In 2014 there was an umbrella revolution going on in Hong Kong. More than a thousand protesters remained in the downtown on Monday night after days of confrontations with police that observers fear could spark more great violence. Many Hong Kong residents – young and old, rich and poor – have peacefully occupied important thoroughfares across the city, shuttering businesses and bringing traffic to a halt.
They claim that Beijing reneged on an agreement to grant them open elections by 2017, and demand “true universal suffrage.” Organizers said they wouldn’t end protest until Beijing changes its electoral guidelines and Leung Chun-Ying, the city’s pro-Beijing chief executive, steps down. Joshua Wong is one of the organizers; he is a Hong Kong student activist and politician who serves as secretary-general of the pro-democracy party called Demosistō.
Wong was previously convenor and founder of the Hong Kong student activist group Scholarism. The Demosistō aims to achieve democratic self-determination in Hong Kong. Through direct action, popular referenda, and non-violent means, they push for the city’s political and economic autonomy from the oppression of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and capitalist hegemony. They trust the community to realize the common good and to build a city of multiplicity, equality, and justice.
Wong got jailed for three months by Hong Kong’s high court for an offense stemming from the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests, The sentence for contempt of court, after Wong and other demonstrators, ignored an order to vacate a protest site, is the second time he has been jailed in the past year. Wong, along with fellow protest leaders Nathan Law and Alex Chow, is continuing to appeal another sentence he received in August which had initially been seen him jailed for six to eight months for offenses also related to the 2014 mass pro-democracy street protests.
The Court of Final Appeal heard arguments Tuesday in that case but has reserved judgment to a later date. With Wednesday’s decision sent him back to jail, along with fellow protest leader Raphael Wong, who was jailed for four and a half months. Even though Wong said, “Facing the increasing suppression from the Chinese regime, we always believe a better connection with civil society and the international community would be important to push for Hong Kong’s democracy.” (Aldama, Zigor)
- Aldama, Zigor. “Joshua Wong: The Teenager Who Defied China.” GCC News | Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, 16 July 2017, www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/teenager-defied-china-150925085531871.html.
- Kaiman, Jonathan. “Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution – the Guardian Briefing.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 30 Sept. 2014, www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/30/-sp-hong-kong-umbrella-revolution-pro-democracy-protests.
- Lui, Kevin. “Hong Kong Activist Joshua Wong on Life Behind Bars.” Time, Time, 6 Nov. 2017, time.com/5011057/hong-kong-joshua-wong-interview/.