What Happened: Protesters have threatened to "escalate their actions" if the Hong Kong government fails to withdraw its controversial extradition bill by 5 p.m. local time June 20, The Guardian reported June 19. Anonymous messages shared on social media also called for people to strike, close shops and stay home from school on June 21 if the now-suspended law isn't fully retracted. A few, more radical posts told protesters to come equipped with face masks and umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas.
Why It Matters: Despite the global outcry, the Hong Kong government has yet to show signs that it will bend to its citizens' demands to withdraw the bill entirely. Whether the next protest is able to remain peaceful and mobilize forces beyond students and young people will be key in gauging if the movement can maintain momentum.
Background: In response to the recent wave of mass protests, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam decided to indefinitely suspend the controversial extradition bill, which would allow extradition from the city to mainland China. An estimated 2 million people took to the streets the following day, demanding that the bill be fully withdrawn.
- Hong Kong: Mass Protests Rage On Over Extradition Bill (June 17, 2019)
- What to Watch for as the Hong Kong Protests Unfold (June 12, 2019)
- 1 Country, 2 Systems and 20 Years (June 30, 2017)