The government’s subversive tactics also include infecting the cellphones of demonstrators with malware, suggesting that Apple Daily and Next Magazine owner and Occupy supporter Jimmy Lai (黎智英) has profited from the events, the possible use of triads against the protesters (suspicions trace back to past associations between the government and criminal organizations), and use of agents provacateurs to sway sentiments, instigating fraud and distrust.
New sign up near central govt offices after last night’s scuffles in mongkok. pic.twitter.com/V5WaETEMOO — Ed Flanagan (@edmundflanagan) October 4, 2014
Too many undercover police hide in the crowd and stir trouble when instructed. How to spot one? @krislc tells: https://t.co/CPg1gW0zkb #urhk — Timothy Choi (@tyteen4a03) October 5, 2014
Are HK cops doubling as thugs? Check the bald guy via @badcanto @daitoulaam. Policing with Chinese characteristics? pic.twitter.com/THbHH9NeZo — Louisa Lim (@limlouisa) October 4, 2014
Cheque allegedly dropped by paid thug in Mongkok #OccupyCentral #UmbrellaRevolution pic.twitter.com/L8CjVMsgf8 — Freakingcat (@freakingcat) October 3, 2014
Man threatening to jump says he has 3 kids and cant make a living bec of protests. Firefighter gives him a megaphone. pic.twitter.com/hZaL0qPUYc — Raffy Tima (@raffytima) October 5, 2014
Hongkong students show me this ID of the Admiralty jumper, says he was a stuntman. He later came down voluntarilly. pic.twitter.com/QVpMAREQ05 — Raffy Tima (@raffytima) October 5, 2014
Fortunately, countless citizen journalists with social media accounts and video cameras like student Chris Lau serve as watchdogs to document incidents that might be used to discredit the demonstrators. Students at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong have established fact-checking site VerifiedHK to ensure the accuracy of information being disseminated. The South China Morning Post has also established a “Rumour Buster” page.
The movement has received much foreign media attention, more in its first day than the entire 24-day Sunflower Movement in Taiwan where the protests are being watched carefully. One reason for the thorough coverage is because China expelled many foreign journalists earlier in the year. A group called Translating the Umbrella Movement was created to help foreign journalists with understanding what’s going on in the increasingly non-English speaking city. These reporters have brought events to people around the world, often in real-time.
Supporters of the protests in the global audience can use the “Stand by You: Add Oil Machine” (並肩上：佔中打氣機 / 并肩上：占中打气机) to send messages of encouragement and solidarity. Messages are submitted through a website (which has been down at least since Saturday night) and are projected on to walls and displayed on LED screens around the city.
People will sing at an extended protest. The Wall Street Journal‘s China Real Time blog talks about the movement’s unofficial anthem, “Under a Vast Sky” (海阔天空) by Hong Kong 80s band Beyond.
The translated lyrics can be found over at Hong Wrong which also includes a second popular protest song, a Cantonese version of “Do You Hear the People Sing” from the musical Les Miserables. The Telegraph has more about this adopted anthem.
Every movement also needs a symbol. Adopting the umbrellas used to shield demonstrators from police tear gas, the movement has come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution. The umbrella has inspired art (two echoing Banksy) and attempts at a logo.
Flora, artist, offers free umbrella decorations w/waterproof paint at #OccupyHK #Occupycentral pic.twitter.com/6qm5Euvq0p — Tom Grundy (@tomgrundy) October 5, 2014
103 1630 雨傘藝術品，攝於海富中心外，現已移除 Protest art of #umbrellarevolution (now removed), photo taken outside Admiralty Centre pic.twitter.com/alCNmL3gsw — HKDemoNow (@hkdemonow) October 4, 2014
Installation by students of artist Kingsley Ng RT @Alex_Ogle: pic.twitter.com/XtoWlhhZdv — Alexandra A. Seno (@alexandraseno) October 5, 2014
Too cute! Paddington Bear vs #HongKong riot police. #OccupyCentral pic.twitter.com/EVRzC7bcGi — Judy Ngao (@Judy_Ngao) October 5, 2014
A 22-year old student known as Milk created a 12-foot tall sculpture named Umbrella Man, which evoked Tiananmen Square’s Goddess of Democracy.
Umbrella Revolution protest in #HongKong now has its own statue. Echoes of Tiannamen Square #macleans pic.twitter.com/etpuD3y7IP — Jonathon Gatehouse (@JonGatehouse) October 5, 2014
So potent is this symbol that Paul Zimmerman, a Hong Kong District Councillor, brought a yellow umbrella at an official China National Day reception. His deliberate position between the audience and the media helped him escape notice in the room but offered exciting images for the media. Fortunately for the daring Zimmerman, the presence of activist Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄 / 梁国雄) at the event drew attention away from him.
Yellow ribbons have also been adopted as a symbol of the movement. Anti-occupy groups have chosen blue ribbons as their symbol. But there’s a whole rainbow of ribbons that come full circle.
A guide to determining protester allegiance at# OccupyHK. From pro government to pro #UmbrellaRevolution pic.twitter.com/h4vd3JBcmI — Benjamin Haas 本雅明 (@haasbenjamin) October 4, 2014
Political cartoonist 变态辣椒 offered his commentary on the violence inflicted by the anti-Occupy people with ribbons.
黃絲帶是香港佔中的和平象徵，黃雨傘是他們不屈的反抗意志，中共僱傭的反佔中暴力團來了個東施效顰的藍絲帶，形象與行為卻醜陋至極，侮辱女性，暴力毆打市民，歹徒們從警局報案室出發，傷人后又被警察放縱，從此后無法直視這種無恥的藍絲帶！ pic.twitter.com/ToONVR4uso — 变态辣椒 (@remonwangxt) October 3, 2014
Finally, for me, this captures the spirit of Hong Kong and the youth of the movement:
I ask Colla, fashion design student, why people dress so stylishly for street rebellion. “Because this is Hong Kong.” pic.twitter.com/8wFPdh2SWu — Chris Buckley 储百亮 (@ChuBailiang) October 4, 2014
Image: williamli1983 via Flickr, licensed through Creative Commons. Edited by Andrew Shiue