Hong Kong has never been democratic. It was not democratic under the British - in the years ahead of the 1997 handover, some democratic reforms were introduced, but even then as you see with the legislature, it's not actually a fully democratic system. This call for realizing 'genuine universal suffrage' - although the claim is to be 'restoring' a previous political order, to 'restore' Hong Kong - in fact this order has never existed. Perhaps the protesters need to have a greater awareness that the democracy they hope for has never existed, and they'll have to establish it themselves going forward.
Journalist Brian Hioe reports on the present and future of Hong Kong's mass protest movement - after (seemingly) defeating the extradition bill that sparked the uprising, a split between the island's economic elites, increasing police violence and the Chinese state's uncertainty over what happens next will test the movement's commitment to unanswered demands for universal suffrage and democratic gains.
Brian wrote the article Withdrawal of the extradition bill in Hong Kong is likely too little, too late to put an end to protests for New Bloom.