Hong Kong marks second anniversary of Umbrella Revolution
HUNDREDS of Hong Kong pro-democracy supporters holding yellow umbrellas held three minutes’ silence outside government offices yesterday to mark the second anniversary of mass protests challenging Beijing.
The anniversary of the Umbrella Revolution comes as tensions remain high in the semi-autonomous city, with fears growing that China is tightening its grip.
Huge rallies in 2014 demanding fully free leadership elections and other democratic reforms for Hong Kong brought parts of the city to a standstill for more than two months.
Those demands were snubbed by Beijing, but since then former Umbrella Movement protesters have won seats as city lawmakers.
Some of them are now pushing for a complete break from China as the fledgling independence movement gains support.
The largely peaceful demonstrations spawned sprawling protest camps, with tents and artworks set up on highways and shopping streets.
The movement gained its name from protesters’ use of umbrellas to shield them from tear gas, pepper spray, sun and rain.
Housewife Claire Weber, 42, said she was at the site two years ago when police fired tear gas at the crowds.
“No matter what, or how messy the political environment gets, we must persist,” she told AFP.
The atmosphere yesterday was carnivalesque, with miniature yellow paper umbrellas handed out to those taking part. –