The party has backed down before, they will do so again. In isolated parts of China such as Tibet and Xinjiang where they have more control over the communication and protests and a freer hand to control their internal affairs it’s harder for international condemnation and repercussions, and therefore harder for people to speak out.
In Hong Kong, with the 1.C.2.S., an international community ever watching and being the gateway into China there are absolutely 0 ways China can crack down on this. After the TS Massacre and the leaked video showing all the violence and the infamous tank man video, China now knows its cannot have another repeat of such magnitude. Especially now when it has international economic and trade deals that would suffer severely if they ever decided to crush the main focus and origin of all these deals, because that is the very existence and purpose of Hong Kong and any crackdown on Hong Kong would only cause China to harm itself.
As to the Mainland government not being able to back down from us, I have a few examples of when they have:
When the video of the TS Massacre was released, 1 million people marched in the streets of Hong Kong demanding not to be handed over. This of course still happened but it happened on international terms, and the basis of one country, two systems with all our liberties guaranteed were pressed for more heavily by the British and the local authorities. The PLA actually had to SNEAK into Hong Kong to not alarm anyone! They ran to their newly occupied barracks with their tails tucked between their legs!
500,000 people marched in the streets last decade and caused Tung Che Wah to resign. we overthrew our own “government selected” Chief Executive! And China couldn’t even raise a finger.
Now tomorrow we ‘celebrate’ the birth of China. I may not have to remind you but others may not know… China in it’s current form was born in revolution. We aspire to remember the wars fought against the corrupt Kuomintang and their dictatorial ways through the remembrance of National day.
You say it’s hopeless because there is no way the government will back down? I wonder what those warriors back in 1935-1949 would say to us now, if anyone came to them and said “Ah, there is no point in rising up, protesting against the Japanese occupation force/KMT government, we can’t possibly sway them and convince them.” How about the Boxer revolution in 1898-1900, or the Xinhai revolution in 1911, when the people rose up. “Ah, there is no point, they won’t budge in their opinion.”
At the same time I hope it doesn’t come to violence in Hong Kong, and it shows in the way we act on the street, the politeness, the lack of looting, we are ready for dialogue and we offer an olive branch but we’ll make sure we’re heard too. There are no guns in the streets, only umbrellas.
Now the voices of revolution echo through the streets again, this time against the communist party. You can’t have it one way but not the other. China cannot sit idly under such hypocrisy, espousing the benefits of the power of the people while denying ours. And they cannot once again hit the olive branch out of the hand of the public with tanks and guns because the world is watching.
Change is the only constant, and China as a government has very few options, how it chooses to repeat history only time will tell but the people will never stop asking for more because that is their role as a people.