Hong Kong protests: a pop culture crisis



     In the past months, hundreds of thousands of people have crowded the streets of Hong Kong to protest major political reform and other major issues within the government. This controversy was originally brought up after a Hong Kongese man murdered his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan, then fled to Hong Kong.

     He later confessed in Hong Kong, but could not be tried because Hong Kong and Thailand lack an extradition agreement, an act that would allow Hong Kong to turn over the man to Chinese authorities.

     This event led to the proposition of a bill that would not only would put Hong Kong under Chinese jurisdiction, along with Taiwan.The extradition bill states that criminals that are wanted in other countries can be abducted in Hong Kong and tried in that certain country.This is mainly an issue with China, due to its unfair accusations and punishment throughout its court system, meaning that any freedoms that are now exercised could be criminalized in China.

     Twenty-two years ago, Hong Kong was handed over from Britain to China and has been a semi-autonomous region operating un­der the “One Country, Two Systems” policy. This allows Hong Kong to have a separate political system while still being a part of China, but the people of Hong Kong strongly believe that the Chinese government is trying to slowly encroach on the democratic aspects of the region.

     With an extradition bill, the countries’ two systems will be linked together, eliminating the original policy that separates them. People fear of communism bleeding over into Hong Kong’s government through the abduction of political leaders and activists that can be later tried in China. Using this process, China will be able to censor political activists and force communism into the region.

     Though most protests that you hear about are being held in the physical streets of Hong Kong, many young citizens are taking to the internet to express their opinions.With a quick google search, thousands of memes and pop culture references that are tied to the demands of protesters can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

     These memes poke fun at political leaders and tragic situations that protesters face daily by using dark cynical humor.This pop culture language that is not understood by the older population is taking over protests and bringing even more young individuals to come fight for what they believe in.