#StandWithHongKong

  • #standwithhongkong, Stand With Hong Kong Logo, fight for freedom
  • #standwithhongkong, Stand with Hong Kong logo, black and white Hong Kong logo

Stand With Hong Kong Logo used in relation to the 2019 Hong Kong protests.  Source: Facebook, “Stand With Hong Kong” [0]

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Introduction

  • #standwithhongkong, Hong Kong Protests, protester in crowd
  • #standwithhongkong, Hong Kong Protests 2019, black bauhinia flower, protester flag
  • #standwithhongkong, Hong Kong Protests 2019, tear gas hong kong
  • #standwithhongkong, hong kong airport, airport protest

Images from the 2019-2020 Hong Kong Protests. Source: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images [1]

Stand With Hong Kong is the name of the movement that originated from the Hong Kong protests beginning in July of 2019 after the government’s proposal of a new extradition bill. [2]This extradition bill would allow the Hong Kong government to detain and send Hong Kong residents to mainland China and Taiwan if they are accused of committing crimes abroad. As a result, many Hong Kong citizens, journalists, and activists feared that the implementation of this extradition bill was a direct assertion of China’s national security agenda and an encroachment of Hong Kong’s “one party, two systems” policy with China.[3] Furthermore, underlying grievances about the British Handover surrounding Hong Kong’s full re-integration into mainland China in 2047 have continued to fuel these protests. [4]

These demonstrations have been dubbed as “unprecedented” due to the mobilization of over 500,000 people demanding a full withdrawal of the extradition bill. However, after legislative refusal to do so along with Hong Kong authority’s adverse response to largely peaceful demonstrations, tensions rose quickly, causing increased hostilities between police and protestors.  As a result of these developments, protestors have centered their platform on “five demands” aimed at preserving Hong Kong’s sovereignty. Although some in mainland China have accused Hong Kong protestors of “terrorism,” others in the international community have condemned Hong Kong police of using excessive force and committing human rights violations.[5]

Moreover, the growing political instability in Hong Kong due to these tensions can be seen through various traditional and social media platforms. Social media has provided a primary outlet for the #StandWithHongKong movement to circumvent government censorship and strengthen its largely decentralized and leaderless effort.

Furthermore, through popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, #StandWithHongKong was pivotal in not only raising international awareness and interest in the ongoing conflict but increasing support for protesters around the world. 

Context

  • occupy central, yellow umbrella movement, Hong Kong protests
  • Carrie Lam, Hong Kong protest timeline
  • June Hong Kong protest, Hong Kong demonstration, Hong Kong 2019
  • #standwithhongkong, five demands, Hong Kong protests, why hong kong protests

Images from the 2019-2020 Hong Kong Protests. Source: New York Times [42] 

Timeline & History

01.07.1997

Hong Kong handed back to China after 156 years of British rule. The Sino-British Joint Declaration outlines the future of Hong Kong, including the famous line: “those basic policies…will remain unchanged for 50 years.” (i)

26.09.2014

Hong Kongers protest for universal suffrage, with the iconic yellow umbrella as their symbol. Many of the events of the 2019 movement mirror this one. (ii)

yellow umbrella, Hong Kong

03.04.2019

Chinese government proposes the Extradition Bill which would allow fugitives in Hong Kong to be extradited to China. This officially sparks protests. (iii)

09.06.2019

One million Hong Kongers gather for the first of many large protests of the “summer of discontent”. (iv)

15.06.2019

Supporters around the world change their profile pictures on Facebook with a filter of the bauhinia flower to show support for Hong Kong. (v)

bauhinia flower, hong kong, stand with hong kong, social media, profile picture for hong kong, profile picture

 

21.07.2019

Videos of suspected Triad members beating civilians in the subway go viral. Videos of the men shaking hands with police outside the station also go viral. (vi)

 

 

04.10.2019

Daryl Morey tweets in support of Hong Kong. Backlash from China ensues, Hong Kongers use this international recognition to fuel the movement. (vii)

08.10.2019

Famous video gamer Blitzchung supports Hong Kong during a tournament. His company, Blizzard, strips him of his title. #Blizzardboycott trends on Twitter and Reddit. (viii)

Blitzchung, Blizzard, Hong Kong, Stand with Hong Kong

23.10.2019

Carrie Lam withdraws the bill, but protests still continue. (ix)

23.01.2020

Coronavirus ignites new protests against Carrie Lam for not immediately closing the borders, and then protests dwindle as the virus spreads. (x)

Key Actors

People

I. A Leaderless Movement

Hong Kong protests have been widely recognized as a leaderless movement, fueled by social media, word of mouth, and collective action. No clear leaders have been named, and protests have been organized by various groups, including students, lawyers, doctors, the elderly, parents, and working professionals. Airdrop, Telegram, and WhatsApp have been used to organize and spread the words about these movements, as these apps do not leave clear traces that can be followed or censored by the government.

