EXCLUSIVE: Hong Kong Democracy Demonstrations Day 16 — The Empire Strikes Back (sort of)
Posted: October 13, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Breaking News, China, Dr. Strangelove's Notebook
About an hour and half ago a group opposed to the pro-democracy protesters made a concerted attempt to take down the barricades on Queensway Boulevard near where I work. Hearing the commotion, I headed down and snapped some pics. After about a tense hour, the “Antis” backed down and left in groups of ten or twelve.
The “Anti” group heading East on Queensway toward a protester blockade. I’d say there were between 250 and 500 people in this group.
The “Anti” group was accompanied by a handful of taxis. They chanted “OPEN, OPEN” in Cantonese.
The police very quickly mustered and formed lines to separate the two groups.
Looking south, with the “Midlevels” neighborhood (where REALLY rich people — the 0.001% — live in Hong Kong) in the background
Soon the largest group on the scene were curious people drawn down from the surrounding skyscrapers.
Police escort a couple of angry “Anti” folks away who had gotten on the protester side of the barricades and tried to pick fights — I personally witnessed their aggressiveness.
Police lines like this formed very fast to hold strategic roads leading to the site of the confrontation.
Police movements around the area were very well coordinated, and their fast work averted an ugly fight. I personally observed multiple occasions where individual policemen and policewomen acted very calmly and professionally to defuse small confrontations.
The average age of the “Anti” people was probably 40 years higher than the pro-democracy protesters. Interestingly, I observed quite a few groups like this of fairly elderly people who seemed to have come together and, in the end left together — accompanied by one or two younger people who seemed to be organizing them.
More of what I called the “Grey Brigade” that I watched for some time. I was convinced by what I saw that they had come and departed as a group organized by a much smaller number of younger people.