My city is in chaos.
This is what’s happening to Hong Kong right this minute.
It is difficult for me to put into words, but simply put, University students started a class boycott movement demanding democracy and universal suffrage from the Hong Kong and Chinese Government this week, and the movement has escalated into citizens occupying Government Square and now, a main road leading into Hong Kong’s central hub.
Most protesters are younger generation Hong Kongers, including university students and even secondary school students. The leader of the student movement himself is barely even old enough to drive a car.
The movement began peacefully with citizens merely sitting quietly and occupying a public space in a silent protest on Friday night.
Then at 7:00 in the morning the next day, policemen stormed into the public square and began clearing out the area by force, dragging youngsters out violently, injuring many of them. Policemen have also been witnessed to beating youngsters without reason, and using high-concentration, anti-riot pepperspray on civilians who are merely attempting to protect themselves. No civilian put up any sort of fight or attempt at assaulting the police as far as i know,
(Police justified clearing out the area with the reason that protesters are holding illegal meetings in a public space.)
(Protesting civilians who remained on the streets overnight are wearing plastic wraps and raincoats under 30 degree weather in an attempt to protect themselves should the police utilize peppersprays again.)
The movement escalated again tonight when the protesters (now 4 times the size of the student movement the previous week) occupied a main road leading to the central hub of Hong Kong.
The police barricaded the roads and attempted to stop more people from joining the crowd this whole afternoon, but the peaceful crowd remained persistent and would not leave the area even after the police issued verbal warnings. (I emphasize “peaceful”, because protesters continued to be orderly and did not display any forms of aggression. They even cleared out a path for cars to pass the area, something the police didn’t even bother to do.)
At around 6:00, the police began using peppersprays on civilians again, this time high-powered ones that came in tanks instead of in bottles. Our people continued to shield themselves with umbrellas, but the umbrellas were also soon snatched away by the police. Live feed videos have also confirmed that police have been misusing peppersprays by firing them at close proximity, and also not giving any sort of verbal warnings before firing.
Video of a policeman firing at an elderly man at point-blank range:
Yet again, protesters remained, and at 7:00, armed forces were sent into the crowd. They began firing tear gas capsules INTO the crowds and even INTO First-aid stations. The rounds came every few minutes and i counted at least 5 capsules being fired in a 10-minute period according to the live feeds.
at least 30,000 people continue to stand their ground right this second, more armed policemen are being sent in, and news is that these police are ordered to use guns (loaded with plastic bullets) on civilians if protesters continue to remain.
I fear for the people because policemen are not what they used to be anymore. These “police” who should be protecting us are now private armies for the government. I am watching my city die. It’s a terrifying feeling. If the police feel they are justified to use force on innocent civilians, tonight could end up in another massacre just like that of the Tian An Men June Fourth Massacre in 1989.
And at this point I am too emotional to say anything else except that we need your prayers and your support. Please spread this out, people all over the world need to see what is happening right now.
LIVE FEED OF THE CURRENT SITUATION:
Here’s that single live feed from Apple Daily TV if you want only a stream without multiple platforms going on at the same time for the time being. Apologies for having no english subtitles but hopefully it’s not hard to get what’s happening:
- The protests are being held in order to achieve universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Although democracy had been promised for 2017 in 2008, China announced this August that Hong Kong people would only be able to vote from a pool of 2-3 specially selected candidates (all of whom would definitely have pro-China sentiments)
- University students held a week-long boycott of classes to protest for true democracy in Hong Kong
- Today riot police were deployed against peaceful protesters. Equipped in full riot gear the police used pepper spray to deter the protesters, mainly students and youths but also some elderly people have reported being sprayed point blank
- It is estimated that over 50,000 people have joined the protest and this number continues to grow
- This is the largest political protest in Hong Kong since our independence from the UK in 1997
- Although the protests remain peaceful, police have now started to use tear gas and have brought out long guns loaded with rubber bullets (there hasn’t yet been a report of any bullets being shot)
- Over 80 arrests have been made including students as young as 16 for taking part in these protests
- They are cutting cell phone receptions in the protest area so that people can’t share any information
- Violence is increasing as police continue to instigate protesters
- All this comes right before the October 1st celebration of the 65th anniversary of founding of the People’s Republic of China
- There are rumours that the PLA (the Chinese army) are going to be brought into the city tonight
More facts about Hong Kong:
- We run under a one country, two systems policy with China meaning that we are part of China but have our own government and laws.
- Protests for universal suffrage have been held throughout the summer but these are the biggest yet
- Anti-China and anti-government sentiments are at their highest levels yet. Survey results showed that 1 in 5 people are thinking of emigrating from the city.
- In June, China issued a white paper essentially telling Hong Kong to remember their place and re-asserting their authority over the city
The scenes from the protest look awful. In my 17 years in Hong Kong I’ve never seen anything like it. The world needs to know about this and say something before we get a recurrence of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
I hope everyone stays safe. Hong Kong stay strong.
Starting on Monday, thousands of university students in Hong Kong have been gathering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tamar Park (outside the government offices) to protest the National People Congress (NPC) of China’s decision to restrict the right to vote for Chief Executive, the city’s highest political leader in 2017.
Article 45 of the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s own mini-constitution implemented after the handover from Britain to China in 1997) states that the Chief Executive should be chosen by universal suffrage as an eventual goal. Time and time again the Communist Party of China have dodged/shut down any democratic progress. Last month the NPC announced that they would continue using the 1200-member committee, consisting of members loyal to the Communist Party, to vote for our CE. THIS IS ILLEGAL. THIS IS SHAM DEMOCRACY AND SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.
The sit-in of university students belongs to a movement called ‘Occupy Central with Love and Peace’ and is led by The Hong Kong Federation of Students (schedule and declaration of the strike included). This act of civil disobedience consists of absolute non-violence. It consists of free public lectures offered by university professors and writers on topics like Orwell’s ‘1984’, history of Hong Kong’s struggle for democracy, Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s fight to end injustice etc etc. I was one of the students sitting in Tamar Park on Tuesday and Thursday and it was one of the most rewarding, educational and, I must emphasise, peaceful political activities I have ever witnessed.
On Friday, high school students led by the student group Scholarism joined in the protest. They marched to Civic Square, pleading for our current CE to come out of his offices and listen to their requests, just like he promised during his ‘campaign’ in 2012. More and more citizens joined in the protest after work.
The police started cutting off access to Civic Square, which is a publicly owned area. They used shields to form a blockade against the protestors and started pushing them back. When people resisted with umbrellas, they started using clubs and pepper spray on the protestors, who started putting both of their hands up to show they are unarmed. Many students who managed to rush in Civic Square are arrested, including the leading of Scholarism. Many of them have visible injuries caused by police brutality and some of them still haven’t been released from police custody.
THE FIGHT IS STIL GOING ON. PEOPLE ARE STILL CROWDING OUTSIDE CIVIC SQUARE AND TAMAR. Resources are running thin and the police are still threatening violence. Some of my friends are at the protest and they are continuing the struggle despite the risks. It is predicted that the police will escalate their brutality with tear gas, more pepper spray and water cannons against innocent, peaceful protestors, many of them teenagers.
You can watch Occupy Central live here: x (Apple Daily livestream)
I know tumblr is a US-centric place but PLEASE PLEASE SPARE A SECOND TO REBLOG THIS POST. Hong Kong is a tiny city. We are anything but a formidable force in international politics. The only thing we can do is raise awareness among the world and force our corrupt government to answer to our protests.
PLEASE HELP US.