A potential reason for being leaderless might be the past consequences for vocal dissenters of the Chinese government and movement leaders. In 2015, five Hong Kong booksellers, who worked for a company that sold books banned in mainland China, mysteriously disappeared [6], and one of them eventually showed up on mainland Chinese TV giving a forced confession. Because of this TV appearance, stories from their families, and inconsistencies in their actions, it is presumed that these men were abducted by the Chinese government for distributing books that criticized the Chinese Communist Party. [7]

Causeway Bay booksellers. missing booksellers
The five booksellers that went missing in 2015. Source: HongKongfp [8]

In 2017, nine prominent leaders of Occupy Central with Love and Peace were arrested and charged for their actions during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, three years after the charged crimes had taken place [9], The past intimidation tactics of China and the inhibition of free speech thus are reasons why this protest movement became leaderless. 

This decentralization is powerful– shared values can bring people together to act, even without a leader and the lack of a leader causes the central government to be overwhelmed by sheer numbers, unsure where to begin to quell the protests. However, there are risks with leaderless movements as well: often smaller, more radical groups engage in violence in one end of the city while a peaceful protest occurs in another part, which can weaken the resolve of the movement. [10]

II. Daryl Morey

Daryl Morey is the Houston Rockets general manager in the NBA. His tweet showing support for Hong Kong put the protests in the international spotlight and brought to the surface tensions between the US, China, and Hong Kong. In response to the tweet, China banned the NBA from mainland media. China is one of the NBA’s largest audiences, so the NBA quickly issued an apology letter to China to try to lift the ban and win back their Chinese fans. This caused certain US fans to become angered by the NBA’s apology letter, and Twitter was flooded soon after with tweets of discontent containing the hashtags #StandWithMorey #StandWithHongKong. [11]

 

#standwithhongkong, Hong Kong tweet, Daryl Morey tweet, Daryl Morey Hong Kong tweet
Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets’ General Manager. Source [12]

III. Blitzchung

Blitzchung, a famous video game champion, made waves when he appeared on the Hearthstone championship livestream and repeated “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our times” while wearing a mask, calling for support for the Hong Kong protests. Blizzard stripped him of his prize money and banned him from competing for a year, to which other video game players and fans responded with #BlizzardBoycott and #BoycottBlizzard. Blitzchung’s actions and the ensuing social media response added impetus to the movement by pushing more international supporters to become vocal online. [13]

Blitzchung, Ng Wai, Hong Kong protest, Boycott Blizzard
Ng Wai, famously known as the gamer, “Blitzchung.” Source: Dot Esports [14]

IV. Carrie Lam

Carrie Lam is the Chief Executive of Hong Kong who introduced the Extradition Bill and who has been handling government responses and press conferences during this time. One of the Five Demands of the protestors is to have her resign from her position. Lam has been responding to protests via televised press conferences, and she has not been interacting with Hong Kongers via social media. [15] Carrie Lam has also been the subject of memes created by Hong Kongers and international netizens. [16]

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam, the Executive Chief of Hong Kong. Source [7]

Carrie Lam, Carrie Lam meme, Carrie Lam five demands
Meme to Depict Carrie Lam’s “Community Dialogue Today.” Source: Reddit [18]

Demographics

Most of the protestors are young and well-educated professionals or students. Surprisingly, another major group of protesters are elderly Hong Kongers. [19]

Like the Umbrella Movement (and many movements throughout history), university students make up a large portion of protestors, evidenced by the colorful posters around campus and the messages on their social media. [20] These young, avid social media users post about the political happenings of Hong Kong and help spread the word internationally.

Hong Kong protester demographics, Hong Kong protests
Demographic profile of protest participants in Hong Kong (2019). Source [21]

Organizations Involved

I. Chinese Government

The Chinese government has been censoring internet searches, keywords in messages, social media, and state-owned news to either ignore the protests or to report news with a heavy bias against the protestors. Those who read the Chinese news see different stories and are exposed to different opinions than those who look at international or Hong Kong news. The differences in reporting have led to conflicts between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing supporters, both in person and on social media as well as within Hong Kong and around the world. The government has a major voice in social media, even without posting. 

Offline, activists view police actions and violence as manifestations of tightening government control over the special administrative region. In terms of responses from China, Yang Guang from the State Council Office for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs called the protests “evil”, and other government officials publicize conspiracy theories that the US is behind these protests. [22] A general belief among protestors is that Carrie Lam’s actions and reactions to the movement are directed by the Chinese government.

