TIME Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Protesters Feel Betrayed by Their Own Government

Students Continue To Protest In Hong Kong Following Negotiation Talks
A pro-democracy protester displays his T-shirt on a street in Mongkok district on October 22, 2014 in Hong Kong. Kong Ng—Getty Images

The only solution to the monthlong protest, they insist, is for the local government to fight for Hong Kong's rights instead of always capitulating to China

Hong Kong and China are “one country” with “two systems.” Yet these days, pro-democracy protesters say, the emphasis is patently on “one country.”

Just shy of one month into the protests paralyzing key traffic arteries in Hong Kong, democracy supporters here are outraged over what they say is the local government’s failure to meet even low expectations for interceding on their behalf to Beijing.

“Under normal circumstances, the government should argue the people’s case in Beijing and help Hong Kong to secure universal suffrage,” says Emily Lau, chair of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party.

“But it has done the reverse,” she says, “by urging Hong Kong people to accept the unacceptable.”

Indeed, supporters of the protests point to concrete steps Hong Kong’s top leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, could take — but hasn’t — to get Beijing to end the deadlock. That Leung hasn’t approached Beijing for reforms, but has instead encouraged protesters to back down, illustrates to demonstrators one of the chief reasons for their ongoing sit-ins: if Beijing gets to vet candidates for Hong Kong’s top leader, as it plans to do in 2017, this city is bound to get another local government unwilling to defend “two systems.”

“We are supposed to have autonomy,” said 30-year-old civil servant Cheong Kung on Thursday night, as he leaned back on his hands in the main protest area of Harcourt Road (recently dubbed Umbrella Square by protesters after the movement’s symbol). “Supposed to have it,” he added with wry emphasis. “Supposed.”

“This is why we are here,” said his friend Yai Pon, 30, a travel writer. “If we don’t get universal suffrage, we will never really have autonomy.”

Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, called the Basic Law, promises the territory “a high degree of autonomy” from China, to which it was returned in 1997 after 156 years of British rule. But protesters say the Hong Kong government has let Beijing chisel at that autonomy for years — most recently by not challenging the Aug. 31 decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), in Beijing, on electoral reforms in Hong Kong.

The NPC’s decision says Beijing will sieve candidates for Hong Kong’s top leader through a 1,200-member committee widely seen as stacked with Beijing loyalists. To get on the ballot, candidates must win at least half the committee’s votes. Protesters see this process as a violation of the Basic Law’s promise that Hong Kong people can elect the chief executive by “universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.” They say it is undemocratic to put someone in Hong Kong’s top seat who, by virtue of the manner in which they were elected, has already let the whittling of local autonomy to continue.

“The concept of autonomy assumes that is in in the interest of the autonomous government is to defend its autonomy,” says Michael Davis, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong.

“But there is a feeling that what we have in Hong Kong is a government that represents Beijing’s interests and is delinquent in representing Hong Kong’s interests to Beijing,” says Davis. “I think that’s at the heart of all this.”

Since Sept. 28, protesters, who on at least one night numbered 10,000, have stood, sat and slept in the streets to lobby Beijing to revisit the Aug. 31 decision. In recent days, Umbrella Square has acquired a sense of semi-permanence, turning into a village of tents arranged in tidy rows under the perennial neon twinkle of the city’s skyscrapers.

Not everyone in Hong Kong agrees with the protests. Many residents are anguished over the disruption the protests are presenting to local commerce, especially retailers in the protest areas, and to taxi and truck drivers affected by the traffic diversions and gridlocks the sit-ins have wrought. A sizable portion of the population — mostly working class and elderly — is also pro-Beijing and view the democracy movement as a threat to their livelihoods.

Yet the most recent public-opinion poll from the Chinese University of Hong Kong shows that support for the protests for the first time exceeds opposition to them. The results of the poll, conducted between Oct. 8 and 15, indicate that 37.8% of respondents support what’s been dubbed the Umbrella Movement, while 35.5% oppose it.

In September, before the protests kicked off, 46.3% of public opposed activists’ plans to occupy the streets, and 31.3% said they favored such plans.

