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Shen Zhefan
Still riled up.
ONE YEAR LATER

Photos: Hong Kong demonstrators marked one year since the pro-democracy “umbrella movement”

Jane Li
By Jane Li

China tech reporter

In Hong Kong yesterday (Sept. 28), hundreds of campaigners marked the first anniversary of the 79-day “umbrella movement” calling for greater democracy and autonomy for the former British colony. Gathered in front of the government’s headquarters, they held aloft yellow umbrellas and carried signs with statements like “I want true universal suffrage.”

Jane Li
The banner reads, “I want true universal suffrage.”

The demonstrators used symbols and inside references to get across their message. For example, 87 umbrellas were placed in front of the government buildings. Not coincidentally, the police used 87 tear gas canisters during one particularly harsh attempt (paywall) to disperse crowds in late September 2014.

Poo Yee Kai
Yellow umbrellas placed in front of Hong Kong’s government offices.

Some demonstrators held signs with “689,” referring to the small number of votes that Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying received when elected in 2012. The election committee was mostly pro-Beijing or pro-business and had 1,200 members, yet Leung still managed to get less than 700 votes. He was widely scorned during the protests last year.

Poo Yee Kai
The “689” refers to the small number of votes that Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying received when elected in 2012.

Hundreds of demonstrators turned up to mark the anniversary. The numbers came nowhere near the tens of thousands that flooded the streets last year, of course, when “occupiers” refused to leave the financial Central district for many weeks on end.

Shen Zhefan
The yellow umbrellas carried by demonstrators seen from above.
Poo Yee Kai
Crowds occupied much of the space outside the government buildings in Hong Kong.

The demonstrators were surrounded by police, who made their presence felt, as they did last year.

Shen Zhefan
Police surrounded the demonstrators.
Jane Li
An officer on hand at the demonstrations.

Student leader Lester Shum was among the speakers addressing the crowd. Student activists also played an key role in last year’s movement.

Poo Yee Kai
Student leader Lester Shum addressing the crowd.

 

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