The Umbrella Movement
No, don’t make any quick assumptions! The “Umbrella Movement” doesn’t have to do with any kind of umbrellas’ advertisement. In Hong Kong, umbrellas were both literally and metaphorically transformed into shields of protection. Since 26 September 2014, Hong Kong students are protesting for more political freedom as China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) announced its decision on proposed electoral reform. The young protesters who have gathered outside the Hong Kong Government headquarters used umbrellas to protect themselves from police pepper spray. For this reason, umbrellas became the symbol of the movement which can be also called as the “Umbrella Revolution”.
The main demand of the protesters is the right to nominate and directly elect the head of the Hong Kong government, known as the chief executive. The NPCSC made it clear that a 1200-member nominating committee would elect two to three electoral candidates with more than half of the votes before the general public could vote on them. Beijing insists that candidates for the chief-executive position must be vetted by an electoral committee of tycoons, oligarchs and pro-Beijing figures.
It is known that Hong Kong’s case is special as this city has an independent judiciary, common law, freedom of information and movement, and a reasonably free press. Since it stopped being a British colony in 1997, China has regained Hong Kong’s domination. For this reason, China will insist on influencing the chief executive’s election.
What will happen in the future? Nobody knows, but for sure for Beijing all these young activists are a big headache!