Umbrella Revolution in Causeway Bay

Seven weeks into the protests… and there are still areas of Hong Kong blocked. One of them is in front of the big department store Sogo in Causeway Bay, usually a very hectic area of Hong Kong. But it might be gone shortly, given that student protesters pre-empted an operation to clear a section of the Occupy Central camp in Admiralty this morning, packing up their tents before bailiffs moved to tear down barricades blocking access to Citic Tower.

Anyway, let’s see what will happen in Admiralty… for today’s post, let’s look at the site in Causeway Bay. For weeks now, Hennessy Road has been blocked – although the blockage has been eased off to only focus on the East-bound lanes of the street. Still, it means no buses or trams can run in this part of the town.

Umbrella Revolution Causeway Bay night 1

Umbrella Revolution Causeway Bay night 2

Umbrella Revolution Causeway Bay night 3

There are lots of tents everywhere – but even when I walked around at 7pm on Friday night, there were almost no people around. It looked like a ghost town.

Umbrella Revolution Causeway Bay night 4

Umbrella Revolution Causeway Bay night 5

Umbrella Revolution Causeway Bay night 6

That’s really a stark contrast to the area around it – which is full of people going shopping, heading home from work or meeting up with friends/family to go out for dinner. There are tons of people everywhere!

Umbrella Revolution Causeway Bay day 1

Umbrella Revolution Causeway Bay day 2

Umbrella Revolution Causeway Bay day 3

I noticed the same on Saturday morning – many people on the sidewalks, but not that many in the closed off section. There were a few sitting around and chatting, but it was very quiet.

It is unclear what will happen next – no side seems to be willing to give up. The three student leaders at the heart of the Occupy Central protests were trying to fly to Beijing to press their demands for true universal suffrage – but as expected, they were not allowed to leave for Beijing. Oh the irony, as someone on Twitter pointed out: “Denied entry into a country whose government insists that you belong to it?”

If you want to stay close to what is happening as the umbrella revolution continues, check out these resources:

  • SCMP – which runs several posts a day about what’s happening (and by all means, forget China Daily, usually their news coverage and opinion pages is so pro-China that you can’t find anything objective in there)
  • The Fragrant Harbour – good observations of different aspects and details from the protests –
  • Webs of Significance – regular updates on what’s happening from the sites in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay and Admiralty
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