Sunday, November 30, 2014

On a volatile Sunday night

More police today at Admiralty than in recent weeks

Members of the PLA also could be seen... playing basketball 
within their barrack grounds, that is!

The sizable crowd at Admiralty earlier this evening

I spent several hours today at an Admiralty that was so peaceful for a time that I actually fell asleep for a couple of hours there.  Around me, people were doing what I've come to view as normal in an Umbrella Movement protest site: reading books, strolling around, looking at and reading signs and messages posted on walls and various other surfaces, creating art, freely offering up yellow ribbons and other items to others in the area.

Even so, I did realize that things were different from the last few times that I visited, including last weekend; what with there being a  visibly larger than previously police presence on the edges of the protest area, visibly larger crowds of people than I've seen for a time, and student leaders having asked Umbrella Movement supporters to gather at Admiralty this evening.

At the same time though, it still comes as a shock to find out, upon returning home and checking Twitter, that in the time since I left Admiralty, the police have used pepper spray on people there in a bid to stop them from encircling the government headquarters!

Reportedly, 3,000 police were posted at Admiralty today, with another 4,000 officers assigned to Mongkok.  Right now, Admiralty seems to be where the action is -- but whither Mongkok tonight, I wonder?  In any case, this much is clear: the protests have escalated at the beginning of week 10 -- a week that few, if any, people foresaw that the Umbrella Movement could and would last until -- and many protesters are no longer just sitting around!

One night in Mongkok

Nathan Road is now open to road traffic

Still, as this photo taken at the intersection of Nathan Road and 
Argyle Street shows, things are hardly back to normal just yet!

An even more surreal sight: The Hunger Games' three finger salute
being used by Umbrella Movement members in Mongkok 

Once upon a time, Mongkok was my favorite Hong Kong district to shop in -- including for such as DVDs, Sanrio and Studio Ghibli items, hiking gear, shoes, sneakers and cargo pants.  Starting from about three years ago though, I felt that it was catering more to -- or, at the very least, attracting more -- mainland tourists than locals and other folks.  So my visits to the area noticeably decreased.

In recent weeks, however, I've begun spending time in Mongkok again -- in particular, in the "Occupied" sections of this Kowloon district.  And earlier tonight, I spent a few hours window shopping and "shopping" in the area.

Although there certainly was a large contingent of police as well as protestesrs out tonight, I actually -- and happily -- didn't see any clashes take place.  The way it looked to me, the protesters made sure to not overstep their bounds and the police were largely content to stand their ground rather than bid to aggressively engage with the protesters -- with the result that the overall mood seemed good humored even while there was a distinct air of rebellion about.

For the record: at no point did I see any of the protesters standing in space where pedestrians weren't supposed to be.  And at times, it was indeed quite difficult to tell if certain of the people present in Mongkok tonight were there to shop or "shop" -- this especially since some of the protesters did do such as go buy some gai dan jai and offer these delicious treats to people they passed on the streets!

Still, it was clear enough -- from such as the sizable number of yellow umbrellas being carried about -- that there were defiant acts of protests taking place.  The feeling I got too from the sizable crowds tonight is that people are apt to scoff at the authorities' attempts to use such as the courts and the police to deal with a political problem, and (consequently) feel compelled to do their part to demonstrate how ridiculous is the situation that has been brought about -- as much by the government's intransigence as well as ordinary people feeling a need to get out and try to make a difference.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Shopping" in Mongkok

Seen in Mongkok earlier this month

It ain't over yet.  Last night, many people went "shopping" in Mongkok -- responding to 689's call for people to do so in ways that he didn't anticipate.  Even while members of the Umbrella Movement asserted that they wanted to shop for gold and milk powder, like many mainlanders who come to Hong Kong do, many of the shops in the area decided to temporarily close -- probably more than would have been the case if Occupy Mongkok had continued in the way that it previouslyhad been doing for many weeks now!

