By Adriana Leila Rocks
— Today is the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China’s founding. This year marks 30 years since the Tiananmen Square protests.
Since this spring, protests in Hong Kong have continued over a controversial bill that would allow citizens of Hong Kong to be extradited to China. They have outlined five demands for the government and have protested every weekend since March 31.
In Hong Kong, where tensions are raised, screens atop skyscrapers read
33 degrees, 49% humidity. Warning: extremely hot.
The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) closed several stations, so participants took a ferry to Wan Chai, on Hong Kong Island.
They were met with hordes of protesters, all in black and equipped with umbrellas, helmets, face masks, and smartphones.
Organisers offered necessities such as facemasks and water at “supply drops,” ensuring that all participants were well hydrated and protected from potential tear gas.
First aid volunteers, clearly visible in their red and white uniforms, were on hand to deal with any medical emergencies.
As the crowd shuffled underneath pedestrian bridges close to Admiralty Station, armed police kept watch from overhead platforms. Later in the day news broke that a protestor had been shot in the chest.
A closed motorway bridge was filled with reporters, photographers, and protesters.
On the motorway, umbrellas dominated the scene. They served to keep the intense sun off of demonstrators and are evocative of the umbrella movement, a similar period of dissent in 2014.
On the way to the ferry leaving from Central, a group of protestors ripped down a Chinese sign. Men clad in black found their way into a construction site and used knives to cut the banner down.
Once they had ripped down the banner, demonstrators torched it. Press photographers jostled to capture images of the unrest.
At the pier, protesters left coins on top of a ticket machine so that anyone fleeing the protests can get back to Kowloon safely.
Across the harbor in Tsim Sha Tsui, the scene was different. A family played cricket in a park. Young people queued outside a McDonalds. At the luxury hotels along the waterfront, tourists and locals snacked and quaffed beers while scenes of tear gas and police beating protestors unspooled on the television.