Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Final Showdown?

A decent turnout at Admiralty tonight, determined to protest peacefully
Overnight there were violent clashes in Mongkok with police taking away the protesters' supplies and trying to reclaim Nathan and Argyle roads.

Several people were hit by batons and pepper spray but again like before, the police were outnumbered and had to retreat.

Parents were applauded for their support of the movement
Many report it was the police who provoked the violence, not the protesters...

Today things were calm in Mongkok, but tonight may be a different story.

This evening YTSL and I again got some dinner and brought it to the flyover from Admiralty to Central. We chose to sit near the Central Government Offices and there were only a handful of officers behind the barricades, casually looking out for trouble.

But behind them were more and more police vans -- well over two dozen -- parked on the road. There were periodic streams of officers coming into the offices, and then coming out later, some with helmets, others with plastic bags. Two carried a large gray box, and another carried banners used for police warnings.

We periodically checked on them and saw they were departing as they came, and guessed they were going to Mongkok...

A sea of tents parked right at the entrance of Legco
Tomorrow is the start of the party plenum tomorrow in Beijing, and perhaps there was hope the streets would be cleared by then, but it doesn't look like it. Mongkok will definitely be hard for the police to take back with the triad undertones there.

Tonight Admiralty was very calm and about 2,000 people, either die-hards or passing by. The student leaders came to speak and stressed this was a peaceful protest, they were the ones who weren't violent, but the police. This got cheers from the crowd.

Another admitted he didn't know what the government was going to say on Tuesday during the televised talks. They are probably trying to figure that out now themselves...

A speaker who was an adult, praised the parents who have supported the students for the past 22 days. There were lots of applause. Not only did they cook dinner for their children when they came back to eat and rest, but also made soup for them too! As he was speaking we could see two mothers, one pumping both arms in the air. Obviously he was speaking to them and many others in the crowd.

"Society's Library" with many books for people to borrow
We wandered to the entrance of the Legislative Council, an area I hadn't been to before, and I was surprised to see so many tents right at the entrance where the driveway is, as on the grassy areas. There was also a mini library for people to borrow books and of course many creative signs.

One read: "People driven by dignity will always stay longer than those driven by money". Well said!

We also spotted Totoro with a yellow ribbon pinned to his chest and holding a yellow umbrella...

Some say the students should have claimed their victory already and let life go on, while others believe they should stay there until the end.

If they do the former, they will have lost their bargaining chips. This is why they are occupying the streets. Who has been making all the missteps so far? The government.

Totoro also holds a yellow umbrella...
Blame it for being completely caught off guard by people's anger and frustration that has been simmering for years.

Hong Kong is very dysfunctional, catering to the rich to make themselves even richer, while the rest of us eke out a living. What kind of future is that for the majority of the population?

This is why we need accountability, why we need democracy.

But for now there are worries of what tonight will bring...

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