Protesters say that demonstrable support here for electoral reform obligates the Hong Kong government to communicate such support to Beijing and ask that the demands be addressed. They point in particular to a line in the Basic Law that says the election method “shall be specified in the light of the actual situation” in Hong Kong.

“The actual situation right now is very different than it was on Aug. 31,” says Surya Deva, a professor of law at the City University of Hong Kong. “The chief executive should submit a report to the NPC on the new situation. He should convey that there should be a pathway for a democratic candidate to stand for election.”

“There is no legal issue here,” says Deva. “The chief executive is legally allowed to ask the NPC to reconsider, and the NPC is constitutionally allowed to change, or even void, its decision.”

In a televised meeting between students and government officials this week, students urged the officials to “have courage” and bring protesters’ demands to Beijing.

The Hong Kong government “has the constitutional duty to fight for a democratic reform proposal for Hong Kong,” said Yvonne Leung, a delegate for the Hong Kong Student Federation.

Yet Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s No. 2 official, said the government was prepared to send a new report just to the relatively lowly Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, not to the NPC. Students pressed Lam for an explanation of what could come of sending a report to the office, which was uninvolved in the Aug. 31 decision, but received no answer.

Neither the students nor the government has announced plans for a second round of talks. On Friday activists said they will poll protesters on the government’s offer to write to the council, while on Thursday the government said it would stage an exhibition on the Basic Law, so that “members of the public may also gain a better understanding” of it. The government has repeatedly insisted that the NPC decision is consistent with Hong Kong’s laws.

Hilary Lee, 20, a manager at a local school who was staffing a supplies station near the outskirts of the protests in Admiralty district on Thursday night, said she would be willing “to go step by step” toward a more democratic government, but did not see the government taking any steps.

“I’m waiting here until C.Y. Leung apologizes and until he does something that would make me feel like, O.K., change is coming,” she says, referring to Leung by his initials, as he is commonly known. “But the government is not doing anything.”

Mark Cheung, 28, a videographer who has lived in Umbrella Square for almost a month, said he is not optimistic that the government’s do-nothing zeitgeist will change: “The Hong Kong government has not fought for the right of Hong Kong people to have fair elections. And I’m pretty sure they’re not going to do anything different now.”

“They could,” he says, “but they won’t.”

TIME Hong Kong

Watch Hong Kong’s Poor Demand Their Say in the Way the City Is Run

Lower-income groups have a huge stake in democracy protests currently rocking the city

After more than three weeks of pro-democracy protests that have paralyzed parts of Hong Kong, anger at the city’s leader has reached an all time high.

They were exacerbated even further when Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying told reporters Monday that if he gave in to protesters demands and held an open election, it would result in the city’s lower-income groups dominating politics.

Leung’s comments affect half of the population of Hong Kong who earn HK$14,000 ($1,800) a month.

In response, a group of protesters made up of civil society and political organizations marched to Government House Wednesday demanding an apology.

Amy Tse Tsz-ying, a social worker, told TIME that if half of the people in society are not represented in government then Hong Kong’s social problems will never improve.

“Democracy is highly related to the living conditions of grassroots people,” she said.

The chances of getting an apology out of Leung are slim but the march showed that the pro-democracy movement is not just about lofty ideals but rooted in real social problems

TIME conflict

The Death of Klinghoffer and What Actually Happened on the Achille Lauro

Achille Lauro
Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro leaves Port Said harbor on Oct. 10, 1985 after Egyptian authorities stopped it from sailing to the Israeli port of Ashdod. Mike Nelson — AFP/Getty Images

A controversial opera is based on the events of a 1985 terrorist attack

For New York City’s Metropolitan Opera, this week has been one in which the relationship between art and history got a little bit more complicated, as Monday’s opening night of the John Adams opera The Death of Klinghoffer provoked protests. Those opposed to the production, who included former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, believe that the opera glorifies terrorism in the way it presents the story of those who caused the titular death; those who support it say that the opera, though about the 1985 murder of Leon Klinghoffer, does not celebrate the people who killed him. At its heart, the controversy is about the difficult distinctions between expression and endorsement–and perhaps even the very purpose of art.

