Pro-democracy protesters of Hong Kong return to streets
Hong Kong is due to debate and vote on the proposed electoral reform in its Legislative Council. Ahead of the contentious vote, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been staging rallies on the streets of Hong Kong. Amidst rising tensions, police are guarding the Hong Kong government head quarters after the arrest of 10 men with suspected explosives.
China presented its decision on the 2017 election of Chief Executive. It stated that he/she will be elected by universal suffrage but only from the candidates selected by the "nominating committee." The nominating committee mostly will have the same pro-Beijing individuals, who were a part of election committee that chose former Chief Executives. Further, it was to be subject to final appointment by Beijing.
Hong Kong has been a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China since 1997. Ever since, it has been governed under the principle of "one country, two systems."
Protesting against the decision presented by China on the election process for Chief Executive, thousands of people came out and surrounded government offices in Hong Kong demanding real democracy. They demanded a choice to vote for any candidate that they choose in the Chief Executive. This came to be called by many names; Occupy Central Movement and Umbrella Movement were some of them.
To protect themselves from pepper spray and tear gas used by police, Hong Kong protestors used umbrellas. The umbrella thus became a symbol of the protests and hence the name Umbrella Revolution/Movement
The police cleared out the protest sites after weeks of rallies and failed talks withthe government, marking the end of the two and a half month occupation of Hong Kong's streets by the protesters. It all ended with neither the Beijing nor the Hong Kong government conceding to any of the demands made by the protesters. However, the protesters promised to bounce back.
For the first time since the end of the Umbrella Movement in December, thousands of people rallied peacefully carrying yellow banners and umbrellas through Hong Kong. The rally was organized by grassroots group Civil Human Rights Front and was attended by 13,000 people. Policemen and marshals stood guard to avoid any tensions.The protesters did not reoccupy roads and no violence was reported.