Extradition bill to be formally withdrawn, but too little, too late? - SupChina

Extradition bill to be formally withdrawn, but too little, too late?

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥 Lín Zhèng Yuè’é) announced yesterday that the much-detested extradition bill that kicked off mass protests in Hong Kong over the summer will formally be withdrawn. But the announcement “has left many protesters cold,” per Jeffie Lam of the South China Morning Post.

And in the words of activist Joshua Wong (黃之鋒 Huáng Zhīfēng) on Twitter:

1. Too little and too late now — Carrie Lam’s response comes after 7 lives sacrificed, more than 1,200 protestors arrested, in which many are mistreated in police station.

2. The intensified police brutality in the previous weeks have left an irreversible scar to the entire HK society. And therefore, at this very moment, when Carrie Lam announced withdrawal, people would not believe it is a ‘sincere’ move.

3. Instead, HK people are well-aware of her notorious track record. Whenever there are signs of sending a palm branch, they always come with a far tighter grip on exercising civil rights. Earlier today Ronny Tong has already advised using secret police.

4. We urge the world too to alert this tactic and not to be deceived by HK and Beijing Govt. They have conceded nothing in fact, and a full-scale clampdown is on the way.

5. In short, Carrie Lam’s repeated failure in understanding the situation has made this announcement completely out of touch – She needs to address to ALL Five Demands [which also include] STOP PROSECUTION, STOP CALLING US RIOTERS, INDEPENDENT INQUIRY OF POLICE and FREE ELECTION!

As the SCMP points out, Wong is not alone in calling for the “five demands”:

LIHKG, the Reddit-like site which has been the de facto virtual command centre of the protest movement, was flooded with messages saying: ‘Five key demands, not one less’ [五大訴求,缺一不可 wǔ dà sùqiú, quē yī bùkě].

A reminder that the five demands are:

1. Formal withdrawal of the extradition bill

2. An independent commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality

3. Retraction of classification of protesters as “rioters”

4. Amnesty for those arrested

5. Universal suffrage for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive

Expect protests to continue.

Further reporting:

Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

One Comment

  1. Simon Chiu Reply

    It is important to note that the 5 demands are issued in one package so that any single demand is not met, no concession will be made. A retired senior judge already said the 2nd demand of holding an independent inquiry against the police was not practical because you could not do it without also look into the way the riots proceeded, the violence involved, and the cause of the riots included the underlying social factors which no commission was equipped to handle. The 3rd demand cannot be met because what is “riot” is defined by law, and it is a matter for the court to decide, not the government. The 4th demand is an abrogation of the rule of law in that those suspected transgressing the law (including extensive damage to the legislative council and public facilities, injuring police and dissenting citizens) would go unpunished. The 5th demand cannot be met because the Hong Kong government has no power to decide. It is up to the Central Government in Beijing, and the rioters knew that. It was not a protest intended to achieve any demand. It was a protest started to create chaos for other political purposes.

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