Protesters holding umbrellas amid heavy rain march in an anti-government rally in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. AAP/EPA/VIVEK PRAKASH

Trust Me, I’m An Expert: Why the Hong Kong protesters feel they have nothing to lose

Why the Hong Kong protesters feel they have ‘nothing to lose’ The Conversation29.5 MB (download)

Last weekend, hundreds of thousands of people again took to the streets in Hong Kong to protest against the government – the 11th straight weekend of demonstrations that began in June over a proposed extradition bill.

But after more than two months of increasingly violent clashes between demonstrators and the police, this protest was peaceful. No tear gas was fired.

China expert Graeme Smith, one of the hosts of The Little Red Podcast, devoted this week’s episode to the Hong Kong protest movement, with his co-host, Louisa Lim, on the ground in Hong Kong talking to people about their perseverance in the face of a potentially severe military crackdown from Beijing.

In this episode of Trust Me, Smith discusses where the protests go from here, whether there’s any chance for dialogue between the two sides, and the impact of the increasingly nationalist vitriol aimed at protesters on social media – and on the streets of Hong Kong.


Read more: Beijing is moving to stamp out the Hong Kong protests – but it may have already lost the city for good


Smith believes the protests aren’t going to stop until Chief Executive Carrie Lam definitively withdraws the contentious extradition bill and launches an inquiry into police violence against the protesters.

And this is unlikely so long as Lam – and her backers in Beijing – continue to stand firm in their positions and refuse to negotiate.

So, no one knows how this might end, Smith says.

A lot of the protesters, especially those in their 20s, feel they basically have nothing to lose and they’re going to dig in for the long haul.

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Credits:

Recording and editing by Graeme Smith, Justin Bergman and Sunanda Creagh.

Additional audio

Kindergarten by Unkle Ho, from Elefant Traks.

CNN report

BBC report

The Little Red Podcast

Images

AAP/EPA/VIVEK PRAKASH