Hong Kong, the summer of discord


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                Our reporters followed the demonstrations that have been shaking Hong Kong for almost four months. An unprecedented, long-lasting and deeply divisive movement between those who aspire to more democracy and those who remain loyal to Beijing.

                                    <p>For nearly four months, Hong Kong has been the scene of unprecedented protest in the history of the former British colony. Every weekend, hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets to demand - among other demands - the withdrawal of an extradition law to mainland China and the introduction of direct universal suffrage. But while the great popular and peaceful movement of the first weeks has not obtained any concessions from the government, more and more young demonstrators are now turning to violence.

>> To see: The frontliners, these radical militants in first line

Clashes broke out regularly with the police. With the shooting of rubber bullets and tear gas from the police and the barricades erected at the foot of the skyscrapers by the protesters, Hong Kong sometimes saw scenes of urban guerrilla warfare. To date, more than 900 people have been arrested by the authorities.

Hong Kongers more divided than ever

Twenty-two years after its return to China, Hong Kong seems more than ever at a turning point in its history. The former British colony appears deeply divided between those who aspire to democracy and those who swear allegiance to the power of Beijing. They also want to be heard. This summer, they received the support of the triads, Hong Kong mafia groups who take control of drug trafficking and weapons, and prostitution.

Exceptionally, our reporters were able to meet a repentant of the triad who, on July 21, led a particularly violent punitive expedition against pro-democracy activists in the Yuen Long district. The images of this attack, of a rare violence in Hong Kong, shocked the whole society and finished confirming the fracture between pro and anti-Peking.

>> To see: The protesters demand an independent commission of inquiry

A division that has settled even in the homes of Hong Kong. Today, many families are torn apart because the conflict is also generational. Parents, who experienced the 1997 surrender as a pride, do not want to experience new upheavals.

Our reporters Antoine Védeilhé and Thomas Blanc followed the young Hong Kong insurgents the summer when they decided to take over the future of their city and lead what they call "the revolution of our time".

>> To see: In Hong Kong, some villages remain pro-Beijing

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