Argyle Street, the site of the Occupy Mongkok, was cleared today. This is how it began.Read More
Paul Krugman's Plutocrats Against Democracy column yesterday is a great read. I don't agree with Krugman all that often, but this piece is clear, well-reasoned, backed up with solid data even if he can't help himself from taking some partisan swipes while he's at it. Also, he uses Hong Kong as an example for a macro-generalization about what is happening in the world, so if you're glued to the #umhk definitely check it out.
What get's me thinking is Krugman's spectre of polarity. He frames it as Plutocrat vs. Democrat, and everyone has her or his preferred words- I call it Local vs. Cosmopolitan.Read More
Cirque du Soleil, the self-described “dramatic mix of circus acts and street entertainment” is spectacular. In addition to the spectacle of the performance, Cirque du Soleil is remarkable from a business standpoint too. They have basically turned the circus business, which was ailing for decades, on its head. And, in redesigning the circus experience they created a lucrative new segment[i]. For the purposes of this blog entry, the features of Cirque du Soleil's business model also provide an interesting lens to view issues underlying the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.Read More
These stills are from earlier this afternoon, right outside of the gleaming Hysan Place Mall. At this point in the afternoon, Occupy Causeway Bay was hanging by a thread- some thirty protesters remained at the frontline, and for a while, stood resolute but unbarricaded. The plastic ties holding together their steel barriers were cut by the Police, and later roving bands of "anti-Occupy" counter-protesters dismantled everything. I saw one guy (depicted in one of the picture's in the gallery) strike someone who happened to be holding a mobile phone. The guy struck so hard the phone flew into the sky. I almost laughed when I saw it because it looked comical- the phone got projected so high it was like the clown act where the clown pulls out kinds of nonsense out of his pocket and lobs it into the air for effect. But this wasn't funny.
There have been all kinds of reports today of pervasive intimidation- in addition to isolated incidents of sexual assault and physical violence. The students have shown some remarkable resolve- especially when they have been in standoffs with adults, sometimes in greater numbers- and sometimes against, let's face it, absolute thugs and goons.
All in all- it has been a very sad day for Hong Kong. I never imagined my hometown could be so divided.
Photos from night 2, Sept. 29th. Near the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Though I love watches and the habits of being a watch collector, I’ve cooled to luxury wristwatches over the last few days. As someone raised in Hong Kong, I feel that something is off-base with the Watches and Wonders 2014 extravaganza given the protests literally outside the Exhibition Center’s front door. And though I would ordinarily attend as a watch lover, I won’t be participating this year for one reason.Read More
These were taken in and around Harcourt Rd. and the main Admiralty Protest Site on Sept 29th, the second day of the protest.
Reporting on the ground in Hong Kong, various media have written about protesters singing the “Do you Hear the People Sing” tune from Les Misérables (see here, here, and here). I’m sure that is the case that it was sung, and sung in various places in and around town at the protests sites around the city (including the latest one to sprout up, in Tsim Tsa Tsui) in the #occupycentral civil disobedience movement.
But I’m not sure that song is the anthem of the protest. There’s another tune that is a much likelier contender.Read More
This was about 5pm, earlier today. Near one of the ol' stalwarts: "American Restaurant" in Wanchai, on the onramp to Gloucester Rd., opposite the Hong Kong Police Headquarters a brand new standoff occurred.
Right now, at 1:40am tonight it is turning out to be one of the most tense standoffs between the protestors and the police. The fact that it is happening meters away from the very symbol and main organ of the HK Police, their Arsenal Street complex, in addition to their ingress and egress point for all manner of HK Island-based vehicles and personnel makes it obviously a transit point the HK Police cannot cede.
I was there this afternoon to capture the moments when protestors took the skybridge leading down to the standoff line, shooing away a whole column of passenger vehicles. Here are the photos: