Hong Kong extradition law: Occupy Central leader Joshua Wong addresses the world

He tweeted a thread defending the anti-ELAB protesters, saying 'They wanted to make the regime hear Hongkongers’ voice, and they had no other option'

Susan Ramsay |

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Joshua Wong speaks to the world's media outside Hong Kong Legislative Council the day after protesters seized control of the building.

Joshua Wong Chi-fung yesterday tweeted a thread that laid out the case for the protesters that entered Legco on Monday night. The protesters forced their way into the Legislative Council chambers where they sprayed grafitti on the walls, defaced pictures of pro-Beijing lawmakers, and draped the old Hong Kong flag on the podium.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor has harshly condemned the action, threatening to pursue the protesters to the full extent of the law. Beijing has voiced its full backing for a criminal investigation while at the same time standing firmly behind Hong Kong's embattled leader.

Wong pointed out that the people to went into Legco yesterday were not a mob of rabid thugs hell bent on destroying all things Hong Kong. As had been mentioned on Twitter during the night, protesters paid for the drinks they took from the cafeteria, and worked hard to protect the library which contains many old historic texts.

He explained to his more than 200,000 twitter followers why he felt Lam's words of apology were worthless. He also laid out the frustrations of the protesters who, despite turning out in their millions, have been ignored by Hong Kong's government. 

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"The protesters who broke into the Legislative Council complex were NOT rioters. They were NOT violent. Their objective was never to harm any individuals. They wanted to make the regime hear Hong Kongers’ voice, and they had no other option. WE ALREADY TRIED EVERYTHING ELSE," he wrote.

He also had good words to say about Hong Kong's youth. "What kind of young people does Hong Kong produce? Smart, efficient, attentive and freedom-loving. I am proud of them, although I confess I do not have the courage to do what they did yesterday."

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Wong has already served prison time for the part he played in the 2014 umbrella movement which paralysed Hong Kong for 79 days in reaction to Beijing ruling on how Hongkongers could vote for their leaders. He said those who had stormed the Legco chamber had known full well that they could face up to 10 years in prison for rioting.

"If there is just one takeaway for the world: Events in Hong Kong are about so much more than the bill, more than Lam, more even than democracy," he tweeted. "They all matter of course. But in the end it is about the future of Hong Kong beyond 2047, a future that belongs to our generation."