Scene in Causeway Bay this afternoon
Scene in Admiralty tonight
I woke up this morning with a heart heavy with worry and felt even more upset upon reading news of Umbrella Revolution participants having been punched, kicked and bloodied in Mongkok last night and seeing a video of dramatic scenes that seemed to belong more in a Hong Kong movie than real life.
Figuring that if I stayed at home, I'd just be glued to the computer checking out reports and articles about what was going on in Hong Kong, I decided to head out to Causeway Bay to see for myself what was happening there -- and ended up staying in the area for a few hours this afternoon.
By the time I left, my mood had lifted somewhat. Sure, the numbers in the Occupy Causeway Bay space were on the sparse side but the mood felt good -- and after being offered water while out there by a couple of people, food by another, and encouragement and approval by a fair few others, I came away convinced that there are a lot more supporters among the passers-by and onlookers than may have been realized.
After dinner this evening, I felt drawn to Causeway Bay once more. It was good to see that the crowd numbers had increased quite a bit from a few hours previously. And while there have been media reports about anti-Occupy folks in the area, I personally saw just two of them compared to hundreds of Umbrella Revolution participants -- and of those two, one looked like a real loony (dressed as he was in red guard garb) even while the other did appear to be a genuinely angry see lai who considered the people protesting to be just sitting around doing nothing.
Put another way: the "anti" people hardly seemed to be in the majority in Causeway Bay. And that was even more the case at Admiralty, where there was a veritable sea of people out this evening, undetered by warnings issued by several sources to stay away!
For those impressed by the size of the crowd at the top of this blog entry: consider that that's not even half of the overall picture -- as, among other things, that's showing just one side of the scene viewable from the overhead bridge that I was on! And something else that may not be apparent in the photo but was so when I was there is that the crowd at the main protest site -- like in Causeway Bay and elsewhere that I've been -- is not only composed of students; instead, there are old as well as young there, and people from different walks of life too.
Also, for those who want to try to guess at the numbers: bear in mind that this is a very fluid crowd -- in that while there are people who looked like they had been in the area for some time and are prepared to do so for a while yet, the vast majority of people seem to be taking turns doing their bit.
Some may disparage the latter by saying it doesn't look like they're serious. My personal -- and more positive -- take on this though is that this means that there are large numbers of people who feel obliged to continue to go to work and about their regular business for part of the time but still have made the effort to go out for a time to support the cause (and fellow Hong Kongers) they believe in.