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Cornell’s Eli Friedman Adds Important Context to Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protests

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Eli Friedman is an assistant professor at Cornell University, focusing on international and comparative labor. He adds an important dimension–economic inequality–to the forces driving the growing protests led by students and Occupy Central.

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Friedman wrote an important article for The Nation in mid-September, describing the major income and wealth inequality in Hong Kong. We discuss the reaction of Hong Kong and Beijing leaders to the protests, including the laughable delegation of 70 “tycoons” from Hong Kong to Beijing for a photo op supporting the new policy allowing Hong Kong voters to choose the chief executive from candidates approved by Beijing. We also take on some of the propaganda which attempts to depict the protests as American “sedition”, and the roles of Benny Tai and 17-year-old Joshua Wong in the protest movements.