June 29. A 21-year-old woman writes something on the wall of a public housing stairwell in Fanling, a working-class suburb of Hong Kong:
Dear Hong Kong people: Our struggle is taking time, so we must guard that our will not wilt. We must insist that the bill be completely withdrawn, that the government’s slander of our protests as “riots” be rescinded, that detained protesters be released, that Carrie Lam step down, and that the police be severely punished. My wish is to use one small life in support of these demands, which come from two million of you!
The message is painted in red, in an unsteady hand. The lines droop at their ends, as if determined but exhausted. Ms. Lo Hiu Yan then throws herself from the stairwell opening to the ground outside. Her wish is realized.
On June 9, about a million people in Hong Kong demonstrated against a Beijing-sponsored “extradition bill” that would allow citizens of Hong Kong to be sent to the People’s Republic of China to stand trial. On June 16 another protest drew an estimated two million — more than a quarter of the city’s population. A majority of protesters were in their teens or 20s. The size, ideals and good order of the demonstrations drew admiration from around the world. But in the end the Hong Kong police used tear gas, rubber bullets and arrests to disperse the protesters. The government called them “thugs.” Continue