The International Journal of Human Rights
Published Online: 24 Jan 2019
Abstract: The Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong in 2014, which was the city’s largest scale civil disobedience movement, was first initiated by two university professors and a Baptist Reverend. They advocated the use of non-violent civil disobedience to fight for universal suffrage and genuine election of the Chief Executive in Hong Kong. Though the Umbrella Movement did not end up in successfully changing the electoral system of Hong Kong, its impact on students, academics and the civil society was far beyond the few months of occupation. At the same time, activist scholars had to pay the price for their political activism outside the academia. This paper reflects on the experience of activist scholars in the Umbrella Movement, evaluates their roles in pursuing social change, the challenges they faced, and their impact on students, the academia, and the civil society.