“Occupy Central” goes on during National Day

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.

Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
Barricades built by protesters at Connaught Road (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
Water bottles are lined up for more protesters later on National Day. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
Students write slogans on the road at Central. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
Protesters use umbrellas on a sunny morning at Central. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
A family of expatriates joins Occupy Central on National Day. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
A man gives instructions to his fellow protesters on cleaning up the area at Central. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
One of the protesters leans on a wall between two lanes on Connaught Road to relax. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
Two women sit under a tent while the heat goes up on midday at Central. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
Umbrellas, big and small, are everywhere at Central. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
A remote controlled camera hovers the protesters at Central on National Day. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
A couple of students roam around to distribute umbrellas to protesters on midday at Central. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
An orange banner, saying, “Do you hear the people sing,” is hung at a bridge across Connaught Road. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
A woman shares a live report about the protest with a portable radio in Central. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)
Occupy Central on National Day by Lorie Ann Cascaro
“Occupy everything, demand nothing,” says the vandal on a wall at the sidewalk on Connaught Road. (PHOTO BY Lorie Ann Cascaro)

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