But it’s also bound to raise a much more easily answered question, at least among younger observers of the debate: who was Leon Klinghoffer and what happened to him? Some hecklers reportedly yelled during the performance that his murder should never be forgotten, and there’s no sign that the opera’s supporters would disagree with that statement.

TIME covered the murder in the Oct. 21, 1985, issue, as a key element in a cover story about terrorism. As the magazine reported, the Achille Lauro was an Italian cruise liner taking about 750 passengers around the Mediterranean; those on board included 11 friends from New York and New Jersey, brought together by Marilyn Klinghoffer, who celebrated her 59th birthday during the trip. Leon Klinghoffer, Marilyn’s husband, was confined to a wheelchair after having had two strokes.

The ship also carried four other passengers, terrorists from the Palestine Liberation Front who supposedly planned to attack when the ship reached the city of Ashdod in Israel. But according to an Italian report at the time, after a waiter saw them with their guns they decided to launch their attack early, hijacking the ship and ordering the captain to steer the ship toward Syria. If their demands — for the release of 50 prisoners being held in Israel — were not met, they would begin to kill their hostages.

Leon Klinghoffer, tragically, was first. Here’s how TIME reported what happened:

At exactly what point these sadistic threats became reality is not known. But in a now familiar ritual of terrorism, the hijackers had decided to underscore their seriousness by taking a sacrifice. First they separated Leon Klinghoffer from his wife. “No,” said one gunman to the wheelchair-bound passenger. “You stay. She goes.” Marilyn Klinghoffer never saw her husband again. For the next 24 hours she and her friends were consumed by anxiety. When the hijacking was finally over, they looked all through the ship for him, though they expected the worst. Some passengers had noted that the trousers and shoes of one of the hijackers had been covered with blood. And besides, as one recalled, “We had heard gunshots and a splash.” Giovanni Migliuolo, the Italian Ambassador to Egypt, later chillingly reconstructed the event: “The hijackers pushed [Klinghoffer] in his chair and dragged him to the side of the ship, where, in cold blood, they fired a shot to the forehead. Then they dumped the body into the sea, together with the wheelchair.”

After it became clear that no nation would allow the hijacked ship to dock and the PLF negotiated for the hijackers to leave the ship, the Klinghoffers’ children were told that all of the passengers were safe. Hours passed before the State Department informed them that their father had not been found. About two days passed before the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt announced that Leon Klinghoffer had been murdered.

Marilyn Klinghoffer — who reportedly told President Reagan that she spat in the terrorists’ faces when asked to identify them in a line-up, to which he responded “You did? God bless you.” — died of cancer the following year. The opera The Death of Klinghoffer premiered a few years later, in 1991, in Belgium. Though it was controversial then as well, TIME’s critic Michael Walsh wrote that fears over the subject matter should not keep it from the ranks of operatic greatness. “Just as the lyrical and deeply humanistic [Nixon in China, an opera by the same creative team] confounded many who had expected a leftist demonization of the old unindicted co-conspirator,” he wrote, “so has this sweet, sorrowful Klinghoffer upended everyone’s expectations.”

Read the full story of the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, here in TIME’s archives: The Voyage of the Achille Lauro

Read TIME’s review of the premiere performance of The Death of Klinghoffer, here in the archives: Art and Terror in the Same Boat

TIME The Philippines

Philippine-U.S. Ties Tested After Visiting Marine Accused of Murder

CORRECTION Philippines US Killing
Julita Laude, mother of killed transgender Jennifer Laude, talks to reporters during a rally near the USS Peleliu, where U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton is said to be held, at the Subic Bay free port, Zambales province, northern Philippines. Oct. 18, 2014. Aaron Favila—AP

Protesters have been chanting 'U.S. troops out now'

The alleged murder of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude by a U.S. Marine has sparked outrage in the Philippines, with some calling into question the U.S. military’s presence in the country.

Under the Visiting Forces Agreement, the U.S. military is allowed to conduct drills in the Philippines. The accord also gives the Philippines the power to prosecute American service members if they fall foul of the law, but they can remain in U.S. custody until the end of judicial proceedings, the Associated Press reports.

Several small protests took place in the country’s capital, Manila, and the city of Olongapo, where the alleged murder took place, and in the former U.S. naval base at Subic Bay free port Saturday, where the suspect Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, is being kept on the U.S.S. Peleliu. He has been summoned by the Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office to attend a hearing Tuesday.

