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Showing posts with label Hong Kong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hong Kong. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A Beatdown and a Blockade During Christmas in Hong Kong

As anticipated, there were large-scale protests yesterday in Hong Kong, and the protests continue today. I will post more about them later, including some of the ways they intermixed with the Christmas holiday spirit. For now, I will just share two photos I shared on Twitter recently along with the comments I made there.

I took the first photo not long before 2 a.m. this morning.

woman wearing a Santa cap looking at a man on the ground
Man grabs a young woman's breast.
Crowd beats man.
Man pretends to be unconscious to avoid more pain.
Hong Kong's top riot police arrive.

The incident in Mong Kok didn't appear to have any direct connection to the protests, except that the large number of protestors around probably meant a more intense response, both from the protestors and the police. There is much more I can say and share regarding what happened, and perhaps that will happen as it touches on a number of issues. I will add that the only obvious involvement by the police was chasing away protestors in the area which enabled an ambulance to safely take the man away. I was told the young woman didn't wish to formally report the man. She did not trust the police would handle the matter fairly, which says a lot about how some people in Hong Kong view the police these days.

The second photo was taken several hours later.

debris set by protestors to block Nathan Road
If you thought that the protests in Hong Kong would be over by 5am today, you'd be wrong.

The photo was taken at Nathan Road also in Mong Kok. This certainly isn't the most remarkable photo I took of the recent protests, especially since they were far more intense earlier. But the scene is notable because the protests appeared to be lasting longer into the morning than some other protests that occurred in Mong Kok during the past couple of months.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Anticipating a Lively Christmas in Hong Kong

Compared to November, the protests in Hong Kong have been relatively calm lately. However, they continue, and there are signs they will soon intensify.

yellow Hong Kong protest signs with a Christmas theme


It could be a rather eventful Christmas in Hong Kong. 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Photographing a Fisher and a Photographer at Victoria Harbour

He only had a line, yet he fished. He only had a camera, yet he photographed.


man photographing a fisher at Victoria Harbour
At Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Hong Kong Buses with The Force

Four years ago I shared photos of displays with a Christmas touch promoting the release of Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the IAPM shopping center in Shanghai. I haven't seen anything as grandiose in Hong Kong for this year's release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Perhaps that is just because I haven't actively looked for anything. In any case, the best I can do now is to share photos of some of the buses I have seen in Hong Kong with advertising for the movie.

double-decker bus with advertising for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker


double-decker bus with advertising for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker


double-decker bus with advertising for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker


Given my previous interest in advertising on Hong Kong trams, I will keep an eye out for any Star Wars trams. No luck yet though.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

O Fortuna, the Wheel Brings Another Message

First there were ballerinas with umbrellas above "Free HK".  Then there was blackness. Now, there is a different message.

"Stop Police Cruelty" graffiti on pedestrian bridge to Central Piers with the Hong Kong Observation Wheel in the background


The "Stop Police Brutality" graffiti is on a number of beams on a pedestrian bridge connecting to the Central Piers in Hong Kong. In all of the examples I saw, they were placed directly on top of areas that had been painted black to cover previous graffiti.

two examples of "Stop Police Cruelty" graffiti on pedestrian bridge to Central Piers


It is now the predominant graffiti design on the bridge, though there is at least one example of partially symbolic graffiti expressing the protest slogan "Five Demands, Not One Less".

"Five Demands Not One Less" (using symbols) graffiti on pedestrian bridge to Central Piers with the Hong Kong Observation Wheel in the background


However, there appeared to be more examples of untouched painted-black areas than of recent graffiti. This is consistent with what I have seen in various parts of Hong Kong, whether Central, Tsing Yi, or Yau Tsim Mong. Newer protest graffiti, posters, and other forms of visible expression continue to replace older ones, but overall there is far less now compared to a few weeks ago.

And the wheel keeps turning . . . 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Good Shop in Hong Kong

As one of Hong Kong's major shopping districts, you won't have problems finding a variety of items for sale in Causeway Bay. But if you simply want something good, there is a place on Lockhart Road to check out.

The Good Shop store in Hong Kong


On the day I passed, items ranging from maneki-neko (Japanese lucky cat) figurines to stuffed toy carrots to sim cards. Perhaps the selection will change in the future, but it should still be good.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Protecting the Traffic Control Boxes in Hong Kong

Several weeks ago around 3:30 A.M. on November 11, protestors lit an electrical traffic control box on fired on Nathan Road in Mong Kok, Hong Kong.



Many other traffic control boxes were decommissioned in one way or another during recent protests. This raises the question, "How does a city restore traffic control boxes while also not making them prone to similar repeat attacks?"

