(Worthy News) – Protesters in Hong Kong are calling for the release of forty-four activists imprisoned during the street demonstrations that have embroiled the former British colony for the last eight weeks.
On Tuesday hundreds of pro-democracy Hong Kongers surrounded the Kwai Chung police station chanting “liberate Hong Kong” and “revolution of our time,” braving rubber bullets and tear gas from the police to demand the release of the prisoners, who had been charged with rioting.
“We don’t know how long we are going to stay here, we don’t have a leader, as you can see this is a mass movement now,” a 21-year-old protester named Sharon told Reuters earlier in the day, as activists blocked train lines during the morning commute and caused some to shut down.
A controversial extradition bill proposed in February, in which people charged with a crime in Hong Kong can be extradited to mainland China for trial, is the root of the unrest, as it is widely seen by protesters as an abrogation of the “one country, two systems” mandate the British left behind as a safeguard against communist control when they restored Hong Kong to China in 1997.
The protests have earned sweeping condemnation from mainland China, with communist leaders voicing their unconditional support on Monday for embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who, according to the independent Public Opinion Research Institute, currently holds a 21% approval rating.