Tears Without Tear Gas: The failure of the Umbrella Revolution and Hong Kong's youth

Caleb Camrud


Hong Kong's recent Umbrella Movement was caused by factors dating back to the British invasion and occupation of the port of Canton. Though on the outside, it looked as though these protests dealt with the upcoming elections of the Chief Executive, they were ultimately protesting the fundamental system of governance in place in Hong Kong. Had the protests merely been concerned with electoral reform, they would have had no legal standing upon which to make their claims, with both the Joint Declaration and Basic Law supporting the system proposed by the People's Republic of China. Though the protests gained some footing early on, they ultimately dispersed, and no electoral reform has yet taken place. The Umbrella Revolution, i.e. the spirit of disbanding and reshaping the current system of governance in Hong Kong, what the protesters were hoping to achieve, will ultimately fail, due to movement's overreliance on youth. Young people in Hong Kong simply do not have enough political efficacy, nor enough economic or militaristic means, to institute any major changes, and with the Basic Law's provisions ceasing in 2047, time is running out.


Hong Kong; China; Umbrella Movement; 2014 Hong Kong Protests; Political Reform


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