Quite a few people plan to go "shopping" in Mongkok tonight too -- and I could see people doing so again on Friday night and after that too.  For let's face it: the authorities may have cleared the roads for vehicular traffic to go along but they haven't put a permanent roadblock on the path that the Umbrella Movement's members and supporters wish to go along.

Put another way: it's like with the mainlanders - faced with impediments to getting real milk powder where they would like to find it, they go elsewhere to get what they want.  Thus it is that Hong Kongers who want real elections -- as well as milk powder -- are (invariably) going to try other means to get what they want... because that yearning remains and, indeed, may have spread over the past 60 days (for yes, today marks the 60th day of the Umbrella Movement!).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Down -- but not yet truly out -- in Mongkok?

Nathan Road scenes like this are now history

 This chapel erected at Occupy Mongkok is no more
 (and ditto re the nearby Guan Yu shrine)

Awesome in Mongkok in October, less so this day in
November but whither later, including, December, etc.?

A lot has happened in the two days since my previous blog post.  To briefly recap: yesterday morning, bailiffs -- with thousands of police officers there to provide support -- began clearing the Argyle Street section of Occupy Mongkok.  Initially, things proceeded peacefully but some hours later, things became violent, with the police unleashing pepper spray and a new weapon given the name "tear spray" by the media onto protestors and arresting a number of them.

Then today, the bailiffs -- again with the police on hand and, this time, also with a mystery group of people wearing red caps and "I love Hong Kong" t-shirts -- worked at clearing Nathan Road.  Again, there were attempts at resistance, clashes and arrests, including those of Scholarism's Joshua Wong and the Hong Kong Federation of Students' Lester Shum and Jason Szeto.

Reports have Nathan Road having been completely cleared -- and there not being any roads Occupied any more -- at this point in time.  But crowds of protesters have also gathered in Mongkok, ostensibly to "go shopping", as per the suggestion of the gaffe-prone 689, before he jetted off to South Korea yesterday -- and I would not put it past people to retake sections on behalf of the Umbrella Movement, the way that was the case after it was (initially) erroniously reported on October 13 that Occupy Mongkok was no more.

Put another way: The Umbrella Movement looks to be down at the moment but I'm not going to count it out or give up on it just yet.  Also, rather than dampen people's spirits, the action taken against the protesters in Mongkok might actually have the effect of radicalising their thoughts and making a number of people seek to escalate the protests, including in ways that may not be all that peaceful. 

Indeed, at Admiralty over the weekend, I spoke to a young man who already had been advocating doing such.  To people like him, I'll repeat here what I told him: Please do not expect foreign governments to come to the aid of protesters here in Hong Kong, so please do not entertain thoughts of sacrificing yourself in order to effect that.  

Rather, to my mind, the key to winning this battle has to be one's fellow Hong Kongers.  And the battle to win hearts and minds is ongoing -- in cyber- as well as "meat"-space -- and is one that is worth fighting for. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Speak (up) or forever hold your peace!

The time to act is now!

This not least because the vultures look to be circling...

So vote with your feet and have your say
while you still can!

Among the many signs currently on view at the Admiralty protest area is one with the following messages on it: "Many hands make light work.  Encourage more people to go to the streets."  Agreeing wholeheartedly with the former sentiment (and also believing in the idea that there's strength in numbers), I've been trying to play a part in effecting the latter.
Over the course of doing so, I've encountered people who are loath to go to the Occupied areas because they are not supporters of and even are openly against the Umbrella Movement.  I've also know of people who aren't outright anti-Umbrella Movement but still are apt to sit on the fence with regards to it, some of whom have expressed some curiosity as to what's going on in the protest areas but have yet to go check things out for themselves (and this despite their living here in Hong Kong).  
Then there are those who profess to be sympathetic to the Umbrella Movement but who have not yet been to the Occupied areas because they are fearful of encountering violence there (yes, even after I have told them of my having been dozens of times, and felt pretty safe for the most part).  And -- most puzzlingly of all, to my mind -- there's been at least one person who told me she supports the Umbrella Movement but had never thought to go protest because so many people were already doing so, that she didn't think it was needed for her to do so!
I realize that some of these people -- some of whom I would call friends, still -- are ones I'll never be able to convince, and that we'll just have to agree to differ in terms of our views about the worthiness of the Umbrella Movement.  But to those of you who have been meaning to go but have been postponing doing so for one reason or other, and especially to those who feel that their presence and participation are not needed: I think it's high time you did something -- because when and if this movement is halted due to such as (perceived) lack of support, it really will be no use regretting your not having acted (sooner).

