t a press conference on Friday, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam characterized the recent anti-extradition protests that have rocked the city as a historic economic problem, rather than a political one, declaring that local businesses had been hit “like a tsunami” by the demonstrations.
Lam blamed the protests for an economic downturn that she said was worse than any in the past, including the one caused by the 2003 SARS outbreak.
“A small minority of people do not mind destroying Hong Kong’s economy,” she asserted. “They have no stake in society and that’s why they resort to violence and obstruction.”
In recent weeks, protesters have started graffiting the words “If we burn, you burn with us” onto buildings and barriers around the city and some unquestionably are seeking to inflict economic harm to force the Hong Kong government to accede to their demands.
However, it appears unlikely that Lam basically calling the protesters a bunch nihilist freeloaders will do much to help the situation and rather than disruptive demonstrators some business owners have blamed Lam’s own inaction for their recent woes.
Twitter user Louise Bedaña posted about how her dad’s restaurant had seen sales plummet by 40 percent, but that he saw Lam as the real culprit behind these losses. “Why is she not doing anything?” Bedaña quotes him as saying. “If she would just step down, I think things will get better.”
He thinks that Carrie Lam is foolish for not explicitly acknowledging the fact that the local economy is intricately linked with the political climate. Surely, something can be done about it if she would just respond properly politically. https://t.co/WwohocGWoE
— Louise Bedaña (@loubedana) August 9, 2019
During the press conference, Lam announced that the government would soon take “bold measures” to shore up Hong Kong’s faltering economy but once again failed to concede to any of the protesters’ demands or offer solutions about how to put an end to demonstrations which are now going into their ninth weekend.
Hong Kong police refused to give permission for four anti-government marches to be staged place over the weekend, though it seems unlikely that will keep protesters quiet. In the meantime, a sit-in protest will be occupying the airport for the entire weekend.