In Pictures: Occupy Hong Kong Protests (29 September, 2014)

I landed in Hong Kong and arrived in the middle of the biggest protests Hong Kong has seen since being handed back to China in 1997. The protests are over Beijing’s decision to screen candidates for elections.

Protest crowd

These photos were from the protest around the Central/Admiralty area of Hong Kong, on Hong Kong Island (#OccupyCentral on Twitter.) There was another protest in Kowloon, on the other side of the harbour. I’ve linked to various related news articles to give further background to the story and I present these photos as an observer.

Occupy Hong Kong: 29 September 2014

Barricades being lashed together with plastic ties by protesters.
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Setting up barricades

After controversy of police using tear gas the night before the police presence was scaled back today. No police in riot gear; just small groups observing on the sidelines (or not at all).

Police presence

Some street graffiti referring to police using tear gas on protesters the night before.

HK Police - Shame You

The protests have also been dubbed the Umbrella Revolution (#umbrellarevolution) as umbrellas were used as shields from pepper spray. Cling wrap is also freely available which has been used to wrap glasses tight to protect from tear gas.

Umbrellas and clingwrap

A bucket of wet towels in preparation for pepper spray and tear gas.

Bucket of wet towels

At numerous places around the protest sites were these supply stations with supporters dropping off donations.

Donated supplies

Make-shift red cross stations.

Red cross station

As well as water stations. Lots of people were roaming around with bottles of water and giving them out freely. There were also cleanup patrols making sure the rubbish didn’t get out of control.

water station

Protesters came wearing black t-shirts and many were wearing a yellow ribbon. I was glad to have selected a blue t-shirt for the day so as to maintain my international observer status.

Black t-shirts

Most of the protesters appeared to be young students and it seemed to be an even male/female mix. There were no trouble makers, no weapons, no fires, or aggressive behaviour shown anywhere. I didn’t feel in danger at any time and so I ended up wandering around the the rest of the afternoon.

Crowd on overpass

I ended up outside the Admiralty Centre which is where the biggest crowd was by around 4pm.

rally leader

Further Reading

Xi is on the Wrong Side of History in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong protest: Why are pro-democracy supporters staging a sit-in? And what do they want?
Occupy movement could be the most polite demonstration ever.


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Comments

  1. Seems like it was well prepared riot. I like to see how other countries protest/riot as long not violent and you don’t feel in danger. It’s part of the cultural aspect.

  2. It will be interesting to see how this pans out, and who cracks first. I can only hope the mainland government stays clear. We don’t want a repeat of Tiananmen Square…..which I think may be a big risk, however peaceful the demonstrators are?

  3. Wow. Amazing photos. I *just* missed all this, since I left Hong Kong on Saturday. It’s very strange to see photos on blogs and on the news and to think, “Oh man, I was walking RIGHT THERE a couple of days ago.”

    Has this affected your transportation at all? I read somewhere that close to 100 tram and bus lines were rerouted.

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