Occupy Hong Kong – Timeline of Events and Protests
The 2014 protests of Occupy Hong Kong, also known as the Umbrella Revolution, is a series of protests that have been started by the Hong Kong Student Federation along with other political parties of the region against the Chinese government and the NPCSC’s decision to operate the 2017 Chief Executive Elections in Hong Kong using the universal suffrage technique.
Having lived in Hong Kong for 7 years, calling it my home, and being an American, I have an affinity for trying to understand the meaning behind occupy Hong Kong.
In 1997, Hong Kong was returned to Mainland China after being a colony of Great Britain for some 150 years. As part of the agreement and constitution of Hong Kong, Hong Kong would remain an independently run zone with little influence from Mainland China.
Unfortunately this is not the case. As the citizens of Hong Kong are not allowed to vote in general elections and the Chairman of Hong Kong is appointed by Mainland China, the citizen of Hong Kong feel that every year more and more of their rights are being stripped from them. Leaving them in a boat with out a rudder ores. There had been many events leading up to occupy Hong Kong.
I’ll be writing extensively about this but to begin I wanted to give a general overview of the events that have taken place under the tag of the Umbrella Revolution so far.
26th September 2014: Protestors assembled in the Tim Mei Avenue and crossed the barrier into the Civic Square and were head by Joshua Wong. They were beaten by the police and finally were kicked out of the center in the morning. This was the beginning of occupy Hong Kong.
27th and 28th September 2014: The protestors continued with their protests and were bombarded with the terrible tear gas by the police. On the 28th, they decided to carry out the civil disobedience movement. According to reports issued by the BBC, three thousand protestors packed Mong Kok and around a thousand entered Causeway Bay. The number of the protestors had reached a hundred thousand by then.
29th September 2014: Police altered their strategy a bit and were ready to negotiate with the protestors. They had arrested around eighty nine protestors by then. Till 1st October, no major event took place.
1st October 2014: Joshua Wong, along with other prominent members of the Scholarism, attended the flag-raising event held at the famous Golden Bauhinia square on the National day of China. They remained calmed throughout the event.
2nd October 2014: Canisters containing tear gas were thrown into several buildings. The protestors demanded that they should be allowed to inspect all the vehicles that pass through the barricades to deliver water and food to them.
3rd October 2014: Violence started in Causeway Bay and Mongkok when huge groups of the anti-Occupy Central members started assaulting the protestors. Eighteen injuries were reported and around twenty protestors were arrested by the police. While rumored, it is supposed that these members were supported by the Central Government in Hong Kong.
4th October 2014: Patrick Ko laid accusations on the protestors for being hypocrites and counter-protestors conducted a march supporting the police. They wore blue ribbons.
5th to 8th October 2014: A group of scholars gave a statement that requested the Chinese and Hong Kong government to fulfill their demands. Alex Chow Yong-kang, who is the leader of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, denied further negotiations until their requests were fulfilled.
9th October 2014: A meeting with the HKSF was planned for 10th October, but it was cancelled on the 9th.
10th October 2014: Protestors began their protests on the streets once again continuing occupy Hong Kong.
11th October 2014: The HKFS issued a letter to President Xi Jinping stating that CY Leung did not live up to the expectations of the citizens.
12th October 2014: CY Leung showed his resentment against the protests and did not consider them as revolution.
13th and 14th October 2014: Attacks were launched at the protestors and several activists were arrested as well. The headquarters of the Apple Daily were attacked by the anti-occupy protestors as they accused the paper as biased.
15th and 16th October 2014: Traffic on the Lung Wo Road was stopped by the activists and the police resorted to violence to get rid of them.
17th October 2014: The northern end of the Nathan Road was open for traffic after three whole weeks. However, the activists weren’t allowed to move from the southern side.
18th October 2014: A battle was fought between the protestors and the police in Mong Kok and around twenty people were injured.
19th October 2014: Claudio Mo and Fernando Cheung came to Mong Kok to negotiate with the protestors as well as the police to attempt ending occupy Hong Kong.
20th October 2014: A temporary injunction was granted to the taxi drivers as well as the operators association so they could commute on the Nathan Road.
21st October 2014: The first negotiation talks were held between the HKFS and the government, but no substantial results were produced.
22nd October 2014: Violence started again at Mong Kok and CY Leung expressed his anger at the citizens. In my personal opinion this was completely misdirected and misunderstood by Hong Kong leadership only supporting the people of occupy Hong Kong. It is important to remember that the chairman of Hong Kong is appointed by Beijing and as so, has immense pressure from Beijing to end the protests.
23rd October 2014: The Hong Kong Spidie hung a banner reading ‘I want true universal suffrage’ at the Lion Rock.
24th to 27th October 2014: Anti-Occupy supporters wearing blue ribbons assembled at Tsim Sha Tsui and some of these supporters were attacked at Mong Kok. Six activists were arrested for carrying out this assault.
28th October 2014: the HKFS sent another letter to Carrie Lam requesting for another round of the negotiation talks to end occupy Hong Kong.
29th to 31st October 2014: The Chinese People’s political Consultative Conference Standing Committee discussed to remove James Tien as he had urged CY Leung to resign.
November 2014: On 2nd November, Carrie Lam refuted all the proposals regarding the de-facto referendum.
Till now, these events have taken place and no sound results have been produced of occupy Hong Kong. I personally believe that this is just the tipping point of larger events to come as the Central government of China tries to grip tighter and tighter around Hong Kong.
I do hope that eventually Hong Kong citizens will have the right to vote for their own leaders but much has to change.