Protesters have been chanting “U.S. troops out now” and calling for the Visiting Forces Agreement to be abolished.

But authorities say the case is isolated and not related to the treaty.

Read the full story here.

[Associated Press]

TIME Hong Kong

The Main Hong Kong Protest Site Is a Perfect Anarchist Collective

HONG KONG-CHINA-POLITICS-DEMOCRACY
Members of the Occupied movement rest in their tents on a highway blocked by protestor barricades in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on October 16, 2014. ANTHONY WALLACE—AFP/Getty Images

There are no leaders, but everything, from the supply tents to the recycling stations, runs just beautifully

Billy Fong is out of a job.

Until recently, this high school student had found a purpose helping Hong Kong’s demonstrators over the high median dividers cutting through their encampment in the city’s Admiralty district.

Yet, as the occupation of Harcourt Road enters its fourth week, getting over the concrete walls has become easy: protesters handy with tools have made several sets of wooden stairs for them, complete with handrails.

“I have somehow become useless,” says Fong, 17, standing idly at one such set of steps on a recent evening. “But it’s okay,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “Now I have more leisure time.”

Call Fong’s job a casualty of this protest’s maturation from an uncertain settlement to a bona fide village—a transformation that smacks of pure anarchism. Not anarchy, meaning chaos, but classical political anarchism: a self-organizing community that has no leader.

Protesters in Hong Kong share a common goal of getting Beijing to agree to free elections for the Hong Kong government’s top job in 2017 (at the moment, Beijing is insisting on screening candidates). But no one is fully in charge of these demonstrations, and protesters are split over how to get their demand answered. A lack of leadership is widely cited as one reason why the conflict has not come to a resolution.

Yet leaderlessness has not stopped Hong Kong demonstrators from achieving social consensus at their biggest protest site in skyscraper-hemmed Harcourt Road (or Umbrella Square, as the protesters now call it). These days, the six-lane thoroughfare turned tent community is a microcosm of the city that hosts it except for one detail: it does not have a chief executive, as Hong Kong’s leader is called.

“We don’t have a central command to do anything,” says Daris Wong, 30, a paralegal manning a Cantonese-English interpretation booth, the latest in his string of self-appointed protest gigs.

“It’s maybe the not so good thing about these protests,” he says, “but it’s also the most beautiful thing.”

Over the past few days, Harcourt Road has acquired suburbs of camping tents. Most tents have numbers. Some are recognized addresses. A letter was recently delivered by the Hong Kong Post Office to tent 22, according to the Democratic Party’s Facebook page.

Protesters need not bring their own accommodation. Last Friday, Pat, a freelance graphic designer who declined to give her last name, opened registration at 8:30 p.m. for 67 tents donated to the supplies station she helps run. The assembled tents are called the Freedom Quarter, she said, handing a young couple waiting in line a list of rules: cleanliness is a must; checkout time is noon on Saturday.

Protesters bedding-in will find their stay clean, if not necessarily comfortable. Do-gooders ensure that public restrooms around the site are stocked with a mind-boggling assortment of toiletries, from face moisturizer to conditioning shampoo, many of them designer brands. Student volunteers mop out the facilities too, because the municipal cleaners can’t keep pace with the high numbers of people passing through the washrooms every day.

Roving trash collectors meanwhile bring waste to designated recycling areas, where the items are sorted and carted out to the city’s trash-collection stations.

“I saw that it wasn’t being done, and someone has to do it,” says Henry Ip, 23, a college student making one of his twice-daily rounds through the site with a plastic trash bag.

Meanwhile, supply tents — there are several around Harcourt Road — have become bursting emporiums of water, towels, face masks, Oreo cookies and McDonalds takeout.

“It’s messy because I just got here,” says Isaac Hung, 24, a law student who works an informal day shift at one such station, gesturing to a sprawl of snacks and medical supplies. “Every shift, I fix it, and then I come back, and it’s all messy again.”