II. Journalists & International News Sources

Individual journalists and major news outlets post on Twitter and other social media as events unfold. Protesters and observers have developed a habit of filming and posting videos on Twitter and tagging major news sources in the post in hopes of a retweet and to spread awareness of protest activities and police violence. Some of the most pivotal, and viral moments have happened on Twitter via these methods such as the Yuen Long triad fight videos. Recently, protesters have claimed that journalists have been targeted and injured by police during protests, presumably as a way for the government to intimidate and censor reporters.

“Man in grey bites off part of the ear of pro-democracy district councilor Chiu Ka-Yin.” Source: Twitter [23] 

Analog Antecedents

2014 Umbrella Movement

The 2019 protests echo the 2014 Umbrella Movement/Occupy Central. In 2014, civilians, mainly students, were protesting for true universal suffrage in Hong Kong after a controversial elections bill was passed. Yellow umbrellas became the symbol of the movement as iconic photos of protesters using colorful umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas went viral. [24]

The movement included a 79-day sit-in inspired by Occupy Wall Street. The Hong Kong version was called Occupy Central with Love and Peace, and it was led by university professors Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man, and Baptist minister Chu Yiu-Ming. The movement leaders and some participants have since been arrested. [25]

Heavy censorship of media and web searches by the Chinese government created a barrier between Chinese citizens and the activities in Hong Kong during this time. [26] This censorship is present again in the 2019 protests: protesters rely on social media more than ever to gain international recognition, and Chinese censorship tactics have intensified.

Social Media Presence

Platforms Used

The Hong Kong protests movement had an interesting selection of platforms used to circumvent government censorship and organize the leaderless movement. Within China and Hong Kong, the movement had very little content on China’s and Hong Kong’s primary social media: WeChat. [27] This super app for message, social media, news, and even payment has over 1 billion users daily, and even account holders in the United States and other countries outside of China are being censored if they voice their support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. What news that is revealed via this platform is selectively chosen by the Chinese government. 

WhatsApp logo, Telegram logo
WhatsApp & Telegram Logo. Source [28]

The movement, therefore, has turned to other platforms for outlets to express personal opinions, raise public awareness, and even anonymously organize. Within Hong Kong, the movement can be found on the chat app Telegram and LIHKG, a Reddit-like forum. [29] Furthermore, Hong Kong freedom fighters have also turned to AirDrop as a method of transferring information. Not only do they use posters to organize protests, they also AirDrop information in simplified Chinese characters (Hong Kong uses traditional characters) demonstrating that their intended audience includes mainland Chinese tourists as well. [30]

AirDrop, Hong Kong Airdrop, Hong Kong protests airdrop
Example of Air Drop usage during Hong Kong Protests. Source [31]
The movement’s digital footprints can also be found on many major American apps, most notably Twitter and Facebook. It is on these platforms that hashtags such as #StandWithHongKong were born, posted by those around the world to show their support for the protesters in Hong Kong. These platforms offer different affordances to the international organization: Facebook has groups for protestors to organize and express sentiments while Twitter was perhaps the most important platform for videos and news to be spread to the world in a viral manner.

Popular Hashtags

The biggest presence of hashtags relating to the Hong Kong Protest Movement is on Twitter, and below are the results of a hashtag frequency analysis [32] as well as a deeper dive into some of the more popular hashtags.

Hong Kong hashtags, hashtag data visualization
Basic Visualization: All time Top 15 Hashtags used. Source [33]
1. #HongKong

Sitting atop the list of most commonly used hashtags regarding the topic of the protests; this hashtag demonstrates that just the city name has become synonymous with the movement, at least in the year of 2019 when the study was conducted. Of course, there may be noise that inflates the raw counts of this hashtag (ex. a weather report might be tagged with this hashtag), but nonetheless, this phrase was an umbrella term for all events of the movement.

2. #StandWithHongKong

Far more pointed than the generic #HongKong, this hashtag and its related alternatives were used by the international community to demonstrate their support for the protesters. This hashtag is undoubtedly pointed and thus primarily trended with the international community. For many, this is the hashtag most closely associated with the movement.

3. #HKPolice

The movement evolved throughout the summer from a fight against the government to a movement against police brutality. Images with tear gas and other signs of force were tagged with this hashtag in order to bring to light the plight of the protesters against authority. This theme resonated particularly strongly with communities that were fighting against police brutality in the United States.

4. #FiveDemands#NoExtraditionToChina

Hashtags like these, although used less, summarized the objectives of the protesters: namely, the five demands the protesters had that were headlined with the repeal of the extradition bill that would grant China greater legal authority in Hong Kong. These hashtags would be primarily used by the protesters themselves to tie their protests to a cause.

From the same python analysis, we find a word cloud of words used in the various tweets. The larger the word the more frequently the word appeared with tweets regarding the hong kong protests. Some articles and proper nouns are filtered out and the results are shown below. 

