The Umbrella Revolution-A Fight for Freedom

Bhargavi Pochi, Staff Writer

The People’s Republic of China is notorious for its rich culture, communist and socialist beliefs, and large population. From the Tiananmen Square Protests in 1989 to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, China has become a significant part of world history. But today, something profound is happening: college students in Hong Kong have initiated protests against their Beijing-based government, which is denying the people their indispensable voting rights. Pro-democratic youth are now taking justice into their own hands and facing the government themselves. With their voices, they have begun a powerful revolution that will end up benefiting the people of China.

Difficulties are expected with such insurgent actions. Crooked Chinese officers who have been sent for crowd control have been accused of police brutality, with forty-one protesters injured and seventy-eight arrested. Photojournalists have taken to the protest-ridden streets to capture the impactful political unrest of China. One image of a boy shielding himself from tear gas using an umbrella has become the symbol for students’ rebellion, now deemed ‘The Umbrella Revolution.’ The streets of Hong Kong are currently covered in umbrellas with pro-democratic statements written on them. Demonstrators are also using the iconic “hands up – don’t shoot” pose to commemorate the Ferguson protests in St. Louis, Missouri.

“I think that these students have the right to protest and establish a government in which they have a say in. As for shaping the government, the protests should serve as a wake up call and a chance for social prosperity,” sophomore Guneet Moihdeen said.

All the protesting happening in Hong Kong is beneficial to the community, since it’s likely that the movement may be the foundation for reshaping China’s peculiar socialist-and-capitalist government. Civilians are taking problems into their own hands in the hopes that their voices will be heard.

“I came here because I don’t want to lose my Hong Kong… I don’t want Hong Kong to be the next China,” Bo Auyeung, local clothing store saleswoman in China, said to The New York Times.

As good as these protests may seem to a majority, Pro-Beijing activists say that the protests are harmful to Hong Kong, and claim that the students will create anarchy. Several protests have already been aimed against Occupy Central. Businesses fear that the campaigns against Hong Kong’s financial district will cause it to lose its reputation as a secure place to do business, and many banks have already been evacuated due to the riots spreading throughout the city.

It’s easy to forget the luxury of democracy with a limiting government but now the youth of Hong Kong are realizing their restrictions and understanding that the power of the people is stronger than the people in power. When civilians are genuinely able to contribute to the growth of their country, major changes will take place and China will be able to progress.

The Umbrella Revolution is undoubtedly a step forward for China. People are starting to realize the strength of their combined voices. Several of China’s corrupt leaders’ beliefs are being challenged, and it is highly probable that democracy will be introduced to their government. The passionate civilians of Hong Kong are changing their country and undeniably going down in history.