• The legislation is meant to severely limit dissent, and could allow China to set up a police force within the city, ban activist groups, and put an end to the semiautonomous powers that Hong Kong has had since 1997.
  • Critics of the new legislation have called it the "end of Hong Kong" and see it as retaliation for over six months of protests that occurred last year in opposition to a Chinese extradition bill.
  • Over the past few days, thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong to reignite a pro-democracy fight and protest the new draconian law. At least 360 people have been arrested.
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In a landslide vote on Thursday, China passed new national security legislation for Hong Kong that will effectively crush the city's autonomy .

The legislation is meant to crack down on dissent, subversion, terrorism, and treason against the Chinese government, and will work to limit the freedoms of the semiautonomous arrangement that Hong Kong has had since 1997.

The new measure gives China the authority to draft and propose national security laws , such as establishing a formal police presence within Hong Kong, suppressing political speech and activism, and imposing long jail sentences for violations.

Critics of the new legislation have called it the "end of Hong Kong" and see it as a major blow to the city's freedoms. Others view it as a measure of retaliation to suppress Hong Kong voices after several months of protests against a Chinese extradition law occurred last year.

Over the last few days, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to fight against the new draconian measure. At least 360 have been arrested.

In the last week, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets and shopping districts of Hong Kong to protest a new national security measure from China.

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The measure, which was ultimately passed on Thursday, will allow China to enforce new national security laws against Hong Kong, effectively silencing any voices of dissent and ending the city's semi-autonomy.

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Tyrone Siu/REUTERS

Source: Business Insider

The protests echoed last year's fight for democracy, when millions of people took to the streets for several months to fight against a bill that would allow China to extradite Hong Kong residents to the mainland for trial.

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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Source: Insider

Those protests ignited an entire pro-democracy movement within the city, and many have since demanded an increase in freedoms for the semiautonomous region.

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Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

Source: Insider

But the new legislation marks a major blow to the pro-democracy fight, and critics have said it could mean the end of Hong Kong's freedoms. "The end of Hong Kong is alarming not only for its people but also for the world," said Maya Wang, a senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch, adding, "It's the light, the conscience, the voice that speaks truth to an increasingly powerful China."

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Ivan Abreu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sources: Hong Kong Free Press , Business Insider

To fight against the new legislation, pro-democracy protesters marched through the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday chanting slogans like, "Revolution of our time. Liberate Hong Kong," and "Hong Kong independence, the only way out."

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Source: Business Insider

Inside shopping malls, protesters gathered holding signs and chanting pro-democracy slogans.

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Willie Siau/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Source: The Guardian

Here, a group of people are seen holding banners in support of Hong Kong's protest efforts, with masks on to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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REUTERS/Ben Blanchard

Protesters held their hands up as a symbol of the "five demands" a list of freedoms that pro-democracy protesters have been fighting for since last year.

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REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

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Police stood guard throughout the streets, and less than an hour into the protests they began firing tear gas to disperse crowds.

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Ivan Abreu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sources: CNN , Business Insider

A new string of protests broke out on Wednesday.

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Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

Source: The Guardian

On social media, protest organizers told people to "be water" by moving throughout the city as much as possible in order to make a statement, according to The Guardian.

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REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Source: The Guardian

But police quickly stepped in to dissipate the crowds.

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Tommy Walker/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Source: The Guardian

Holding up warning flags, the police blocked off roads, and threatened to arrest protesters.

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Tommy Walker/NurPhoto via Getty Images

On social media, protesters criticized the police presence by calling Hong Kong a "police state."

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REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Source: The Guardian

Dressed in full riot gear, police stopped and searched younger people, while detaining large groups of protesters.

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REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Source: The Guardian

Some cases of fire led to heavier action by the police.

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ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP via Getty Images

Source: The Guardian

Police began using pepper spray and rubber bullets against protesters.

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REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Source: The Guardian

Here, people are seen covering their faces to protect themselves from the pepper spray.

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REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

At least 360 people were arrested throughout the day on Wednesday.

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REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Source: The Guardian

Police lined up and detained those who were arrested. These videos show how the police attempted to break up the protests.

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REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Source: The Guardian

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