The arrests of high-profile pro-democracy leaders come ahead of what will be the 13th consecutive weekend of mass protests in the Asian financial hub.
What protesters want: The protests started in June over a controversial extradition law, but have now expanded into five demands: Fully withdraw the extradition bill, set up an independent inquiry to probe police brutality, withdraw the characterization of protests as “riots,” release those arrested at protests, and implement universal suffrage in Hong Kong.
Who they are: The movement has seen participants and supporters across all demographics, but those on the front lines are largely young students, teenagers, and millennials. There is no centralized leadership or figureheads within the movement — they pride themselves on being democratic, leaderless, and flexible.
Summer of discontent: Around 900 people have been arrested since mass demonstrations began on June 9, according to police, for a range of offenses including “taking part in a riot,” unlawful assembly, assaulting police officers, resisting arrest and possession of offensive weapons. The youngest person arrested is 12 years old.
Where it’s all going: Nobody really knows. Protests are becoming volatile as fear and suspicion spread, and police ramp up arrests and crackdowns. Violence has been escalating for weeks, and it could yet continue as both sides dig in.