HK protest tweets, HK protest word cloud
Exploratory Data Analysis, Word Cloud. Source [34]

Memes

The gravity of the movement caused there to be few memes spread across the internet. Furthermore, any memes that portrayed the central Chinese government in poor light were censored in China. However, outside of China, certain images conveying recurring themes regarding censorship and the inability of internationals to affect change in Hong Kong.

#standwithhongkong, Hong Kong protest Meme
“This meme (above) jokes that a picture of the Hong Kong protests taken on a Huawei phone would be censured – rather than a realistic picture shown on phones made in the US and South Korea.” Source: Daily Mail [35]
#standwithhongkong, 2019 Hong Kong Memes, Hong Kong protest meme
2019 Hong Kong Protest Memes, Source: [36]

Significance of Social Media to Movement

As mentioned in the discussion of platforms used, social media has helped the movement anonymously organize in such a way that movement has been characterized as a leaderless movement. [37] Behind apps and AirDrop, organizers have communicated to sympathizers the times and locations of protests as well as spread awareness of the movement’s goals to people across the world. Thus, social media has been a tool for not only avoiding government censorship but also provided anonymity for the movement’s leaders. 

Furthermore, social media is not just a platform for the protesters; both parties use social media as a tool to sway public opinion. In August of 2019, Facebook and Twitter suspended hundreds of thousands of accounts that were linked to a disinformation campaign designed to discredit pro-democracy protests. [38] Modern day movements have evolved from traditional mediums, and the use of social media by both parties in the Hong Kong protests is an excellent example of that.

#standwithhongkong, Twitter troll Hong Kong
A screenshot from a fake Twitter account originating from China to promote “political discord.” Source: New York Times [39]

Organic vs. Planned Growth

The movement grew in ways that were both predetermined and organic. The use of social media to raise international awareness and publicize events that would otherwise be contained and censored is definitely a planned way protesters chose to grow the movement while circumventing government censorship. The use of provocative imagery and recurring symbolism contributes to evidence that protesters planned to broadcast the movement in order to put international pressure on the Chinese government. The spread of disinformation by the Chinese government was also intentional in order to frame the events in a light favorable to the central authorities. [40] 

On the other hand, despite all the planning, growth in international responses was organic as well. Motifs of freedom and oppression resonate strongly with certain countries all across the world, and no leader of a movement can perfectly plan out how a network of bystanders would react to social media posts. Countries such as the United States and Western Europe who include free speech into their governing legislative documents particularly felt strongly about the oppression of open journalism in Hong Kong.

Offline Presence

Despite all the traction the movement gained on social media, the core events of the movement were still offline and in person. Social media covered international reaction to the fight for freedom, but the movement is primarily offline in the form of protests, Hong Kong movement for free is still marked by mobilization of the masses and occupying the streets to demonstrate the desire for sovereignty. Social media is a medium through which new was spread to the world and also another platform for sentiment to be expressed and shared. However, the images and videos that trended were all of in person events, and that is why although the online presence of the movement was significant, particularly within the international community, the movements will still be associated with large numbers of protesters gathered in public areas. 

Impact of the Movement

Hong Kong Protest Google Trends
Google Trends graph showing the use of the term “hongkong protest” in the past year. [41]

Hong Kong Protests in General

Although this movement has been defined as controversial, nobody can deny the huge social impact it delivered. It generated a huge amount of power and was successfully transmitted to all over the world. The start of this movement was not only a clear sign that people were more willing to get involved in the policy making process but also showed that citizens in Hong Kong are more willing to take responsibility and take action.

Celebrities in HongKong also showed a great amount of social responsibilities. Denise Ho, for example, risked her entire career in devoting herself into supporting this protest in HongKong. She was banned by the mainland China government after she first became active in participating in the democratic protest back in 2014, when she had more than hundreds of concerts in Mainland China. This would cost a great amount of courage, but as she said during an interview, “For me, it is always about the people, for the people to be empowered and for them to believe that we can control our destiny.”  As a public figure, she chose to sacrifice her career but would rather enlighten her fellow HongKong citizens, same as Denise, there are so many celebrities who stood out during the protest, showed their opinions to the public, no matter what ideas they are holding. Considering their huge social impact, this could be seen as one the most effective advertisements through the movement. As they would be able to actually lead the public into a deeper thinking about what is the ultimate purpose for this movement, what is greater good for the people living in HongKong right now, and why this movement will impact every individual and even their next generation.

Impact on Social Media

Social media turns itself into a brand new battlefield. Unlike the traditional battlefields, there are no smoke or flames anywhere, and there are not any physical damages either. But somehow, these protests became some of the most intense battlegrounds in the history of Hong Kong, where people had an unprecedented degree of freedom to express their feelings and spread their thoughts. For example, it created a bridge between the protesters and the authorities, allowing both parties to conduct direct dialogs. The media was live to millions of the users around the world, and while intense, this became the most peaceful and the most democratic way of expressing ideas.

