Living in Hong Kong at the time of the 2014 Umbrella Movement, I was shocked by the unprecedented size and violence of the protests. While protests are common in Hong Kong, never before had they caused so much disruption nor provoked such a heavy response from the government. There had been little sentiment for independence prior to the controversial electoral reform enacted that year. Unexpectedly, it descended into 79 days of civil unrest in the city’s central business district. Concerns of being ‘absorbed’ back into China had already been widespread leading up to the 1997 handover from the UK. Sentiment towards ‘returning to the homeland’ has however always been mixed. Some see a natural return to the historical status quo whilst some fear change and loss of the Hong Kong citizen’s unique way of life.
Living in Hong Kong at the time of the 2014 Umbrella Movement, I was shocked by the unprecedented size and violence of the protests.