Two pro-Beijing leaders, two unprecedented protest movements, huge new infrastructure projects and several tragedies and natural disasters along the way. HKFP looks back on a tumultuous ten years for Hong Kong – a decade that left the city changed forever.

Protestors demonstrate outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on January 15, 2010. Hundreds of Hong Kong activists waited outside to protest against an 8.6 billion-dollar railway that would connect the city with neighbouring Guangzhou in mainland China. Photo: Mike Clarke/AFP.
Firemen sift through rubble after a five-story building collapsed in an old district of Kowloon in Hong Kong on January 29, 2010. At least one person is confirmed dead. Photo: Mike Clarke/AFP.
Philippine policemen try to open the door of a tourist bus hijacked in Manila on August 23, 2010. An ex-policeman armed with a high-powered assault rifle hijacked a bus carrying more than 20 Hong Kong tourists including children in the Philippine capital on August 23, police said. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP.
Two protesters chat amongst tents and placards during an ongoing protest under HSBC banking headquarters in Hong Kong on October 21, 2011. Protesters across the Asia-Pacific region have joined worldwide demonstrations inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” and “Indignants” movements. Photo: Laurent Fievet/AFP.
Hong Kong chief executive elect Leung Chun-ying (R) waves after he is announced as the winner of the Hong Kong chief executive election as Hong Kong chief executive candidate Henry Tang (L) looks on on March 25, 2012. Former government adviser and property consultant Leung Chun-ying won Hong Kong’s leadership election after the most divisive vote since the city reverted to Chinese rule in 1997. Photo: Aaron Tam/AFP.
Student protestors stand on a stage during an anti-Chinese patriotism classes protest outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on September 1, 2012. Thousands of people rallied outside the government offices, in a last-ditch effort to force authorities to withdraw plans to introduce Chinese patriotism classes before the new school year begins on September 2. Photo: Antony Dickson/AFP.
A protester on hunger strike uses a laptop as he sits inside a tent set up in front of the government’s headquarters in Hong Kong on September 7, 2012 during a protest against plans to introduce Chinese patriotism classes. Hong Kong goes to the polls on September 9 to elect a new legislature that will lay the ground rules for full suffrage, amid growing disquiet over mainland China’s hold over the former British colony. Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP.
Mourners throw paper money into the sea during a ceremony held for the victims of a ferry collision off Lamma Island in Hong Kong on October 4, 2012. Mourners accompanied by Taoist priests boarded boats in a sad procession to the scene of the collision off Lamma island, a few kilometres southwest of Hong Kong, where they threw paper offerings to the dead into the sea as Hong Kong mourned the 38 victims of the ferry collision that sent shockwaves through the Asian financial centre. Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP.
A docker sleeps at the Kwai Chung container terminal during a strike asking for better wages in Hong Kong on March 29, 2013. The dockers, who work in one of the world busiest container port in the world, claim their wages had not gone up in 15 years. Photo: Philipe Lopez/AFP.
Members of a support group for Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, an Indonesian maid allegedly tortured by her Hong Kong employer, rally in her support outside the Indonesian consulate in Hong Kong on April 8, 2014. Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, who was admitted to hospital in critical condition in Indonesia after returning from Hong Kong in January where she allegedly suffered months of abuse, returned to the city on April 7, 2014 for a medical examination to help bolster the investigation in the case that sparked angry protests. Photo: Philipe Lopez/AFP.
A pro-democracy demonstrator gestures after police fired tear gas towards protesters near the Hong Kong government headquarters on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. Photo: Xaume Olleros/AFP.
Protestors and student demonstrators hold up their cellphones in a display of solidarity during a protest outside the headquarters of Legislative Council in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China’s refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. Photo: Xaume Olleros/AFP.
A local Hong Kong journalist collapses in agony after being hit in the face with pepper spray by police in the Mongkok district of Hong Kong on October 17, 2014. Fresh clashes broke out in Hong Kong on October 17 as pro-democracy demonstrators attempted to take back a protest camp in a densely populated suburb that had been partially cleared by police earlier in the day. Photo: Alex Ogle/AFP.
Pro-democracy protest leaders (L-R) Yvonne Leung, Nathan Law, Alex Chow, Lester Shum and Eason Chung sit down for talks with Hong Kong authorities, aimed at ending weeks of rallies, on the same day the city’s leader ruled out democratic reforms, in Hong Kong on October 21, 2014. The crucial talks began just hours after Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying said open elections would result in the largest sector of society – the city’s poor – dominating the electoral process, adding that free elections were impossible. Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP.
A general view shows tents on an occupied road at the movement’s main protest site in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on December 6, 2014. Benny Tai, a founder of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Occupy movement branded the occupation of the city’s main roads as “high-risk” , urging protesters to turn to new methods of civil disobedience to push for electoral reform. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP.
