The Mong Kok protest site that has withstood many battles over the past two months, in just two days, with a final 90 minute push on November 26, was cleared.
Bailiffs arrived early Tuesday (November 25) morning to clear part of the Mong Kok protest site, specifically Argyle Street, after a court upheld a restraining order filed by a minibus company.
Police were there to support the bailiffs, but apparently their efforts to clear the site was delayed as hordes of protesters arrived… and demanded that they be allowed to clear the road themselves.
By Tuesday evening, protesters regrouped and the number of police swelled to 4,000 according to the South China Morning Post, and that’s when the police began using “tear water,” liquid tear gas. 116 people were detained, more than any other single day since the protest began. Student leaders Joshua Wong and Lester Shum were also arrested.
Police and protesters ended up moving through the streets of Mong Kok, chasing and confronting each other until early morning Wednesday, when a group of about 80 people in red hats, wearing “I Love Hong Kong” t-shirts, came to clear the main site.
But though the main protest site in Mong Kok has now been cleared, a huge crowd of people congregated on another road there. Are they there to protest? No! They were there to shop! The crowd was shouting “gou wu,” which in Mandarin means shopping.
Apparently it has to do with a statement that CY Leung released earlier in the day, which talked about the clearance of Mong Kok and asked Hongkongers to go back and shop in Mong Kok after the area is cleared. These protesters, I mean, shoppers, were just listening to what CY Leung asked them to do. They’re just being good citizens, really. And the fact that “revolution” in Cantonese sounds just like shopping in Mandarin is purely a coincidence.
Clearly they weren’t protesters. They were obviously just eager Black Friday shoppers, trying to get a head start on the sales.
I heard from some of the Mong Kok protesters I met a few weeks ago in Hong Kong. Gary, who gave me body armor for the protests, said that he just happened to be in Mong Kok and wanted to buy one of those nifty selfie sticks in an electronics store. Unfortunately, due to the police presence, all of the stores were closed. I guess the police haven’t read CY Leung’s statement yet. Come on, let the people shop.
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Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.