AP

"Disobey and grasp your destiny" is the rallying cry as protesters settle in for a week of action to demand voting rights in their semi-autonomous nation.

As many as 13,000 college students in Hong Kong have reportedly started to stage a week-long sit-in to protest against China's failure to reform its election policies. ABC reported:

Wearing yellow ribbons, students from more than 20 universities and colleges packed into the grounds of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where they were greeted by banners that said: "The boycott must happen. Disobey and grasp your destiny."

Pro-democracy demonstrations have been taking place in Hong Kong as an accelerated clip as of late. Hundreds of thousands of protesters turned up in July for an annual march where they sang Les Misérables.

The specific issue at the heart of the protests is what's perceived as backtracking on a promise by Chinese authorities to allow semi-autonomous Hong Kong to choose its leaders in open elections. Earlier this month, Chinese put forth a proposal that would force the candidates to be vetted by a committee before being voted upon by Hong Kongers.

The 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the British to the Chinese was supposed to bring with it the promise of "universal suffrage" and, as Lily Kuo wrote, make Hong Kong "an incubator for political reforms and elections that could be later tried on the mainland."

Instead, Chinese authorities now fear that the spirit of these protests will bring instability to mainland China instead.

This post originally appeared on The Wire, an Atlantic partner site.

MORE FROM THE WIRE:

Russia Lets the World Know It Might Be Willing to Help Bring Down ISIS

ESPN Report: Ravens Knew Full Ray Rice Story All Along

All the Reasons Democrats Are Screwed This November

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. Protestors hold a sign that reads "Respect Democracy Our Vote Matters"
    Equity

    The Conservative Backlash Against Progressive Ballot Measures

    In many states, ballot initiatives on expanding Medicaid, limiting gerrymandering, and raising the minimum wage swept to victory in November. Now lawmakers are doing their best to reverse them.

  3. Equity

    The FBI's Forgotten War on Black-Owned Bookstores

    At the height of the Black Power movement, the Bureau focused on the unlikeliest of public enemies: black independent booksellers.

  4. a photo of a woman riding a light rail train in Jerusalem.
    Life

    Can a Light Rail Train Link a Divided City?

    Part cultural tour, part social activism, a project called Dissolving Boundaries uses Jerusalem's public transportation as a stage for examining relations between Israeli and Palestinian residents.

  5. Equity

    Capturing Black Bottom, a Detroit Neighborhood Lost to Urban Renewal

    “Black Bottom Street View,” now exhibiting at the Detroit Public Library, thoughtfully displays old images of the historic African American neighborhood in its final days.