Vicious crackdown on Hong Kong's pro-democracy students and Occupy movement

The rallying cry of the students who staged a mass walkout and the Occupy Central demonstrators is the right to choose an administrator for HK without Beijing's oversight; but underlying it all is rage about growing wealth disparity.

When riot police attacked the students, tens of thousands of Hong Kong people flocked to the protests. A group from Occupy Central with Love and Peace were gassed by police when they broke through the police barriers around government headquarters.

The global financial institutions in HK — huge banks, consulting firms, and trading firms — have condemned the demonstrations, saying that Hong Kong needs "stability" more than responsive democratic institutions. These banks — the same firms who run Wall Street and the City of London — see no problem with extreme wealth concentration and policies that exalt property rights above any human rights cause.

The students are the vanguard of the Hong Kong unrest. Their walkout and the ensuing police violence caused the Occupy Central organizers to move up their timeline and take to the streets early in defense of the children of HK.

Police arrested more than 60 people, including Joshua Wong, the 17-year-old leader of student group Scholarism, who was dragged away after he called on the protesters to charge the government premises. He was still being detained early on Sunday, along with fellow student leaders Alex Chow and Lester Shum.

His parents said in a statement the decision to detain him was an act of "political persecution."

Wong has already won one major victory against Beijing. In 2012, he forced the Hong Kong government to shelve plans to roll out a pro-China national education scheme in the city's schools when the then 15-year-old rallied 120,000 protesters.

Democracy Protests In Hong Kong Turn Violent [Reuters]

(via Lessig)

(Image: BBC World Service)