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Into week nine of the Umbrella Movement

The road right in front of the headquarters 

What the section of the Admiralty protest area looks like
about five minutes walk eastwards along Connaught Road 
from the PLA's headquarters

 According to this census report, there have been
over 2,000 tents at Admiralty since October 25

More than once since September 28 (i.e., slightly more than eight weeks ago now), my friends and I have wondered "What would first time visitors to Hong Kong make of this?" when hanging about the Umbrella Movement's protest areas.  This afternoon, I got an idea via a conversation I had with a first time visitor to Hong Kong from France while he and I waited for the designs we had printed gratis on a  sweatshirt of his and a t-shirt of mine to dry.

As I suspected, he had little idea of how truly unusual the sight he was witnessing was -- one that few Hong Kong residents ever could have imagined that Admiralty (and for that matter, the occupied areas of Mongkok and Causeway Bay too) could look like prior to September 28, yet actually may have themselves come to think of as no longer all that extraordinary!

It's not just that major roads are bereft of cars and other motorised vehicles, and there are lots of tents and other designed-to-be-temporary structures on them.  Rather, it's also that there are people casually doing stuff like strolling about on these officially pedestrian-free areas, sitting and lying about, having conversations and discussions, even reading and studying -- some in an area specially designated for such, to boot -- on them, printing designs on T-shirts, etc., etc. -- and that many of these people, prior to September 23, probably had never ever engaged in acts of civil disobedience before.

Something else I gathered from the conversation was that this visitor -- -- who had just arrived in Hong Kong today -- was impressed by the number of people out today.  Part of me wanted to say to him, "Aah, but there had been so many more protesters here some weeks back" (as can be seen on this wonderful Youtube video that also has English subtitles for Beyond's Boundless Ocean Vast Skies)But the truth of the matter is that even I am touched by how many people remain out there in what is now the Umbrella Movement's ninth week.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Staying, going, returning?

is still at Occupy Admiralty!

 Gone, however, is the little Totoro (seen here with Puppet Ponyo) 
that used to stand in front of the Legislative Council Complex :(

But the big Totoro with the wide grin is still 
standing by the bus stop on Harcourt Road!

Pretty much ever since the Umbrella Movement got going, there have been people saying that the protesters should give up and go home.  Early on, those demanding that the protesters stop their Occupation were either those who either were virulently hostile against the pursuit of (full) democracy for Hong Kong or were sympathetic but feared -- and didn't want -- people dying for the cause. 

Increasingly though, there also are a significant number of people who feel they have been unfairly inconvenienced for too long by the Occupation of major streets, and those who feel that the current protest techniques are not working, so maybe some other tactic should be attempted -- including withdrawing now of one's own accord (rather than because one had been forced to by the police or whoever else) and then regrouping later. And as much as some diehard Occupy protesters would want to deny it, there's a sense that those who want the protesters to leave are now in a majority.

At Admiralty today, however, the signs seem mixed -- even as far as the fates of certain inanimate characters that have come to be associated with it go.  For instance, the Umbrella Man has left the area -- reportedly, temporarily for maintenance purposes -- but a smaller version has turned up as proxy.  And while the small Totoro origami figure appeared to have been a victim of the clashes between police and those people who tried to break into the Legislative Council Complex early on Wednesday, the large Totoro cutout is very much still around -- and popular with photographers and other visitors to the protest site.

