On August 30, key pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, including Joshua Wong and three lawmakers from the opposition camp, were arrested. After months of protests both peaceful and violent against a proposed extradition bill and police brutality, the Hong Kong government, instead of making concrete concessions, has decided to step up repression. Protesters responded with more determined action.
What is unusual about this situation is that the anti-extradition bill movement is known for its leaderlessness: not a single person or organization can claim to lead or represent it. While it is true that the Civil Human Rights Front, the major umbrella civil society organization, has held rallies, the organization can hardly direct other local protests and militant action. So why would the government clamp down on these activists?