Monday, 6 October 2014

Hong Kong Protest – Umberalla Revolution



China rules Hong Kong under a ‘one country, two systems’ formula that accords it some autonomy and freedom. As thousands of pro-democracy protesters and the government refused to back down, fears of a Tiananmen Square-like episode grew. Crowds swelled on the streets of Hong Kong as student leaders met with pro-democracy protesters to keep up the pressure. The situation is grim.


The protests are the worst in Hong Kong since China resumed its rule in 1997. They are the biggest challenge for Beijing since it violently crushed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. The protests in Hong Kong have been sparked by Beijing’s decision to vet candidates wishing to run for Hong Kong’s leadership in 2017. Hong Kongers will be able to vote for only two or three candidates vetted by a pro-Beijing committee. Protesters call this fake democracy and have two demands – that Hong Kong’s incumbent leader Leung Chun-ying step down, and Beijing rescind its insistence that his successor be vetted.

Even on National Day, Hong Kong remained defiant. The Umbrella revolution – Pro-democracy activists raise stakes in the stand off as government pleaded for calm. Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution has no singular leader, the protesters come from across society, and have a range of demands. Protesters outside the Hong Kong Government Complex sang and waved cell phones in the air, after a thunder storm passed over. Thousands continue to occupy streets.

Student leaders of pro-democracy protests warned that if the territory’s leader doesn’t resign, they will step up their actions, including occupying several important government buildings. It puts pressure on Chinese government, which has so far remained mostly silent and preferred to let Hong kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying deal with the crisis.

Peoples Republic of China was founded on October 1, 1949, with a ceremony at Tiananmen Square. The Central People’s government passed the resolution on the National Day of the PRC on December 2, 1949, and declared that October 1 is the National Day. The National Day marks the start of one of the two Golden Weeks in the PRC. The National Day is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau with a variety of government-organised festivities.


Hong Kong simmers with no end in sight. The world is watching and China is careful, not to repeat a Tiananmen Square like situation. Britain too is anxious about the happenings in Hong Kong. The protesters feel China is reneging on apromise that the chief executive will be chosen through universal suffrage. This is a movement of Hong Kongers and not led by any specific group.

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Picture Post:

Udupi Restaurant At Tourist Club area in Abu Dhabi, UAE
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