Key activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Agnes Chow have quit Demosisto, the pro-democracy group that has been on the frontlines of lobbying international support for Hong Kong’s political movement.
The trio’s announcements were made Tuesday morning, shortly after Beijing unanimously passed a contentious national security law that critics fear will have far-reaching consequences on what many say is the city’s rapidly shrinking freedom.
I hereby declare withdrawing from Demosisto…
If my voice will not be heard soon, I hope that the international community will continue to speak up for Hong Kong and step up concrete efforts to defend our last bit of freedom. pic.twitter.com/BIGD5tgriF
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) June 30, 2020
Law, who was the founding chairperson of Demosisto, and standing committee member Chow, posted similar messages on their Facebook page.
Jeffrey Ngo, who was the group’s Washington D.C.-based Chief Researcher, also announced his resignation. On Facebook, Ngo wrote: “Thanks to all who have walked this unforgettable journey with me for the past three years and four months.”
At a press conference Tuesday morning, Chief Executive Carrie Lam refused to answer questions pertaining to the legislation. According to reports, authorities will set up a dedicated unit to enforce the legislation. Offenders will face a minimum jail term of three years, and serious violations could entail a life sentence.
The passing of the law comes a day before July 1, the politically charged anniversary that marks 23 years since Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed back to mainland China. The date draws massive pro-democracy demonstrations every year. Last year, protesters demanding the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill broke into the Legislative Council as night fell, vandalizing the meeting chamber and spray-painting protest slogans.
Earlier this week, police rejected organizing group Civil Human Rights Front’s application for this year’s July 1 march, citing public health restrictions. But protesters have vowed to defy the police ban and take to the streets anyway, many seeing tomorrow as the city’s final opportunity to voice their political demands.
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