Demonstration in Hong Kong, Protesters and police action. An eyewitness account. Part 3.


Upon returning to the “walkers” or “protesters” in Central District of Hong Kong; The term used for the “people” would depend upon your viewpoint. – Some of the “walkers” had left the main group and were located across the street watching.  They understood that the next police action may be arrest and apparently did not think that was the correct step for themselves. The remaining group, now numbering about 15 were sitting on the curb of the street, on the sidewalk or the in the bus lane and even reading a book.

They had set up the mock coffin, as a symbol of their “protest” in the bus lane upon two metal barriers the police used to encircle them with.

Police reinforcements were constantly moved in and out.  I estimate the number of police at 600 or more.  Police buses were constantly moved in front of the group with the rear doors facing towards them, I assumed as a sign to the “walkers” that they were ready to be carried into the bus and taken to jail.  The “protesters” were told through loudspeakers that they were subject to arrest.  The bystanders including tourists standing across the street, now numbering about 100, were observing, taking photos and talking to each other.  I had direct contact with apparently the Security Bureau leader who was “undercover” and in street clothes monitoring or even directing the police operation and sitting in the same area across the street.  The leader of the “walkers” (Lego member, Long Hair) was saying slogans into a speaker. No foul language, no threats, no physical violence just the “protesters” concerns for freedom.

At about 6pm the police began to show that they were going to do something to end the stand off.  Lights were brought in and video cameras were increased by the police force. Large sized policemen and policewomen replaced the smaller police force.  About 630pm the police acted upon the “walkers”.  I moved next to the police, but outside the police line so that I could be a witness to both the “protesters” and the “police” actions.  The police asked the “walkers” individually to relocated to a “holding” area on the sidewalk. Once they were touched by the police in an attempt to move them, about half (including Long Hair) walked to a new location out of their own free will.  The remainder were carried away and placed in the same holding area.  I could see no violence on either side.  The “protesters” were allowed to carry the photos of the prisoners of conscious being held in mainland China, and one of the purposes of the “walk”.  I was located about 2 meters from the “protesters” behind the police line and watching closely.  Each “walker” was asked to provide their person identification and recorded by the police.  The “protesters” continued to shout slogans.  Suddenly the police redrew and the “walkers” were free to walk in any direction they desired.  The “protest” ended at 7pm, 5 hours after it began.

My conclusion:  The police lead peaceful walkers in a certain direction.  The protesters were then trapped as they stepped into the traffic lane of a bus stop.  The “protesters” who were not now “walkers” (as they were not being allowed to walk) were then detained for 4.5 hours.   The “protesters” personal ids and images were recorded by the police.  I delivered one photo of a prisoner of conscious to the Peoples Republic of China office in Hong Kong as a form of freedom of speech for all the Hong Kong people.