These Tweets Perfectly Explain What Is Going On With The Protests In Hong Kong


Last Wednesday, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong took to the streets to voice their discontent over the Chinese government's efforts to erode the region's freedoms.

The protests began peacefully, but by Friday, the police began a brutal crackdown, attacking people with tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray.

The Chinese government is often quite totalitarian, and they have made efforts to block people from using social media. Instagram has been completely blocked as of Monday. Obviously, they don't want the world to see Chinese police attacking peaceful protestors.

Correspondingly, Hong Kong enjoys more Internet freedoms than mainland China. Still, the Chinese government has made efforts to limit coverage of the protests.

This really only impacts what people in mainland China are able to see, but social media has offered the rest of the world a very intimate view of what's happening on the ground.

Many Twitter users have been following the situation closely, providing the world with an important view of Hong Kong's movement for democracy and freedom:

Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when the UK handed it over to China. This is why Hong Kong has always been very different from the rest of China, and more democratic.

When Hong Kong became part of China, the Chinese government made certain promises. It told Hong Kong it would allow it to remain autonomous.

Part of the deal was that Beijing would choose Hong Kong's leader, known as the Chief Executive, until 2017. After that, Hong Kong would democratically choose its own leader.

Beijing recently changed its original promises, stating that it would allow Hong Kong to hold elections in 2017, but that the candidates would be chosen by the government... That doesn't sound very democratic.

Many people in Hong Kong are unhappy with China's decision. They want fully democratic elections. This is what spurred the protests.

The protests began with students occupying downtown Hong Kong, an area known as Central. The movement has been dubbed #OccupyCentral. Indeed, young Chinese people seem to desire more democracy than previous generations. Chinese Millennials are leading this movement.

The police have utilized brutal tactics in efforts to disperse the protestors. The most intense clashes occurred over the weekend.

Many of the images have been reminiscent of recent scenes from Ferguson, Missouri.

To protect themselves from tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray, protestors have been carrying umbrellas. Thus, in addition to #OccupyCentral, this movement has become known as the #UmbrellaRevolution.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets. They want free and fair elections. They want the police to stop attacking people.

Some fear that this could turn into a repeat of Tiananmen Square in 1989, when China killed thousands of pro-democracy protestors.

The protestors have set a great example for the world.

This is far from over.

Top Photo Courtesy: Jeff Cheng