How did I end up in the Hong Kong Protest – Pro-Police / Falun Gong – in Mongkok on August 4, 21013?
I was in Mongkok doing a few things on a Sunday afternoon. There were shouts and loud chants audible from the time I exited the MTR. I thought it was some sort of football rally. Of course not. Hong Kongers love to protest. For good reasons, for questionable reasons, it seems a large percentage of people enjoy taking their grievances to the streets. More power to them.
From the SCMP:
Scuffles broke out between hundreds of supporters of an outspoken teacher and her detractors in Mong Kok yesterday as both sides staged political rallies that erupted into chaos.
The protests were triggered by an online video of Alpais Lam Wai-sze, a primary school teacher at Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood in Fanling, in which she is seen shouting at police officers over their handling of a dispute between the Falun Gong and the Youth Care Association.
Camera in hand, strangely as I have been shooting lately, I wandered into the crowd. Police were everywhere. The protesters were relatively calm, although some scuffles broke out. Mongkok on a Sunday afternoon is full of shoppers. The main pedestrian thoroughfare had been completely blocked. Shops were closed and shuttered against possible violence. I shot the crowd and wished I had a wider lens. A 135mm is not ideal for documentary photography.
The above photo was the tail-end of a cheer from the assembled crowd. One lone set of hand continued to clap long after everyone had stopped. Next time, I’ll make sure there is a wider lens in my bag…