Hong Kong Anti-Rail Link Protest Goes Off The Rails...

This wasn't supposed to happen.

In a slight departure from the plot, the anti-rail link protestors decided, en masse, to climb the hill up to Hong Kong Government House in order to 'wake up' Chief Executive Donald Tsang. Usually 'public processions' of ten or more people need prior permission from the police. This was never going to happen tonight.

The mood felt somewhat like how I imagine how Paris would have felt like before the riots of May 1968. With a touch of the Hong Kong July 1st 2003 anti-Article 23 mass protests. The crowd was young, happy and idealistic. The so-called 'post-1980's generation' kids played their drums and guitars, whilst others sang and danced. They blocked the road in front of Government House for around two hours. Suprisingly, the protest passed off peacefully. I belive the last time Government House saw such large protests was during the 1967 Communist riots, but I could be wrong.

The Mexican wave was performed a few times, and there was lots of laughing and goofing around. It felt beatnik.

The police were certainly caught off guard, with the approaches to Government House left completely unprotected.

Celebrity protestor Christina Chan was chased by the police. As usual.

Back in Chater Garden next to LegCo, a 'tent city' has sprung up, with around 100 protesters camping there overnight. They vow to remain whilst the Express Rail Link funding bill passes through LegCo.

The anti-rail link protestors were getting up to all sorts of antics.

I have never seen Statue Square so full of people just venting off. Despite the cold weather, you can really feel the political temperature in Hong Kong hotting up.

Meanwhile supporters of the train were having their heads shaved in protest, er, support.

The pro-Beijing pro-train lot are mobilizing themselves against the anti-train, pro-universal suffrage kids through Facebook. It's a showdown.

I think Beijing is going to be really mad tomorrow. They will be asking themelves, has the Hong Kong Government really lost control this time?

ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA PHOTOGRAPHER

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