The Hong Kong protests began on September 27, 2014 when a large group of students and citizens demanded universal suffrage (the right to vote for all adult citizens) for their city.
As part of the conditions of Hong Kong’s being ceded as a British colony to China, the city was to be allowed to be a democratic system. These rights were virtually disregarded by the communist government of China. As part of the government’s efforts to suppress its people, protesters were arrested by Chinese police officers leading to a massive rallying of the people of Hong Kong.
Police have done their best to respond to the situation but weapons such as tear gas have been used on the protesters and several have been arrested. This has lead to serious unrest; however, despite all this, the police are now attempting to protect the protesters from groups of Triad (a gang in China and Japan) members as well as anti-democracy instigators who seek to stop the proposed system from successfully being created.
Further police forces seek to stop the uprising, but it’s up to the government and their actions now. The Chinese legislation has made several attempts to come up with a solution, but the protesters refuse to stop unless their full demands are met. The Chinese government continues to blame western powers, especially the United States, for this protest. This blame has lead to large amounts of tension between China and the U.S. which may lead to further conflict and protests in the future; however, this is being ignored at the moment.
The people of Hong Kong have formed several massive camps all throughout the city and have created several barricades. The people of the protest are organized and efficient, with a recycling system, free food and water for the people, and a fully functioning first-aid site. Barricades have been built in various places throughout the city and are being used to hold back police officers and anti-democracy protesters, but this has lead some to believe the protesters have a more aggressive intent.
The movement has sparked its own culture with art, music, and even monuments. Things such as the Umbrella Man, a statue of wooden blocks holding a yellow umbrella, and the iconic Lennon Wall, where various Post-it notes of different colors hold the words of the protesters, bring morale for their people. The movement even has its own anthem, a modified version of Under A Vast Sky (a song by 1990s group Beyond).
The question still remains as to which force will succumb to the other in this movement, but the protesters seem to be on the right track. Their massive organizational system keeps them happy and healthy and their culture is drawing others to their cause: the fight for democracy.