The glitzy, high-end Pacific Place mall is packed with young protestors, many wearing black shirts and face masks, and yelling in the usually quiet mall foyer.
Hundreds of protestors were driven back into the mall by the police’s use of tear gas outside.
Now Pacific Place is packed with people, and there’s a sense of restlessness and frustration. Many have red eyes or faces from the gas outside, and groups are staying close to one another, trying not to lose each other in the tide of people.
Chi Chan, a 30-year-old office clerk, was one of the people pushed back from a walkway into Pacific Place. Sirens were ringing in the mall as she entered, set off by the gas outside.
Her boss let her leave work early to join the protest, and she arrived at 2.30 p.m., right before the gas began to fly.
She said she had come because was concerned by the Chinese legal systems’ lack of transparency, and said in the last five years Beijing had tried to influence Hong Kong too much.
Although Wednesday looked like it could be the beginning of another Umbrella movement, she said it would be more difficult for protestors to pull it off this time around — the government and authorities had learnt from past experience.
“It’s not that easy,” she said.