A year on, Hong Kong democracy protesters torn between hope and fear

first_imgMedical sector worker Tana has attended peaceful lunchtime rallies in Hong Kong regularly for months along with thousands of others protesting Beijing’s influence and calling for greater democracy in the global financial hub.Now, a year on from a mass rally that kicked off a large scale and often violent anti-government movement, 37-year-old Tana and her husband fear not enough has changed.The protests succeeded in forcing a backdown by the Hong Kong government on proposed legislation that would have allowed extradition to mainland China. But a year later, authorities in Beijing are drafting national security laws that activists fear would further curb freedoms. For Tana and her family, including a son born just before the protests began, pragmatism is beginning to trump idealism.”I am most worried about my child,” Tana told Reuters, requesting her surname be withheld for security reasons. The family has already shifted their savings abroad, she said, and “emigration might be an option.”Among supporters of the protest movement, feelings range from slim hope to acute fear of oppression. After a relative respite during the coronavirus outbreak, protesters are again taking to the streets against the proposed security laws. Officials have said the laws would target a small number of “troublemakers” with provisions against secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference.Ng, a retired 63-year-old woman is among those looking back at the past year with pride and pledges to keep demonstrating. Topics :center_img “A single spark can start a huge blaze,” she said, also requesting she be identified by one name only. “The more the government suppresses us, the more resisting we become.”David, 22, who works in insurance and declined to give his surname, said a mix of violent and peaceful tactics was needed for international attention.David said he “sometimes felt overwhelmed with fear” when he helped at rallies by mixing petrol bombs and disabling tear gas canisters, but he felt compelled to continue.Demonstrations have often turned violent, with protesters blocking roads, vandalizing shops perceived to have pro-Beijing links and throwing bricks and molotovs at the police, who have responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.Isaiah Choy, who studies in Britain but came back last year to take part in peaceful protests, said violent tactics should be abandoned. The 21-year-old said he is frustrated with Hong Kong being treated as a “pawn” in U.S.- China conflicts.Washington, which has traded barbs with Beijing over trade, the coronavirus pandemic and other issues, says China has quashed the high degree of autonomy that Hong Kong was promised for at least 50 years when it returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Beijing has dismissed the claim and urged Washington not to meddle.Mutual destructionThe protests have strong support among Hong Kong’s 7.5 million people, according to opinion polls, with about one third of the population opposed.Keung, 50, said he supported national security laws and hoped the pro-democracy movement “will end soon because evil can never prevail over good.””It is normal for the government to set up laws to tighten its grip when people are violating the previous ones,” Keung, who also gave one name only, told Reuters.Others vow to continue to protest for as long as it takes.Sixty-four-year-old retiree Fu has embraced the often chanted slogan “if we burn, you burn with us,” referring to the belief that as a magnet for global capital, Hong Kong is the goose that lays the golden eggs for the mainland economy.Fu said he has lost many childhood friends because of his position, but he has no regrets: “I am a die hard fan of mutual destruction and Hong Kong independence.”last_img read more

LA Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen focused on winning, not free agency

first_imgTORONTO >> Kenley Jansen has a vested interest in the Dodgers solving their annual bullpen issues.As closer, Jansen is a man on an island, waiting for leads to be brought to him. The more often they make it to the ninth inning, the more often he will pitch — and the more often he will be able to polish his resume for a likely foray into free agency next winter.It hasn’t been easy. Going into Sunday’s game, Dodgers relievers — other than Jansen — had a 4.27 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in the seventh inning or later. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has already cycled through multiple options in the setup role in front of Jansen with Chris Hatcher, Pedro Baez and Joe Blanton each having their moments — and failures. He brought Jansen into the eighth inning Sunday for the second time already this season, asking him for a four-out save.“You just gotta be tough. That’s what I think,” said Jansen who began his big-league career in a setup role. “Mentally, you’ve just got to be tough. That’s what we’re missing sometimes. “I can have the worst year of my career and I feel all 30 teams will still want me,” he said. “This is not my first year I’ve been closing. People should know what I can do.“If I focus on that (free agency and his next contract), it’s going to take away from what I love which is to go out there and do my best to dominate the ninth inning and help my team win. It’s not about money.”Jansen said he has long since put away any confusion or concern over the Dodgers’ attempt to trade for Aroldis Chapman last winter. There have been no overtures from the Dodgers to open negotiations on a contract extension either but Jansen dismisses that, saying all he has ever known is playing on one-year contracts.“When it comes time, they’re going to do what they’re going to do,” he said. “You can’t worry about the future today. You take care of the future by taking of your business today.“My motivation is to be the best I can possibly be in this game and help my teammates. It’s not about a contract. I just want to win a championship in 2016. I feel like we have the team to do it. We just have to do it on a more consistent basis.”AlsoThe Dodgers have still not made a roster move to add right-hander Casey Fien who was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. Fien has three days to report to the team. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he expects Fien to join the Dodgers in Los Angeles at some point. However, Fien does have options left and could be assigned to Triple-A. Hyun-Jin Ryu was moved to the 60-day disabled list in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for Fien. … Right-hander Mike Bolsinger went four innings in his first rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City Saturday, allowing two runs on three hits (including a home run). He threw 46 pitches and struck out three. … Right-hander Brandon Beachy received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow. Beachy has not pitched since experiencing discomfort in his elbow during spring training. Beachy has twice undergone Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “I don’t know what to say. All I know is I’m rooting for my guys. Once they get it going, I’m going to be in there more often. I need my guys so I hope they get it going. I know they will.”If they don’t, Jansen is not concerned about it costing him money on the free agent market. The 28-year-old Jansen leads the majors with 11 saves in 11 chances this season, having allowed just one run (in a non-save situation) on seven hits and one walk in 13 1/3 innings while striking out 14.“This game is never going to run out of money,” Jansen said with the laidback ease of his island background. “I work for a multi-billion dollar corporation which is the Dodgers. There are 29 other teams that are part of a multi-billion dollar corporation that is Major League Baseball. It will take care of itself. I’m just going to do what I do.”He has done it pretty well. Since taking over the closer role in 2012, Jansen has been one of the best in baseball. He has converted 144 of 162 save situations including his past 23, stretching back to last season. He needs just eight more saves to match Eric Gagne’s franchise record (161). His career rate of 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings is one of the highest in baseball history.All of that, Jansen is confident, will get him paid very well by someone regardless of how the Dodgers’ bullpen sorts itself out this season.last_img read more