Members of the media and onlookers watch as workers (C) dismantle barricades built by pro-democracy demonstrators at the main protest site in the Admiralty district in Hong Kong on December 11, 2014. Bailiffs on December 11 started dismantling barricades at Hong Kong’s main protest site after more than two months of pro-democracy rallies that demonstrators say have redefined the city’s vexed relationship with Beijing. Photo: Dale de la Rey/AFP.
Political activist Ken Tsang talks to the media outside the high court of justice in Hong Kong on April 17, 2015. Tsang who was allegedly beaten by police officers in an incident caught on video during the 2014 Occupy protests, seeks a judicial review of his stalled case. Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP.
Protesters march for academic freedom at Hong Kong University in Hong Kong on October 6, 2015, as fears grow that Beijing is interfering in the city’s education. Anger was sparked among students and academics when the appointment of a liberal law scholar to a senior administrative post was rejected. Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP.
In this photo taken on February 9, 2016, a protester (L) holds a piece of bamboo and a barricade during clashes with police, later dubbed the “Fishball Revolution”, in the Mongkok area of Hong Kong. – Hong Kong’s leading independence activist Edward Leung was jailed for six years on June 11, 2018 for his involvement in some of the city’s worst protest violence for decades. The charges against Leung relate to his involvement in running battles with police over Lunar New Year in 2016 when protesters hurled bricks torn up from pavements and set rubbish alight in the commercial district of Mong Kok. Photo: Terry Wong/AFP.
Edward Leung of the group Hong Kong Indigenous smiles as he attends a pre-election campaign event in Hong Kong on February 27, 2016. Hongkongers head to the polls on February 28 to vote in a legislative by-election for a seat vacated a prominent pro-democracy lawmaker. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP.
Previously missing Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee (C) reacts as he holds a press conference with local lawmaker Albert Ho (L) at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on June 16, 2016. – A Hong Kong bookseller known for selling titles critical of Beijing told June 16 how he was blindfolded and kept in a tiny cell by Chinese authorities after going missing eight months ago. Lam Wing-kee is one of five booksellers who published salacious titles about leading Chinese politicians and disappeared at the end of last year in a case that exacerbated fears Beijing was tightening its grip on Hong Kong. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP.
Leung Kwok-hung – known as “Long Hair” – of the League of Social Democrats shouts slogans and rips up the “831 ruling” before taking the Legislative Council Oath at the first meeting of the Sixth Legislative Council (Legco) in Hong Kong on October 12, 2016. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP.
(Front L-R) Members from the legal sector, including former lawmaker Audrey Eu, lawmaker Dennis Kwok, senior counsel Graham Harris and former lawmaker Martin Lee, join hundreds of other lawyers and law students in a silent march in protest at a ruling by China which effectively bars two pro-independence legislators from taking office in Hong Kong on November 8, 2016. – Hundreds of lawyers and law students, all dressed in black, marched silently through Hong Kong on November 8 in protest at a ruling by China which effectively bars two pro-independence legislators from taking office. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP.
A pro-democracy protestor holds up a yellow umbrella as Hong Kong’s new chief executive Carrie Lam (C) and her defeated opponents John Tsang (L) and Woo Kwok-hing (R) react after she won the Hong Kong chief executive election in Hong Kong on March 26, 2017. – Hong Kong’s new leader Carrie Lam pledged on March 26 to mend political rifts after winning a vote dismissed as a sham by democracy activists who fear the loss of the city’s cherished freedoms. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP.
A girl looks at a model of the ‘Vibrant Express’ train on display at the West Kowloon terminus during an open day to the public in Hong Kong on September 1, 2018. A high-speed rail connection out of the harbour front West Kowloon station will link Hong Kong to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou 80 miles (130 kms) away and then onto China’s national rail network. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP.
A taxi is abandoned in floodwaters during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP.
A long exposure shows a plane (top) descending over a section of the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge in Hong Kong on October 29, 2018, prior to landing at the International Airport (not seen). The world’s longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China opened to traffic on October 24 after President Xi Jinping announced its launch at an official ceremony on October 23. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP.
An ambulance is pictured surrounded by thousands of protesters dressed in black during a new rally against a controversial extradition law proposal in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP.
A protester waves a “Black Bauhinia” flag as others set up barricades at Lung Wo road outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong before the flag raising ceremony to mark the 22nd anniversary of handover to China early on July 1, 2019. Photo: Vivek Prakash/AFP.
In this file photo taken on November 12, 2019, protesters react after police fired tear gas at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in Hong Kong. – Some of them have lost their jobs, suffered life-changing injuries and even been forced into exile. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP.
Police detain protesters after they attempted to escape the campus of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the Hung Hom district of Hong Kong on November 18, 2019. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP.

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Hong Kong Free Press

Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.