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  • Hong Kong is in the midst of explosive protests. This so-called umbrella revolution has turned

  • the city's business district into a conflict zone.

  • Here are five things you need to know about the Hong Kong protests.

  • Britain handed Hong Kong back to the Chinese in 1997. However, it's not ruled in the same

  • way the mainland is.

  • As part of the power handover agreement, Hong Kong was to be given a large amount of autonomy

  • from the Beijing-based government, with universal suffrage promised 20 years down the line.

  • It has its own laws and people are, in the most part, more free than they are on the

  • mainland. You are actually allowed to protest there.

  • The person who runs Hong Kong is elected by a committee of just over a thousand people,

  • most of whom are reportedly loyal to the central Government of Beijing. Citizens were promised

  • they would be able to elect their own leader in 2017 but Beijing has gone back on its word.

  • Combine this with things like a widening wealth gap and corruption, and the stage is set for

  • anti-government sentiment to take hold.

  • Say no to fake democracy!

  • Say no to fake democracy!

  • The big day was supposed to be today, because October the first is a national holiday in China.

  • Groups such as Occupy Central had planned a sit-in in the financial district in what

  • they called an act of peaceful "civil disobedience."

  • However, some demonstrators took to the streets early - on Saturday - and Occupy Central and

  • other groups decided to join them.

  • On Saturday, the police reportedly responded in typically heavy handed fashion.

  • Dozens of people were arrested and lots were injured by police pepper spray.

  • As a result, more people turned out to protest on Sunday, bringing Hong Kong to a stand still.

  • Armed police deployed tear gas, injuring even more.

  • By the end of the weekend, tens of thousands of people were on the streets, and protests

  • have continued during the week.

  • It's pretty typical for oppressive regimes to ban social media during times of civil unrest.

  • Access to Instagram was reportedly stopped in the mainland when the protests began. China's

  • Twitter-equivalent has also been heavily censored. However, the protesters appear to have stayed

  • one step ahead. They've apparently been using the App Firechat to communicate.

  • It doesn't require internet or a phone connection to work, so it's much more difficult for the

  • authorities to monitor.

  • It's quite simple. The umbrella has become a symbol of the demonstrations after the publishing

  • of striking images of front-line protesters shielding themselves from jets of pepper spray

  • by hiding under umbrellas.

  • Social media began dubbing the protests the Umbrella Revolution and the Umbrella Movement.

Hong Kong is in the midst of explosive protests. This so-called umbrella revolution has turned

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Hong Kong protests: Five things you need to know

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/10/05
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