On Wednesday, police detained two prominent Hong Kong student leaders and 167 other protesters. Joshua Wong, 18, and Lester Shum, 21, were among the crowds gathered in Mong Kok, a bustling commercial district across the harbor from Hong Kong island. They were eventually released; Wong is now carrying out a hunger strike to further the protesters' demands for democracy.
The picture below of Shum's arrest last week was taken by Alan Kwankit, a local news photographer.
You can see footage of the moment of Shum and Wong's arrest here:
The photo offers a stark illustration of the new divisions that have surfaced during the more than two months of protests that have gripped the former British colony. Shum and tens of thousands of other students and young people in Hong Kong say they are fighting for genuine democracy in the Chinese territory — something they believe Hong Kong is entitled to under the provisions of Britain's handover of the city to China but the communist rulers in Beijing will never deliver.
Their struggle has activated a generational divide in the city, with many of Hong Kong's older residents complaining bitterly about the disruption and inconvenience caused by the protests' main occupations. The protesters are angry, moreover, at the ruling establishment within Hong Kong, a coterie of political and business elites who critics say are in bed with Beijing to the detriment of the larger Hong Kong population. As the protests have raged, polls have showed fewer Hong Kongers even identifying as "Chinese."
After persevering longer than anyone initially thought they could, the protesters appear to be finally losing steam. Some organizers have opted to surrender and abandon their camp sites rather than risk further clashes with police. Others are bracing for renewed police efforts to dislodge the last, main occupation site.
The protest movement, facing an enemy it knows it can't defeat, has left an indelible mark on this feisty city of 7 million people. Shum's calm and composure are a stirring testament to the defiance of Hong Kong's young people.