Hung’s supplies tent has two couches, mats that suffice as carpeting, and lighting fashioned from flashlights and saline solution bottles. A walkie-talkie on the floor crackles insistently. Supply stations use them to call on each other if one runs out of something

Conservation and consideration rule this camp. Wong, the paralegal, says he often tries to pass out lunchboxes to protesters, only to be turned down: “They say, ‘Save it for someone who needs it more,’” Wong says.

“So then I say, ‘O.K., but if you don’t take it, I will give it to the police,’” he adds. “Then, they take it.” As he speaks, students sitting in a sprawling study zone that the protesters have outfitted with desks, lamps, and power outlets, politely decline a volunteer stooping to offer them tiny cakes.

Like any village, this one also has its resident oddballs. One taciturn protester, wearing a skull-print ski mask pulled up to his eyes, passes plastic cups of soup to passerby. Glass bottles of beer bob inside in his big blue cooler. His area, furnished with a vase of sunflowers, is just one photographic opportunity for visitors wandering the protest village.

Art abounds, much of it inspired by the umbrellas that became the symbol of the movement after protesters used them to shield themselves from police pepper spray. There’s a tall statue of a figure holding out an umbrella that’s become the subject of countless Instagrams. A short distance away are exhibitions of photography and ink drawings. Tourists love to gather for photos in front of a long staircase leading up to the Central Government Offices that has become plastered with thousands of brightly colored Post-It notes, each bearing a message of support for the protesters. It’s been christened the Lennon Wall.

Not that life is always colorful here. Prominent pro-democracy figures — in fact anyone with something to say — give frequent lectures to considerable crowds, but “sometimes people get tired of public speeches,” says Ivy Chan, 40, a staffer for a Labor Party legislator and the organizer of nightly documentary screenings. She briefly interrupted a Friday night showing to let the sleepy-looking, supine crowd know she had found someone’s heart disease pills.

Meanwhile, a group of law students manning a tent for legal discussions were finding the hoped-for debates stymied by general agreement among those who stopped in. As Tilly Chow, 19, put it, “the people who are really against us aren’t here, and they don’t want to know what we have to say.” By midnight, the collective had drawn its tent door closed to discuss boiling a 60-something page legal analysis of the situation into something more concise.

Elsewhere, tents were faintly lit with the glow of Facebook’s smartphone app. A young man took a photo on his iPad of a young woman popping her head out of their newly erected tent and waited as she approved the pictures. Many people were already asleep, or at least trying.

Protesters, weathering criticism from conservative Hong Kongers and business owners tired of protests clogging major traffic arteries, have emphasized that this demonstration is not a jubilant sleepover. A sign posted in the main encampment reads: “Not a Party, is a Protest.”

Indeed, as midnight neared, three young women paused at a quiet, unclaimed plot of pavement and began unspooling tarp from a bag, looking anything but party-ready.

“This is not fun,” says Tracy Leung, 28, who works for a retail chain, holding a corner of the rumpled canvas, which she hoped would eventually be a tent, but did not yet look like one.

“No one likes to sleep on the street,” added her colleague, Carol Lee, 26.

But they had a critical role to play in this village, the three friends said.

“I’m here as one more body,” said Leung. “Because for every one less body here, it gets more dangerous for everyone else.”

TIME Hong Kong

U.S. Calls for Probe Into Beating of Political Activist by Hong Kong Police

Police Move In To Clear Away Hong Kong Protest Sites
A man, a friend of activist Ken Tsang, who got kicked and beaten by police officers, shouts as he kneels on a street outside of the Hong Kong Police Headquarters in Wan Chai district in Hong Kong on Oct. 15, 2014 Anthony Kwan—Getty Images

The attack has stunned many in a city fearful for its freedoms under Chinese sovereignty

The U.S. has called for a “swift, transparent and complete” investigation into the beating by Hong Kong police of a political activist that was captured by a local television news crew.

The attack took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning local time, during one of the most violent demonstrations in the almost three weeks of pro-democracy protests that have rocked this increasingly divided Chinese city.

“We renew our call for the Hong Kong government to show restraint, and for protesters to continue to express their views peacefully,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, adding that Washington was “deeply concerned by reports of police beating a protester.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron also reiterated calls on Wednesday for Beijing to respect the agreement it signed with Britain before Hong Kong, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997. The agreement, he says, guarantees to Hong Kongers “rights and freedoms, including those of person, of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of travel, of movement, and, indeed, of strike.”

