Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Pictures of the WTO Protest
The first picture is Victoria Park. While not as large Hyde Park or Central Park it is a real jewel. There is a 700 meter jogging trail, 4 playgrounds, a roller rink and incredibly beautiful landscaping. The protesters have pretty much taken it over. The tents you see are the booths the protesters setup for their "Cultural Fair." They are not normally there.
This is a picture of Hennesey Road taken from a 116 bus. You can see the leading edge of the protest coming up from the side street that was the designated as the protest route. The protesters didn't like this arrangement because they thought it didn't give them enough exposure. It also keeps them penned in between building that do not have any alleys. That makes it harder for them to riot because they can't get around the police. What is really interesting is the lack of traffic on Hennessey Road. These baboons have been a major source of economic distress to local merchants.
This is a picture of Sugar Street. If you look carefully you can see 20 to 25 police officers on this street. There are only about 20,000 protesters which is a small amount considering that Hong Kong had a protest last week that had nearly 300,000 locals. With 9000 police on duty the protesters are only able to gain a little better than 2 to 1 advantage and the Hong Kong police are pretty well trained and are required to be in good physical condition. Also, as mentioned above the routing keeps the protesters in a narrow front so that they cannot get around the police. BTW there were less than 100 police needed for the local protest with 300,000 people.
This is the 12 story Sogo Department store in Causeway Bay. It is kind of a Japanese version of Neiman Marcus and I've never seen them pull the rolling doors down while they were open before. They were searching everyone going into the store. They were also especially vigilant for shoplifting as these protesters have a have a history shop theft.
This is a crosswalk where I have to cross the street. If you look on the right you can see a police officer in dark blue kevlar jacket with his back to me. That is the front of the police cordon. The locals are just walking or in some cases jeering. This is not a very popular group.
This is the glass front of a large hotel. The man in distance is a plain clothed police officer who asked to see my ID.