as a riot". South China Morning Post. ISSN 1021-6731. OCLC 648902513. Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  11. Chan, Holmes (15 June 2019). "In Pictures: 'Hopeful tomorrow' -Pro-gov't group hosts rally denouncing violence and backing Hong Kong police". Hong Kong Free Press. Archived from the original on 15 June 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
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  357. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  358. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  359. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  360. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  361. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  362. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  363. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  364. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  365. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  366. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  367. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  368. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  369. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  370. 370.0 370.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  371. 371.0 371.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  372. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  373. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  374. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  375. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  376. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  377. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  378. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  379. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  380. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  381. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  382. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  383. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  384. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  385. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  386. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  387. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  388. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  389. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  390. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  391. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  392. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  393. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  394. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  395. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  396. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  397. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  398. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  399. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  400. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  401. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  402. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  403. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  404. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  405. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  406. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  407. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  408. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  409. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  410. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  411. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  412. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  413. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  414. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  415. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  416. 416.0 416.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  417. 417.0 417.1 417.2 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  418. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  419. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  420. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  421. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  422. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  423. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  424. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  425. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  426. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  427. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  428. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  429. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  430. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  431. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  432. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  433. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  434. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  435. 435.0 435.1 435.2 435.3 435.4 435.5 435.6 435.7 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  436. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  437. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  438. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  439. 439.0 439.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  440. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  441. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  442. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  443. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  444. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  445. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  446. 446.0 446.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  447. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  448. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  449. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  450. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  451. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  452. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  453. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  454. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  455. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  456. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  457. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  458. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  459. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  460. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  461. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  462. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  463. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  464. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  465. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  466. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  467. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  468. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  469. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  470. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  471. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  472. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  473. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  474. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  475. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  476. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  477. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  478. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  479. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  480. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  481. 481.0 481.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  482. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  483. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  484. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  485. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  486. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  487. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  488. 488.0 488.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  489. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  490. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  491. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  492. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  493. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  494. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  495. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  496. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  497. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  498. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  499. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  500. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  501. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  502. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  503. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  504. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  505. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  506. 506.0 506.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  507. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  508. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  509. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  510. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  511. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  512. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  513. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  514. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  515. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  516. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  517. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  518. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  519. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  520. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  521. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  522. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  523. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  524. 524.0 524.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  525. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  526. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  527. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  528. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  529. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  530. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  531. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  532. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  533. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  534. 534.0 534.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  535. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  536. 536.0 536.1 536.2 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  537. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  538. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  539. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  540. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  541. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  542. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  543. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  544. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  545. Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has terminated with signal "9".
  546. 546.0 546.1 Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter has term