Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Home News World

Are these the world's most polite protesters? Hong Kong activists clean up, recycle and even apologise to police after night of violent clashes

By Lizzie Dearden

Published 29/09/2014

HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 27: Protesters clash with riot police outside Hong Kong government complex on September 27, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of students from more than 20 tertiary institutions start the week-long boycott of classes to protest against Beijing's conservative framwork for political reform in Hong Kong. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 27: Protesters clash with riot police outside Hong Kong government complex on September 27, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of students from more than 20 tertiary institutions start the week-long boycott of classes to protest against Beijing's conservative framwork for political reform in Hong Kong. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 28: Protesters sit on a street during a pro-democracy protest on September 27, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of people kicked off Occupy Central by taking over Connaught Road, one of the major highway in Hong Kong, in protest against Beijing's conservative framework for political reform. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 27: Police officers reacts outside Hong Kong government complex on September 27, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of students from more than 20 tertiary institutions started a week-long boycott of classes in protest against Beijing's conservative framework for political reform in Hong Kong. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 28: Riot police clash with protesters on September 28, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of people kicked off Occupy Central by taking over Connaught Road, one of the major highway in Hong Kong, in protest against Beijing's conservative framework for political reform. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 27: A man raise his hands outside of Hong Kong government complex on September 27, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of students from more than 20 tertiary institutions started a week-long boycott of classes in protest against Beijing's conservative framework for political reform in Hong Kong. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 27: Police officers reacts outside Hong Kong government complex on September 27, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of students from more than 20 tertiary institutions started a week-long boycott of classes in protest against Beijing's conservative framework for political reform in Hong Kong. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
Student protesters stand behind barricades used to occupy the streets surrounding the government headquarters in Hong Kong (AP)
Protesters confront riot police after young pro-democracy activists forced their way into Hong Kong government headquarters (AP)
Protesters clashed with police officers at the end of a week-long strike by students in Hong Kong (AP)

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have been cleaning up after themselves after a night of battles with police who used tear gas and pepper spray in a crackdown condemned around the world.

Thousands of people are occupying the Admiralty district of the city in continued opposition to the Chinese Government’s refusal to let them select their own candidates for leadership elections in 2017, allowing only Beijing-backed politicians to stand.

As protests continue, people have been seen distributing food and water as well as cleaning up after themselves in the famously orderly city.

At the main protest site at the city’s Government headquarters, students sorted plastic bottles for recycling even as they wore goggles and plastic sheets to protect against pepper spray.

A polite note was also seen left on a vandalised police van, apologising for the damage.

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have been cleaning up after themselves after a night of battles with police who used tear gas and pepper spray in a crackdown condemned around the world.

Thousands of people are occupying the Admiralty district of the city in continued opposition to the Chinese Government’s refusal to let them select their own candidates for leadership elections in 2017, allowing only Beijing-backed politicians to stand.

As protests continue, people have been seen distributing food and water as well as cleaning up after themselves in the famously orderly city.

At the main protest site at the city’s Government headquarters, students sorted plastic bottles for recycling even as they wore goggles and plastic sheets to protect against pepper spray.

A polite note was also seen left on a vandalised police van, apologising for the damage."Sorry, I don't know who did this but we are not anarchists - we want democracy," it read.

The unpopular Beijing backed leader of Hong Kong, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, has urged people to leave the protests, which were declared “illegal” by China.

“We don't want Hong Kong to be messy,” he said in a statement broadcast on Monday.

Attempting to dispel rumours of intervention by the Chinese army, he added: “I hope the public will keep calm. Don't be misled by the rumours. Police will strive to maintain social order, including ensuring smooth traffic and ensuring the public safety.”

One of the key demands of the occupation is his immediate resignation, along with proper consultation on political reform to allow free and fair elections in Hong Kong with universal suffrage.

On Twitter, one supporter of the movement wrote: “Hong Kong: A city where protestors don't smash up shops, and they also clean up after themselves, yet get teargassed and pushed by the police.”

Many volunteers were wearing the yellow ribbons symbolising support for democratic reform that have started appearing on street signs and at entrances to underground stations.

The movement, dubbed the Umbrella Revolution because of the widespread use of umbrellas against tear gas and pepper spray, has sparked solidarity protests around the world.

Demonstrations are being run by a group called Occupy Central with Love and Peace, which describes itself as a “non-violent direct action movement that demands a fully democratic government in Hong Kong”.

Source: Independent

From the web

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph