Erstwhile: A History Blog

Pictures of Protest: Hong Kong


Reed Chervin (History M.A., CU Boulder) recently began his PhD work at The University of Hong Kong. His arrival coincided with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, and he photographed some of the scenes for Erstwhile. Thanks to Reed for his contribution!

In preparation for the 1997 handover of Hong Kong, the British and Chinese governments drafted the Hong Kong Basic Law, which serves as the constitutional framework of the city. One of the provisions of this law states that China will grant Hong Kongers universal suffrage. The Chinese government clarified that this provision would be implemented in the 2017 election, but has since stated that Hong Kongers could only choose from candidates approved by Beijing. Pro-democracy advocates have responded to this perceived policy reversal with a civil disobedience movement called Occupy Central.


Citizens have been posting pro-Hong Kong notes on a wall near the Chief Executive’s office.


Protesters have shut down a main highway running through the epicenter of Hong Kong’s financial district. Civil disobedience such as this has been a hallmark of the pro-democracy protests.


A statue displays the emblem of the “umbrella revolution” that has become a key part of the democracy movement. The umbrellas  have been used by protesters to defend against police pepper spray.


Students in Hong Kong hold a press conference announcing they met with the Undersecretary of Constitutional and Mainland Affairs in order to discuss the conditions of future talks.