Beginning in late September 2014, the people of Hong Kong have captured the world’s attention and headlines with a mass civil obedience movement called Occupy Central with Love and Peace. Their demands are clear: genuine universal suffrage in the 2017 Chief Executive election, in accordance with Hong Kong’s Basic Law and China’s international obligations.
Civil disobedience was first proposed in early 2013 by Associate Professor Benny Tai of HKU who, along with two co-organizers, called for peaceful sit-ins in Hong Kong’s Central District if Beijing did not provide genuine universal suffrage. On September 22, in response to an NPC Standing Committee decision, university students, organized by the Hong Kong Federation of Students and joined later by Scholarism, began a 5-day class boycott, followed by a sit-in. Occupy Central officially began on September 28.
Instead of suppressing the demonstrations, the use of tear gas by the police that day brought tens of thousands more to the street in the days that followed, with the number swelling to an estimated 180,000 at the peak.
Whether the Hong Kong people are able to preserve their freedoms and way of life and enjoy genuine universal suffrage is critical to the future of Hong Kong and mainland China. In these pages, we have compiled resources that will help the domestic and international communities to better understand the complex struggle towards democracy underway.
Events Around the World
Occupy Central with Love and Peace
Hong Kong Federation of Students:
What to Watch