How Hong Kong’s protest movement endures, in photos

Hong Kong protesters in their trademark hard hats

Hong Kong has been transformed for months by the enormous, constantly evolving pro-democracy protests.

One of the largest was said to have included nearly 2 million people, an astounding figure in a region of 8 million. Demonstrators have swarmed Hong Kong’s streets, public transit, and shopping malls, as well as its international airport.

The protests have also been answered with violence from police and organized-crime thugs.

This weekend marks the 12th consecutive one in which protests have sprung up, starting with a massive human chain that snaked through Hong Kong on Friday evening and continuing with attacks on “smart” lampposts that some demonstrators see as surveillance tools.

Here are images that showcase the enormous size of the movement, its longevity, and how, in emulating the power of water, the protestors have found strength in flowing movement and unpredictability.

A student wears protective equipment with his school uniform during a student rally on Aug. 22.

Anti-extradition bill protesters march on July 1, the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from the UK to China.

Anti-extradition bill protesters march on July 1, the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from the UK to China.

The annual pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong on July 1.

The annual pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong on July 1.

Anti-extradition bill protesters shout slogans as they march to West Kowloon Express Rail Link Station in Hong Kong on July 7.

Riot police use pepper spray to disperse pro-democracy activists inside a Hong Kong mall on July 14.

Protesters point laser beams at the Hong Kong Space Museum after a student leader was arrested for possession of a pointer on Aug. 7.

A mass demonstration at Hong Kong International Airport on Aug. 12. after a woman was shot in the eye by a police bean-bag round.

Anti-government protesters on the march after leaving a rally in Victoria Park on Aug. 18.

Protesters form a human chain during a rally in Hong Kong’s central district on Aug. 23.

Protesters rally at the departure hall of Hong Kong airport on Aug. 12.

Protesters march against the controversial extradition bill in the Causeway Bay area on Aug. 18.

Anti-extradition bill protesters wear embellished eyepatches, in reference to a demonstrator injured in clashes with police.

Lawyers and legal professionals gather outside of Justice Place after a silent march during a protest on Aug. 7.

Protesters light up their phones and cover their right eyes as they form a human chain along Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom Promenade on Aug. 23.

Police clash with anti-government protesters at the airport in Hong Kong on Aug 13.

Riot police form a line during a demonstration in the area of Sai Wan on July 28.

Police fire tear gas at protesters during clashes in Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong on Aug. 14.

Pro-democracy protesters throw back tear gas fired by the police during a demonstration in the Sham Shui Po district in Hong Kong on Aug. 11.

A protester covers her eyes with gauze during a mass demonstration on Aug 12.

Protesters stop the door of a subway from closing to allow others to board after a clash with police at a shopping mall on July 14.

Protesters hold a banner after they broke into the parliament chamber of the government headquarters on July 1.

Demonstrators hold up banners during a rally on July 5.

Demonstrators march in the Tseung Kwan O district on Aug. 4

A child is part of a rally to demand democracy and political reforms in Hong Kong on Aug. 18.

Memos and posters on the “Lennon Walls” at Tai Po in Hong Kong on Aug. 9.

Time-lapse photo shows protesters using the flashlights from their phones as they march on July 1

Protesters’ phones show the human chain atop of iconic Lion Rock on Aug. 23.

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