HRT Correspondent – Adam Craddock
Chances Are Less Than Even Supportive Protests In Mainland China Will Aid Pro-Democratic Movement In Hong Kong
Chances are less than even that supportive protests in mainland China will aid the pro-democratic movement in Hong Kong. Support for Hong Kong came mostly from the Guangdong province in which authorities quickly arrested over 100 individuals involved. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing hold tighter authority on mainland media, social and political activities. Any indication of what the CCP considers subversion is met with strong responses which limit future activity.
In 2014, pro-democracy demonstrations in the Guangdong province of China for democratic reforms in Hong Kong led to over 100 individuals arrested within the province.[i] In April 2016, authorities sentenced several key figures from the Guangdong protests for incitement to subvert state power.[ii] The sentencing came at the same time as activist Joshua Wong’s announcement of the creation of his new democratic party in Hong Kong, Demosisto.[iii]
Two of those sentenced acted as members of the Southern Street Movement, a loose organization of public demonstrators who demanded greater democratic rights from the government and disclosure of the records of public officials. The Southern Street Movement had not seen much traction until about 2010, organizing demonstrations proved difficult as it requires courage and quick mobilization. After 2010, demonstrations became increasingly daring including publically calling for general elections and the abolishment of the one party system.[iv]
The Southern Street Movement only prospers in cities such as Guangzhou, Guangdong province because government regulation of protests remain loose in the southern provinces near Hong Kong than up north, closer to Beijing.[v] Protest on the levels displayed in Guangdong rarely occurs elsewhere in the mainland.[vi]
Torture of detainees and prisoners is widely evident in the Chinese prison system and many release dates for detainees extend via government approval.[vii] International human rights groups protest these detainments in violation of the justice system within China, but to little success.[viii]
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