Hong Kong protests in pictures: The 'Umbrella Revolution'

Images of the clashes between pro-democracy supporters and police

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The Independent Online

The eyes of the world are on Hong Kong this week, as unrelenting images of the clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police continue to emerge.

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Among the most powerful and shocking pictures are those that depict crowds being showered by tear gas, with many people donning surgical masks and holding up umbrellas to protect themselves.

The movement has been dubbed the "Umbrella Revolution", characterised as it is by the striking scenes of brightly coloured brollies being used to create shield walls against riot police.

Tear gas canisters were lobbed into the masses on Sunday, in a bid to dispel those protesting against Beijing's decision to limit democratic reforms in the Asian financial hub.

But today, thousands of people continued to line the streets, having camped outside government offices to sleep after the clashes died down.

 

On Monday, roads remained blocked and many banks did not open.

Momentum for the protests started building after university and college students began a class boycott last Monday, which they said would continue until officials meet their demands for reforming the local legislature and withdrawing the proposal to screen election candidates. 

Leaders of the broader Occupy Central civil disobedience movement joined them early Sunday, saying they wanted to kick-start a long-threatened mass sit-in demanding Hong Kong's top leader be elected without Beijing's interference. 

Occupy Central issued a statement Monday calling on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to resign and saying his "non-response to the people's demands has driven Hong Kong into a crisis of disorder." The statement added that the protest was now "a spontaneous movement" of all Hong Kong people.

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