It has been three years since pro-democracy protesters took to the streets to urge a universal suffrage system for Hong Kong’s chief executive.
It was also the first time in decades that hundreds of riot police were sent to disperse crowds with tear gas, batons and shields in the Asian financial hub.
On September 28, 2014, when tens of thousands of protesters started occupying Harcourt Road and Connaught Road in front of the government headquarters in Admiralty to call for democracy, they did not know that the umbrellas they brought for shade from the sun would become shields against pepper spray, tear-gas grenades and batons.
After 87 lots of tear-gas grenades were fired, Hong Kong became a different city – relations between Beijing and Hong Kong people turned sour. Political heat between the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps has lingered in the city over the past three years.
The September 28 protest led to the 79-day Occupy movement, or Umbrella Movement, which resulted in a veto of Hong Kong’s political reform proposed by Beijing. The proposal had been criticized by democrats as a “fake universal suffrage.”
Pictures of the September 28, 2014 protest follow: