Today at the National People’s Congress, the Chinese Communist Party approved the resolution for a National Security Law in Hong Kong. With this law, the CCP will be able to set up state security agencies in the city and »prevent, frustrate and punish« acts of »secession, sedition, terrorism, and foreign interference«. This contradicts the principle of ›One country, two systems‹ and is in breach of the Sino-British joint declaration between Great Britain and China. With the handover, Hong Kong was guaranteed a high degree of autonomy as well as »rights and freedoms, including those of the person, of speech, of the press, of assembly« and more.
The National Security Law is designed to crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, which is long portrayed by the CCP and HK government as rioters under foreign influence. Yet, a vast majority of the pro-democracy movement is non-violent. Though there are aggressive attacks carried out by protesters at times, it would play right into the narrative of the pro-Beijing camp to ignore the origin of the aggression. The more forceful approach during protests is a reaction to police brutality and attacks by ›blue ribbons‹ such as triad member since the non-violent Umbrella Movement in 2014. This shift is reflected in the slogan »It was you who showed us that peaceful protest doesn’t work.« It might surprise you, but the burning roadblocks you see on Hong Kong’s streets with rows of frontliners holding umbrellas are most of all defense lines against approaching riot police. These actions prevent stampedes and allow other protesters to disperse without the threat of arbitrary arrest.
Everyone I talked to confirmed that the social climate has changed eminently to the positive. »You wouldn’t like the atmosphere of Hong Kong before«, they said. This is already a victory. Please be aware that all those people are individuals with hope to achieve genuine democracy with the right to vote and to stand for election for everyone, including political opponents. Here are but two: A black-clad protester keeping guard and a young woman wearing a sweater with hearts, both captured during the Spark Alliance support rally on December 23rd, 2019.