Joshua Wong: The face of the Hong Kong protests for democracy in 5 pictures

Joshua Wong leads students in a protest on China's National Day. (Twitter)

Joshua Wong leads students in a protest on China's National Day. (Twitter)

Hong Kong’s streets are lined with thousands of people who are protesting an election reform that mandates Beijing’s approval of candidates for Hong Kong’s chief executive – at the centre of it all, 17-year-old student activist Joshua Wong, the leader of a student group called Scholarism.

The protests started after the Beijing government turned down demands for a free and fair election for Hong Kong’s next chief executive in 2017, effectively tightening the noose on the throat of those in the opposition party who favour more democracy.

Instead of favouring an open election, China’s National People’s Congress said that nominees for the executive needed to be approved by a committee made up of more than 50% of pro-Beijingers. 

Furious protesters are having none of it, nor is the skinny, bespectacled Wong, who despite several efforts by the government to censor media and social media coverage, has found himself gaining a lot of global traction and harnessing a lot of support as the face of Occupy Central. 

In the digital age, where the protest is no longer an isolated event, Wong’s youthful rage can be heard all over the internet. His protest-march-feet were wet two years ago when he lead demonstrations against a governmental plan to implement “patriotic education” – something he called Chinese Communist Party indoctrination. And in this past week, he has been no less vocal and vigorous about the current demonstrations, charging government buildings with throes of followers and inspiring many more to take to the streets in protest. 

Let’s take a look at Joshua Wong in five pictures. 

1.    Joshua Wong leads fellow students during a march on China’s National Day.

2.    Some say his views appeal to a new generation of Chinese born citizens, hungry for a more democratic society.

3.
Wong is arrested by police during a demonstration outside Hong Kong’s government headquarters.

4. Hong Kong’s streets bursting with people as Wong holds the attention garnering plenty of media attention as well.

5.  According to stats from the Straits Times Asia Report, Wong’s two-year-old student movement Scholarism already ranks at number eight on the top 10 of Hong Kong’s political groups, and social media savvy students have contributed a lot to drive the political and social force forward.

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee became Africa’s first social media editor in a newsroom at the Mail & Guardian, where she went on to work as deputy digital editor and a disruptor of the peace through a weekly column. A stint as the program manager for Impact Africa – a grant-disbursing fund for African digital journalists – followed. She now pursues her own writing full time by enraging readers of EWN and Women 24 with weekly and bi-monthly columns respectively. She also contributes to the Sunday Times and a range of other publications. Mohamed Dawjee's inaugural book of essays: Sorry, not sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa, is due for release by Penguin Random House in April 2018.Follow her on Twitter: @sage_of_absurd Read more from Haji Mohamed Dawjee

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