Hong Kong and why it’s importantPosted by NEWS October 9, 2019 in
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post belong explicitly to the author. This post is merely informative, however, it also contains opinions that do not reflect that of the Trample Gaming or its community entirely.
Over the past several months, the news has been covering the demonstrations and protests in Hong Kong.
For those of you who don’t know what is going on here’s a breakdown.
- In July, protests began against a bill that would allow the extradition to mainland China.
- Which means, you can be shipped back to mainland China to face consequences even though you are in HK.
- Hong Kong is an independent city with a different governing system than China’s authoritarian state.
- Later that month, protesters stormed the Parliament and defaced portions of the building.
- In September, the bill was completely withdrawn from the government’s docket, but by then the protests and police actions were more frequent and violent. There have been reports of injuries on both sides, protesters and police.
- In October, Hong Kong Police used lethal force for the first time after several protesters attacked a police officer. Previous to this, use of teargas and rubber bullets were staples during the protests.
Hong Kong is a British Colony that was given back to China under the “One Country, Two Systems” deal. This gives Hong Kong the autonomy to run itself.
The solidarity of the protesters is unwavering and, to be completely honest, inspiring. In August, a protester was injured in the eye which led to fellow protesters wearing red eyepatches in solidarity.
Even the Hong Kong airport is seeing protests that are affecting flights in and out of the city.
What do the protesters want?
The damage to the people is done even though the bill was withdrawn. Many of the protesters are being arrested as “rioters”, and there is no current investigation on police brutality. They also want full pardons for all arrested protesters and, finally, the right to vote for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive and Legislative council.
China, not being quiet about this militarized borders of Shenzhen as well as called the Hong Kong protests “behavior close to terrorism”.
Under “One Country, Two Systems” the “Basic Law” rights end in 2047. A mere 28 years from now. After that, the future of the city is unknown.
Vox Media did a great article about 9 questions you may have about Hong Kong and the protests.
How does it affect us?
In the US, we are and have been, subject to Chinese censorship. As a country who is “free” we have a very difficult time being a democracy and instead lean more towards a country ran by the fattest pockets. The top 1%. Chinese entertainment services pulled Comedy Central’s South Park. Houston Rocket’s team gear and merchandise has been pulled from all Chinese e-commerce sites. Even companies like Tiffany and Co and Vans are adhering to Chinese censorship.
But the most important, and relevant to gamers, Activision Blizzard suspended a professional Hearthstone player. Donning goggles and a facemask, Chung Ng Wai (also known as “Blitzchung”) came to an official interview after winning the Hearthstone Grandmasters, the highest tier in competitive Hearthstone. However, the offense was not what he wore, but rather what he said: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time”. Activision Blizzard is suspending Blitzchung for one year and is forced to forfeit his 2019 prize money. The casters who conducted the interview are also suspended. This has sparked a movement to boycott any and all Activision Blizzard games due to standing by the Chinese Authoritarian state and opposing to fundamental human rights.
Companies all across the US are also taking this stance. The authoritarian idealism is leaking into our country via Chinese money. As South Park showed so well in last Thursday’s episode “Band in China” American Companies are tapping China for their people. If American Companies begin to not only censor their media, employees, and culture to fit Authoritarian Chinese views and outlook, we, as a society suffer. We suffer by companies not choosing to use their freedom of speech to take a stance on what they believe in. Basic Human Rights.
This situation brings me back to when I was 18, with a mohawk with my finger in the air yelling “not my president” while we voted in George W. Bush. How naive I was thinking that he was a bad president. Hong Kong’s issue is more than just a city that wants its rights. It is about how our society bends the knee to one ideal. Money. Fuck that. Money isn’t worth the lives of a whole city. Money isn’t worth our country’s ideals that the forefathers created.
Giovanni “Pinch” Mapile is a gamer that primarily plays Apex,
World of Warcraft, and a slew of other games.