Occupy Central protests unfolded across Hong Kong over the weekend as thousands of people rallied for democracy and greater autonomy from the mainland Chinese government. At least 78 demonstrators were arrested and 41 injured as of Monday. The movement was dubbed the “Umbrella Revolution” after protesters used their umbrellas to block the pepper spray riot police used on them over the weekend.
"My biggest concern is that the [Hong Kong] government is not there to fight for us," Kristy Lee, a 16-year-old student, told CNN. Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung, she said, "is just working for the government of China -- he doesn't really listen to us, even though we fight for so long. That's why we are here -- we have to speak for ourselves."
Many schools, banks and other important facilities were shut down because of the protests. Supporters handed out food and drinks to the protesters. While protests are common in Hong Kong, the deployment of riot police and the use of tear gas is unusual. The crowd, mostly students, also donned homemade masks of goggles and plastic wrap to protect against pepper spray and tear gas.
Here are some photos from the last two days of protests in one of Asia's most prosperous and influential cities. A woman shouts to a police officer as demonstrators block the main street to the financial Central district, outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong, September 29, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Carlos BarriaThousands of protesters occupy a main street at Mongkok shopping district in Hong Kong and stopping buses September 29, 2014. Increasing civil unrest in Hong Kong is scaring off Chinese tourists, heaping further pressure on retailers which are already grappling with a protracted slowdown in sales. Photo: Reuters/Liau Chung-renThe most visible pro-democracy group -- Occupy Central With Love and Peace -- plans to launch a campaign of civil disobedience designed to snarl traffic starting Wednesday.Photo: Reuters/Carlos BarriaThe protests are part of the Occupy Central movement, but the larger unrest were dubbed the "Umbrella Revolution" after protesters used their umbrellas to combat pepper spray and tear gas fired by police over the weekend.Photo: Reuters/Carlos BarriaProtesters want more political autonomy from the central Chinese government, among other socio-political reforms.Photo: Reuters/Carlos BarriaProtesters take pictures with their mobile phones as they block the main street to the financial Central district, outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong, September 29, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria The student-led pro-democracy protests seek to gain more political autonomy for Hong Kong from the central Chinese government.Photo: Reuters/Carlos BarriaRiot police leave an area in front of the government headquarters as protesters block the main street to the financial Central district in Hong Kong, September 29, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria