by Lorie Ann Cascaro
HONG KONG — The protesters had formed patches along Connaught Road at midday on Wednesday, while the whole country commemorated its 65th National Day. Some of them went home to freshen up or spend time with their family and friends, but promised to come back in the afternoon.
On its fourth day, “Occupy Central” movement has been the biggest mobilization of Hong Kong people since the pro-democracy protest on May 21, 1989 that gathered about 1.5 million people to show sympathy to those who joined the Tiananmen Square protest, said Edwin McAuley, an expat in Hong Kong for 34 years.
Despite the on-going mass action, expatriates here did not sense a threat of safety. Occupy Central protesters had been the “most peaceful and polite in the world,” reports said. Universities allowed their students to join or witness the protest while actively looking after their welfare. For one, the office of the president of Hong Kong Baptist University regularly emailed all students, teaching and non-teaching staff about updates of the situation and provided hotline numbers for their rescue and protection.
The political situation in Hong Kong is a ripe environment for journalism students to experience real news coverage and learn from ways of reporting from different local and international media organizations. Some students and residents here instantly became journalists as media outlets bought or commissioned their outputs to be published in their respective websites and TV stations. The protesters themselves became their own reporters as they had been active in social media, posting photos and tweets.
Journalists and photographers were in every corner of such financial hub. The world was watching Hong Kong shaped its history.