Then there's the case of the Minion that had been standing on Tim Mei Avenue until the area around the entrances and exits of Citic Tower were cleared by court order on Tuesday.  When I visited on Tuesday night and failed to spot it, I feared that it had been destroyed and thus gone forever.  But this afternoon, I was pleased to find it standing near the Lennon Wall!

Perhaps therein lies a lesson for the Umbrella Movement in general: that is, that people could act and look like they have withdrawn but, instead of giving up completely, it could just be a case of retreating and then regrouping and reappearing at another time and place.  Put another way: by all means don't give up the fight but perhaps the time has come to try a different tactic -- one that's more akin to Bruce Lee's famous "be water, my friend" injunction?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Free cool print screenings on offer at Occupy Causeway Bay!

Being offered free of charge at Occupy Causeway Bay

Yep, screen printings on T-shirts!

And yes, there's more than one design to choose from! ;b

Perhaps because it was the very first "Occupied" area of Hong Kong that I visited and did my first protesting at, I have a soft spot for the protest site at Causeway Bay.  Yes, it may seem like a pale version of what it once was, especially after it shrank so much so much that one side of Hennessy Road has been open to road traffic, but I do think that its existence still does serve a purpose -- and mean something to some people.  And yes, I still do make a point to occasionally check out what's going on there.

This evening, in addition to the posters and other items out on open view, and the speakers and their assembled audiences, there was something which I hadn't previously seen at the site before: volunteers print screening t-shirts with Umbrella Movement-themed slogans and imagery.  All people have to do is to buy and then bring their own (preferably plain) T-shirts.  Then they'll be able to have ones emblazoned with words such as "Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end - John Lennon".  

And yes, seeing them got me ruing my not having a T-shirt on me -- and I do hope that this print screening offer will still be on this weekend, as I sure would like to avail myself of it! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The peaceful norm at Occupy Admiralty

A new creative installation I spotted 
at Admiralty last night

The scene at Harcourt Road last night
(it was drizzling a bit at the time that I took this photo)
I woke up this morning to news of clashes taking place at Occupy Admiralty as some radical protesters tried to break into the Legislative Council building in the wee hours of the night.  And while their first attempt at around 10pm (which I witnessed) had been quickly quelled, subsequent attempts had resulted in glass being broken and the arrest of four men.
When discussing these events with friends who support the Umbrella Movement, everyone was united in their dismay that property had been damaged and hoped that this doesn't reflect badly on the protests as a whole.  To put things in context: to my knowledge, this is the first time since the Umbrella Movement came about that any part of a building has suffered damage, however small -- such has been the non-violent nature of these protests.

Indeed, last night, as I walked through Admiralty (and part of "occupied Central), the scene seemed as mellow and peaceful as I've come to expect it to be.  And as I headed to the MTR entrance at Admiralty Centre, I came across the kind of scene that actually relaxed me and made me wish I could linger longer in the area: one featuring a singer-guitarist and his young (maybe not even seven year old?) son entertaining an appreciative gathered audience with dreamy, easy-listening numbers. As I told a friend, this was the kind of thing that hardly ever gets covered in the news -- not least about protesters and their protests -- and definitely not last night!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

At Admiralty tonight

-- with the help of protesters -- but others remain

Umbrella Man has left Admiralty -- 
but other creative installations remain 
(including small and big Totoros!)

Honestly now, does Admiralty look unoccupied to you yet?

It's late in the night and I just got back from Admiralty a few minutes ago, so I'll be brief here: Word was spread this afternoon that part of the protest area at Admiralty had been cleared While this is true enough, I think a lot of people don't realize how small the area that has been cleared is, as can be seen when looking at this map and comparing the cleared space marked in red vis a vis the still Occupied space that's marked in green.

Walking to the site from Central this evening, things looked pretty much like they were on Sunday and recent other days that I've been in the area.  It was only when I got to the site where the Umbrella Man once stood that I noticed a difference -- in that the Umbrella Man has been removed (for protection by its creator, from what I heard) -- and, a few meters on, the area immediately around Citic Tower.  And even in the case of the latter, only one lane of the side road has been cleared of barriers and tents and now open to traffic -- and the smattering of police officers who have been deployed to that space often find Umbrella Movement supporters walking all around them!

