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Open Letter
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What Happened in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is a city with a population of 7.4 million people. 1,000,000 people took to the streets on 9 June, followed by a rally on 12 June. During the rally, peaceful protesters were attacked by the police with unnecessary and excessive force. The government ignored the general consensus of the citizens who they are supposed to serve. On 15 June, our movement suffered its first death. “The Man in The Yellow Raincoat,” Mr. Leung, tragically jumped to his death from a shopping mall near the Government Headquarters after unfurling a large protest banner against the Extradition Bill. On 16 June, a record-breaking 2,000,000 protesters took to the streets once more. They demanded that the government withdraw the Extradition Bill, release the arrested protesters unconditionally, and launch an independent investigation into the police’s excessive use of violence on 12 June.

Timeline

  • 2019
  • 2019/06/09
    Million-Strong March
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    The beginnings of a large-scale mobilisation. Over 1,000,000 Hong Kong citizens peacefully marched to oppose the controversial Extradition Bill.
  • 2019/06/09
    Deaf Ears
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    The government ignored the chorus of public opposition. The government insisted on putting the Extradition Bill forward for its final vote at the Legislative Council meeting on 12 June despite the unprecedented turnout of protesters against the bill on 9 June.
  • 2019/06/12
    Struggle on the Streets
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    Protesters demanded an immediate stop to the second reading of the Extradition Bill. Ignored by the government, tens of thousands of Hongkongers attempted to prevent legislative proceedings on the Extradition Bill by surrounding the Legislative Council, where they faced excessive violence from the police.
  • 2019/06/12
    The Crackdown
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    The police used excessive violence against protesters during a largely peaceful protest. The police used pepper spray, batons, rubber bullets, bean bag rounds and over 150 rounds of tear gas against unarmed students, journalists and even first-aid personnel. The government later characterised the protest as a "riot".
  • 2019/06/12
    The Siege
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    Police dangerously encircled and forced peaceful protesters into a commercial building. Protesters within the designated protest zone were encircled and ambushed by the police from both sides of the zone. The police fired tear gas into the centre of the crowd, forcing them to flee into a commercial building through a narrow entrance. This almost led to a stampede.
  • 2019/06/12
    Global Condemnation
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    Numerous NGOs and governments around the world condemned the violence that the protesters endured on 12 June. Amnesty International verified that the Hong Kong police had violated international law and standards on the use of force by law enforcement officials on 12 June. The unlawful police actions included: 1. Brutally beating protesters; 2. Firing of multiple rounds of tear gas at hundreds of trapped protesters; 3. Firing of rubber bullets towards protesters in close range; 4. Improper usage of pepper spray; 5. Obstructing media from reporting; and 6. Blockage of emergency ambulances.
  • 2019/06/15
    The First Death
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    The movement suffered its first death when a man killed himself in protest against the Extradition Bill. "The Man in the Yellow Raincoat", Mr. Leung, threw himself off a building and plunged to his death near the Government Headquarters after unfurling a large protest banner against the Extradition Bill.
  • 2019/06/15
    Delaying Tactics
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    The government finally responded to the public, but refused to fully withdraw the bill and to drop the rioting charges against the protesters. Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, refused to withdraw the Extradition Bill but only temporarily suspended it. At the same time, internal orders were given to medical staff in hospitals to disclose protesters’ personal information to the police, resulting in at least five injured demonstrators being arrested in hospitals. Some injured protesters did not seek medical treatment for fear of being arrested.
  • 2019/06/16
    The People Speak Again
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    2,000,000 citizens marched to demand that the government fully withdraw the Extradition Bill, investigate into the excessive violence used by police on 12 June, unconditionally release arrested protesters and retract the government’s characterization of the 12 June protest as a "riot".
  • 2019/06/18
    Never Forget, Never Forgive
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    The government apologised for inadequately “educating” the public on the bill but decided it was not responsible for the damage that it has inflicted on society. The government has done little but anger the citizens of Hong Kong. To date, the government has still ignored the pleas of the people and continues to justify the excessive force used by the police despite widespread international condemnation.
  • 2019/06/21
    Continuous Silence
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    The government has done nothing concrete to address the public’s demands. The government failed to agree to any of the demands made by the public. On 21 June, protesters surrounded the Police Headquarters and demanded the Commissioner of Police, Stephen Lo, to respond to issues of police brutality. The protesters also urged the Commissioner to explain why on-duty police officers failed to show their identifying documents during the 12 June protest, which made it impossible to file complaints against police actions.
  • 2019/06/29
    The Second Death
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    A 21-year-old university student committed suicide by jumping off a housing estate. Before her death, she wrote the public's demands on a nearby wall and asked Hongkongers to continue to fight until the end.
  • 2019