Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution by Alice Ngan
As many of you might know, there is a student protest going on in Hong Kong right now. The people of Hong Kong want the ability to choose who leads them, instead of being told who leads them. So they have taken to the streets, in what has become known as the umbrella revolution.
I have a lot of friends in Hong Kong, so this is important news for me as I am concerned for them and the future of Hong Kong. One of my friends there goes by the name of Alice Ngan (Alice is a guy FYI) and he has been busy shooting the protests. Alice has very kindly agreed to share his images with us.
Alice speaks English, but is not a fan of writing it, so here is just an intro from him:
“I am Alice Ngan , someone born in Hong Kong and live in Hong Kong.”
Alice is a passionate camera geek and trader, he is also a young guy who is passionate about his country and the belief that democracy is a right. So when the protests started he rushed to the street to be involved in what has become possible the tidiest and politest protest anywhere. And he has been keeping me updated with what has been going on there, so I thought it would be interesting to share some of his images of the protests with you. For the most part the protests have been not only peaceful, but thoughtful and well organised too.
Unfortunately Beijing does not see it that way and has decided to use heavy handed tactics, firing tear gas and pepper spray into the crowds of peaceful protesters and students. Pretty scary stuff.
From what I understand now the students have been largely left to their own devices by the police, and have been occupying the streets of Central in Hong Kong. I guess the bosses in Beijing are trying to figure out their next move. Past history suggests they are not particularly good at handling student uprisings though.
The Umbrella Revolution is particularly interesting for me as I will be in Hong Kong next week and I am wondering if there will still be a movement going on and how things will have changed in Hong Kong.
Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to share some of Alice’s images of the protests with you all, to get a bit more of a personal view of how things are going there, from the eyes of a local. It is certainly going to be interesting there next week. I shall see how things have changed.
You can see more of Alice’s work over on his Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alicenggan/
Shades of 1968 in Chicago.
Thank you for publishing the photos and the accompanying article.
Your friend Alice is doing important work, but he is in a dangerous situation.
Things can turn ugly very fast. The ruling party in China will not hesitate to put down protests; they will react in a brutal and bloody manner if pushed too far. We’ve seen it before.
The big difference between now, and 1989, is the present of digital media. Images and impressions are now immediate. You can’t clamp down the entire country. Commerce is too closely tied to the internet. Gone are the days of smuggling Kodachrome out of China like in 1989. The whole world would see how China reacts.
I hope the protests peacefully change the current policy China has toward HK, and there is more freedom granted to all the citizens of China.
Alice – be careful, be safe.
I hope the protest will continue without incidents and the people of Hong Kong will gain the freedom they deserve.
Thank you for pointing the spotlight to this situation, Hunt.
Hoping that these protests remain peaceful!
Mainland Chinas past record at dealing with anything against “their” norm is not good, so please everyone keep a cool head!!
Thanks ballamy and his share , I am Alice , I wish everybody can share the post to your friends and family , Hong Kong people need your help and support , Thanks everyone read this post and share , special thanks ballamy .
It’s ironic that these people never ever had a thought to stand up for what they called “democracy” and so called “one man one vote” in the colonial period of around 150 years under the Great Britain; and only after Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, the western countries started yelling “democracy” and “freedom”. I met a group of young protesters in the very early morning at Prince Edward waiting for a bus. However, as the protesters blocked the road, bus did not follow the daily route. Ironically, those protesters still did not realize what they have brought about such consequence, even they just walked from the road block side. Not till I told them the change of bus route, they could have stood for another half an hour not realizing why is it so. And the media like BBC gives bullshit to the world. As none of the foreign media I have watched given a very objective description or report to the Scotland issue, which is their domestic issue, BBC shocked me. They reported this Hong Kong issue (it’s not revolution, not that level indeed), which is against law despite of any excuses, putting the word “fascinating” on such issue. I think if anyone really want to know what this is really all about, go for the Hong Kong local media and you will see what they really bring the society, the innocent; the “democracy”.
Photo is a frame, capturing the moment from one’s own prespective, however, this is not the whole picture.
During colonial rule, the people were not promised democracy. Democracy was promised by both the UK and China in the legally binding Joint Declaration that is the basis for the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s constitution).
The protest reflects not so much Hong Kong’s hunger for democracy, but the creeping but accelerating decay from the good governance under British rule to today’s government that panders only to the needs of the oligarchy that heads China’s ruling party, who are increasingly undermining Hong Kong’s constitutional right to autonomy and self-governance.
In the words of a protestor I know, “There’s no way we’ll be given democracy anytime soon, but we had to make our voice heard or they’ll take ever more liberties with our freedoms.” Another said “They gassed my kids and said the middle classes don’t care. So the middle classes showed them that we do.”
Spare a thought for the children and citizens defending your basic rights and freedoms by standing in harm’s way before you bitch so bitterly about your temporarily diverted bus route.