While I was in the area, I suddenly heard the kind of communal roar that I previously associated mostly with crowds at football matches.  These days though, I've come to associate it with (signs of) trouble in the protest areas.  From what I've gathered, some masked men had tried to remove barricades from the Legco Building entrance but were prevented from doing so by the large crowd that had quickly gathered.

On Sunday, a friend of mine had wondered aloud how many tents at Admiralty were actually occupied -- and, attendantly, how many people were actually in the area.  Judging from tonight, the numbers are higher than the skeptics may have thought -- and among those numbers are many who are very ready and willing to help to protect the claimed Umbrella Movement space when the need arises!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Art and protest are alive at Occupy Mongkok (Photo-essay)

At work today, a colleague (who's also a good friend) and I told each other of our having been to Mongkok over the weekend -- she on Saturday, and me yesterday.  I commented, and she agreed, that to hear some people talk, the protest area there is this super volatile, dangerous place.  And yet, on the occasions that we've been, we've both felt pretty safe in the main.

Sure, Occupy Mongkok does look somewhat worse for wear than the equivalent site at Admiralty.  Also, more people can be seen smoking there than at Admiralty or Causeway Bay (and once -- but just once! -- I saw a few empty beer bottles lying on the street).  But in many ways, that's par for the course in terms of Mongkok's general image as a place that's grittier, more grimy and/but also more "real" than many other parts of "Asia's World City".  And here's also providing proof through my photography that there's not to say that art and culture are missing from it!

   Not so long ago, it would have been well nigh impossible
to imagine Nathan Road looking like this

Even these days, it's easy to think that nothing's
seriously amiss when seeing scenes like these

In the meantime though, behind the barricades
can be found artistic works like this one depicting
various Umbrella Movement protesters 

Causeway Bay (and, in smaller forms, at Admiralty)

Click on this image (and also the Angry Totoro) to see
and be wowed at the work's details

As at Admiralty and Causeway Bay, there are lessons
as well as items that people are volunteering to give

Still, it's most definitely not all fun and games there
-- as these signs serve to remind people

An encouraging sign, and thought to bear in mind

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Occupy Mongkok this afternoon (and a bit of Hello Kitty too)

At Occupy Mongkok earlier today

...there are direct messages being communicated

 ...but also some whimsical Umbrella Movement inspired images ;)

Today has been one of those Sundays in November here in Hong Kong that usually would have had me raring to go out hiking -- what with the humidity having dropped considerably compared to in the spring and summer, and there being relatively high visibility and beautiful blue skies in sight.  But since the situation hasn't been exactly normal in "Asia's World City" since September 28, seven Sundays ago now, I forewent my favorite outdoor activity for the eight consecutive Sunday since returning from my wonderful Japan trip (which I still have yet to devote a single blog post to!).

To be fair, today, I also wouldn't have gone out hiking because: firstly, I am nursing what's hopefully the last dregs of a cold that's been bugging me all week; and secondly (and yes, I'm freely admitting this), I felt compelled to go check out the Hello Kitty Go Around event at KITEC whose final day this was!  Still, it's true enough that a large part of my afternoon -- and quite a bit of the evening too -- was spent in "Occupied" areas of Hong Kong.

More specifically, I went directly from KITEC to Mongkok, where -- again, to show how abnormal things are these days -- I ended up taking more photos than at the Hello Kitty Go Around event; this in part because I felt a need to record the scenes there in what could be my visit to the Mongkok protest area due to the courts having cleared the way for bailiffs to end the "Occupation" there

Something I definitely noticed compared to when I previously visited the area (and also compared to the situation at Admiralty) was the presence of a significant number of uniformed and non-uniformed police officers (the latter of whom could be seen conversing with and moving about close to the former) strolling about in the area, not just standing about at its edges. Maybe I'm reading too much into their behavior but it looked to me like they were effectively conducting recces and scoping out the area in advance to figure out how best to clear the area in the near future.

