[VIDEO] ‘Seen By My Eyes’ Time Lapse Documentary by Hong Kong Independent Photographer Francis So 我所看見的美麗香港

This time-lapse documentary caapturing scenes around Hong Kong, at Kowloon Peak, Yuen Long, Sai Kung, Tai Mo Shan, Po Toi, has swept four awards at a photography contest in Portugal, including top prize in the mountain view.

Francis So

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Clashes in Mong Kok: Protesters Arrested

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HONG KONG — Yvonne Lee reports: Hong Kong police have arrested three men following clashes early Thursday in Mong Kok, a pro-democracy protest zone in the Kowloon part of the city.

“The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are in their sixth week, but there is little sign of resolution. Sunday, protesters are planning to march west from the business district on Hong Kong Island to the Chinese government’s Liaison Office.”

Local television stations showed police using pepper spray on dozens of protesters in the working-class neighborhood. The confrontation was allegedly caused by a man using a camera flash to provoke a police officer, the news channels said.

“Members of the Hong Kong Federation of Students have threatened to bring their protest to Beijing during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, as a way to gain publicity for their demand that China allow free elections in Hong Kong.”

A Hong Kong police spokesperson confirmed that three men—aged between 24 and 50—were arrested. One was arrested for suspicion of criminal damage, while the other two were arrested for obstructing police officers executing their duty. Read the rest of this entry »


TRIAD UNLEASHED: Masked Gangsters Lead Assault Against Pro-Democracy Protesters

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HONG KONG –  A mob of masked men opposed to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators led an apparently coordinated assault on the protest zone in the heart of the city’s financial district Monday, tearing down barricades and clashing with police.

[Follow Pundit Planet’s EXCLUSIVE coverage of the Hong Kong Protests]

The chaotic scenes came after police carried out a dawn operation to reopen some key roads blocked by protesters for more than 15 days. Police said they will continue to chip away at the occupied zone to relieve traffic, and warned that anyone who challenges them could be arrested.

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“Before the police came, young men wearing masks and dark clothing came to pick fights with people and we heard that some of them had weapons.”

Monday’s confrontations highlighted the growing tension between student-led protesters and authorities — as well as other residents aggravated by the disruptions. The protesters, who had enjoyed widespread support when the movement began, are fighting to keep up momentum as the political crisis entered a third week.

“I don’t know who the young men wearing masks were. We suspect they’re triad members, but it’s hard to say. What other kind of group would organize themselves to come attack us?”

— Kevin Ng, college student

Demonstrators have flooded several thoroughfares in central Hong Kong since Sept. 28 in a civil disobedience movement to oppose restrictions on the first-ever direct election for the semiautonomous Chinese city’s leader, promised by Beijing for 2017.

Leung Chun-ying

Leung Chun-ying

They want authorities to drop a plan to use a pro-Beijing committee to screen candidates, and demand the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, the city’s Beijing-backed leader.

Authorities have repeatedly urged protesters to retreat from the streets, but student leaders have vowed to keep up the disruptions until the government responds to their demands. Read the rest of this entry »


Kowloon Walled City: Life in the City of Darkness

It’s 20 years since demolition of Kowloon Walled City began, but former residents hold fond memories of the overcrowded slum they called home

abf2d26b14575ee2b9ab9010fb1b3220.jpgIt was called a lawless twilight zone by some and the world’s most overcrowded squat by others. But to many, the Kowloon Walled City was simply home.

This month marks 20 years since work started to wipe away one of the most striking features of the Hong Kong landscape for good.

A 2.7-hectare enclave of opium parlours, whorehouses and gambling dens run by triads, it was a place where police, health inspectors and even tax collectors feared to tread.

In Cantonese, it was known as the City of Darkness.

But though it may have been a fetid slum, crawling with rats and dripping with sewage, it was stoutly defended to the last by those who lived there, as well as an unlikely ensemble of Chinese shopkeepers, faith healers and self-taught dentists.

It was once thought to be the most densely populated place on earth, with 35,000 people crammed into a few tiny apartment blocks and more than 300 interconnected high-rise buildings, all constructed without contributions from a single architect.

But in March 1993, the last batch of residents finally accepted the government’s rehousing terms and compensation terms.

It brought down the final curtain on a bizarre chapter of Hong Kong’s colonial past.

Ask former residents what they miss most about the Walled City and most say the friendship.

In the 1960s, the Heung family of six moved from a rooftop hut in Hung Hom to the Walled City.

At first they lived in a 70 sq ft room in a two-storey house near Tung Tau Chuen Road, which they shared with seven other families.

Several years later they moved to a two-bedroom flat on the fourth floor of a high-rise on Tai Cheng Street.

“Life was poor, but we were very happy,” said Heung Yin-king, the eldest daughter.

“We had the best times in the first house, even though the rooms were so tiny there wasn’t space for a dinner table.

“We ate from a board laid over the knitting machine and sat on the bed. Everyone got along, and it was great to have so many kids to play with.

“The second house was all right but had no taps, so as the eldest daughter I had the responsibility of hauling buckets of water from the public taps up four floors to the flat every day. That’s why I’m so short!”

The history of the Kowloon Walled City dates from the Sung Dynasty of 960-1297, when it began as a small fort to house the imperial soldiers who controlled the salt trade.

Read the rest of this entry »