Observers of this weekend’s youth-led demonstrations in Hong Kong have noticed a familiar gesture: Ferguson protesters’ “hands up, don’t shoot.” Coming little more than a month after some Palestinians Tweeted teargas advice to Ferguson’s protesters, “hands up” in Hong Kong appears to confirm that Ferguson’s influence has gone global.
Hands up don’t shoot is being used by tens of thousands as a form of protest in Hong Kong. Powerful. pic.twitter.com/on2DY5FrQH
– Alex Medina (@mrmedina) September 28, 2014
Vox reports however, “It’s impossible to say the degree to which protesters are using the gesture as a deliberate nod to Ferguson, or borrowing something they’d seen on the news for their own purposes, or using it coincidentally.” And Quartz’s Lily Kuo, reporting from the ground in Hong Kong, has this to say:
Most Hong Kong protesters aren’t purposefully mimicking ”hands up, don’t shoot,”as some have suggested. Instead, the gesture is a result of training and instructions from protest leaders, who have told demonstrators to raise their hands with palms forward to signal their peaceful intentions to police.
Asked about any link between the gesture and Ferguson, Icy Ng, a 22-year-old design student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University said, “I don’t think so. We have our hands up for showing both the police and media that we have no weapons in our hands.” Ng had not heard of the Ferguson protests. Another demonstrator, with the pro-democracy group Occupy Central, Ellie Ng said the gesture had nothing to do with Ferguson and is intended to demonstrate that “Hong Kong protesters are peaceful, unarmed, and mild.”
In Ferguson, where street demonstrations are still happening, reporter Amanda Wills found one protester with a soldarity message for Hong Kong. Read more at Mashable.com. And learn about Hong Kong’s democracy demonstrations, which have drawn thousands, through the eyes of Joshua Wong, one of its 17-year-old leaders.