Hong Kong protests: from politicians to police, and Joshua Wong to Carrie Lam, a guide to the names you see in the news

Hong Kong protests: from politicians to police, and Joshua Wong to Carrie Lam, a guide to the names you see in the news

While the demonstrations in Hong Kong are a leaderless movement, there are still some people who stand out from the crowd


A guide to the key players of the Hong Kong protests, on both the anti- and pro-government sides.

You've probably heard a lot of names thrown around during the last few months - some familiar and some new. While Joshua Wong might be a recongisable name, Andy Chan and Jeremy Tam Jansen Tam Man-ho may make you go, "Who?" We've compiled a list of the names to know in relation to the anti-extradition bill protests that have rocked the city since June.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam is currently navigating a political crisis of her own making.
Photo: May Tse/SCMP

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor

Hong Kong's leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam is the head of government and the person in charge of both proposing and withdrawing the extradition bill, leading to massive protests since June. 

She has pledged to listen to public opinion and has appealed for peace and rational dialogue, but protesters remain unsatitisfied with the government response.  

The leaderless movement means Joshua Wong is a participant, not a leader.
Photo: EPA

Joshua Wong Chi-Fung

Joshua Wong Chi-Fung was a key student leader during the pro-democracy protests in 2014 that shut down parts of Hong Kong for 70 days in what came to be known as the “Umbrella Movement”.

He became the face of Hong Kong’s democracy movement and was imprisoned for two months for his involvement in those protests.

He was released from prison on 17 June, four days before the protests in Hong Kong in which demonstrators surrounded police headquarters. 

Wong, 22, is the co-founder of the political group Demosistō . Netflix made a documentary about him titled Joshua: Teenager vs Superpower.

He does not assume any leadership role in these protests but is vocal on social media and ever present at demonstrations.

Wong was arrested on August 29, 2019 for his role in an anti-extradition protest on July 8.

Along with Denise Ho and others, he traveled to the United States and Germany to lobby for support from overseas, including the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. 

Agnes Chow may get a review of her disqualification.
Photo: David Wong/SCMP

Agnes Chow Ting

Agnes Chow Ting is a former student leader of the Umbrella Movement in 2014. She belongs to the political organisation Demosistō. Chow, 22, was blocked from running for political office in Hong Kong in 2018 because of her party’s pro-democracy manifesto. She renounced her British citizenship – a requirement to stand for election – and postponed her studies to run for office, but views neither as a sacrifice.

“Many people may see this as a sacrifice, but it’s not for me,” she said. “I’m committed to fighting for Hong Kong and it’s nothing compared to those who have gone to prison.” She told The Guardian she had grown up in an apolitical household where social issues were never mentioned. But when she was 15, she came across a Facebook post showing thousands of young people demonstrating for change – secondary school students just like her – and never looked back.

Chow joined demonstrations against government plans to introduce “moral and national education” in 2012 – criticised by opponents as communist brainwashing – and it was there she met Joshua Wong Chi-Fung.

A court recently overturned the ruling against Chow running for office.

Chow was arrested on August 29, 2019 for her role in an anti-extradition protest on July 8.

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The political party Andy Chan founded has been banned by the government.
Photo: Reuters

Andy Chan

The head of the Hong Kong National party, Andy Chan Ho-tin, made world headlines in September 2018, when his party was banned because it called for independence for Hong Kong from mainland China.

This was the first time a political party had been banned since Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. The party was deemed a threat to national security. Once the ban was in place, Chan could no longer make public appearances. Before that happened, however, he spoke at an event at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club, at a very well-attended event on August 14, 2018. 

Several weeks later, Hong Kong's immigration department refused to extend the visa of the man who moderated the event, Victor Mallet, a journalist with the Financial Times.

Chan was arrested on August 29, 2019 for suspicion of rioting and possession of offensive weapons.

Victor Mallet is not welcome in Hong Kong, according to the Hong Kong government.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP

Victor Mallet

First Vice-President of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) and Financial Times’ Asia News Editor, Victor Mallet was embroiled in controversy after the Hong Kong immigration department refused to extend his work visa in 2018. Mallet had hosted a talk by the head of the Hong Kong National party, Andy Chan Ho-tin, at the FCC on August 14, 2018. It was highly controversial because there had been calls for Chan's party to be banned.