Social media was also extremely useful in the actual protest, where it played a significant role in the information exchange throughout the protest. People use social media platforms to send out messages, whether it be text, audio or video. Besides, platforms like Facebook offer affordances of letting people explore with others who have similar thoughts, and also contribute in organizing and assembling protests of a large scale. 

During the protest, there were so many news stories happening even in a single day; in contrast prior to the age of social media, the only source of information people could count on came from traditional news sources. These traditional outlets could be biased due to various reasons. Take the mainland China media and the western media as examples: both of them report the truth, but not the complete truth. Instead of telling a comprehensive story, the media may filter out some information that they do not want their viewers to know. However, in social media platforms, the information is more similar to “raw materials”, which haven’t not been pre-selected and never will. 

Social media offers users choice. When one scrolls through the #Standwithhongkong page, for example, criticism tweets may appear directly under compliment tweets, and the information that came from police may stay next to the information that came from the protesters. Social media platforms are more like faithful storytellers and let everyone have equal access to the complete truth. 

Moreover, physical paper might fade and rot eventually, but the information online will last forever. Thus, even if protests end someday in the future, the idea of fighting for freedom will be remembered forever on social media platforms. As long as the thoughts are passed through generations and generations, then the HongKong citizens today will continue to commit to this fight. 

Critiques of the Movement

From the international community, there is a lot of criticism regarding the suppression of freedom from the Chinese central government. The New York Times opinion author calls the movement “A struggle that the free world must support.” [42] Although siding with the fighters of democracy, the author gives a bleak viewpoint on the future of the movement, condemning and warning against future violence. In particular, the author calls to attention the likelihood and dangers of violent oppression by the central government and argues that the greatest support international sympathizers can provide is the message that China will face serious consequences from the international community if the leaders attempt to quell the protests with more violence.

There is also criticism regarding the lack of communication between the parties and lamentation that if such relationships continue, there is no end in sight. [43] Social media has provided a platform for people to share personal ideas, but conflict resolution needs to happen face to face. The tensions between parties have escalated to such a level that there is little communication and attempts to resolve disagreements. Both parties respond to one another’s actions rather than preemptively discuss how the movement should proceed. Furthermore, the government censorship causes people to be afraid of speaking out in person and instead promotes the anonymous opinion platform that social media affords.

Finally, there is criticism that is analogous to the “Mt. Everest problem:” there is ineffective violence from the protesters and a lack of strategy. [44] Younger generations are actively involved in protests and there are even students who were quoted on willing to sacrifice their lives in the pursuit of freedom for their city. This sort of idealism is admired, yet naive as there seems to be a lack of introspection as to what protests and social media awareness actually does for the movement. The protesters are too eager to protest, but are blind as to the effects of their protests on the current environment as well as the next generations of Hong Kong residents.

Conclusion

The movement may be slowing down, but the spirit is far from ending.

With the global spread of COVID-19, the physical protests in the streets of Hong Kong have slowed down. However, protesters are still demanding change. In fact, doctors and citizens have criticized Carrie Lam for refusing to close the Chinese border when the virus first broke out, and some did protest – both online and offline. [45]  Moreover, citizens suspect that the police might be abusing the situation to break up protest gatherings of more than four people and selectively inspecting restaurants that are sympathetic to the protest movement. [46] The coronavirus outbreak also proves how innovative these digital activists are: members of the movement are using Telegram and other apps to distribute PPE and spread safety reminders around the community. [47] Protestors are staying connected while distrust of the government and the police is quietly brewing, adding another layer to the landscape of the movement. Though the last major protest was the New Year’s Day Protest in January 2020, many citizens have expressed that they plan to return to the streets once the virus has passed. [48]

For this movement specifically, protesters are pursuing the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, which is being officially withdrawn on Oct 23, 2019. The compromise from the government could be seen as one of the biggest achievements in this movement. Even Though the other 4 out of 5 demands were dismissed later, the voices from protesters are proved to be heard by the authorities. It is unclear as to whether this movement ended physically, so it is very hard to say if the movement will eventually have a long lasting impact. But due to social media, all the voices coming from this movement during the past year were carefully saved and recorded for posterity. People now might not go out on the street to protest, but this doesn’t mean everyone will forget what the citizens of Hong Kong have sacrificed in the summer of 2019. Every time when you search #StandWithHongKong on Google, there are always new thoughts or insights, so we will never forget their struggle. The spirit of pursuing a society of freedom will never fade away; social media helps create a memo for history and keeps inspiring people all over the world.

Was this movement a success or a failure? 

 “I have fully received all the messages they are trying to send, the entire protest is such an unique experience for me, as it makes me really start thinking about things beyond myself.”

