Documentary filmmaker Thomas Boarder has filmed incredible 360-degree footage of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Boarder’s videos are taking people around the world to the heart of the protests, which have entered their third month.
Last Saturday, a short authorised protest in Mong Kok district strayed from its designated route and spread across neighbouring areas
Drawing about 120,000 participants, the protest briefly shut down the arterial Cross-Harbour Tunnel.
Protestors who moved to Tsim Sha Tsui and Wong Tai Sin were met by riot police and the demonstrations quickly turned violent. Twenty people were arrested and charged with unlawful assembly, more than 18 injured.
As numbers swelled, riot police took to using tear gas, pepper spray and batons. This prompted many residents – some of them, elderly, shirtless men, without protective gear – to join the protesters, reported the South China Morning Post. “Wong Tai Sin does not welcome you, go away!” some of them shouted.
The Saturday evening also saw a new protest technique – the use of handheld lasers with demonstrators flashing the pointers at police buildings, officers and surveillance cameras. While laser pointers are perfectly legal, on August 6, police arrested Baptist University student union president Keith Fong Chung-yin on suspicion of possessing offensive weapons which officers identified as 10 laser pointers.
According to the city’s police, the pointers can be deemed weapons if they are used in an attack.
Meticulously planned, the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong began after Beijing proposed the introduction of a bill that would effectively allow it to charge and extradite any Hong Konger it deemed to be a threat. While the passage of the bill was put off, Hong Kong has been on a boil, fighting for its autonomy.
On August 9, protestors gathered at Hong Kong airport in preparation for a three-day rally.
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