According to the government, the party had crossed the boundary of the "One China Policy," which states that Hong Kong is part of China. It had called for Hong Kong independence, and was thus deemed a threat to national security. However, at the time of the talk, the party was not banned. The central government had called for the talk to be cancelled, however, and the Hong Kong government had expressed regret that the talk would take place.

The loss of Mallet's visa was challenged in court and Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu insisted it had nothing to do with the talk. But with no official explanation as to why the visa was refused, experts were left to speculate that this was the death knell for free speech in Hong Kong.

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Brian Leung has left the city after his part in the storming of Legco.
Photo: Reuters

Brian Leung Kai-ping

Leung was known to be the sole protester to unmask himself on the night when protesters entered the Legislative Council on July 1. In an interview, he said at the time he revealed his idenity to make a statement and to put demands on the table in order to show "It wasn’t violence for violence’s sake".

The University of Hong Kong graduate joined Joshua Wong and Denise Ho in lobbying the American government to pass the HK Human Rights and Democracy Act.

Au Nok-hin won the election when Agnes Chow was disqualified, but is according to the court judgement of Chow "not duly elected".
Photo: Edmond So

Au Nok-hin

A pro-democracy member of the Legislative Council, Au Nok-hin was a convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front. In 2018, when the elected Demosisto candidate Agnes Chow was disqualified, Au stepped into her seat. Born in Kowloon Bay in 1987, he attended Conservative Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School and the St Joselph's Anglo-Chinese School. He went on to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he studied political science. He joined the Democratic Party and was elected to the Southern District Council when he was 24. 

Au was among the protesters who stormed Civic Square, in front of the Central Government Complex, on September 26, 2014.

Au was arrested on August 30, 2019 for his role in an anti-extradition law protest on July 8.

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Jeremy Tam (right) was arrested for obstructing a police officer on the eve of a banned pro democracy march.
Photo: Sam Tsang/SCMP

Jeremy Tam Jansen Tam Man-ho

Representing Kowloon East in the Legislative Council, pilot Jeremy Tam Jansen Tam Man-ho used to work for Cathay, but quit after 20 years, citing the poltical pressure the airline has faced since the start of the protests. 

Born in Hong Kong in 1975, he first became interested in politics when he joined the protests on July 1, 2003, against the enactment of the Article 23 security law. He attended Ka Ling School Of The Precious Blood and Pentecostal Lam Hon Kwong School, and both the University of New South Wales and the University of Queensland.

Tam was arrested on August 30, 2019 for his role in an anti-extradition law protest on July 8.

Edward Leung is serving a prison sentence for rioting for his role in the 'Fishball riot' in Mong Kok.
Photo: Sam Tsang/SCMP

Edward Leung Tin-Kei

Edward Leung is the man behind the rally cry of the anti-extradition protests, "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times". He was born in Wuhan, in Hubei province on the mainland, and was brought to Hong Kong by his mother when he was one year old. He attended Shung Tak Catholic English College in Yuen Long, and went on to the University of Hong Kong, where he earned a BA in Philosophy and Politics. He believes in the Hong Kong people's right to self-determination and is not afraid to fight for it.

As a spokesman for the Hong Kong Indigenous Party, Leung has shown his militant colours and is currently serving time in Shek Pik Prison for his part in the Mong Kok riots on February 9, 2016. He did very well in the New Territories East by-elections three weeks after the riot. He was going to stand for the September 4 Legislative Council election that same year, but was stopped because he would not sign an agreement stating that Hong Kong is a part of China. He tried to get the courts to resolve the issue, but time was running out, so he eventually signed it, but it was deemed ineligible.

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Lawmaker Eddie Chu and pro-establishment legislator Junius Ho have traded verbal barbs over the anti-extradition bill protests.
Photo: Nora Tam/SCMP

Eddie Chu Hoi-dick

In 2016, the partyless Eddie Chu Hoi-dick won the Legislative Council seat for New Territories West with 84,121 votes, the highest number of votes ever for a candidate from a geographical constituency. He was among those who stood against the government's idea to demolish the Stary Ferry Pier in Central to make way for land reclamation.

With his strong environmental ethics, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick founded the Land Justice League, a group that unites other groups interested in fighting for conservation, environmental and other land justice issues, such as forced relocation. He formed the Choi Yuen Tsuen Support Group to help residents in their fight against being relocated to make way for the Hong Kong Express Rail Link to the mainland. There were big protests against these people being moved, but ultimately the government won. Chu helped the villagers build a new eco-village.

