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Showing posts with label Protests / Demonstrations / Vigils. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Protests / Demonstrations / Vigils. Show all posts

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.

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.

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.