Empty vs Occupied • Occupy Central in Hong Kong

Whether you like it or not, everyone’s center of attention these days has been about the protest movement in Hong Kong called Occupy Central (和平佔中).

Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Umbrella Revolution • Occupy Central in Hong Kong

Putting personal sentiments aside, I wanted to document some of the scenes around the protests. The focus in the media has been about the use of pepper spray and tear gas to disperse weaponless protestors. I decided to show the quiet, peaceful side of things and walked from Exchange Square in Central to the Central Government Offices at Admiralty, passing through not only the occupied Connaught Road, but also the empty streets nearby.

Roads that are normally bustling like Chater Road (遮打道), Cotton Tree Drive (紅棉路), and Queensway (金鍾道) became pedestrian zones, barricaded from traffic by the protestors. The impact of the road closures are evident from all the bus reroutes and increased traffic outside the protest areas.

See here for a full gallery of images.

Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Empty Chater Road at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Graffiti at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Empty Queensroad at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Yellow Ribbons for Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Occupy Central in Hong Kong

At the center of activity for the protest, Admiralty Station was once shut down, but was reopened for service when I was there. After I passed through to the other side of Queensway Plaza, I saw a starkly different view. Instead of the eerily empty roads, Connaught Road was packed with protestors. Some were sitting or lying on the ground, while others were passing through. Banners hung from the footbridges, from slogans to song lyrics – in addition to the famous Beyond song, the song “Do you hear the people sing” from musical Les Misérables has become an anthem for the protest.

Things were pretty calm when I was observing yesterday on Tuesday afternoon. A thunderstorm is now passing through the city, but is there a storm approaching the protestors?

Admiralty Station reopened at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Students at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Admiralty at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Crowded Admiralty area at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Crowded at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Young people at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Young people at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
The crowds at Occupy Central in Hong Kong
Looking towards Wanchai at Occupy Central in Hong Kong

See also