A quote from one of my close friends who was born and raised in Hong Kong.

For most of the people in HongKong, the protest does the same effect on them, they are motivated to think as part of the society, think as HongKong citizens. No matter what agreements the governments made eventually, as long as people are awakened, we could consider this protest as a success. We conducted interviews with students from various backgrounds, including Mainland China, HongKong, Taiwan and so on. Even if different people are holding different views in lots of areas during the protest, they might’ve doubted the way that protesters are pursuing their demands, or they might also be accused of policies’ overreaction. But when asked about the spirit behind the protest, nearly all of them became supportive, which exactly indicates that all the efforts that HongKong citizens have devoted in the past few months weren’t being wasted, their demands were heard by the world, and their spirits were passed along to more and more people in the world. Even if the protest has not yet ended, we have already had the confidence to say that, “In a view of the bigger picture, we have already won.”

References

[0] “Stand With Hong Kong” Facebook Page. 13 April, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/standwithhk/photos/a.731397660624238/781770485586955/?type=3&theater

[1] “Axios.” 13 April, 2020. https://images.axios.com/j7Cpb-foSFSDGuMy6ZY_Uh7fnDc=/0x0:1920×1080/1920×1080/2019/06/12/1560372719900.jpg

[2] Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong: initialed on 26th September, 1984, signed on 19th December, 1984, ratified on 27th May, 1985, Sino-British joint declaration on the question of Hong Kong: initialled on 26th September, 1984, signed on 19th December, 1984, ratified on 27th May, 1985 § (1997). http://www.gov.cn/english/2007-06/14/content_649468.html.

[3] Tsui-kai, Wong. “Hong Kong Protests: What Are the ‘Five Demands’? What Do Protesters Want?” Young Post | South China Morning Post, Young Post, 29 Nov. 2019, yp.scmp.com/hongkongprotests5demands.

[4] Refer to Footnote 2

[5] Richardson, Sophie. “Numbers Tell the Story of Hong Kong’s Human Rights.” Human Rights Watch, 17 Dec. 2019, www.hrw.org/news/2019/12/06/numbers-tell-story-hong-kongs-human-rights#

[6] Palmer, Alex W. “The Case of Hong Kong’s Missing Booksellers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Apr. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/04/03/magazine/the-case-of-hong-kongs-missing-booksellers.html.

[7] Beauchamp, Zack. “Hong Kong’s Disappearing Bookseller Controversy, Explained.” Vox, Vox, 19 Jan. 2016, www.vox.com/2016/1/19/10792054/hong-kong-booksellers.

[8] Zeng, Vivienne. “The Curious Tale of Five Missing Publishers in Hong Kong.” Hong Kong Free Press HKFP, March 31, 2020. https://hongkongfp.com/2016/01/08/the-curious-tale-of-five-missing-publishers-in-hong-kong/.

[9] Wong, Alan. “Hong Kong Democracy Advocates Face Charges in 2014 Protests.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Mar. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/03/27/world/asia/hong-kong-umbrella-democracy-charges.html.

[10] Hong Kong Protesters Storm Government Building over China Extradition Bill – Live Updates.” CNN, Cable News Network, 1 July 2019, www.cnn.com/asia/live-news/hong-kong-july-1-protests-intl-hnk/index.html.

[11] Perper, Rosie. “China and the NBA Are Coming to Blows over a pro-Hong Kong Tweet. Here’s Why.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Oct. 23, 2019. https://www.businessinsider.com/nba-china-feud-timeline-daryl-morey-tweet-hong-kong-protests-2019-10#on-october-10-a-reporter-for-cnn-was-cut-off-from-asking-a-question-to-nba-athletes-about-the-conflict-14.

[12] Sahelirc. “Houston Rockets GM Apologizes for Hong Kong Tweet after China Consulate Tells Team to ‘Correct the Error’.” CNBC, CNBC, 8 Oct. 2019, www.cnbc.com/2019/10/07/houston-rockets-gm-morey-deletes-tweet-about-hong-kong.html.

[13] Clark, Peter Allen. “What to Know About the Esports Backlash to Blizzard Over Hong Kong.” Time. Time, Oct. 21, 2019. https://time.com/5702971/blizzard-esports-hearthstone-hong-kong-protests-backlash-blitzchung/

[14] Cusick, Taylor. “Who Is Blitzchung, the Hearthstone pro Recently Banned from Competitive Play?” Dot Esports, Oct. 8, 2019. https://dotesports.com/hearthstone/news/who-is-blitzchung.

[15] Chan, Holmes. “Protesters Trying to ‘Destroy Hong Kong’ and Foment ‘Revolution,’ Says Chief Exec. Carrie Lam.” Hong Kong Free Press HKFP, 5 Aug. 2019, www.hongkongfp.com/2019/08/05/protesters-trying-destroy-hong-kong-foment-revolution-says-chief-exec-carrie-lam/.

