I was so sorry that I had not enough time to go for any live coverage of the protests in Hong Kong Island due to amounting assignments from my university. After these few days, we had heard a lot of news on how these protests were leading to. Scuffles had already taken place between Occupy activists and anti-Occupy groups – some consisted of angry business owners who were affected by the occupation, and some others – possibly Triad members – who were paid by certain pro-Beijing parties to cause unrest. There had also been some divisions among the protesters themselves. Some demanded that the occupation sooner as the longer it takes, the less support they will receive from Hong Kong people; others, in a more idealistic mindset, remained insistent to blockade the whole business district, and some even extremely resorted to taking over government buildings, until an ultimatum was issued by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying, yesterday. The 36 hours he gave for the people ‘to disperse themselves’ was seemingly a scare tactic; majority of the occupiers had already resumed with their daily lives as of today. Some people still continue to occupy certain corners of the downtown, but as time goes by, the spirit is increasingly dwindling.
Bad news: democracy hasn’t really been achieved. As already expected, it will take a long period of transformation for this city to achieve such ideals, given the hurdles they face, and the real ‘master’ behind their lives: China. Good news: no tanks are being seen on the streets, no soldiers are used, and violence – no matter how regrettably it was – remained minimal. Change will not come soon, but I believe Hong Kong people have at least done something to let the whole world knows what’s going on here.
Here’s one video I just came across Youtube, also from South China Morning Post, about a couple of Mainland Chinese elders who show up their support – very energetically – for the Occupy Central protesters. A very rarefied moment to see such a beautiful human emotion being involved here (the male repeatedly said: ‘God watches over you! God watches over you!’). Watch the one-minute clip below:
A pro-democracy activist has released a drone to capture the real situation happening in Hong Kong Island right now, as hundreds of thousands of protesters occupy the business district of the city.
People outside Hong Kong, if you are curious enough to know the latest event in this city, you can watch this video as an introductory session.
Two years before the mass protests that now paralyze Hong Kong, Michael Paterniti from National Geographic has already written out a lengthy article that explains how Hong Kong’s future – and also credentials – is being put at stake with encroaching control by Beijing. That is increasingly evident with the recent decision by Chinese government’s National People’s Congress (NPC) to restrict democratic reforms in one of the world’s most important financial and business hubs.
Entering day 5, Occupy Central movement is becoming increasingly larger than ever.
Read the full article in National Geographic, published in June 2012.
“If you want to see capitalism in action, go to Hong Kong,” economist Milton Friedman is credited with saying. Yet to idealize the city today as a free market paradise, thriving in its 15th year after the British handover to China, is to sorely oversimplify, if not misconstrue, the darkening forces at work here. It’s to miss the tensions and tectonic shifts beneath the glitzy financial center that Hong Kong shows to the world. In the city underneath, one finds asylum seekers and prostitutes; gangsters with their incongruent bouffants; thousands of Indonesian housemaids who flock to Victoria Park on their precious Sundays off; and those barely scratching out an existence, people crammed into partitioned apartment blocks of “cage houses” the size of refrigerator boxes. While Hong Kong’s per capita gross domestic product ranks tenth in the world, its Gini coefficient, an index that measures the gap between rich and poor, is also among the highest.
Hong Kongers say their city reinvents itself every few years, citing the ever morphing skyline as one visible example. “We feel all of these great changes, but we don’t know how to name them,” says Patrick Mok, the coordinator for the Hong Kong Memory Project, a $6.4 million effort to address Hong Kong’s identity problem by creating an interactive website of old objects and photographs. “The pace of the city is too fast for memory.”
Yes, Hong Kong is changing again, but into what and molded by whom?