The Opening of the Umbrella

The events around Sunday, 28 September 2014, when the police repeatedly used tear gas against peaceful student protesters in Admiralty and Central are well documented, as are the days after, when Hong Kong appeared on the radar of a larger international audience, with even James Nachtwey, a veteran photojournalist who made his name on the streets of Thailand, Iraq and Northern Ireland being spotted on the streets of Hong Kong.

But this movement wasn’t expected, it wasn’t even planned. It took the organizers almost as much by surprise as the police, and most of all it caught the international media completely off guard who were almost completely unrepresented until students were being met with tear gas. Sadly they can now only speculate to what galvanized a student strike into an internationally recognized popular movement.

I would like to add my own account of the events between September 25 and 28, which I find crucial to understanding the movement’s origins.

A student leader giving a motivational speech ahead of an expected standoff with police

A student leader giving a motivational speech ahead of an expected standoff with police[/caption]

Continue reading