The people of Hong Kong have gained the world’s attention with large protests in the streets. Citizens have been speaking out against a bill that proposed an extradition agreement with Taiwan and mainland China. In authoritarian countries like China, it is extremely dangerous to speak out against the government.

These protesters are extremely brave for what they’re doing, and they should be commended by other influential democracies.

The purpose of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill 2019 was to amend the Fugitive Offenders ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters ordinance. This is so arrangements for mutual legal assistance made between Hong Kong and any place outside Hong Kong may be given effect.

Unlike the rest of China, Hong Kong is a democracy, but its government is much different than the United States. The leader of Hong Kong is not chosen by the people, but citizens have the right to vote on laws.

Hong Kong citizens have the freedom of speech and demonstration. This means citizens have a right to protest against the government. These are rights and freedoms that should not be taken away from the people of Hong Kong, because democracy should be a human right.

In the authoritarian country of China, the government is largely unfair to its citizens. It uses its power to punish, silence and arrest people who speak out against it and its leaders.

Although the extradition bill was withdrawn in late October, if this bill were to have been passed, Hong Kong would’ve lost its freedoms. Here in the U.S., we take our democratic freedoms for granted, because there is nothing threatening them. Hong Kong will also eventually lose its democracy to China, due to a deal made with Britain called the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Hong Kong was once owned by Britain. In 1997, Britain agreed to give Hong Kong back to China under the terms that, for the next 99 years, it would be democratic. According to this treaty, Hong Kong is expected to become a part of China completely by 2047, but China wants to hasten this process through the extradition bill.

Citizens of Hong Kong are doing the right thing by protesting and standing up for their rights. This bill was something worth protesting, considering freedom and humanitarianism was at stake.

This should set an example for young people everywhere. The young people of Hong Kong are who had the most to lose. In 2047 when the deal expires, they will be the working class of the country. The officials who are making all of the decisions for the future will not even be around to see it. People shouldn’t be afraid of the government — the government should be afraid of its people.

Protests are causing negative impacts on the everyday lives of Hong Kong citizens. According to The New York Times, storefronts closed, main roads were blocked and universities have told students to not come back for the rest of the semester.

Life in Hong Kong has changed. The protests have caused an economic recession and changed the cosmopolitan aura of the cities, according to The New York Times.

This should be a concern for the U.S. and other democratic countries. China attempted to take democracy away from Hong Kong and spread the tenets of authoritarianism. The Chinese government tried to take away human rights from its people. It is a human right to speak freely and not be unfairly punished by the government. Everyone should have the right to vote on decisions that will directly affect them.

The protests in Hong Kong should have the whole world’s attention. By protesting, the citizens of Hong Kong are standing up for the rights they deserve to have.

The media should support their activism and humanitarian efforts. By giving coverage to the protests, it sheds a light on the severity of the situation, which is a main role of the media.