The Hong Kong government has responded to mounting pressure by revisiting the possibility of talks with the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), one of the main protest groups. At a press conference Thursday, the head of the government, embattled Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said the government would negotiate with the HKFS using a vice-chancellor from one of Hong Kong’s universities as a mediator.

This is an abrupt reversal of its position just a week ago, when Leung’s deputy, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, called off scheduled talks with students, claiming that constructive dialog was “impossible.”

Hong Kong’s protesters have been venting fresh outrage at the police after news video of plainclothes officers assaulting Civic Party member Ken Tsang went viral and photos of his bruised face and chest were shared on social media. In the video, Tsang is arrested before being taken around a corner and beaten while on the ground with his hands bound by a plastic tie.

Public anger has also been galvanized by the arrest of 45 people during the confrontation at which Tsang was arrested, which took place when police prevented demonstrators seeking to barricade a major thoroughfare leading to the main financial district.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong police said at a press conference on Thursday that seven police officers involved in Tsang’s arrest have been suspended and that a criminal investigation into the matter had been launched. Police had on Wednesday reassigned the officers, citing “serious concern” about the videotaped beating, but had also criticized “radical protesters” involved in the early morning confrontation for behaving in “an aggressive manner,” including kicking officers and attacking them with umbrellas.

“Even with their arms raised, this just could hardly be a peaceful means of protest,” police said.

A government statement also attempted to put blame on the protesters for the tumult, saying “protesters threw objects from above, as well as traffic cones” and alleging that some “pushed officers.”

Hong Kong’s protesters are calling on Beijing to grant the territory free elections. At present, Beijing insists on screening candidates for chief executive and on limiting the field to three candidates at most. The incumbent Leung has infuriated protesters by refusing to resign — he is seen as unrepresentative of Hong Kong people — and for saying that their demands have an “almost zero” chance of being realized.

In recent days, Leung has also become embroiled in a financial scandal over millions of dollars in undeclared payments from an Australian engineering company. While he says the payments are legal because they relate to services provided before he took office, the affair has nonetheless further eroded confidence in his leadership.

Meanwhile, protesters continue to hold key commercial arteries for a third week, erecting barricades and tents in what has fast become the most significant political movement in China since the 1989 occupation of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

On Wednesday night, more than a thousand people joined a protest against the beating of Tsang, organized by the Social Workers Union. Standing outside police headquarters on Arsenal Street, just around the corner from the main protest encampment on Harcourt Road, the crowds chanted, “Shame, shame, shame” at a line of police officers and expressed disappointment with a force they felt had let them down.

“I can’t believe it,” said one man, a visibly upset social worker who declined to give his name. “This sort of thing happens frequently in mainland China, but not here,” he added.

“It’s so unjust,” said another protester, Linda To, a social worker. “I can’t really describe the pain of seeing such brutality happen here.”

TIME Hong Kong

Hong Kong Democracy Protesters Lose Ground as Police Clear Barricades

Hong Kong Protests Barricades
Police officers remove barricades of pro-democracy protestors in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on Oct. 14, 2014. Pedro Ugarte—AFP/Getty Images

The main protest site is intact, however

In a setback to pro-democracy demonstrators currently occupying a large section of central Hong Kong, police reopened two major roads on Tuesday morning after a quick and clinical dismantling of the barricades painstakingly reinforced by protesters the previous day.

In the Admiralty district, about 70 officers stood guard with plastic shields as dozens of their colleagues, armed with pliers and chainsaws, made short work of the makeshift barriers that had been built from trashcans, bamboo poles and road signs, reinforced in places with concrete. The barricades blocked the major thoroughfare of Queensway.

There was hardly any resistance from the protesters, who could only watch helplessly as police completely locked down the road, loaded the barricade materials into three large trucks and carted them away.

But a handful of protesters sat at the police line with umbrellas and cloth masks, determined and defiant.

“We will rebuild the things we built,” said 21-year-old Nick Ko, who said he was upset but would not give up. “I don’t think they will use tear gas again.”

