Chinese extradition bill spurs mass protests in Hong Kong
Now. Hong Kong leader, Carrie, Lam has said she will not scrap a controversial new plan to allow extradition of suspects to mainland China for the first time, despite mass protests, supporters of the law say will prevent the semi autonomous city of Hong Kong from becoming a criminal refuge. But critics fear Beijing will use it to extradite political opponents to China, where their legal protections cannot be guaranteed the guardians Helen Davidson, is in Hong Kong, where organizers claim that a million people have taken to the streets. Last Tuesday, around one hundred eighty thousand people gathered in Victoria Park in Hong Kong, and that was for the vigil commemorating the Chatham and square, mascot. It was the thirtieth anniversary this year. So that was always going to be a really big event, but the opposition to this tradition Bill, which has been really increasing over the last few months in particular. It was also a really heavy presence at the vigil as well. You know, it was a reminder of the democracy that they hold onto here in Hong Kong, and what oppression in China. And by China, Ken, Maine. The extradition Bill would laugh a case by case extraditions to number of agents. Hong Kong doesn't currently have arranged with this includes mainland China. And the obvious concern that people have is that China's legal system and Justice system is not considered to be very free that it's not considered to be very fair. Whereas Hong Kong is very proud of its Justice system. And it's, it's sane is one of his assets as a diplomatic and financial hub in the west of the activists who pushing against this Bill. The low will legitimize Chinese Chinese abduction. They're looking at the multiple cases of disappearances renditions by the Chinese government of people in other countries to get them back to mainland China into face charges of, you know, various different things, which are ultimately saying, as being rich bution for their political opposition in their political activism against China no-one really trust that Hong Kong's real. Assurance that they will never hand over someone for political reasons. No one really trust that. So, you know, it's a, it's a real fear, among people in Hong Kong. And that was something that came across a lot. When I was speaking to people at the protest yesterday. I went down there about half now before it was starting. And I really struggled to get there. You know, I was on the Woking couple of blocks, but it would have taken, maybe an hour the straits fool, and it was, it was a save white t shirts everywhere, you look, social media was full of videos of jammed up metro stations of ferries that were being that were feeling up being able to get on. And everyone around me was walking very purposely towards Victoria Park. People are frustrated, but it was incredibly painful sorry, determined that this really painful events. There was at one point someone tried to agitate the crowd saying, let's jump over onto the straight, and people called him back saying no going to do this. Right. It got very light. And there are thousands and thousands of people still trying to get into the area around the legislative council midnight their permit for a protest expired and police told them that they had to move on. There was some, some k groups it said, no, we're gonna stay just sit in. We're gonna be here until Wednesday. You can't move us. This refusal escalated into clashes between police and protesters. It was quite violent that there are barricades and bottles thrown. There were several people injured, including police offices and the riot. Police really messing and I were rushing at these protests is quite systematically, to push them, further and further up the right one hundred meters and then ten minutes later another hundred maters. It was quite intimating. I think I mean no one was really putting up much resistance at that point because the offices were at numbering. Protest is at least five to one. Kong legislative council is going to debate the Bill again on Wednesday and it's looking like it will pass. In the last couple of years. Pro-democracy legislators have been expelled from parliament, they are significant minority but era minority, and they just don't have the numbers to push against this Bill, and because of that, I think people get up and we are looking now at more protests on Wednesday and further into the future as well. Helen Davidson, my thanks to her and to Francis Ryan.