Occupy Central

Honk Hong > China

The 2014 Hong Kong protests, also called the Umbrella Movement (Chinese: 雨傘運動) or Umbrella Revolution (Chinese: 雨傘革命), began in September 2014 when activists in Hong Kong protested outside the Hong Kong Government headquarters and occupied several major city intersections after China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) announced its decision on proposed electoral reform. In disallowing civil nominations, the NPCSC made it clear that a 1200-member nominating committee, in which the composition remains subject to a second round of consultation, would elect two to three electoral candidates with more than half of the votes before the general public could vote on them.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism began protesting outside the government headquarters on 22 September 2014 against the NPCSC's decision. On the evening of 26 September, several hundred demonstrators led by Joshua Wong breached a security barrier and entered the forecourt of the Central Government Complex (nicknamed "Civic Square"), which was once a public space that has been barred from public entry since July 2014. Officers cordoned off protesters within the courtyard and restricted their movement overnight, eventually removing them by force the next day.

On 28 September, the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement announced that they would begin their civil disobedience campaign immediately. Protesters blocked both east–west arterial routes in northern Hong Kong Island near Admiralty. Police tactics (including the use of tear gas) and attacks on protesters by opponents that included triad members, triggered more citizens to join the protests, occupying Causeway Bay and Mong Kok. The number of protesters peaked at more than 100,000. The government called for an end to the protests by setting a 'deadline' of 6 October, but this was ignored by protesters, although they allowed government workers to enter offices that had previously been blocked. The state-run Chinese media claimed repeatedly that the West had played an "instigating" role in the protests, and that "more people in Hong Kong are supporting the anti-Occupy Central movement," and warned of "deaths and injuries and other grave consequences." In an opinion poll carried out by Chinese University of Hong Kong, only 36.1% of 802 people surveyed between 8–15 October accept NPCSC's decision but 55.6% are willing to accept if HKSAR Government would democratise the nominating committee during the 2nd phase of public consultation period. On 23 October, the United Nations Human Rights Committee emphasised "the need to ensure universal suffrage, which means both the right to be elected as well as the right to vote." China's Foreign Ministry responded that China's policy on Hong Kong's elections had "unshakable legal status and effect".