Protests in Hong Kong aimed at Beijing’s stripping away of the country’s democracy have entered a second day and the crowds are unbelievably large. By many accounts, the protests, known as “Occupy Central,” have only grown in size.
The protests are largely aimed at restrictions China has placed on Hong Kong’s upcoming 2017 election of its civil leader. According to CNN, all future candidates must be vetted by Beijing in a process that undermines the island’s status as being politically autonomous from mainland China.
In order to quell the protests, China has moved in riot police and has deployed tear gas and pepper spray. The sheer intensity of the Chinese response has been staggering.
Edwin Lee, a resident of Hong Kong, posted the following video to Facebook showing a first hand account of what happens when tear gas hits the streets in Hong Kong.
Before the tear gas was fired, the protestors were peacefully assembling and listening to a speech by Martin Lee, the founder of the Democratic Party in Hong Kong.
Once tear gas started falling, the protestors quickly cleared the area amid a sense of panic.
Lee described being hit with tear gas as “pretty much like searing pain in the eyes, lungs on fire and instant sun burn on your skin.”
The tear gas ultimately caused Lee to seemingly collapse, along with other protestors.
The full video is below.
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