CNN reported that one of its film crews was fired on with tear gas by Hong Kong police while covering the protests. However, that is not exactly true as the tear gas cloud spread to the area the film crew was standing and they were not directly fired on. This is in stark contrast to how police in Ferguson, Missouri treated film crews during several occasions. In covering the protests over the execution of unarmed teen Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, film crews were fired upon directly with tear gas, rubber bullets and several reporters were harassed and arrested. Film crews were also at times delegated to a press bullpen away from protesters who were a considerable distance from the bullpen. The FAA also implemented a no-fly zone in Ferguson to keep news helicopters from filming events on the ground.
The Hong Kong protests have erupted in Hong Kong, China over the election process for elections set to take place in 2017 where votes from the public will be accepted for the first time. However, last month, China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee ruled out further voting reforms interpreted that only the candidates that Beijing approves of can run in the elections. Western media has billed the protests as being “pro-democracy”.
If we compare this decree to American elections, only candidates from the two major political parties are allowed on ballots. Republicans and Democrats have a monopoly on candidate ballot access across the country. Many of the third parties in the United States have to mount petition drives and meet other criteria in order to get a candidate place on ballots particularly those running for federal office.
The corporate media also plays it role in limiting the Democratic process by only allowing candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties in their televised debates. This practice also occurs at the state and local levels.
The United States also has a major problem with what is called felony disenfranchisement whereas people convicted of crime are not allowed to vote after their prison sentences have ended. Advocates for the restoration of voting rights say that these prohibitions amount to punishing people who have paid their debt to society and that the way non-white populations are disproportionately arrested, charged and convicted of crimes, the prohibitions amount to political disenfranchisement of those ethnic groups and individuals.