Top photo: A protester chants slogans outside the Department of Justice during a demonstration demanding that Hong Kong’s leaders step down and withdraw the extradition bill, in Hong Kong, June 27, 2019. Reuters / Tyrone Siu.
Mass protests began in Hong Kong on June 9, 2019, with over a million taking to the streets to protest an extradition bill that they feared would undermine the city’s legal autonomy from mainland China.
Since July, protesters have rallied around “five key demands.” Here they are:
- To withdraw the extradition bill
- To stop labeling protesters as “rioters”
- To drop charges against protesters
- To conduct an independent inquiry into police behavior
- To implement genuine universal suffrage for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive
So far, only the first demand on the extradition bill has been met. But Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that concession on September 4, nearly three months after protests began, and it was not formally withdrawn until October 23.
At times in the protests, especially in their beginnings in June, Hongkongers have demanded that Carrie Lam step down, but this did not become part of the widely accepted and reproduced “five demands” listed above.
At no point has independence for Hong Kong been a central or key demand of Hong Kong protesters.