Umbrella Movement Leader Faces Jail Time

Joshua Wong, a political activist whose actions sparked months of pro-democracy protests throughout Hong Kong, has been handed down a harsher punishment for his actions. He will now face six months in prison.

Wong gained national attention in 2014 when he and two friends stormed the Legislative Council building, kicking off what came to be known as the Umbrella Movement. This was marked by thousands of Hong Kongers marching through the streets demanding for free elections for the post of city chief executive. It caught the sentiment of thousands who believe that China is exerting an unjust amount of power over the lives of Hong Kongers.

Along with two colleagues, Wong was found guilty last summer of unlawful assembly and given suspended sentences as well as orders to engage in community service. But the Hong Kong justice department appealed the decision and called for harsher punishments. Activists Nathan Law and Alex Chow are now sentenced to seven and eight months in jail, respectively.

But Wong said he’s willing to do the time, as others like him carry on the movement beyond the jail cells.

“I expect to pay the price, to be sent to prison,” he told AFP. “However, I have no regret at all. What we have done already proves that Hong Kong people will continue to show determination in the frontline against authoritarian rule.”

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.