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EXCLUSIVE: Hong Kong Democracy Demonstrations Day 1.5

I call it “Day 1.5” because what’s really happened here is that student protests grew beyond anyone’s anticipation last night.  The student pro-democracy movement has had a completely different dynamic and wasn’t formally allied with the “official” Occupy Central movement or any of the political actors who are known under the general rubric of “Pan-Democrats.”  The students crowded too close to a couple of major government facilities last night and the police fired tear gas into them.  This brought out lots of Hongkongers in support who hadn’t been participating before, and forced the hand of the “adults” in Occupy and the Pan-Democrats to move up their plans for demonstrations on October 1 and 2 — the Chinese National Day holidays.

At noon I took a different route around the western edge of the barricaded area, and ended up getting a much better view from above of the main body of the demonstrators directly in front of the central government office.  On the way there, I paid a visit to the People Liberation Army’s main barracks on Hong Kong island — which just happens to be a block away from where the demonstrators are blocking access to the central government building.

Also, a note about “Occupy Central” — one of the organizing groups.  The choice of the “Occupy” name is unfortunate, because the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has very little in common with the unfocused and disorganized “Occupy Wall Street” thing and its mutant progeny in various Western cities.  The Hong Kong “Occupy” group is not a vague anti-corporate, leftist gesture, as Occupy Wall Street was.  The issues here are real and focused — rule of law and actual democracy (not some vague invocation of “the 99%”).

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One of the blockades on the western edge of the protest zone. In the outlying areas, the demonstrators seem to have posted just a few people to block traffic.

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Main entrance to the PLA barracks, just a block from the center of the demonstration in Central/Admiralty (there are others in Wan Chai and Kowloon districts). Nothing menacing seemed to be going on and there was less security in this particular spot than I saw back in August when things were cranking up.

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Tamar Park — just north of the now-blocked central government building. The sign and facilities are set up for a celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China on October 1st. One wonders what will come of that now.

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Shots of main center of demonstrators immediately in front of central government building.

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Shots of main center of demonstrators immediately in front of central government building.

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Shots of main center of demonstrators immediately in front of central government building.

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Shots of main center of demonstrators immediately in front of central government building.

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Support for things like water and basic shelter (umbrellas) seemed ad hoc, but also seemed to be building up.

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Support for things like water and basic shelter (umbrellas) seemed ad hoc, but also seemed to be building up.

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Support for things like water and basic shelter (umbrellas) seemed ad hoc, but also seemed to be building up.

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Support for things like water and basic shelter (umbrellas) seemed ad hoc, but also seemed to be building up.

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One Comment on “EXCLUSIVE: Hong Kong Democracy Demonstrations Day 1.5”

  1. […] we await our own Hong Kong Bureau Chief‘s input on this media catastrophe (see his exclusive reporting here) read the full text of Noah’s thing here. Here’s a brief […]


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