As Militant Protesters’ Clashes with Police Escalate, Hong Kong Students ‘Walking a Tight Rope’

Interview with Dave Lindorff, an award-winning independent journalist and author, conducted by Scott Harris

Militant protests in the city of Hong Kong continue after more than five months. The clashes between protesters and police have turned increasingly violent as police use tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds to break up street blockades, where protesters have responded by attacking police with Molotov cocktails and some firing arrows. The unrest began in June, with huge rallies in opposition to a proposed law that would permit Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China to stand trial. Critics feared this would undermine the city’s judicial independence and endanger dissidents.

Hong Kong had been ruled as a British colony since 1841, but was returned to China in 1997, under what is called the “one country, two systems” arrangement. However, the current framework will expire in 2047, when Hong Kong will be fully integrated into China.

Although the extradition law was withdrawn by embattled Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam in September, protests have continued, with many pro-democracy activists now demanding autonomy, full voting rights and an investigation into police violence. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Dave Lindorff, an award-winning independent journalist and author, who lived and worked in Hong Kong as a correspondent for Business Week from 1992 to 1997. Here, he examines the protesters’ grievances, and the danger of a Chinese military intervention to crush the student-led rebellion.

For more articles by Dave Lindorff, visit his website at

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