After 13 weeks of pro-democracy rallies, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam finally announced yesterday that she is formally withdrawing the controversial extradition bill hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers have been fighting against.
But protesters are unimpressed. Their biggest complaint? The government only fulfilled one of their five demands.
These demands also include the following: the government refraining from using the word “riot” to describe protests, releasing all arrested protesters and dropping charges, looking deeply into the tactics and behaviour of the Hong Kong police, and allowing citizens to elect lawmakers and the chief executive.
Protesters say the government only fulfilled the most publicised demand. Because of this, the hashtag #5DemandsNot1Less is now making rounds on social media, with Hongkongers urging Western media outlets to not celebrate just yet. For many, the fight continues.
Here’s how Hongkongers have reacted to the bill's withdrawal online:
Several Reddit threads, too, garnered hundreds of comments with protesters reiterating their other demands. Many questioned why the government didn’t withdraw the bill earlier.
One user, jman-laowai, wrote, “The funny thing is that if they withdrew the bill earlier it presumably would have placated the protests, but as I see it now they have morphed into a whole other thing about a wider dissatisfaction with the status quo.”
Another user, hfok, commented, “We do not accept anything less. We still have a long way to go, brothers and sisters.”
Hong Kong has long fought for more autonomy from mainland China. In 2014, many took to the streets to protest proposed reforms to the electoral system, a series of rallies now known as the Umbrella Movement. The latest protests, on the other hand, were against an extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong accused criminals to be sent to China for trial.
The youth has played a massive role in the protests. Even though school has begun, which may lessen the scale of the protests, many students are still committed to the cause. On Tuesday, thousands of university and high school students skipped their first day of class to join pro-democracy rallies.
“The withdrawal of the bill is too little too late,” Bonnie Leung, vice convener for Civil Human Rights Front, said at a people’s press conference yesterday. “Hong Kong people will still fight for justice and fight for the future of Hong Kong.”