[16] Taylor, Jerome, and Elaine Yu. “Memes, Cartoons and Caustic Cantonese: the Language of Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Law Protests.” Hong Kong Free Press HKFP, 24 June 2019, www.hongkongfp.com/2019/06/24/memes-cartoons-caustic-cantonese-language-hong-kongs-anti-extradition-law-protests/.

[17] Gracemzshao. “Hong Kong’s Leader Says the City Is Verging on ‘a Very Dangerous Situation’.” CNBC, CNBC, 5 Aug. 2019, www.cnbc.com/2019/08/05/hong-kong-leader-carrie-lam-city-verging-on-very-dangerous-situation.html.

[18] “r/HongKong – Relevant Meme to Depict Carrie Lam’s ‘Community Dialogue’ Today.” reddit. Accessed April 7, 2020. https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/d9jd7k/relevant_meme_to_depict_carrie_lams_community/.

[19] Buchholz, Katharina, and Felix Richter. “Infographic: Who Are the Hong Kong Protesters?” Statista Infographics, 3 Sept. 2019, www.statista.com/chart/19222/demographic-profile-of-hong-kong-protesters/.

[20] Personal experience at HKU in summer 2019; Regan, Helen. “Hong Kong’s Student Protesters Are Turning Campuses into Fortresses.” CNN. Cable News Network, November 16, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/15/asia/hong-kong-protest-university-fortress-intl-hnk/index.html.

[21] Buchholz, Katharina, and Felix Richter. “Infographic: Who Are the Hong Kong Protesters?” Statista Infographics, 3 Sept. 2019, www.statista.com/chart/19222/demographic-profile-of-hong-kong-protesters/.

[22] Feng, Emily. “As Hong Kong Protests Continue, China’s Response Is Increasingly Ominous.” NPR. NPR, August 13, 2019. https://www.npr.org/2019/08/13/750695968/as-hong-kong-protests-continue-chinas-response-is-increasingly-ominous.

[23] Twitter. 13 April 2020. https://twitter.com/BeWaterHKG/status/1190982592717307904

[24] 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.

[25] 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.

[26] Kuo, Lily. “Chinese Censors Are Trying to Erase Hong Kong’s pro-Democracy Movement.” Quartz, Quartz, 29 Sept. 2014, qz.com/272690/chinese-censors-are-trying-to-erase-hong-kongs-pro-democracy-movement/.

[27] Patterson, James. “WeChat, China Ban US Users From Talking About Hong Kong Protest.” International Business Times, 26 Nov. 2019, www.ibtimes.com/wechat-china-ban-us-users-talking-about-hong-kong-protest-2873691.

[28] Николаев, Виктор “WhatsApp Улучшает ‘Группы’, Чтобы Бороться с Telegram.” NUR.KZ, NUR.KZ, 16 May 2018, www.nur.kz/1731999-whatsapp-ulucsaet-gruppy-ctoby-borotsa-s-telegram.html.

[29] Steger, Isabella. “Hong Kong’s Fast-Learning, Dexterous Protesters Are Stumped by Twitter.” Quartz, Quartz, 2 Sept. 2019, qz.com/1698002/hong-kong-protesters-flock-to-twitter-to-shape-global-message/.

[30]Hui, Mary. “Hong Kong’s Protesters Put AirDrop to Ingenious Use to Breach China’s Firewall.” Quartz, Quartz, 10 July 2019, qz.com/1660460/hong-kong-protesters-use-airdrop-to-breach-chinas-firewall/.

[31] IMAGE

[32] Leow, Griffin. “Analysis of Tweets on the Hong Kong Protest Movement 2019 with Python.” Medium, Towards Data Science, 26 Nov. 2019, towardsdatascience.com/analysis-of-tweets-on-the-hong-kong-protest-movement-2019-with-python-a331851f061.

[33] Refer to footnote 32

[34]Refer to footnote 32

[35] “Hilarious Meme Sums up Hong Kong Protests.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 13 June 2019, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7135863/Hilarious-meme-sums-Hong-Kong-protests.html.

[36] Aiken, Sam. “Hong Kong Digital Warriors Fight for Freedom with Memes, Hashtags and Hidden Messages.” Medium, Crypto Punks, 9 Dec. 2019, medium.com/crypto-punks/hong-kong-digital-warriors-fight-for-freedom-with-memes-hashtags-and-hidden-messages-9075534d4c08.

[37] Gracemzshao. “Social Media Has Become a Battleground in Hong Kong’s Protests.” CNBC, CNBC, 16 Aug. 2019, www.cnbc.com/2019/08/16/social-media-has-become-a-battleground-in-hong-kongs-protests.html.

