|Police have been working very long hours.|
Trying to rest during breaks
They were abused endlessly by the protesters, see
The press has been extremely biased in its reporting, interviewing predominantly the protesters and their leaders, praising them as peaceful, yearning for democracy, criticizing those who oppose the street blockage, and denigrating the Hong Kong police. The protest is not a spontaneous student movement. Rather, it is a well funded and well organized anti-government undertaking. Wittingly or unwittingly, the press has become a handmaiden of the dark forces behind this protest to topple one of the freest cities that had been the pride of East Asia.
|Well-equipped protesters charging at the police|
• 1,044 members elected from 38 sub-sectors,
• 60 members nominated by the religious sub-sector, and
• 96 ex officio members
|Protesters breaking windows at Legislative Council Building|
|Protesters breaking into the Legislative Council Building|
This NPC framework of using a Nominating Committee adheres to the provision of Article 45 of the Basic Law–Hong Kong’s mini-constitution and the Sino-British Joint Declaration (PDF).
|Another protester smashes the window of LegCo|
|Protesters use fire extinguishers to attack the police|
Beijing has announced that the 2017 election must be in accordance with the Basic Law, meaning no open nomination, and Leung has indicated he would not resign.
If the Legislative Council does not pass the Beijing adopted framework, then the 2017 election will revert back to the 2012 election process, without universal suffrage. The next Chief Executive would then be elected by a 1200 member Election Committee, composed of basically the same members as the Nominating Committee but with a different name.
Protesters use their umbrellas to attack the police
Some 200 protesters trapped 3 policeman, punching
them and insulting them with the F bomb
|Umbrellas provided by the organizers to the protesters.|
Wonder if they had planned the
Umbrella Revolution name ahead of time
|26 supply centers just at Admiralty|
Margaret Thatcher's private secretary, Lord Charles Powell, recently said. “Hong Kong has very extensive autonomy - far greater than we believed actually could be achieved when the Hong Kong joint declaration with China was negotiated. They have had far better conditions – including political conditions - than any other city in China. But the bottom line is they are a city in China.”
|Free supply of tents and pallets|
|Protesters scale a 10 foot fence of the government building|
|Free supply of water|
|Not just tents, but hard hats also|
|Police warned crowd before using force|
|There are 26 supply centers at the Admiralty protest site |
Banner on top reads, "Umbrella Revolution".
Outnumbered and surrounded, the police launched 87 rounds of hand-thrown tear gas after pepper spray did not stop the charge. Police stood their ground and did not advance or charge the crowd. As a result, when the tear gas dissipated, the protesters returned. No one was seriously injured.
|More din, din|
Now that the protest is in its second month, the effect of the protest has been felt by just about everyone in the City. The Hong Kong stock market dropped by more than a thousand points from 24,306.16 on September 19th to 22,932.98 on September 30th. L’Oreal was the first international business to ban all travel to Hong Kong.
The number of tourists visiting Hong Kong is expected to drop significantly. Hundreds of bus routes have been suspended or diverted because of the street blockage. The already congested Hong Kong traffic has become much worse. Many people and students have to add another hour or more to their daily commute.
|Reading area in the middle of the street|
A number of restaurants have already closed down. Taxi, mini-van, tram, and truck drivers are losing hundreds of dollars a day in wages and revenue, not to mention commissions sale people. LVMH, owner of Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Dior, announced its Asian sales plummeted by 50% in the past few weeks. Tag Heuer Watches are laying off 46 people in Switzerland and Cartier will put people on a shorter work week.
|Pakistanis came out to support the government|
|Dancing on the street|
While the protesters say their goal is to achieve genuine universal suffrage, many observers believe that this is just a catchphrase. The real causes of the unrest are social, including limited space resulting in high housing costs and shortages of columbarium, the wealth gap, and the Hongkongers contempt for China and the visitors from the Mainland.
|Playing Ping Pong|
Bill Clinton’s “It’s the economy, stupid” may very well be part of the reason. Even though the Hong Kong per capita income is higher than ours, there is a huge wealth gap and most young people simply cannot afford to set up their own homes. The government has built a lot of public housing, but home prices are still very high in spite of the efforts. The first Chief Executive, Chee-hwa Tung, had a grand plan for housing but he was side-tracked by the SARS outbreak and the housing plan fell victim. Today, an apartment in the city center costs $1,750 per sq.ft. Outside of the city center, the cost is still $1,075 a sq. ft.. Rents are equally high. This has caused a lot of anger and frustration.
|Dressed like Captain America, he knocked an elderly|
gentleman to the ground and was arrested.
Notice what his T-shirt says
The people in Hong Kong blame it on the government and believe that the current government is not as competent as the British colonial government. Hong Kong actor Anthony Perry once joked that the people would even blame an earthquake on the Chief Executive. He may be spot on about that.
