First Person

Why Hong Kongers Are Still Protesting Against Chinese Rule


Hong Kong protester throws a tear gas canister fired by police.
A protester throws a tear gas canister fired by police in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong on Oct. 1. ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/Getty Images

A democracy activist describes how the demonstrations got underway and where they go from here.

As China marked the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule this past week with a huge military parade and fireworks, demonstrators in Hong Kong continued their street protests, demanding greater democracy. Hong Kong police fired live ammunition for the first time, wounding a protestor in the chest.

The protests began in late March over an extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kongers to be sent to China for trial. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam eventually withdrew the bill, but the demonstrations have continued. 

Though the protests have no one clear leader, several groups have been at the forefront, including the pro-democracy Civil Human Rights Front. Bonnie Leung, a former leader of that group, is our guest this week on First Person.


About First Person:  Each week on First Person, we conduct a narrative-driven conversation with one person whose experience illuminates something timely and important about our world. Our guests tend to be people who have participated directly in events, either as protagonists or eyewitnesses. We get them to tell their story, not just offer analysis. First Person is hosted by FP deputy editor Sarah Wildman. Sarah is an award-winning journalist whose stories have appeared in the New York TimesSlate, Vox and the New Yorker online. She is the author of Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind.  See All Episodes


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