Hong Kong’s “Fishball Revolution” Is About So Much More Than Seafood

Don't mistake this fight over street food for a minor scuffle. Hong Kong's very identity could be at stake.

The latest riots in Hong Kong involve police officers clashing with hawkers over illegal food stalls during the three-day Chinese New Year holiday.

But reasons behind the unrest go way beyond seafood and other delicacies.

Many of those fighting law enforcement officials alongside street vendors are reportedly “localist” groups who resent China’s influence over Hong Kong.

Police told the South China Morning Post that they spotted “radical elements” armed with shields and “self-made weapons.”

Mongkok district in Hong Kong

The protests also come just a few weeks after several Hong Kong publishers went missing, allegedly abducted by Beijing’s spies because the publishers were reportedly planning to release a book on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s love life.

What is now being referred to as #FishballRevolution is also believed to be an off-shoot of the 2014’ “Umbrella Movement” in which tens of thousands of activists occupied the streets of Hong Kong for months. Hundreds of children and teenage students started a parallel movement called “Occupy Central,” demanding not only democratic rights but also equality and better livelihood for citizens.

Clashes, Hong Kong

The Umbrella protests were termed the “longest series of political protests” since the 1997 British handover to the Chinese government. However, they ended without any political concessions from the government on the issues that sparked demonstrations in the first place.

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Frustrations and anger simmered for more than a year and now, it appears, the same anti-Beijing protest groups have taken to the streets to wage yet another war with Hong Kong’s authorities.

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