Yesterday, I was back to the protest site at Government Headquarters, the epicenter of the pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, now called umbrella revolution, or occupy central movement. Where the police once stood and used pepper spray and tear gas to stop people from entering the protest site, the protesters now stand or sit. The area is still the most inspiring of all the areas occupied by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.
A group of students paint their wishes for democracy and their dream on umbrella.
Another group of students turned the partition for a construction site, just opposite the Central Government Offices, into a democracy wall, inviting people to write their wishes on paper and put up on the wall. The initiative was organized by high school students. A girl in uniform called on the passers-by to join using a loud speaker.
At the turnabout, is an art piece of umbrella.
The civic square at the Government Headquarters, originally open to the public, has been surrounded by a high fence, with police guarding behind the fence. It is a testament to the fear of the CY Leung government and to how much aloof it is from its people. On the other hand, the banners and the yellow ribbons tied to the fence just show how much people hate all this. They want their civic square, and their right to choose their leader.
Slogans showing the determination of the student protesters were plastered everywhere in the protest site surrounding the Government Headquarters.
Some were tired and slept on the ground.
The items donated by the Hong Kong people to support the democracy movement were plentiful.
They were mainly water, masks, biscuit, bread, banana, raincoat, and kitchen wrapping paper (for protection against pepper spray). There are a number of stalls set up to provide such items across the whole protest site.
From time to time, the students walked around distributing wet towels (for protection against pepper spray and tear gas), water, raincoat, food and even umbrella to all those present at the protest site.
The police did not allow people to enter the protest site from noon yesterday, and blocked the way to Tamar Park from Admiralty Station, the main and only way to the protest site. As more and more people wanted to come to the protest site and they were blocked the access, they had to stand at the opposite side, across the Harcourt Road. People were many many, eager to join people at the other side. Only that the heavily armed riot police stood in between.
Then, the people at the opposite side became so many and so frustrated with the police not allowing them access, they started to venture out into Harcourt Road and all of a sudden, I was told they were everywhere in Harcourt Road. I tried to find a high point to look and when I did, that was an amazing sight – the whole section of the road teeming with people, some waiving at us.
It was an emotional and triumphant moment – for people at the protest site, this was a sign that we all stood together. Yet, the police, occupying a narrow space in between and heavily armed, refused to let people from the two sides join. At the end, they fired tear gas, one after one, one after one, to disperse protesters turning up in a growing number.
But every time the protesters dispersed, they came back again to the spot. Again, police had to fire tear gas. And the crowd dispersed, but then gathered again quickly. That is how determined the Hong Kong people were.
CY Leung government has sent riot police to quash the protesters, including using pepper spray and tear gas, holding guns and flashing signs saying that they will fire if the crowd charges. The signal is clear: you protesters are rioters. If not, why were riot police deployed and was tear gas used? The protesters have been peaceful, with many of them students. Just look at this photo. Why riot police?
When I woke up yesterday to the news that Occupy Central movement had started, I was surprised but I knew I would go and join the students and all others at the government headquarters area in Admiralty. I arrived there at about 11am, and the area was calm and peaceful, with the young people, the high school and university students, organizing every thing, such as distributing water, masks, raincoats and goggles, and making announcements.
Barriers were set up at various points where police and protesters were separated by umbrellas and barricades.
There was announcement from time to time which point needed more people to guard and protect and urging people to gather there. There was also announcement from time to time that the police would force their way in and clear up the site. Later we were alerted that the police were putting up gas masks and asked us to get prepared. But somehow, all the warnings did not materialize and I also believed that the police would not be so crazy that they would use tear gas. So when the police fired tear gas at about 6pm, it caught me off guard, when I had no protective gear at hand – not a mask, not a pair of goggles. I left them with my friend, who at the time was not around. The tear gas sent people rushing away, and the smoke started flowing my way.
At first I thought I could cope. But soon, my eyes burned, my throat burned, and my tongue burned. It was painful, very painful. Students came to me with water. One after one. Some students gave me salt water to wash eyes. We were then asked to move to Tamar Park. Among those moving to the Tamar Park, were small kids whose eyes suffered from tear gas too. It was getting dark when we settled in Tamar Park.
I was so tired that I had to lie down and take a rest. In front of me, is the beautiful Victoria Harbor, but at the back, I heard the firing of tear gas one after one, one after one. It was bizarre, and ultra-realistic.
The whole day I did not cry. But I woke up this morning, feeling so sad for this city, though at the same time feeling so proud of all the people who have stood up and fought for the dignity of being a citizen.
I was with a westerner friend yesterday. At dusk, when we were forced to retreat to Tamar Park, a young kid, probably 15 years old, came to my friend, saying, please tell the world what happens here. He thought my friend is a journalist.
The Hong Kong people have been very peaceful in their fight. This is really what I and many others saw. They put up their hands to show they did not want to use violence all the time.
It is not the people, it is the police who use excessive violence and should be condemned.
I am truly moved by the solidarity Hong Kong people showed yesterday. They have shown to the world that we don’t want what is dished out by Beijing (no universal suffrage in 2017 as promised by the mini constitution of Hong Kong, but a voting system that is designed to be controlled and screened by Beijing and still want us to call it “universal suffrage”!), and we will fight.
A revolution is brewing in Hong Kong, as the Beijing-backed CY Leung government is using riot police and pepper spray to crush the student democracy movement. The excessive violence used by the police against the students (many of them secondary students) can only drive more people to turn up for fighting for democracy and freedom in the city. Thousands of people are now converging at the Government Headquarters to protest against the CY Leung government and police’s excessive violence against students.
The charismatic high-school student leader Joashua Wong was arrested and handcuffed away yesterday, and has been denied bail after being charged with three counts of offences (as of updat time 9am 28 Sept) . His place (a small room he shared with his younger brother) was searched by police for two hours, and his computer and hard discs, etc. were taken away. According to the witnesses, the police searched everywhere and everything in his room, including his underwear. The police has been treating Wong, a 17-year-old, like a dangerous criminal! His parents issued a statement saying this is political persecution, especially for a 17-year old kid who has been an activist for pursuing a better HK.
What Leung’s government is doing can only make people explode with anger and the Occupy Central movement will happen, attracting more people to join. In fact, the Occupy Admiralty movement has happened. Hong Kong is entering a civil disobedience era where people will have to fight the uncivilized and authoritarian rule of the CY Leung and Beijing government without resorting to violence.
China President Xi said yesterday that Taiwan should be reunited with China using the one country two systems formula. What a big joke while HK is showing to the world that one country two systems fails miserably. I hope the Taiwanese know at least that one country two systems will never work and Beijing can never be trusted.
Btw, when CY Leung was bidding to be the chief executive of Hong Kong with another candidate not too long ago, he was cited as saying that the riot police would have to be used for suppression. He denied at that time. Now we all know how true it is. The riot police is now in town.
The climate is so chilling in Hong Kong. Five organizers of the July 1 rally were arrested. The police has become the political tool of CY Leung’s government to suppress any political dissent and engage in political persecution. This is glaring contempt of the rule of law and taking away the freedom of assembly from people. One country two systems is dead. Hong Kong is dead.
Good luck to those still thinking that all the “fuss” about July 1 rally and “occupy central” has nothing to do with them.
Occupy central seems to be the only choice people with conscience are left with. They have no other choice, faced with the chilling and oppressive environment CY Leung and his government controlled by Beijing is creating. People will rise up, I am sure. “官迫民反”-The masses will be forced to revolt under oppression by the officials, as a chinese saying goes.