Protests in Hong Kong begin to revive, leaving more than 200 detainees

       

The head of the autonomous government, Carrie Lam, promises to reform the educational system, which she accuses of promoting protests

The protests in Hong Kong against the autonomous government and that of Beijing, suspended during the worst months of the covid-19 pandemic, are reactivated again. This weekend, the Chinese autonomous territory police have detained 230 people, including a 13-year-old boy, after carrying out several dispersal operations. According to hospital sources, 18 people have been injured.

Throughout the Sunday night, as reported by the police on Monday, several groups of protesters had put up barriers to obstruct the passage in the streets of the Mong Kok neighborhood, one of the focus of last year’s protests. Officers in riot uniform fired several rounds of pepper spray, including two at journalists covering the scene, according to the Hong Kong South China Morning Post newspaper. The detained minor, later released, was working as a volunteer for a student environment created last February.

Among the wounded who went to the hospital were opposition legislator Roy Kwong, who was streamed by police on some ground images, and a journalist who reported that an agent had strangled him for a few seconds by grabbing his neck. from behind.

Hours earlier, hundreds of protesters had gathered in a dozen shopping malls to chant slogans and the hymn of the protests, Glory to Hong Kong. Calls for rapid rallies had begun on Friday, after a committee session in the Legislative Council – the Hong Kong Parliament – led to violence and the expulsion of several House Democrats.

The protests begin to revive on April 26, when several hundred people gathered in a shopping center to sing the hymn and launch slogans. The massive marches last year had disappeared with the emergence of the pandemic, which infected more than a thousand people in the territory, but the decrease in cases and the gradual relaxation of prevention and control measures has led to new calls. Since last Friday, Hong Kong has allowed up to eight people to gather.

The unpopular head of the self-government, Carrie Lam, has accused the Hong Kong education system of fueling the protests and has promised a reform of the liberal studies curriculum, a Secondary course that has existed since 2009 and that seeks to encourage critical spirit.

In an interview with the pro-Chinese newspaper Ta Kung Pao published on Monday, Lam compared those studies, which each school can teach as it prefers, with a “homeless chicken coop” and assured that students should be protected from receiving “false information and partial”.

The Lam-headed government is also seeking to pass a bill punishing offenses against the Chinese national anthem. Senior officials of the Beijing Government in Hong Kong have voiced their support for a national security law to fight pro-independence forces, foreign influence and radical violence. The former British colony introduced a National Security bill in 2003 to develop article 23 of its mini-constitution, which provides for that legislation. But the sharp opposition of the public opinion forced to archive it.

Last year’s protest movement began in June with a series of mass protests against a controversial extradition bill, finally withdrawn in September. By then, the movement – which has always boasted of having no leaders – had evolved to demand, in addition, the release of those arrested in the protests, the withdrawal of the accusation of causing riots, an independent investigation of police behavior and reforms democratic.

Hong Kong police last month launched the largest raid against prominent pro-democracy opposition representatives since the start of last year’s protests and protests in this autonomous territory.

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