The Strategist

'Fishball Revolution' Takes Hong Kong by Storm

02/09/2016 - 14:10

The confrontation between illegal street vendors, food inspectors and Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene in Hong Kong has sprouted out in violent clashes. More than 100 people got injured In the brawl, 54 participants of the protest action were detained by police. The Hong Kong events have already received an informal name "Fishball Revolution."

The riots broke out on Tuesday in a densely populated residential and shopping area in the west of Hong Kong. According to local media, the clashes were triggered by the police’s attempts, acting on behalf of the Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene, to clean the streets of unauthorized tents and stalls. The vendors were hawking traditional food and decorations on the occasion of the new year (this year, Chinese New Year was celebrated on the night of 8 of February).

The vendors were supported by hundreds of passers-by and activists who came into violent clashes with the police, throwing bottles, cobblestones of the pavement and debris. The social media began spreading news of the riots under the hashtag #FishballRevolution in honor of fish meatballs, traditional Chinese and Korean cuisine.

Police responded with rubber batons and pepper sprays, and fired several warning shots into the air. By morning, the crowd was dispersed, 54 rioters arrested. According to AFP, more than 100 people, including 48 police officers were injured.

These actions have become the most massive protest since autumn of 2014, when Hong Kong's streets were full of members of a protest movement Occupy Central, trying to achieve resignation of the unpopular head of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s administration Leung Chun-ying and radical reform of the electoral system.

Recall that on October 5, 2015, protests, initiated by activists of a new student movement Occupy Central, resulted in violent street clashes, spilling over into dozens of people injured.