The root cause: An adulterous girlfriend
Poon Hiu-wing, 19, and her boyfriend, Chan Tong-kai, 20, were on a quick vacation from Hong Kong to Taiwan when she told him that she was pregnant by her exboyfriend who she had recently slept with. He murdered her in their hotel room, packed her body into a suitcase, hid the suitcase in some bushes in a park, and then fled back to Hong Kong.
He was arrested in Hong Kong but there was no formal extradition policies between the two countries. The national discussion included whether China had the right to simply come take him or whether Hong Kong, as a pseudo-Chinese territory, albeit one with greater autonomy than usual, had the authority to negotiate extradition.
Why the Umbrellas?
The seemingly mundane umbrella has risen to be the iconic symbol of resistance against China for two main reasons:
The first reason is that it’s incredibly useful in protecting against jets of pepper spray, being filmed by cameras that the police use to identify you and then arrest you at your home later, and as a simple shield against rubber bullets.
The second reason they use umbrellas:
They are unarmed
Protesters have to settle for using umbrellas to defend themselves against the Chinese government. They are dying due to being unable to defend themselves and the government is growing even more oppressive and violent against the weaker, unarmed rebels.