Then there are the tourists from Mainland China. It’s a double-edged sword. With over 40 million visitors from the Mainland every year, they provide a lot of jobs and businesses to the City. On the other hand, they have also caused a lot of tensions among the local residents.
|Generator at the protest site|
|Stealing water from fire hose|
|Using umbrellas as weapon|
|A Mainland tourist with luggage in tow|
|Protester gone wild, shouting at Mainland visitor|
|The text on the flag reads,|
"I'm a Hongkonger, not a Chinese."
The protesters insist that Beijing promised "genuine" universal suffrage for the 2017 Chief Executive election back in 2007. Here is what the NPC said in 2007, "The election of the fifth Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the year 2017 may be implemented by the method of universal suffrage, that after the Chief Executive is selected by universal suffrage, the election of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may be implemented by the method of electing all members by universal suffrage."
|Union Jack & Stars and Stripes at protest site|
Universal suffrage is exactly what the NPC is offering the people in Hong Kong. It should be understood that the Basic Law would still govern. Article 45 of the Basic Law says, "The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR shall be selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People's Government. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures."
The Sino-British Joint Declaration simply says, "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be composed of local inhabitants. The chief executive will be appointed by the Central People's Government on the basis of the results of elections or consultations to be held locally."
China and some Hong Kong politicians have alleged the U.S. is partly to blame for the unrest, not just meeting with protest organizers but also funding the movement. Direct evidence is hard to find. Here is some of what is known.
Fox interviewed Dr. Michael Pillsbury, Defense Policy Advisor and Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in this video.
Transcript of Dr. Pillsbury's answer to the first question of whether Occupy HK is America's fault:
"It’s not all our fault but we’re partially involved. We have a large consulate there that’s in charge with taking care of the Hong Kong policy act passed by congress to ensure democracy in Hong Kong. We also have funded millions of dollars in programs through the National Endowment for Democracy to help democracy in Hong Kong, so in that sense the Chinese accusation [that it’s America’s fault] is not totally false."
Two pro-democracy movement leaders, Martin Lee and Anson Chan, have given a talk sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington. Both have met with Vice President Joe Biden and various Congressional members including Nancy Pelosi. A New York Times article said NED's annual reports disclosed that it had given $755,000 and $695,000 in grants to Hong Kong in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Part of the money was earmarked “ to develop the capacity of citizens — particularly university students”.
A one hour talk by Martin Lee and Anson Chan
at the National Endowment for Democracy
|Bus trapped at the protest site|
|An injured policeman|
A prominent figure in the Occupy Central movement is Apple Daily News owner Jimmy Lai. Paul Wolfowitz stopped by Hong Kong to see Lai on his way to his new assignment. Former U.S. Ambassador Raymond F. Burghardt was seen visiting Lai at Admiralty. Lai’s personal assistant, Mark Simon, is a former U.S. intelligence officer. After Simon’s computer was hacked, many of his emails have become public. The emails show that in addition to Lai handing out some $5 million dollars to many of the anti-government leaders, Simon also said he would pay for the Occupy Central advertisements in various newspapers. Furthermore, Lai was reportedly to have donated large sums of money to a Myanmar NGO and was seen in news photos with President Thein Sein.
|Giving police the middle finger|
The U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong has acknowledged meeting with the protest leaders but it has denied playing any guiding role and said it does not support any particular political party or person. A NED spokesperson said NED had not financed any civil disobedience training for Hong Kong residents.
|Policeman catching a nap|
|U.S. Ambassador Raymond Burghardt with Jimmy Lai|
|An 88 year old gentleman knelt in front of the student leaders|
asking them to open up the streets, to no avail
The protest has made a mockery of the rule of law, a cornerstone of democracy. Not only is blocking the streets an offense, Joshua Wong said while he respected the High Court’s recent temporary injunction order to vacate and to remove all barricades, he would not retreat nor would he suggest anyone to retreat. But he fought tooth and nail to gain release from custody after his arrest under the habeas corpus law.
Is there any end in sight? That’s hard to say. Keen observers would agree the protest has morphed from a student movement with love and peace into a leaderless anti-government, anti-tear gas movement. The government is worried that if it uses force to remove the protesters and the barricades, it would cause an adverse reaction like it did with the tear gas. But the government is also concerned about the simmering anger of the majority of the citizens. The situation is extremely fluid. Any wrong move could spark an outright riot.
The only hope seems to be the protesters themselves getting tired of their actions and deciding it’s time to pack it up. Whether that will happen anytime soon is anyone’s guess.
|Tents at Admiralty, in the middle of the street.|
|Hong Kong University Student Magazine|
Caption reads "Hong Kong Democracy Independence"
Protesters scaling a 10 foot high fence outside of the government admin building