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Umbrellas and metro tickets: Inside the Hong Kong protests


Jessica Roden is 1 NEWS' politics producer and is in Hong Kong following the clashes between protesters and police.

Hong Kong protests. Source: 1 NEWS

In the 10th week of intense and sometimes violent demonstrations, Hong Kong's young protest movement is proving more formidable than ever.

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This comes as locals prepare for a mass strike. Source: 1 NEWS

Nightly they are playing cat and mouse with police - saying they will be in one place but changing direction en mass to avoid the riot squads.

They are intelligent, ambitious and organised. And as the 1 NEWS team has seen, their methods are unique to say the least.

Umbrellas
Reminiscent of the 2014 protests, umbrellas are playing a large part in the movement.

Hong Kong protests. Source: 1 NEWS

The protesters are using them to shield their faces from security cameras. As one of them was tampering with a traffic light last night, a mob surrounded them using the umbrellas to shield that person's identity so they couldn't be arrested later.

Lasers
As there is so much fear of being identified and arrested, protesters are carrying laser pointers. They shoot them at the public security cameras to disable them.

Hong Kong protests. Source: 1 NEWS

Tickets
At the MTR (train stations) there's people with pre-bought tickets giving them out for people to go to the protests. If you look like you might be going they will slip you one. Most protestors aren't using their travel cards (known as octopus cards) because they don't want proof of where they were.

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1 NEWS reporter Kimberlee Downs has this Monday morning update from Hong Kong. Source: Breakfast

Equipment
Almost all protesters come very well equipped. They have helmets, gas masks, and goggles. They are dressed head to toe in back, with their faces largely covered.

Hong Kong protests. Source: 1 NEWS

That's for two reasons: to protect themselves from tear gas and to hide who they are. Some even wrapping their arms in plastic wrap to protect against the gas. Imagine thousand of thousands with this uniform, their battle gear essentially.

Clothing
After the protests last night at the train station, we saw a quasi-stall of clothing, with different sizes available. It turns out that was free clothing so protesters could change out of their black clothing into regular clothes to avoid police detection.

Water and food
Organisers and sympathisers hand out water, energy drinks and food to protesters to sustain them. Some come with suitcases full of it.

Flash mob protesting
Perhaps the most iconic aspect of these protesters is their ability to organise en mass in no time at all.

Hong Kong protests. Source: 1 NEWS

Days in advance they tell everyone where they'll be, but recently have been changing directions according to police movement. They communicate over encrypted social media messages.

Last night 1 NEWS was with the police waiting for protesters that never arrived. We got wind that they'd headed to a busy shopping district instead and were met by thousands as we got to the train station. Police are not as nimble as these protesters and it took a couple of hours for the riot squads to reassemble and push them out of the area.

As the protests continue, the protesters continue to adapt, changing how they operate. Their power comes from not only their resilience in the face of intense pressure but their ability to out manoeuvre the Government.