The clashes between supporters and opponents of the pro-democracy movement that took place the previous day were largely absent, with only a few peaceful encounters and debates taking place.

Monday marked the beginning of the third week of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, dubbed the Umbrella Revolution after protesters used umbrellas to shield themselves from police pepper spray.

Thousands of citizens have taken to the streets demanding the right to directly elect Hong Kong’s leader without interference from the central government in Beijing, which insists on screening candidates for the city’s top post.

By Tuesday afternoon, traffic was flowing for the first time in a fortnight on Queensway — the location of the city’s High Court and the glitzy Pacific Place development of luxury shops, hotels and offices. The barricades in the main protest area on Harcourt Road — called “Umbrella Square” by protesters — remain intact.

A section of the Causeway Bay protest site a few kilometers away was also reopened earlier in the day, with police clearing the barricades across the westbound lanes of Hennessy Road in the early morning. About a hundred protesters remained in the still-barricaded eastbound lane, planning their next steps.

“It won’t harm the momentum of the movement,” said Alex Chow, the secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students and a protest leader. “The main pressure on the government is the number of people supporting the movement.”

He added, “If the police keep eliminating areas one by one, it will trigger the people to come out again.”

A protester with the last name Leung, a 25-year-old lab technician who has been at the Causeway Bay site for 13 days, said police could dismantle barricades but students would fight back if police tried “to remove all of us at once.”

—Video by Helen Regan / Hong Kong

TIME Hong Kong

Hong Kong Student Protesters Prepare for Midterms and for Harder Questions

Hong Kong Protest Continues As Negotiations Break Down
Students do their homework at a study area at the protest site in Hong Kong on Oct. 10, 2014 Paula Bronstein—Getty Images

The city's young demonstrators are keeping up their studies on the barricades, but the big political questions may be harder to answer

Sitting in a road barricaded against police and thugs, Christopher Fung, 21, was armed for battle: he had two bags of M&Ms, and they weren’t even open yet.

Fung, an environmental-engineering student in Hong Kong, was readying himself for that test of smarts and sugar tolerance known as midterm season. Poised over coursework in fluid mechanics, laid on a concrete highway divider repurposed as a desk, he appeared to be facing his exams with all the confidence of a young rebel: “What we are doing on the streets is more important than exams,” he said.

As Hong Kong’s protests on Monday entered their fourth week since students first walked out of classes, Fung was among hundreds of droopy-shouldered demonstrators bent over calculators at a makeshift, but supremely well-organized, study area near government headquarters. Here, protesters are finding a balance between seeking the answers to two kinds of questions — those on exam papers, and the even harder ones being posed at the barricades: How can we make China answer us? Where is this all going? What should we do next?

Student protesters have pledged to blockade key commercial arteries in this efficient and orderly financial hub until Beijing agrees to table plans to vet candidates for the city’s top job — a position known as chief executive. To the students, this is pseudo democracy and they want the real thing. They are calling for Hong Kong’s 3.5 million voters to be given the freedom to nominate whoever they want to head the city’s government.

Beijing has given no sign of capitulation. Instead, China’s central government appears to be betting on the demonstrations gradually losing momentum, hoping that protesters will forfeit local goodwill from continued disruptions to traffic and commerce, and that the young demonstrators eventually bow to the pressures of schoolwork and head back to class.

On the last point, at least, Beijing appears to have misjudged, at least for now. Multiple universities, including City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University, have issued statements encouraging professors to consider making allowances for protesters. Students say they are still attending class in between protesting and that schoolwork, if taking some hits, is not outright tanking.

At a satellite encampment in Causeway Bay, high school students say their class attendance has been spotless — well, except for some tardiness, plus the occasional absence, explained away with emails from sympathetic parents or halfhearted apologies for “oversleeping alarms.”

“I’ve been [to school] every day,” says Edric Lee, 16, a sophomore at an international high school in Hong Kong, appearing out of a tent strewn with calculators, textbooks and pens, where he and friends were both studying and bedding each night.

“O.K., well, nearly every day,” Lee revises, as his friend Teresa Lui, 16, chortles tellingly at his side. “I get there late. But not that late. Noon. And, like, not that much.”

