Central Government Offices
The statue ‘Umbrella Man’ by the Hong Kong artist known as Milk is set up at a pro-democracy protest site next to the central government offices in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s unprecedented student-led democracy rallies have highlighted a stark divide between a disenfranchised younger generation who say they have little to lose, and an older guard who favour pragmatism over protest. Throughout the past week the legions of predominantly youthful demonstrators camped out on the city’s streets have focused their energies on the single galvanising issue that sparked the mass sit-ins — universal suffrage. Dubbed the Umbrella Revolution after umbrellas were used to protect from pepper spray and tear gas, protesters say Hong Kongers should be allowed to both nominate and choose their next leader in 2017. Beijing insists only candidates vetted by a loyalist committee will be able to stand for election. But the battle for full democracy in the former British colony is only part of why so many of the financial hub’s youngsters have taken a leading role in what has become the greatest challenge to China’s hold over the territory since its 1997 handover.
Umbrella revolution: a statue, erected by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's latest addition to the pro-democracy counter culture outside the Hong Kong Chief Executive's office on Sunday night. Dawn broke yesterday on a new figure standing outside government headquarters in Admiralty: a three-metre statue of a person holding an umbrella and bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Tiananmen Square icon: the Goddess of Democracy. The statue, the work of a designer and a group of about 10 friends in the past few days, was the latest example of how the protests have brought out participants' creativity in both practical and artistic ways. They have mounted new road signs pointing at an expressway to true democracy. They have created hundreds of artworks inspired by umbrellas. They have developed creative solutions to coordinate supplies of water, food and protective equipment while making creative use of newfound public spaces in Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok.
Protest leaders have asked to meet Beijing officials after talks with the local government in Hong Kong last month failed to bear any fruit. Hundreds of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters march to the Chinese government's offices in the semi-autonomous city, demanding direct talks with Beijing officials after six weeks of mass street rallies. Hundreds of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters have marched to the Chinese government's offices in the semi-autonomous city, demanding direct talks with Beijing officials after six weeks of mass street rallies. Demonstrators have been camped out on three major road junctions across the financial hub since September 28, calling for free leadership elections in 2017. China insists candidates for the city's top post must be vetted by a loyalist committee, which protesters say will result in the election of a pro-Beijing stooge. Nearly 1,000 protesters marched from a park in the central financial district to Beijing's liaison office several miles away, some holding a banner reading: "We demand dialogue with the central government." Protest leaders have asked to meet Beijing officials after talks with the local government in Hong Kong last month failed to bear any fruit. Local officials offered tentative concessions to the protesters, saying they would file a report to Beijing about recent events and suggesting both sides set up a committee to discuss further political reform beyond 2017.