Hong Kong protests: Best Instagram photos of "Occupy Central" as China blocks social media site

 
Joe Hall
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Hong Kong protestors camped out last night (Source: Getty)

As Hong Kong's streets have been subsumed by pro-democracy protestors, reports suggest that popular photo sharing app Instagram has been blocked in China.

Photos of the protests have proliferated the social media service under the #OccupyCentral or #umbrellarevolution hashtag.

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents have taken to the city centre in recent days to stage peaceful protests against a perceived u-turn from Chinese authorities on its promise to grant the region fully democratic elections in 2017.

The "Occupy Central" movement refers to the central business district of Hong Kong which has been taken over by protestors, bringing the city to a standstill today. Last night riot police had used tear gas and pepper spray in an attempt to clear demonstrators, but the government says they have been withdrawn from the area today.

According to the New York Times, Chinese internet censorship officials have now blocked Instagram in a bid to ensure that photos of the widespread demonstrations would not spread in the mainland.

Instagram joins Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in being blocked by China following periods of political unrest - all three sites are still inaccessible from within mainland China.

Furthermore, Chinese search engine Baidu and social network Sina Weibo have both blocked search results for "tear gas".

Yet Instagram remains open in Hong Kong where laws of freedom of speech and press are largely upheld by the government. Here's some of the best Insta-snaps taken of recent events.

Hong Kong's central business district is being occupied by thousands of peaceful protestors:


(Source: instagram.com/keyvanvr)


(Source: instagram.com/itsjonathanchan)


(Source: instagram.com/marcelekkel)


(Source: instagram.com/aoaquarius)


(Source: instagram.com/yoerk)


(Source: instagram.com/brandongbutler)


(Source: instagram.com/brandongbutler)


(Source: instagram.com/calbarran)


(Source: instagram.com/_uncanni)


(Source: instagram.com/josie_tao)

Last night scenes turned ugly as riot police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons on the crowds:


(Source: instagram.com/jkarmyshop)


(Source: instagram.com/mrj3)

Many highways and roads have shutdown, while public transport has been rocked by delays:


(Source instagram.com/candiceadea)


(Source: instagram.com/yoerk)


(Source:instagram.com/brandongbutler)

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