I knew the protest that started last Sunday was going to continue today, as the legislative council was to meet today to discuss (or perhaps even vote for?!) this proposed new extradition bill that the city – and a number of overseas countries – is up in arms about. So I decided to make my way to Admiralty and watch what could potentially be a historic moment unfold.
It was indeed quite intense. I got there at around 12:30pm, and everything seemed pretty calm at this point. I probably arrived during lunchtime, so everyone was ready to take a break. So I did too 😊 I figured all the protestors would be grabbing lunch somewhere in Admiralty, so I decided to walk to nearby Central and grab something there instead, to avoid the ridiculous crowds.
I went back to Admiralty closer to 2:30pm, as I suspected things might escalate from around 3pm, as the protestors had given the government an ultimatum to scrap the bill by that time. The crowd around the Legislative Council building had built up, and things did start to get a bit intense soon enough. Protestors kept coming around asking for umbrellas, well that’s what I figured they were asking, as people just kept giving them more and more umbrellas, which they were using to defend themselves against the police.
The police eventually fired tear gas into the crowds to try and disperse the protestors, and it was windy enough for the remnants of that tear gas to waft its way over to where I was standing. I thought I was already pretty far enough away from the main action, but the wind made that distance feel much closer. The protestors were actually giving out masks to us mere observers, which I thought was a really kind gesture. But I decided to leave soon after the first round of tear gas was deployed, as it was just getting a bit too intense for my liking. And as I was walking back to Central, they had dispersed a second round of tear gas, which again started to waft where I happen to be walking – and a number of the protestors were also running in my general direction. Greeeat, I was going to get caught in the stampede. But luckily I wasn’t, and I managed to somehow find myself in relative safety 😅
I decided to go to Lady M in IFC to de-stress, but when I got there, I was told that they were closed, but that I could still order takeaway. Apparently a number of small businesses had chosen to close down today, to allow their staff to participate in today’s protest and also as a sign of solidarity with them. Perhaps Lady M made this decision too.
So I sat outside in a general sitting area just off one of the main roads in Central and ate my slice of Lady M cake 🍰 By this time, ambulances were in full force, with one driving past, blaring its sirens, every few minutes around me 😔 Definitely time to go home.
I then just watched the live broadcast on TV for the next few hours while they had it on. Apparently the intensity had indeed been stepped up a notch or two, so luckily I left when I did.
Quite an intense day 😥