A mass sit-in that has shut down Hong Kong’s CBD is continuing to grow, presenting the Chinese Government with one of its biggest political challenges since the Tiananmen Square crackdown 25 years ago.
Despite orders to disperse, protestors have prepared themselves for more clashes with police, donning protective gear and face masks in expectation of more tear gas and pepper spray attacks.
The peaceful demonstration turned violent on Sunday night when riot police fired tear gas into the crowd and brandished guns at protestors in an attempt to move them.
Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators have been camped outside government headquarters since Friday, blocking one of the city’s major thoroughfares in the financial district.
Reuters estimates that 80,000 protestors have flooded the streets despite orders to disperse, with thousands keeping a round-the-clock vigil.
Stunning pictures from the scene continue to dominate social media, showing a sea of people in a crowd that appears to be growing.
— Andrew Richardson (@BazingaJournal) September 29, 2014
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) September 29, 2014
The protests come as the Chinese government insists on vetting candidates in the 2017 election for Hong Kong’s next leader.