The Occupy Central movement has spread like wild fire over the past days, from Admiralty and Causeway Bay to Mong Kok, said organiser Benny Tai.
After the dramatic events on Sunday, umbrellas – which protesters used to protect themselves from pepper spray – have become a symbol of the movement.
As the civil disobedience movement entered a second day on Monday, images and hashtags referring to the “Umbrella Revolution” began spreading on social media.
Joshua Wong of Scholarism told local media on Monday that more than 20 schools and 3,000 students have joined the secondary school students' class boycotts.
Despite a lack of coverage on the mainland, the movement has made front pages news overseas. The protests made the front page of the International New York Times. Occupy Central was also the front page focus of the Wall Street Journal Asia edition. It also published an editorial calling on the world to support the protesters. A front-page splash in yesterday’s Financial Times reads “Crackdown in HK as China's anxiety grows”.
Timeline (September 29):
- 8.20am: Police in the Admiralty area are demanding that people show their ID cards if they want to cross cordons in order to get to work.
Announcements in Admiralty MTR station state that exits A, B and C2 are closed due to damage.
- 11.25am: 23 pan-democrat lawmakers have issued a joint statement, calling for an emergency meeting to debate on a motion to impeach Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
Reading the statement on behalf of the camp, Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said the pan-democrats would, “safeguard the people's non-cooperative movement and call for Leung to step down”.
- 1.20pm: Police appear to have switched to a softly, softly approach, downing their weapons and trying to reason with protesters. A team of police negotiators arrived at a protest site outside SOGO in Causeway Bay, trying to persuade demonstrators to leave the scene. Protesters, however, responded with chants of “Police, strike!”
- 4pm: Police press conference confirms that 41 people were injured in three days, 12 of them police staff. Assistant Commissioner Cheung Tak-keung insisted “minimum force” was used.
- 4.05pm: Occupy Central co-organiser Dr Chan Kin-man has called on Hongkongers to sustain the occupation until the government addresses the people’s calls. He clarified that Occupy only urged people to retreat if the police use weapons which could hurt people.
- 4.38pm: Civil servants working in government headquarters in Admiralty receive an email telling them to go home.
- 4.48pm: A Victoria Harbour fireworks display scheduled on October 1 in celebration of National Day has been cancelled, according to a press release from the Hong Kong government.
- 5.30pm: Robert Chow Yung, a key member of an anti-Occupy Central group, questions how much longer organisers expected the protest to last and what they expect to achieve.
- 6pm: Carrie Lam speaking to the press: “The rumours of my resignation are groundless.”
- 6.45pm: In Mong Kok, Benny Tai speaks to protesters: “Peaceful protests have bloomed everywhere... Occupy areas from Causeway Bay and Admiralty have joined together... Safety first. Take care of yourselves and your belongings. Second, peace. Don't destroy public property. We don't want a single piece of glass to be broken. Can we do this?”
The crowd yells an emphatic, “YES!”
- 7pm: A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman warns the United States and other foreign nations to stay out of Hong Kong’s affairs, saying the issue is China’s internal affairs.
- 10.00pm: Schools and colleges on Hong Kong island will remain closed on Tuesday, the government said this evening.
- 11.54pm: Federation of Students and Scholarism threatened to step up their protests if the government did not respond to their demands by October 1.
- 00.16am: Occupy organiser Dr Chan Kin-man appealed to sit-in protesters to “hang on” until October 1, as plans for the next stage of civil disobedience were due to be announced ahead of the National Day.
“We hope that Hong Kong people can hang on and occupy the several spots that we are now having our demonstrations [until] at least October 1 ... to show our dignity and our determination to fight for democracy,” Chan told local media.
- 00.48am: Scholarism’s Joshua Wong rallies crowds outside Sogo in Causeway Bay with an emotive speech praising the protesters courage and unity.
“The streets are being voluntarily occupied by the people. This movement belongs to them,” Wong told protesters.
Before he arrived in Causeway Bay he said that he heard people saying the future of Hong Kong relied on him. “It should be the people, everyone,” he said, adding that such a struggle could not rely on a single person.
- 2.52am: Washington called on Hong Kong’s leaders to show restraint after riot police fired tear gas on mass democracy protests, and said it had told Beijing it backs universal suffrage in the territory.