Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Umbrella Revolution: Chinese democracy HK

Ashley Wells, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly; Aaron Mate, Amy Goodman, Carrie Lam (, 10-1-14)
HK's Occupy Central: Chinese democracy!
Hong Kong is facing its biggest political unrest in decades as tens of thousands of demonstrators defy a police crackdown to demand greater voting freedom in the freest part of China.

The new round of demonstrations began last week when thousands of college students launched a boycott to oppose China’s rejection of free elections in 2017. The protesters want an open vote, but China’s plan would only allow candidates approved by the capital of Beijing.

HK occupies its financial district
After a three-day sit-in, police became violent using tear gas and pepper spray to oppose the crowds. But that only fueled a public outcry, which brought even more into the streets, with estimates reaching up to 200,000 people. Demonstration leaders have vowed to remain until the resignation of Hong Kong city leader, Leung Chun-ying, and a free and open vote for his successor.

Originally organized by the group "Occupy Central," the protests have been dubbed Umbrella Revolution, for the umbrellas demonstrators have used to protect themselves from pepper spray and tear gas.

Chinese empire now includes Hong Kong
The police crackdown is the harshest since China retook control of Hong Kong in 1997 after 150 years of British-capitalist rule. The crackdown is being felt in mainland China, where the nominally communist government has blocked the mobile photo-sharing app Instagram and heavily censored references to Hong Kong on social media.

Democracy Now! is joined from Hong Kong by journalist Tom Gundy, who has been covering the demonstrations.

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