An estimated 200,000 Hong Kongers took to the streets on the anniversary of the former British colony’s handover back to China.
Mass anti-government protests were staged overnight, and many were surprised by the scale of the demonstration on the evening of July 1.
More than 1,000 people blocked a main road in the heart of Hong Kong’s central district.
Led by the city’s more radical lawmakers, demonstrators lay down and formed a human chain, causing traffic to grind to a halt.
Protesters managed to stay unified, using their smartphones to listen to Hong Kong Reporter — an online radio station which has friendly ties with the radical political group, People Power.
The party’s chairman and Hong Kong Reporter host, Christopher Lau, helped co-ordinate the demonstration.
Hong Kong has long valued its freedom to demonstrate. And with new media tools available anytime, anywhere, activists can keep people tuned into their cause and can rally support in a highly efficient manner.
Mr. Lau said with new media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, one post can result in up to “tens of thousands of reactions”.
Social media helped rev up turnout during last year’s mass protests against constructing a high-speed rail link to Guangzhou.
It drew out a new group of activists, dubbed the post-80’s generation.
City University of Hong Kong Media & Communication professor Mike Yao said the use of social media and technology might be the signature and staple characteristics of this generation’s protests.
Meanwhile, Mr Lau said young people in Hong Kong used to be apathetic about political issues, but the interactive nature of social media has sparked their interest to be more engaged.