10+ Powerful Photographs Show the Ongoing Protests Happening in Hong Kong

For the past 10 weeks, Hong Kong has been in the midst of ongoing protests that have taken to the streets and, most recently, the local airport. The demonstrations were spurred by a controversial bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China where the courts are controlled by the Communist party. Since this time, however, the protests have grown into a larger, all-encompassing pro-democracy campaign.

Hong Kong is technically a special administrative region that has its own government and economic systems. As one of the world’s most expensive and densely populated cities, it is technically separate from mainland China; however, in recent years, Beijing has exerted more influence over Hong Kong. Activists, for example, have been imprisoned and pro-democracy lawmakers have been barred from running or holding office. This has even trickled down to independent booksellers. These purveyors have disappeared from the city only to resurface on the mainland and face criminal charges.

The loss of a “high degree of autonomy” over time has fanned the flames of public anger and encouraged millions to demand change at the risk of personal safety. There have been aggressive tactics used by police against protestors including tear gas and rubber bullets. On July 21, gangs of men attacked activists and commuters at a transit station, and on August 12, a woman was hit in her eye (by a beanbag or rubber bullet) by police. Pro-democracy protesters, however, have committed to keeping this movement going until their demands are met and the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, resigns. Through it all, both professional and amateur photographers have been documenting this significant moment in history, capturing the passion and chaos of a nation at a potential turning point.

Scroll down to get a sense of what it’s like on the ground of the protests.

Hong Kong has been embroiled in pro-democracy protests for the past 10 weeks and counting. Scroll down for powerful photojournalism of the chaotic events.

Protesters shield themselves with umbrellas against pepper spray used by the police outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong from r/pics


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HK protest on a rainy day (photo credits: 陳焯煇/端傳媒) from r/pics

Hong Kong Protesters Occupy The Airport – All Flights in and out cancelled from r/pics


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DEMOCRACY NOW from r/pics


Next: Even More Powerful Photos of the Hong Kong Protests

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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