An attempt to address this question now exists at the intersection of Nathan Road with Kansu Street and Gascoigne Road in Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong.

traffic control box surrounded by secure bars in Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong

I didn't see any obvious way to open the barred protection. This may be a strike against usability, but that's probably the point.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Precariously Photographing in Hong Kong

I hope he got a fantastic photo. At least he didn't fall.

man leaning over a high ledge to take a photo


Later I'll share photos not featuring photographers from today's police-approved (until they decided otherwise in the middle of it) protest march in Hong Kong that began in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Thanksgiving Dinner View of Police in Hong Kong

In the past, I have shared some of my Thanksgiving day experiences in different cities, such as drinking horse milk baijiu in Zhongshan and a rat running up my leg in Changsha. Like those times, today in Hong Kong offered me something new.

I observed the traditions by finding a buffet which included turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. For a bonus, the restaurant staff kindly sat me at a location with a prime view of the world outside. As I ate way too much food, I had the opportunity to watch a number of police vehicles, sometimes with sirens blaring and likely containing Special Tactical Squads or Police Tactical Units, head southward.

police vehicles on Hong Kong street


police vehicles on Hong Kong street


Their activity was possibly related to a nearby protest rally. I later visited it and saw no outward signs of police in the immediate vicinity though. So for the first time on this holiday, I felt like I should give thanks that no police shot tear gas in my direction today.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

O Fortuna, A Whirling Wheel in Hong Kong

graffiti of "FREE HK" and dancer holding an umbrella with the Hong Kong Observation Wheel lit up in red in the background at night

Sors immanis
et inanis,
rota tu volubilis . . .




——————————————————————————



So now an explanation for those who would like one:

As I took the above photo today near the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, the opening section O Fortuna from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana came to mind and it stayed there for a while. Here is an excellent recording of the widely used piece, which many will recognize at least in part even if they don't know its name, with Robert Shaw conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus:


You can find the lyrics alongside an English translation here. The translation for the excerpt I shared above is:

Fate — monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel . . .

While much of Carmina Burana isn't as familiar to most people as the movement O Fortuna, it is certainly worth listening to in full while following along with a translation. There are even a few more references to the wheel.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Three Candidates With Shared Political Values and Fates Campaigning on Election Day in Yau Tsim Mong, Hong Kong

While taking a look at seven different polling stations yesterday evening during Hong Kong's District Council elections, by chance I came across three candidates while they were still campaigning.

One was Leslie Chan (Chan Ka Long), who was running for the Tsim Sha Tsui West constituency.

Leslie Chan (Chan Ka Long) campaigning in Tsim Sha Tsui
In front of iSquare

Speaking in both Cantonese and English, Chan made it clear he was supportive of the five demands made by many protestors in the city.


Another was Leo Chu (Chu Tsz Lok) who was running for the East Tsim Sha Tsui & King's Park constituency.

Leo Chu (Chu Tsz Lok) campaigning
Alongside Nathan Road near Man Ming Lane

As Chu spoke to a couple of women, people campaigned nearby for other candidates.


The last candidate I saw campaigning was Ben Lam (Lam Siu Pan), who was running for the Mong Kok East constituency.

Ben Lam (Lam Siu Pan) campaigning outside of Prince Edward Station
Outside Exit A of Prince Edward Station

Just 40 minutes before Mong Kok East's polling station a few hundred meters away would close at 10:30 p.m., Lam was greeting people as they left Prince Edward Station, where riot police stormed train carriages and beat people several months ago.

To my surprise, I later discovered all three candidates I happened to see were in the pro-democracy camp. Their results reflect the immense success of pro-democracy candidates across Hong Kong, as all three won.

So they all have reason to smile even more today.

Ben Lam (Lam Siu Pan) posing for a photo

Polling Stations With and Without Long Lines During a Record-Setting Election in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has just held its 2019 District Council elections. On Sunday morning and afternoon there were reports of long lines at polling stations.

Polling stations were open until at least 10:30 p.m. This evening I visited polling stations for seven different constituencies in the Yao Tsim Mong District roughly between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. None had a line extending outside.

Tsim Sha Tsui West pollling station
Tsim Sha Tsui West


Jordan South polling station
Jordan South


Jordan West polling station
Jordan West


Yau Ma Tei South polling station
Yao Ma Tei South


Mong Kok South polling station
Mong Kok South


Mong Kok West polling station
Mong Kok West


Mong Kok East
Mong Kok East


The same held true in some other locations, which had benefits.

However, there were still long lines at some polling stations not long before polls were to close, As long as people were in line before 10:30 p.m. the Electoral Affairs Commission said they would be able to cast a vote.

Regardless of when and where there were lines today, don't be fooled by my photos. People voted in record numbers. Early results strongly indicate the the pro-democracy groups made major gains against pro-Beijing groups. Words like "decimated" are already being used for the latter.

