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Lots of Crying and Complaining: How Occupy Protests are Covered in China

Posted: 10/23/2014 9:00 am
hk occupy central talks

The student leaders are seen to the left. There should be five of them if you count.

The Occupy protests in Hong Kong have been well-covered by Mainland media, although the coverage is obviously been selective. That means people Mainland still aren’t clear about who is protesting, or why.

One way to know would have been be to watch the televised discussion two nights ago that featured the movement’s student leaders and the Hong Kong government. As it were, and as expected, mainland news media covered the talks but didn’t quote the students a single time, or even give their names.

hk occupy central talks

But the Occupy movement does have a face on the mainland news: an unhappy and disgruntled one. Stories regularly highlight how the “average Hong Kong resident” is upset with the protests and want them to end. Mainland TV coverage has focused upon the people impacted by the demonstrations — people who tend to speak in Putonghua, a language not normally used in Hong Kong (at least not well).

complaining angry crying hong kong resident occupy centralIn one video (below), Miss Zhang said the Occupy protesters had destabilized the city:

We need to work and live
Children need to go to school
You’ve made it so that children can’t even go to school
Working is not convenient
There are even some places where stores have closed
Having closed, many workers aren’t able to go to work
If they can’t work, they can’t make a salary
What do you say? (Does Occupy Central) have a big impact?

complaining angry crying hong kong resident occupy centralMrs Yu complains that her rights have been infringed upon:

The situation for my daughter have become like this
When my daughter goes to school, there aren’t any teachers there to teach her
She is the only one sitting in the classroom
When she returns (home), she is very, very sad
This has stripped us of our rights

complaining angry crying hong kong resident occupy centralAnd then we have Eric, a long-time resident of Hong Kong who represents the laowai:

Most of the people I know in Hong Kong do not like what is going on
They want a peaceful Hong Kong, with gradual progress like we have been having, stability, harmony… that’s what we want

complaining angry crying hong kong resident occupy centralEric then reads from a book:

Hold(ing) HK hostage is not peaceful
Block(ing the) streets is not democracy
obstruction is violence (in law, in fact)
Blame(ing) police for their violence is hypocracy, because they are the ones causing the problem.

complaining angry crying hong kong resident occupy centralThis woman is one of the few Hong Kong residents caught on camera speaking in Cantonese. Here she is arguing with a person who is not seen or heard:

Nothing you do has any use
Is this for the benefit of Hong Kong residents? No!
It’s just become more chaotic
making more problems
And made this society less harmonious

complaining angry crying hong kong resident occupy central

But if there is one face that represents the Occupy protests on mainland television, it would be this woman. Here, she’s seen crying when speaking of the chaos that has inflicted the city:

It’s a contradicting and tearing apart of the (Hong Kong people)
and it’s getting bigger
I think that it’s getting bigger
and has made our Hong Kong into a chaotic place
I am terribly saddened by this
Honestly, very saddened
I have lived in Hong Kong for ten years
I feel that the peace we had before was so much better
It’s that they’ve been infiltrated by foreign powers
and caused disorder
I’ve lived in Mongkok for a long time now
Reporter: You live in Mongkok?

It’s so loud there every night
How can I sleep?

The woman went on to clarify what she meant about “foreign powers”:

I think that it must be foreign powers
who are making moves in the background, turning Hong Kong into this (mess)
Reporter: Why?
I honestly think this
because I have a friend who took their money
so that he would participate in Occupy Central
I asked him (where the money came from)
He said he boss received their money
and then his boss told him to go to “Occupy Central”
He said that if he didn’t go
He would lose his job as a result
For standing two days, he was awarded 2,500 yuan

The videos are seen below:

Photo: Sohu, Xinhua, screencaps from Ku6, iFeng

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