As it happened: Hong Kong protests 29 September

Key points

  • Thousands of protesters have taken over central areas of Hong Kong and are camped outside government offices - many schools and banks closed
  • Protesters are angry at changes to Hong Kong's political system which will allow direct elections but only from a pool of candidates approved by Beijing
  • A student-led protest movement has joined forces with the larger Occupy Central after a week of demonstrations and class boycotts
  • On Sunday night police used tear gas and pepper spray on the crowds
  • The government says riot police have now withdrawn, and has ordered protesters to disperse peacefully as soon as possible
  • The Chinese Foreign Ministry has warned against any foreign interference over the protests. All times in BST

Live text


  • Alex Kleiderman 
  • Khanim Javadova 
  • Yaroslav Lukov 
  • Julia Macfarlane 
  • Anna Jones 
  • Tessa Wong 

Last updated 29 September 2014


Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of events in Hong Kong, where thousands of pro-democracy protesters are on the streets and have shut down a large part of the Central Business District.


The protesters are angry at changes to Hong Kong's democratic processes - Beijing has promised Hong Kong would have direct elections by 2017, but has since ruled voters will only be able to choose from a list of pre-approved candidates. For more on this read our Q&A on Hong Kong's democracy debate.


Nathan Road, normally heaving with traffic at this time, has been shut down along with others major roads in central Hong Kong.

Nathan Road, Hong Kong (29 Sept 2014)


Thousands of protesters spent last night on the streets, ignoring demands from police that they disperse. Police fired tear gas on Sunday night and ordered crowds to stop charging police lines.


Hong Kong has been governed under a "one country, two systems" policy since it was handed back to China by the UK in 1997, which guarantees the territory liberties not seen on the Chinese mainland, including freedom of speech and the right to protest. The protesters say this is in danger.


Carrie Gracie, BBC China editor

"Today is the inevitable consequence of last month's announcement from the Chinese parliament about restrictions on universal suffrage, but it is also a direct political challenge to Beijing - and therefore a defining test for China's promise on one country, two systems." Read more from Carrie on her blog: 10 things China's leader Xi Jinping might be thinking


Standard Chartered and several other banks have suspended some operations in central Hong Kong amid the protests - counter staff have been advised to work from home or in other offices.


The umbrella has become the unofficial symbol of the protest movement, says the South China Morning Post, after students used the omnipresent accessory to shelter from tear gas and pepper spray. Supporters have begun referring to the protests as the "umbrella revolution", says the paper.

Protesters with umbrellas in Hong Kong (29 Sept 2014)


The protesters have demanded that Hong Kong's leader, chief executive CY Leung, step down. In a statement on Monday, Occupy Central blamed his "non-response to the people's demands" for the unrest, saying it had "driven Hong Kong into a crisis of disorder". It went on to urge all officials "who have a conscience, to resign from their positions and to stand with the people".


Solidarity protests have also formed in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. Taiwan split from China in 1949 and China has always maintained the right to reclaim the island, by force if necessary. These students outside the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei held signs saying "Hong Kong Today, Taiwan Tomorrow".

Students outside Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei (29 Sept 2014)