The August 5th Demonstrations in Photos

Brandon Chang

In Admiralty at around 2 pm, swathes of people in black gathered peacefully at Tamar Park just below the government office building. A stage was set up near the waterfront as swarms of people gathered in the open lawn amidst the sweltering summer heat with nothing but umbrellas and a few trees to shade them, listening to the people up on the stage.

 
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On Harcourt Road, however, was a drastically different scene. Thousands of protesters occupied the road with reinforcements pouring from the train station exit nearby.

 
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Onlookers on the bridge above accused them of disrupting society but were quickly drowned out by the chants of “revolution of our times” and “go Hong Kong”. The protesters took apart street rails and traffic cones to block the road, constantly pushing them forwards, effectively shutting down the financial centre of Hong Kong.

 
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The crowd cheered as a man scaled up the wall to spray paint the camera and hailed him a hero after he came back down. Moments later the chants of “evil police” arose across the crowd, directed at two police cameras from behind the blue and white water barriers.

 
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More radical protesters began hurling eggs at the cameras. Soon they began hurling rocks. From the bridge, the police could be seen putting on masks and gearing up. The black flag was raised after some time, but it didn’t stop certain protesters from flinging eggs and bricks over the barricade. The deafening roar of the tear gas rounds sent everyone scrambling, retreating into malls and behind buildings, as far away from the clouds of smoke spewing from the canisters as possible.

 As the smoke began to scatter, and as people began to recover from the gas, the protesters once again swarmed the road and occupied the same areas until the police fired more rounds of tear gas and the protesters would once again fall back, then regroup. 

 
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These protests are merely one of eight that occurred all over Hong Kong on August 5th. It effectively shut down the whole city, with 7 MTR lines disrupted. More than 150 flights were cancelled and a runway had to be shut down due to staff shortages during the citywide strike. Civil servants from more than 30 government departments as well as many in finance, law, education, and construction all pledged to go on strike across 8 districts all across Hong Kong.
Since the 5th, however, things have gotten more volatile with police coming under fire for blinding a female protester in one eye with a rubber bullet, firing tear gas inside a train station, as well as pushing leaving protesters down escalators, to name a few.
The protesters' five demands have fallen on deaf ears as the government continues to rely heavily on the police to keep order in the city. For now, at least, there is no end in sight for the protests.