Lui, a junior, says she limits her protesting to weekends and evenings. But her teachers are supportive of students coming to the protests and have even visited a few times, to “check in on us and make sure we’re O.K.,” she says.

Both teens are also evening regulars at a makeshift school in the encampment, where local university students teach high-school-level coursework to students sitting on blue and white blankets. On tap for one recent evening: a biology course taught by a medical student, plus two hours of physics and math education taught by an undergrad. Later, there were courses in Greek drama (Antigone), English conversation, and yoga (whose instructor had cautioned, “Don’t eat too full!”).

“We know this is going to be a long fight, and the high school students can’t fall behind,” said Chris Lau, 21, a university student who was helping manage the class schedule, as well as teaching a course in self-defense that evening.

But was this physics major ready for his own exams?

“Oh my God, no,” said Lau, who had a midterm on Monday. It was Sunday evening.

“I just started studying today,” he said, looking besieged.

But there are also lessons harder than physics to be learned, as students weigh how, from here on, to challenge the Chinese government, after receiving nothing but telling silence. Hong Kong police have repeatedly called on demonstrators to open up key roads, and groups of fed-up residents have threatened to tear down protest encampments if the police do not do so first. Student leaders have apologized to residents and asked for continued goodwill for the occupation.

There has been some compromise. On Monday, after police attempted to clear a major road in Central district, and after armed men set upon some demonstrators, protesters redoubled their fortifications. But protesters in Causeway Bay allowed police early on Tuesday to open up the westbound lane in a thoroughfare running through the major shopping area.

At Hong Kong University, the daytime mood in the classroom is “business as usual” but less so after hours, when students head to the barricades and experience learning of a different kind.

“This is what university education is about,” says Paul Yip, a professor of social sciences at the school. “We’re not trying to protect them from anything. They’re adults now. They have choices, and they must make their own decisions, and then they must accept the consequences.”

Those discussions are, of course, also happening outdoors. In protest hot spots, class is in session each evening, with local professors giving lectures on all things democratic and protesters hunting for theoretical guidance on what, in practice, to do next.

Ming Sing, a professor of Hong Kong politics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, says he has given four talks so far at protest sites, as part of a professor-organized “mobile democracy classroom” lecture series. Dozens of students have held him up for around two hours after each hour-long lecture, zinging questions like, How is this all going to end?

“If this ends in a bloody crackdown, we might see students become radicalized, but we might also see them become cynics and never try anything like this again,” he says.

On Monday evening, a group of high school boys still in uniform, ironed ties unloosened, wandered through Harcourt Road, a village of bright tents and signs urging, “If Not You, Then Who?” The students were not protesters, they said — officially, their school had urged them not to come, for safety reasons — but their school was nearby and they had wanted to see this alternative civics classroom.

“I did not know I believed in natural law until I started coming here,” said a 17-year-old student in the group, surnamed Chong, citing the idea that laws are discoverable in human reason.

“And I have to tell you,” he said, surrounded by a cohort who looked half-mocking, half-admiring, “I have never seen anything like this before. I have never seen Hong Kong look more beautiful than it does right now, right here.”

TIME Crime

Cornel West Arrested as Protests Continue in Ferguson

Activist Cornel West is detained by police during a protest at the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson
Activist Cornel West (2nd R) is detained by police during a protest at the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri, October 13, 2014. Jim Young—Reuters

Cornel West was one of the people arrested

Author, activist and academic Cornel West was arrested Monday in Ferguson, Mo., amid continued demonstrations demanding justice for Mike Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9.

Boston-based minister, activist and author the Rev. Osagyefo Sekou was also arrested, MSNBC reports. Earlier in the day, more than 1,000 protestors took part in a sit-in at the campus of St. Louis University.

The events occurred during a “weekend of resistance,” organized to protest “the epidemic of police violence facing Black and Brown communities.” Earlier this month, another black teenager in the St. Louis area named Vonderrit Myers, Jr. was killed by a white police officer.

Although there were more than a dozen arrests over the weekend, as well as accusations that police used excessive force, overall the protests were mostly peaceful compared to the ones that gained national attention in August, where tear gas was used on citizens and many more arrests, including of members of the media, occurred.

[MSNBC]

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