Greta Thunberg is Time’s ‘Person of the Year’, But Many Think HK Protesters Deserve It More

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Time named Greta Thunberg as “Person of the Year,” but others believe the recognition should have been given to the Hong Kong protesters.

Shortly after the magazine unveiled the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist on the cover of the special annual issue, many responded in favor of the protesters, who made it to the shortlist alongside President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and The Whistleblower.

“[It] should have been the Hong Kong protesters,” one declared on Twitter.

Another congratulated Thunberg, but hoped “everyone can care about what happened in Hong Kong.”

Thunberg first became known for her activism in August 2018, when she skipped school days and spent time outside the Swedish Parliament calling for stronger action on global warming.

In December of the same year, she addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland, sparking weekly student strikes across schools on the planet.

Image via @gretathunberg

By July 2019, the 16-year-old ignited a global movement, with millions of students participating in coordinated protests in multiple cities for the same cause.

She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, which was ultimately awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.


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‪500’000 in Montréal. Change is coming!! #ClimateStrike #FridayForFuture #klimatstrejk ‬

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on

The Hong Kong protests, on the other hand, kicked off in June after the introduction of an extradition bill that allows for the transfer of fugitives in the city to mainland China, Macau and Taiwan.

The bill raised concerns that it can be used to subject both Hong Kong residents and visitors to the legal system of communist Beijing, which would undermine the city’s powers as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) and potentially infringe on civil liberties.

Image via Studio Incendo (CC BY 2.0)

The movement has since led to injuries and deaths on the side of the protesters, with the Hong Kong Police Force maintaining that its actions are executed in accordance with the law.

Like Thunberg, the protesters were also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, this time by a Norwegian politician for risking “their lives and security every day to stand up for freedom of speech and basic democracy.”

Image via Studio Incendo (CC BY 2.0)

Time editors select the “Person of the Year,” whom they define as “an individual or group who, for better or worse, had the most influence on the world.”

The Hong Kong protesters took first place in the magazine’s reader poll, gaining over 30% — or more than eight million — of the total 27 million votes.

That being said, it comes as no surprise that people have taken to Twitter to criticize the decision:

Some congratulated Thunberg while reminding others of Hong Kong’s struggle:

Still, others simply expressed genuine support for Thunberg:

Time will release a double issue for Thunberg on Dec. 23 and Dec. 30.

Feature Images via @gretathunberg (Left), Getty (Right)

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