Instagram Blocked in Mainland China as protests in Hong Kong Intensify
If you haven't heard, Hong Kong's Central business district is currently in the middle of a massive pro-Democracy protest. Last week thousands of students stormed Hong Kong government headquarters and scuffled with police. The scene marked the biggest escalation in street protests since Beijing's decision in late August to rule out free elections for Hong Kong. The protest has only gotten bigger.
In an attempt to minimize the impact imagery of the protest would have on mainland China, the Chinese government has been doing all it can to censor the imagery. Reports now suggest that the Chinese government has blocked access to Instagram for the Chinese mainland. Of all the blocked and censored websites on China's "list", Instagram has stayed under the radar relatively well until now.
Hashtags of #OccupyCentral have been flooding the image sharing service in order to spread awareness of the protests currently happening.
I am worried that this protest attempt will fail, seeing as the militarization of police forces around the world have risen to such an extent that protests can no longer become overwhelmingly large. Governments have the power to minimize and/or stop a protest entirely, quieting the true voice of the people.
This divide between mainland China and Hong Kong is nothing new. Since Hong Kong returned from British rule to Chinese rule in 1997, those living in Hong Kong have enjoyed a bit more freedoms than those given to the people of mainland China. Unfortunately, I believe the "one country; two systems" approach is inherently broken. I believe the only remedy will be independence or complete unification.