But over time, those promises began to waver. In 2004, Beijing reinterpreted the Basic Law and ruled out democratic elections for 2012. There were protests then, as well. But these more recent protests stem from even tighter restrictions, namely that a 1,200-strong nominating committee in Beijing would hand pick two or three candidates for whom the residents of Hong Kong would vote.
Hence the protests.
Earlier this week, a drone flew over the protests and captured not only the density of the crowds but the calm manner in which the people have gathered. So far, Chinese authorities — known for their bloody crackdown of pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989 — have not reacted.
See the video.