Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hong Kong's Saddest Day

A banner at Admiralty that reads: "Hong Kong will save itself"
This is the saddest day for Hong Kong.

People trying to get across to Tamar
Why did it have to come to this?

After several dozen students were cordoned off at Central Government Offices, Occupy Central leader Benny Tai Yiu-ting unexpectedly called for "the banquet" to begin on Sunday at 1.45am.

Most people woke up to the news this morning and headed over to Tamar to lend their support to the students.

But when they got there, the police had already barricaded the overpass to the area and did not allow anyone to go through.

I arrived around 2.45pm and found lots of people all over Admiralty, the closest MTR station to Tamar. What was even more bizarre was seeing people shopping, eating and watching movies at Pacific Place.

Spreading out all over Queensway
Nevertheless I pressed on to Admiralty Centre, where people were blocked from getting onto the overpass to Tamar. It wasn't a particularly tense atmosphere, with volunteers handing out surgical masks, plastic wrap to prepare for pepper spray and pamphlets.

When I got there, I couldn't help but feel emotional. Did it really have to come to this? My home is under seige. Why were we not allowed to go to the protest area to be with the students?

People made the occasional chants for the police to "open the road" and for Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down, and "protect the students", but they were on the whole short spurts.

At one point a large banner was unfurled on a walkway above us: "自己香港自己救" or "Hong Kong [has to] save itself" to much cheers and became a new chant.

People right by the PLA barracks (right)
It was then announced around 3.30pm on a bullhorn that Leung was making a statement.

Along with his key personnel, Leung promptly declared the protest "illegal" and that elections would go ahead as planned.

By then my friend YTSL met up with me and since she hadn't had lunch yet and so we left the protest area to grab a bite to eat in Pacific Place.

While we were having the late lunch, I kept checking Twitter and received tweets that pepper spray was used in the area we were in.

Afterwards we went back to the protest area to see people all over the roads, taking over Queensway and Harcourt Road. We saw two young people take flimsy barricades and put them over the tram lines.

As YTSL and I concluded, it was a surreal sight -- this was not the Hong Kong we used to know.

Occupying one of the main thoroughfares of Admiralty
After taking a few pictures we decided to leave the area via MTR and just as well -- at 6pm the police started firing tear gas into the crowd.

How does the police justify using tear gas on protestors who have done nothing except call for being allowed to go to Tamar to support the students? Sure they pushed against the police barricades, but that's all. It's the police that have instigated using pepper spray and then tear gas.

Hong Kong protestors are some of the most civilized in the world -- they are patient, pick up garbage and recycle, and when ambulances and fire trucks need to pass, they let them through.

Did they torch any of the police vans parked on the streets? Did they throw any Molotov cocktails? Did they punch a police officer?

Preparing for tear gas with water barrels
So why did they deserve tear gas -- several times?

They would be sprayed and then they would flee the immediate area. But soon afterwards they would regroup again in the same area. And because they saw tear gas being used, MORE people came out into the streets to show their anger against the government and support for the protestors.

Tonight Admiralty is in complete chaos, and so is Central and Wan Chai and now there is word that Nathan Road in Kowloon is being occupied.

If the police had let protestors into the Tamar site earlier...

Bad calculations on the part of the Leung administration. They seem to have no idea how angry people are with him and how they have not stood up for Hong Kong at all during the electoral reform process.

More police out in force at the Central Ferry Piers
What will happen tomorrow is anyone's guess, but come October 1, there will probably even more people out to voice their frustration at the Hong Kong government and Beijing.

Hong Kong people 1, Leung administration and Beijing 0.





1 comment:

  1. Why did it have to come to this?
    -- Because HK people can't stand being repressed anymore. And CCP and CY Leung need to teach HK a lesson

    Did it really have to come to this? My home is under seige. Why were we not allowed to go to the protest area to be with the students?
    -- Yes, because CCP left ZERO room to negotiate. Beijing doesn't want more people protesting since the international media is watching (face saving...)


    How does the police justify using tear gas on protestors who have done nothing except call for being allowed to go to Tamar to support the students?
    -- Mr. Tsang, Police Commissioner promised Beijing ( or the HK Liasion to CCP) to make an example of the protesters.

    Did they torch any of the police vans parked on the streets? Did they throw any Molotov cocktails? Did they punch a police officer? So why did they deserve tear gas -- several times?
    -- No, No, No, Why tear gas, HK Police and HK gov't becoming more authortarian (borders on dictatorship.) Good thing they are NOT using rubber or REAL BULLETS.

    I sincerely hope the international community (incl. business) punish the CCP and HK Gov't for taking a hard line against defenseless protesters.

    With CY Leung in office, Article 23 and 'national education' will eventually be forced to pass and become law...

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