Hong Kong’s bustling streets and financial heartland have been overwhelmed by tens of thousands of protesters after the pro-democracy group, Occupy Central, officially launched a mass civil disobedience movement, Liz Fields of Vice News reports.
Occupy Central had been threatening for weeks to hold protests aimed at paralyzing the city’s financial and business center if China failed to meet demands for universal suffrage, and grant full and open elections in 2017 as promised.
Clashes between police and protesters began Friday, when hundreds of students swarmed Hong Kong’s government headquarters and staged a two-night sit-in, after boycotting class for a week. The students were quickly joined by thousands of others, including Occupy organizers.
The movement’s quickly swelling numbers prompted organizers to begin the official Occupy Central protest early Sunday, ahead of unconfirmed plans that the demonstrations would be staged Wednesday on China’s National Day holiday.