Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Post March Notes

Just a snapshot from Causeway Bay of the sheer numbers of marchers
Hundreds of people did not go home last night after the long march from Causeway Bay to Chater Garden.

Many, particularly young people stayed on the streets of Central or went to the Chief Executive Office at Tamar for what they called a rehearsal for Occupy Central.

Scholarism organizers promised the protest would end at 8am and when some people refused to move, the Hong Kong police moved in and started arresting people, 511 in all.

That explains why traffic this morning was snarled towards Central, but commuters weren't delayed too long.

By 6pm today, 129 of those arrested were still being questioned by police, while the vast majority, or 364 people were given warning notices.

Police move in to remove protesters, one by one
Some criticized the police for being heavy handed, but they quickly and efficiently removed people which demonstrated they had been preparing and knew how to deal with large numbers of people who would not cooperate.

The only response from China we've heard so far is from liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming in Hong Kong who said neither the march nor the referendum would affect the central government's determination to implement universal suffrage "in accordance with the law".

In other words, according to Beijing's way.

Chinese state media didn't report on the massive march at all but instead that 500,000 people took part in 150 events marking the 17th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China.

Interesting that one of them was the People's Liberation Army having an open house so that ordinary citizens could take a look at the barracks, meet soldiers and get to see some military hardware.

Even more intriguing is that many people are keen to check out the PLA. Or are they gathering intel for us?

In any event, we are waiting to hear what the Leung administration and Beijing have to say about the march, or any oblique reference to it.

That response will determine whether Occupy Central will happen or not. And with the first indication from Zhang, it gives a hint of things to come.

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