UPDATE: June 17, 11:46 a.m. HKT
Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong walked out of prison in Hong Kong on the morning of June 17, after finishing a three-month sentence for his role in the 2014 Umbrella Movement.
“I will join the fight against the evil law,” Wong told media gathered outside Lai Chi Kok Correctional Institute where he served his sentence. “I believe this is the time for her, [Hong Kong leader] Carrie Lamm, the liar, to step down.”
In 2014, protesters calling for universal suffrage camped out on the streets of Hong Kong’s main business district in Central for almost 3 months. The movement ended without the protesters’ demands being met, while several of its main organizers were eventually jailed, including Wong.
Members of Hong Kong political party Demosisto greeted Wong by chanting “Oppose China extradition! Oppose the evil law,” according to Time. Wong is currently Demosisto’s secretary general.
Hello world and hello freedom. I have just been released from prison. GO HONG KONG!! Withdraw the extradition bill. Carrie Lam step down. Drop all political prosecutions!
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 (@joshuawongcf) June 17, 2019
Currently, debate of the extradition bill has been suspended indefinitely, following an announcement by Lam in a press conference on June 15. Protesters want Lam to withdraw the bill completely out of concern that any form of extradition with the communist mainland would erode rule of law in Hong Kong.
UPDATE: June 17, 9:17 a.m. HKT
‘Three Suspensions’ Rally Gets Underway in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, the protest against the government’s controversial extradition bill continues a day after around 2 million people joined a march to show their discontent at the leadership of Chief Executive Carrie Lam. It was the largest protest in the city ever.
According to the official Facebook page of Civil Human Rights Front, the organizer of two recent marches on June 9 and June 16, three separate rallies will be held throughout the day on June 17, in a call to encourage people to halt work, classes, and markets to demand a full withdrawal of the bill.
From 8 to 9 a.m. local time, the Hong Kong Social Workers General Union (HKSWGU) held a rally at the basketball courts at Lockhart Road Playground.
On its Facebook page, HKSWGU wrote that it has chosen to support the “three suspensions” because Lam continued to be oblivious to the demands of Hong Kongers, while defaming protesters as rioters. It stated that its rally would “safeguard both Hong Kong and local youth.”
Beginning at 11 a.m. local time, the political party Demosisto will stage a rally at Edinburgh Place, a public square in Central. On its Facebook page, the party called on students from secondary schools to boycott class and join the rally.
The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions “HKCTU,” an independent union representing over 190,000 members in sectors such as construction, retail, education, social welfare, and property management, has called for another rally from 2 to 4:30 p.m. local time outside of the Citic Tower on Lung Wui Road.
HKCTU called on both employers and workers to join the rally.
UPDATE: June 17, 3:22 a.m. HKT
Nearly 2 Million March Against Extradition Bill in Hong Kong’s Largest Ever Protest, Organizers Say
Nearly two million Hong Kong people joined a parade on June 16 to demand the government scrap a contentious extradition bill and the resignation of the city’s leader, according to organizers.
Human Rights Civil Front (HRCF) announced around 11 p.m. local time on June 16 that the “Black March” during the day drew nearly two million citizens, making it the largest ever demonstration in the city’s history.
This would mean that almost 30 percent of the city’s population attended the rally.
Hong Kong police, meanwhile, said there was 338,000 on the designated protest route during the parade’s peak.
Last week’s mass march on June 6 against the bill saw 1.03 million people taking to the streets, according to HRCF. This week’s turnout nearly doubled the previous protest.
On June 15, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the extradition bill would be suspended indefinitely, but not withdrawn entirely. She also defended the police use of tear gas and rubber bullets during the mass protest on June 16, which resulted in over 80 civilian injuries.
Opponents of the bill, unsatisfied with the decision and dismayed at Lam’s failure to address public concerns, continued to push for the bill’s full retraction and Lam’s resignation.
After an unexpectedly large crowd of protesters poured onto the streets and converged outside the city’s Legislative Council, Lam had made a rare public apology on Sunday, saying she will accept criticism for the controversial extradition bill.
HRCF continues to condemn the lack of actions by Lam’s administration, saying in a statement on Sunday night that Lam’s promise to continue serving the citizens is a “total insult” and an attempt to “[fool] the people who took to the street.”
HRCF also announced another “three suspensions” rally slated for June 17, encouraging people to halt work, classes, and markets to demand a full withdrawal of the bill.
HRCF also called for the release of arrested protesters, for police and Lam to retract their description of the June 12 protest as a “riot”, and for Lam’s resignation.
“Should the government refuse to respond, only more Hong Kongers will strike tomorrow,” HRCF wrote in the statement. “2 million + 1 citizens will take to the street, until their voices are heard.”
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Author: Epoch Times Staff
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