Eye on the World

Protests against arrests in Hong Kong
Last Sunday, thousands of demonstrators protested against the recent arrests of Umbrella protest leaders in the streets of Hong Kong, while China celebrated the 68th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The prisoners, Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law, led hundreds of thousands protesters as they called for a more democratic form of government in 2014. Avery Ng, chairman of the League of Social Democrats, expressed his worries of a diminishing opposition force and growing regulations against political expression in China.
“When you’re facing an authoritarian regime, the best they can hope for is for people to stay silent,” Ng said. Multiple activists involved in the Umbrella protests are now facing prosecution from Hong Kong.
Kong Tsung-gan, author of “Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong,” said “Never in Hong Kong’s history have so many opposition politicians and activists faced court proceedings against them.”
Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria
Last Saturday, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló stated there is much more work to be done on the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria, but that the federal government was fulfilling his requests. “We need to do a lot more in order for us to get out of the emergency,” the governor said, “But the other thing that’s also true is that the administration has answered and has complied with our petitions in an expedited manner.” At least 16 people have died on the island due to Hurricane Maria, which struck two weeks ago and left millions without electricity or access to cash, gas and running water.
In a response to the mayor of San Juan, who had claimed the federal government wasn’t doing enough to distribute aid around the island, President Trump tweeted against officials who “want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.” Governor Rosselló stated that the island, with over three million citizens, could see a rising death toll if aid does not improve soon.
Spain tracks down on Catalonia Referendum
Last Sunday, Spanish national police raided polling stations and beat back crowds of voters as they tried to deny the legitimacy of Catalonia’s independence referendum. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont condemned “indiscriminate aggression” against voters as images of riot police fighting voters began to circulate. Spanish authorities have attempted to invalidate the referendum, a vote which has been declared illegal by Spain’s top court. Over 90 of around 2,300 polling stations had been successfully closed by authorities, according to the Spanish Interior Ministry. Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría has publicly disputed the images circulating, arguing that officials’ objectives were to confiscate voting materials, not to target civilians. She also condemned the Catalonian government for their “reckless” behavior.
“The referendum couldn’t be held, and it’s not been held. To carry on with this farce makes no sense, it doesn’t lead anywhere,” she said. Some from Catalonia, a wealthier region of Spain, have called for independence for years due to what many pro-independence politicians see as an unfair tax revenue redistribution program, and differing values from the whole of Spain.

Post Author: Nathan Gibbons