[38] Wood, Daniel, et al. “China Used Twitter To Disrupt Hong Kong Protests, But Efforts Began Years Earlier.” NPR, NPR, 17 Sept. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/09/17/758146019/china-used-twitter-to-disrupt-hong-kong-protests-but-efforts-began-years-earlier.

[39] image

[40] Stewart, Emily. “How China Used Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to Spread Disinformation about the Hong Kong Protests.” Vox, Vox, 23 Aug. 2019, www.vox.com/recode/2019/8/20/20813660/china-facebook-twitter-hong-kong-protests-social-media.

[41] “Google Trends.” #hongkongprotests, 10 April, 2020. https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=hongkong%20protest

[42] Board, The Editorial. “Hong Kong Protests: How Does This End?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Nov. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/11/16/opinion/hong-kong-protests.html.

[43] Refer to footnote 42

[44] Refer to footnote 42.

[45] “Why Coronavirus Is a Major Setback for Hong Kong Protesters.” U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, March 17, 2020. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2020-03-17/why-coronavirus-is-a-major-setback-for-hong-kong-protesters.

[46] Hui, Mary. “Hong Kong Police Are Using Coronavirus Restrictions to Clamp down on Protesters.” Quartz. Quartz, April 3, 2020. https://qz.com/1829892/hong-kong-police-use-coronavirus-rules-to-limit-protests/.

[47] Anthony Faiola, Lindzi Wessel. “Coronavirus Chills Protests from Chile to Hong Kong to Iraq, Forcing Activists to Innovate.” The Washington Post. WP Company, April 4, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/coronavirus-protest-chile-hong-kong-iraq-lebanon-india-venezuela/2020/04/03/c7f5e012-6d50-11ea-a156-0048b62cdb51_story.html.

[48] Refer to footnote 35 (US Why Coronavirus Is a Major Setback for Hong Kong Protesters)

Bibliography for timeline:

(i) Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong: initialled on 26th September, 1984, signed on 19th December, 1984, ratified on 27th May, 1985, Sino-British joint declaration on the question of Hong Kong: initialled on 26th September, 1984, signed on 19th December, 1984, ratified on 27th May, 1985 § (1997). http://www.gov.cn/english/2007-06/14/content_649468.htm.

(ii) 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.

Broadhead, Ivan. “Who’s Who in the Hong Kong Protests.” VOA News. Voice of America. 10 Oct. 2014. https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/whos-who-hong-kong-protests

(iii) “Hong Kong: Timeline of Extradition Protests.” BBC News, BBC, 4 Sept. 2019, www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49340717.

 (iv) “Patterns of Repression: Timeline of the 2019 Hong Kong Protests.” Amnesty International, Amnesty International, 11 Oct. 2019, www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/10/timeline-of-the-2019-hong-kong-protests/.

(v)  Bell, Chris, and Pratik Jakhar. “Hong Kong Protests: Social Media Users Show Support.” BBC News, BBC, 13 June 2019, www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-48621964. (image also from this source)

(vi) “Patterns of Repression: Timeline of the 2019 Hong Kong Protests.” Amnesty International, Amnesty International, 11 Oct. 2019, www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/10/timeline-of-the-2019-hong-kong-protests/.

(vii)  Perper, Rosie. “China and the NBA Are Coming to Blows over a pro-Hong Kong Tweet. Here’s Why.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Oct. 23, 2019. https://www.businessinsider.com/nba-china-feud-timeline-daryl-morey-tweet-hong-kong-protests-2019-10#on-october-10-a-reporter-for-cnn-was-cut-off-from-asking-a-question-to-nba-athletes-about-the-conflict-14.

(viii) Clark, Peter Allen. “What to Know About the Esports Backlash to Blizzard Over Hong Kong.” Time. Time, Oct. 21, 2019. https://time.com/5702971/blizzard-esports-hearthstone-hong-kong-protests-backlash-blitzchung/.

Imogen, Donovan. “Blizzard strips Blitzschung of Grandmasters prize, bans him from Hearthstone due to Hong Kong comments,” Videogamer. VideoGamer, Oct. 09, 2019. https://www.videogamer.com/news/blizzard-strips-blitzschung-of-grandmasters-prize-bans-him-from-hearthstone-due-to-hong-kong-comments

(ix) “Hong Kong Government Formally Withdraws ‘Dead’ Extradition Bill.” South China Morning Post, 23 Oct. 2019, www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3034263/hong-kong-government-officially-withdraws-extradition-bill..

(x)  Barron, Laignee. “Virus Brings Out Ugly Side of Hong Kong’s Protest Movement.” Time, Time, 19 Feb. 2020, time.com/5784258/hong-kong-democracy-separatism-cor

 

 

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