Still, many races have yet to be declared. More later, but it's already clear Hong Kong's people were very motivated to express themselves through voting after months and months of intense protests.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Tsim Sha Tsui Sign of the Times in Hong Kong

pole with directional signs for pedestrians that was bent down to the ground by protestors in Hong Kong
Early this evening in Tsim Sha Tsui at one of many sites where protestors gathered last night hoping to help students surrounded by police at the nearby Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Remains of Vehicle Set on Fire Sit for Days in a Hong Kong Street

Early this evening as I walked through Mong Kok, Hong Kong I saw something on Sai Yeung Choi Street that seemed remarkable even after seeing and experiencing so much recently in Hong Kong regarding the ongoing protests.

burned vehicle in Mong Kok


burned vehicle with ""便衣狗車" written on it


inside of heavily damage burned vehicle in Mong Kok


Using the word "dog" for "police", common practice for protestors in Hong Kong, the markings on the the vehicle "便衣狗車" claim it is a plainclothes police car. I can't confirm this is accurate. But the vehicle does look like some unmarked vehicles I have seen on multiple occasions set in the middle of a row of marked police vehicles making their way through the city. In any case, presumably the vehicle's current state is the result of protesters.

This tweet includes a video of a car on fire in Mong Kok which appears to be a perfect match in terms of vehicle type and location:

Perhaps just as remarkable that this car was lit on fire is that it was still sitting in the street. Another person commented on this issue yesterday:

So the car has been sitting there in this not so usable state at least for a couple of days. Of course this is far from Hong Kong's most pressing issue, which is one of many signs of just how widespread and intense the protests have been lately.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Fleeing the Tear Gas in Hong Kong's Central Financial District

This afternoon I observed the interaction of protestors, police, media, medics, and onlookers in Central — Hong Kong's main financial and business district. Suddenly the police started firing numerous tear gas canisters and rounds before leaving the area.

The below video begins with a large crowd following the police as they move away from the area with the frontline black-clad protestors. At 1:49 in the video, as I am standing next to a CNN crew the tear gas canisters begin to fly. As I headed westward on Pedder Street directly away from the police, I thought that quite soon either the firing would stop or that I would be out of harms way. However, the number of tear gas canisters and the distance they reached was more intense than I expected.



For more context, here is the report by CNN's Ivan Watson that was wrapping up while I recorded the above video just as the police began shooting this round of tear gas:


Incredibly this tear gassing of protestors and many others is just a small part of the protest related events today in Hong Kong and seems to pale in comparison to some of them.

And thanks to the helpful Hongkongers who provided me with eyewashes after the tear gassing. I am fine now, folks. I can't say the same for some others here though.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Police Chase and Apprehend Protestors in Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Last night around 12:30 a.m. I thought all seemed relatively calm at my specific location in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Certainly, it was much calmer than what I experienced related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong at a nearby location in Mong Kok two nights earlier.

Suddenly, I saw a number of black-clad protestors running in my direction.

The video I took below captures that moment when all certainly was not calm and number of others including the police apprehending at least two people and a police officer forcibly removing the respirator of a person whose outwear I think indicates "Press" or "Media". Most of the action occurs during the first six minutes of the video. I decided to post the full version in order to share some of the immediate aftermath as well. There is much going on throughout. The video has not been edited in any way except for having been uploaded to YouTube.



It would be an understatement to say I have seen much since I returned to Hong Kong four days ago. It would be a bigger understatement to say much more has happened here regarding the protests during that time. Especially given today's terrible events which include police shooting a protestor, a police officer driving his motorcycle into a crowd, and protestors lighting a person on fire, it is easy to believe the protests and the reactions to them will escalate further.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Economist Depicts a Handcuffed Hong Kong

The statement about the extradition protests in Hong Kong on this week's cover of The Economist is rather . . . arresting.

Cover of The Economist depicting the word "Hong Kong" using handcuffs
Source


It seems safe to say that it won't be easy to get a complete copy of this issue in China. The image has all the stronger of a punch to me given that I spend most of my time in mainland China. I often associate Hong Kong with the greater freedoms and protections available there. An article in the magazine helps to explain the use of handcuffs on the cover and how the extradition law could negate important aspects of what Hong Kong offers:
With the threat of extradition, anyone in Hong Kong becomes subject to the vagaries of the Chinese legal system, in which the rule of law ranks below the rule of the party. Dissidents taking on Beijing may be sent to face harsh treatment in the Chinese courts. Businesspeople risk a well-connected Chinese competitor finding a way to drag them into an easily manipulated jurisdiction.

That could be disastrous for Hong Kong, a fragile bridge between a one-party state and the freedoms of global commerce.
More at The Economist in "The Rule of Law in Hong Kong".