Why Hong Kong Protesters Are Forcing University Leaders to Pick a Side – Academic Freedom is at Stake

Commentaries and Op-eds November 6, 2019, South China Morning Post

One of the factors distinguishing the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, now in their 22nd week, from the 79-day “umbrella movement” in 2014 is the level of general support protesters continue to receive from residents and non-protesters. This is all the more remarkable considering the duration of the current unrest, the extent of violent actions to which protesters have resorted and the frequent use by the police of tear gas, beanbag rounds, rubber and live bullets, and water cannons.

It is this general support that contributes to the government’s failure to quell the protests, even after Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill on September 4.

Not only are the protests the biggest challenge to the Communist Party since the handover and Hong Kong’s worst post-war catastrophe, they embody a seismic shift in terms of how Hongkongers define and identify ourselves, institutions of power in the city, relations between Hong Kong and the mainland (and mainlanders), and the nature of Hong Kong society. Hong Kong will never be the same again, even after the protests eventually end.

Read the full article in the South China Morning Post.

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