However, no one confronted any police officers or tried to impede their movements while I was there.  And while I witnessed one loud discussion among a bunch of mainly elderly men in the area, things actually generally felt more mellow this afternoon than when I visited three weeks ago. Also, from what I was able to observe myself, I can't believe that the businesses along the "Occupied" sections of Nathan Road and associated streets are suffering that much as there were quite a few patrons in many of them, including those mainland tourists who buy so much stuff in Hong Kong that they cannot go shopping without their wheeled luggage in tow.

Some of the mainland tourists actually ventured into the protest areas to take snaps of the scenes but in the main, the Mongkok protest area crowd were Cantonese-speaking and also came across as pretty local.  Interestingly though, I noticed more signs written in English as well as traditional Chinese characters compared to three weeks ago too, and also the large Totoro image that the blogger behind The Fragrant Harbour had spotted at Causeway Bay on Friday.  Also, while I had felt on my previous visit that Mongkok didn't have much interesting artwork compared to Admiralty, it seemed too like that had increased in number and quality over the past three weeks!

Among the creative pieces that particularly caught my eye this afternoon were a whimsical illustration which put the now infamous Xi Jinping carrying an umbrella image in the scene from My Neighbor Totoro when O-Totoro has fun in the rain while waiting for his (cat)bus to arrive, and a yellow umbrella image made out of at least one hundred post-its with messages handwritten on them.  Re the latter: some bits of it have gotten waterlogged and come close to disintegrating.  On one hand, it's a shame -- but this also gives a good sense of how long something that few people thought was going to last so long already has gone on for. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

More supporters for the Umbrella Movement than may be obvious?

A gray-haired reader at Admiralty

Way younger participants in the Umbrella Movement
help prepare yellow ribbons to hand out to people

While out in Sai Wan Ho earlier today, I came across a pro-Umbrella Movement banner hanging out in the open.  The sight of it gave me a good feeling inside -- and all the more so because it didn't look like anyone had taken umbrage and decided to deface it, etc.  

I also have to admit that I was surprised to see it as this is the first one I've seen in person outside of the protest areas (though, of course, I do know about the "I want genuine universal suffrage" banners that were hung from Lion Rock and, later, also at Tai Mo Shan, from Kowloon Peak and elsewhere).  In contrast, I've seen more than one of the actually anti-Umbrella Movement -- only they are too sly to explicitly state it -- Support Our Police campaign's banners still around in my neighborhood, days after those people stopped trying to collect signatures for their "petition".

Interestingly, as far as ribbons go though, I definitely have seen more people with yellow ribbons (on their clothing, backpacks and other bags, etc.) about in Hong Kong than those sporting anti-Occupy blue ribbons.  And this even though these days, the vast majority of people I've seen in the protest areas -- who I'd look upon as Umbrella Movement supporters -- actually don't wear yellow ribbons, and ditto re those of my friends and colleagues who I know support the Umbrella Movement too.  

Coupled with the fact that a disappointingly large percentage of people I know -- both in Hong Kong and overseas -- still mistakenly assume that it's "just" students protesting in Admiralty, Mongkok and Causeway Bay (whereas the age range -- and that of occupations too -- is actually far greater) , I truly do get the feeling that there still are far more supporters for and of the Umbrella Movement than many people realize.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hong Kong dreams no more

Seen hanging at the entrance to the Hong Kong SAR
Central Government Offices this past weekend

Tents have been pitched right near the entrance
of the Legislative Council Complex

A plea many Hong Kongers would like to make

Years ago, when I was still living in the US, I was told something about Hong Kong which I had no reason to believe was untrue: i.e., that it was a place where the most admired man was not a politician (like, say, Nelson Mandela) nor sportsperson nor entertainment personality, as often is the case elsewhere in the world, but, instead, a rich tycoon.  Indeed, Li Ka Shing was held in such awe that he was nicknamed Superman by Hong Kongers!

