|Central: Tens of thousands of protesters are gathering in Central this week, demanding universal suffrage. (Photo: Tine Venas)|
Chon Pui Ling, a 22-year old protester from Kowloon said mainland China had promised Hong Kong one country two systems, however, since the handover, Beijing has increasingly tightened the grip, “We are so few here, they are so many. How can Beijing decide who genuinely cares about Hong Kong? We want universal suffrage so that we can decide this for ourselves.”
A man visiting from Beijing (50) who requested not to be named, felt it was a question of understanding, “The biggest problem is that Beijing and Hong Kong do not understand each other. Beijing wants mainland China and Hong Kong to be one country. With these protests, the Hongkongers are distancing themselves even more from the mainland.” He also commented that the people of Hong Kong should not forget their heritage, “Hong Kong was British for only fifty years. That doesn’t make them less Chinese.”
Most protesters admit they do not necessarily see a solution where Beijing will give in to all of their demands, however, they emphasize the importance of showing that they have an opinion.
Kenny King, 30, from Wan Chai, said he had been waiting for Occupy Central for 17 years. “The Anglo-Saxon rule was much better. The police now are acting totalitarian, we’ve suffered crazy demolitions of property, property prices has gone up, and economy has gone down. I’ve had enough!”
The demonstrations have been denounced by China. The online mobile photo-sharing application, Instagram, owned by the already China-banned Facebook, was blocked for users in mainland China on September 28.