Anna Hintzsche, Contributing Writer |
Over the past several months, tensions between Hong Kong Chinese governments have been rising. The citizens of Hong Kong are protesting in hopes of earning some sort of democratic rights for themselves. On Oct. 1, Chinese authorities opened fire on the protestors for the first time.
Chinese authorities have been struggling to handle the Hong Kong protestors for months. The police have avoided any potentially fatal response until now, previously firing beanbag rounds and throwing tear gas. Protesters moved into the streets to continue to advocate for their demands. There were six bullets fired on Oct. 1, one of them shot at point-blank range into the chest of 18-year-old Hong Kong resident Tsang Chi-kin, after he struck an officer with a rod. As if being shot wasn’t enough, Tsang is being charged with rioting, which could lead to up to 10 years in prison. He was hospitalized along with two others and was unable to appear in court, where dozens of people sat outside of the courthouse to show their support.
The people of Hong Kong are outraged. All they can do to express their outrage is file complaints with the Independent Police Complaint Council. At a public forum, a young woman expressed her dissatification; “I have never expressed discontent with the government and never opposed the police or government’s policies. But in these few months, I am gutted. Not because some protesters vandalized infrastructure and MTR stations, but because police are twisting the truth, assaulting a person in a dark alley, and then calling him a yellow object.” This young woman, who was unnamed in the video from the South China Morning Post, speaks for many. Other statements made at this forum echo the same ideas.
Tensions seem to continue to escalate. Not only have their demands still not been met, they also have a concern for their own lives to be taken into account as they fight for their rights.