Part of the reason this was the case, I was also told, was because many people saw Li Ka Shing's story as an aspirational inspiration.  A self-made man who came from humble beginnings, he was a teacher's son who came to Hong Kong as a refugee and was a salesman before, through hard work, building a business empire.

In recent years, however, things have skewed so much in favor of the already (mega) rich that no Hong Konger I know believes anymore that anyone could have the career path that Li Ka Shing followed all those years ago -- with the current political system in place being very much a part of the socio-economic problem.  

And the particular irony here is that things have happened so quickly that often times, its people from humble beginnings but who are now part of the 1% -- like former policemen's sons Donald Tsang and Leung Chun Ying -- who appear to be very much at the forefront of those trying to bar other people's path to economic success or even just to a comfortable point in life which involves having a real career and owning a flat. 

Put another way: these people seem to have come to think like the pigs in George Orwell's prescient Animal Farm: that all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. 

Looking back at recent history, I think it pretty interesting that when the Occupy movement swept the world back in 2011-2012, it wasn't a bigger deal in Hong Kong as in certain other parts of the world -- though having said that, the original Occupy Central did last for 11 months, making it one of the lengthiest Occupy movements in the world.  

I think part of the reason is that for many people here, it seemed that the 2011-2012 Occupy Central was too much like a copy cat of what was going on elsewhere whereas, in contrast, the Umbrella Movement feels like a very Hong Kong thing -- stemming out of particular Hong Kong concerns and evoking responses that also are culturally distinctive.  

And when many Hong Kongers (including what looks to amount to a whole young generation) no longer feel that they can pursue the very Hong Kong dream embodied by Li Ka Shing's non-fictional story, then, it truly feels, we've got a real problem -- one that, to rub salt to Hong Konger wounds, people clearly and strongly feel that 689 is not up to solving.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Days and nights of peace and non-violence at Occupy Hong Kong (Photo-essay)

Today was the final day of the three day APEC Summit that took place in Beijing.  (Update: other sources say that it runs until Tuesday, November 11.) While it was on, the thought went, the authorities over here would not move to cause any unsightly scenes at the areas currently being occupied by members of the Umbrella Movement.  

But now, with the meeting's conclusion, fears that the authorities will forcibly attempt to clear the protest areas has returned; with the feeling heightened by my reading a news report that the police could move on the Occupy Mongkok camp as early as this Wednesday.

If (or when) this happens, it really would be too bad; this not least since in recent weeks, the police have indeed been acting in a restrained manner and regular people have stopped worrying when encountering a police officer that they'd get beaten up for no real reason.  It also would be such a tragedy for the peaceful air that currently prevails at Occupy Admiralty and Causeway Bay, and the non-violence that's actually the norm at Occupy Mongkok, to be jarringly disturbed and disrupted...   
Photo taken a fortnight ago at Occupy Mongkok --
do the people in the picture look like troublemakers to you?

Mongkok's protest area is smaller than Admiralty's
-- resulting in a greater density of people there

Unexpectedly, police officers appeared free to stroll about 
in the protest area there (and could be seen helping 
to calm down anti-Occupy hotheads filled with hot air)!

Near the border of Wan Chai and Admiralty last night, 
the police seemed content to just look on while people 
made their way to the main section of Occupy Admiralty

Fall weather has come to Hong Kong, but like with the hot sun
and dampening rain, the chill has not detered many from 
staying on at -- never mind visiting -- the protest areas

What the chill has wrought though appears to be 
the setting up of still more tents in the Occupy sites!

Yesterday evening, I also spotted a larger Lion Rock model
at Occupy Admiralty than I had seen when I was in the area 
with the blogger behind The Fragrant Harbour last week

Still, it's not as big as this Totoro cutout -- which is 
taller than me... and, yes, can be found at Admiralty 
showing its support of the Umbrella Movement ;)