MANILA, Philippines – “Occupy Central starts now.” Citizens of Hong Kong took to the streets Sunday, September 28, to defy China’s unwillingness to grant full democracy to the special administrative region. (READ: Tear gas fired at chaotic democracy protests)
Protestors couldn’t wait until Wednesday, October 1, the original protest date. Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai said the rally would now merge with the student-led protests outside government headquarters. (READ: Hong Kong activists launch mass pro-democracy campaign)
The number of protestors on the ground were estimated at 10,000 in the beginning and swelled to 60,000 at its peak. While violent protests are rare in Hong Kong, media outlets reported several scuffles between police in riot gear and demonstrators who were agitated by the use of tear gas.
Hong Kong-based writer Jason Y. Ng shares with Rappler these photos from the ground.
“The HK police have gone mad!” Ng said in a Facebook post. “This isn’t Syria or Gaza. This is Hong Kong, our Hong Kong.”
– with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com