Thursday, September 08, 2016
Hong Kong and the Triumph of the Umbrella Revolution
Two years ago I was incredibly moved by the sight of thousands of young students in Hong Kong, lighting up the sky with their cell phones.
And demanding more freedom from their stern rulers in Beijing.
In a pro-democracy movement that was known as the Umbrella Revolution.
And although that peaceful protest was eventually crushed by the authorities.
And some of its young leaders narrowly avoided heavy prison sentences.
Three student leaders in Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement, who led mass rallies and sit-ins in 2014, have been sentenced.
Joshua Wong, who became the teenage face of the protests, was given 80 hours of community service for unlawful assembly. Nathan Law was sentenced to 120 hours, while Alex Chow was given a three week prison sentence suspended for a year.
They never gave up, their movement marched on, and this is their reward.
A leader of the student-led, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong two years ago has won a seat in the territory’s Legislative Council. Nathan Law was one of many pro-democracy candidates winning in the legislative elections last Sunday. The 23-year-old activist became the youngest person ever elected to the Council.
And their great victory.
Final election results showed pro-democracy candidates won 30 of the 70 council seats. With this one-third margin, pro-democracy forces will have the power to veto bills approved by allies of the government in Beijing.
And of course I couldn't be happier, not just because of what it means for the people of Hong Kong, and hopefully for the future of China.
But also because it only goes to prove what I was trying to say, in this video I made at the time.
You can crush a peaceful revolution, but you can never kill the desire for freedom...
Long live the Umbrella Revolution, and its young revolutionaries.
And may the citizens of China, a great and proud nation.
Learn from their example...