Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Occupy Causeway Bay

Occupy Tsim Sha Tsui

Occupy Mongkok - early evening 1 October

By about 6 PM, many more people had joined Occupy Mongkok.   

Some were painting umbrellas.

Some were making and handing out yellow ribbons.  Some are managing supplies. 

Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, were listening to speeches. 

Occupy Mongkok Signs

Some of the signs I found at Mongkok this morning. 

Occupy Mongkok

I approached the site from the east on Argyle Street.  There were barricades starting from Sai Yee Street. 

A number of cars were parked there in the middle of the road, right in front of one of the more serious-looking barricades.

Some tents were set up at the junction of Nathan Road and Argyle Street. 

There were a few hundred people there.  Some were sitting on plastic sheets, listening to impromptu speeches and reading newspapers.  

Most were just milling around, reading posters plastered on stalled buses and just about anywhere. People seemed relaxed.  The place was clean and tidy.  There were supplies available. 

A Chinese medicine practitioner offered his services to the protesters. A man was criticising Kowloon Motor Bus of trying to put the blame (of traffic obstruction) on the protesters, instead of doing what they could to reroute the buses.  

I walked towards the south along Nathan Road.  

The blockade started as far south as Dundas Street.  But no one was manning the barricades. 

To the west, there were barricades on Portland Street, where some trucks were parked.  Some bare chested men were playing cards. 

To the north, the symbolic barricades were as far as Lai Chi Kok Road.  

It was calm and peaceful, at 10 AM in the morning.  In the evening, however, it could be quite different.  

Occupy Central (Sept 30)

I took the MTR to Central, and walked towards the Government Headquarters (GHQ) in Admiralty. Barricades were set up at many places: Chater Rd & Pedder St, Connaught Rd outside Mandarin Oriental, …  

I arrived when a thunderstorm came, and sheltered with a lot of black shirts outside Mandarin Oriental.  Fortunately the storm passed quickly, and people walked towards Admiralty again. 

The most formidable barricades were set up on Connaught Rd between City Hall and Hong Kong Club.  

The rain had created a big puddle, and people had to line up to pass through.  No one complained, as usual. Most people were quite young.  But there were also some seniors. 

The closer I got to Admiralty, the more people I saw.  At different points, people were making speeches.  

Everyone was calm and orderly.  There were plenty of water and other supplies.  The crowd was densest outside GHQ on Harcourt Rd.  Strangely, there were not too many people on Tim Mei Ave. 

It was packed, but people gave way when needed.  I got through without difficulty.  

I walked all the way to the symbolic barricades at the other end in Wanchai, near the Academy of Performing Arts. It was eerily calm.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Opposition to Violence

I have mixed feeling toward “Occupy Central”, just like many people in Hong Kong, I suppose. 
On the one hand, I am unhappy about Beijing’s imposition of restrictions on the election to ensure that only people it approves can get elected.  And peaceful, non-violent, civic-disobedience actions are legitimate means to voice our opinion.  Hence a peaceful, non-violent “Occupy Central” movement is worthy of resp[ect and support.  

On the other hand, I worried that some people might get overly excited, some instigators might stir up trouble, or police heavy-handedness might provoke violence. Hence I did not participate in Occupy, but had to give the Occupiers high respect. 

Unfortunately, my (and many other people’s) worries came true. As far as I can gather, from being on the street yesterday outside Government HQ, watching broadcasts, reading newspaper reports, and listening to the students who were there on the frontline, the students did their utmost best trying to stay non-violent. Yet the police were eager to deploy industrial-size pepper spray, and to shoot numerous tear gas canisters directly into the crowd of protesters. 

This is deplorable.