College students are on strike and occupy the streets of the financial center of Hong Kong to demand democratic elections in 2017
Thousands of protesters, mostly students, have been protesting on the streets of Hong Kong for weeks. The demonstrations main reason is the lack of democracy.
The movement started demanding autonomy for the political decisions of Hong Kong, autonomy from the Chinese central government in Beijing. Since 1997, when Hong Kong ceased to be a British colony, the territory is governed by the agreement “one country, two systems” ensuring greater freedom of expression and protest than in the rest of China, who lives a harsh dictatorship commanded by Chinese Communist Party.
Last August, China announced that as of 2017 the local chief executive could be elected by universal suffrage. However, the population will be allowed to only choose only among the candidates selected by a committee under the authority of Beijing. Thus, there is an increasing control of Beijing ensuring the “political loyalty” of Hong Kong to the Chinese regime.
College students, who were already in a campaign for more democracy, on September 22, approved a strike. It is estimated that on the first day of the strike half of students from across the country did not attend the classes and 13 thousand attended the rally.
Inspired by the Occupy movement, which took to the streets of Europe, the strike was taken over by thousands of students who gathered together at the university campus on the first day, protected by colorful umbrellas due to the blazing sun, but also as a “shield” against the pepper spray and teargas bombs, and whose image has already caused the media to call the movement the “revolution of umbrellas.”
And it was on the 26th that thousands gathered together in the business district and began blocking streets and buildings. Hundreds of students managed to surprise the police and overcome the siege installed to protect the government headquarters, bringing other thousands to occupy the front area of the building, and they were only taken out the next day, although the frontal area has remained busy. Seventy-four students were arrested during the police crackdown and many others were hit by gases.
The police brutality scenes were shown on television, which led to a new crowd to join the protest on Saturday. The population supported the occupation bringing water and food for the students, who formed piles in the streets.
The Chinese government is increasingly using repression to prevent people to keep taking the streets. However, the population and the Hong Kong students remain on the streets for more democracy. It is necessary that the youth in struggle and workers in Hong Kong receive the widest solidarity of democratic and social activists from around the globe. This way they will have the strength required to face the dictatorship of the CCP and to build their own trade union and political organizations independent of the Chinese government.