Face mask ban leads to violence in Hong KongPosted by Catherine Reed / October 6, 2019
Hong Kong officials tried to stop the ongoing protests by banning face masks, which the protestors use to maintain anonymity. It absolutely did not work––Hong Kong protestors took to the streets this weekend, expressing their frustration by still wearing masks and protesting more vigorously than ever. The protests led to widespread violence around Hong Kong, to such an extent that most public services, including public transport, were halted. Aside from the protestors, the streets were largely empty.
The protestors have been enraged since police shot a protestor with a live round. The victim was a teenager, whom the police shot in the shoulder. According to the police, the victim was conscious when he was transported to the hospital.
The protestors’ unwillingness to back down may lead to more extreme violence. China has doubled the number of troops in Hong Kong, bringing the number of troops to somewhere near 12,000. It is difficult to tell the exact number of troops, however, because China disguised their entry. Since China took control of Hong Kong in 1997, it has regularly rotated troops through the reason, with a steady level of around 6,000 being the norm. But last month, observers noticed, more troops came in as per usual but none left.
As Hong Kong attempts to crack down on the protests, it’s bound to backfire.