Through the Land Justice League, Chu opposed the government proposal of the North East New Territories New Development Areas, which was proposed as a way to alleviate the land shortage in Hong Kong. 

Last year, Chu was barred from taking part in an election for rural representatives in Yuen Long, making him the 10th Hong Kong politician to be stopped from standing for elections. The returning officer claimed that he did not give clear enough answers to questions about Hong Kong independence. Some members of Legco also tried to strip Chu of his position but were unsuccessful.

Roy Kwong has been active around the front lines of the protest, attempting to mediate between protesters and police.
Photo: Winson Wong/SCMP

Roy Kwong Chun-yu

Kwong, age 36, is a legislator, member of the Democratic Party, and a prominent figure in the Hong Kong protests. Notable for being the legislator who received the highest number of votes, coming in at 491,667 in the District Council (second) Functional Constituency in 2016, he was also an author before becoming a lawmaker.

During the early stages of the protests, he recieved the nickname 'God Kwong' for his performance in mediating between police and protesters. 

On the morning of September 24, he was attacked by three people, including one who filmed the attack, in a Tin Shui Wai car park on Tin Yip Road. The attackers fled the scene after punching and kicking him and he was discharged from Tin Shui Wai Hospital in the afternoon. The attack was condemmed by his fellow legislators, including those in the pro-establishment camp. The government has promised the police will take the case seriously. 

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Denise Ho addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on July 8, 2019.
Photo: AFP

Denise Ho 

Singer and LGBT rights activist Denis Ho Wan-see has been one of the faces of the protest movement on the international front, travelling to Switzerland and the US to explain the events in Hong Kong to an international audience. 

Ho, whose music has been banned on the mainland due to her activism, has appealed for international support and described Hong Kong right now as a 'police state'.

Isaac Cheng Ka-long, vice-chairman of Demosisto, was assaulted by three men on September 2 on his way home in Tai Wai.
Photo: Dickson Lee/SCMP

Isaac Cheng

Demosisto Vice-Chairman Isaac Cheng, 20 is active in organising school protest activites, including human chains at secondary schools and universities, as well as school strikes and boycotts. 

On September 2, he was assaulted by three men in Tai Wai, one of many attacks on pro-democracy figures in recent months.

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John Tse is the main spokesperson of the Police Public Relations Branch.
Photo: Xiaomei Chen/SCMP

John Tse Chun-chung

Chief Superintendent of the Police Public Relations Branch, John Tse is the 'point man' for the regular police press conferences where the police provide information on their operations and explain police actions. The Hong Kong Police Force has been under fire since June for perceived excessive use of force and public trust in the force has fallen to a low point not seen since the Umbrella Movement/Occupy Central in 2015.

However, despite attempts to clarify rumors and tell the police side of the story, rumors of police misconduct continue to circulate online. 

Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung of the HKPF is a regular at the press conferences.
Photo: Sam Tsang/SCMP

Kong Wing-cheung

Police Public Relations Branch Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung is the second senior representive of the police at their press briefings. The police have pledged to provide better transparency and communications with the public on the subject of operations taken during the protests. 

However, what were once daily press briefings are now held intermittently.

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Jimmy Sham is the current representative of the front.
Photo: Dickson Lee/SCMP

Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit 

Civil Human Rights Front leader Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit is the current conveyor of the organisation that has organised the multiple million man protests. The front is a long-standing organisation in Hong Kong civil society and organises pro-democracy marches yearly.

Sham himself is a gay rights activist. He and his assistant Law Kwok-wai were attacked by two men with a bat and a rod in Jordan while they were having lunch on August 29. Law was injured and the two attackers were arrested by police a week later. 

Rupert Dover is one of the expat cops under the spotlight for this role in dispersing protesters.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP

Rupert Dover 

Chief Superintendent Rupert Dover is alleged to have been one of the commanders on scene during the clearance operation outside the Legco building on June 12, the location of the first allegations of unnecessarily harsh police tactics, including the use of tear gas, beanbag rounds and rubber bullets.

He and other officers of British nationality have since been named in the UK legislature, by a member of Parliment, as having given the order to use tear gas against protesters at that time. 


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