Pro-democracy protesters, part of the Umbrella revolution, have started accepting Bitcoin donations. Redditors of /r/bitcoin started a search for a QR-code that belonged to the Hong Kong protesters so they could donate Bitcoin but ended up empty handed.
Ficsór Ádám, going by the twitter handle @nopara73, urged Hong Kong protester, James Bang, over Twitter to set up a wallet and publish the address. He did! According to a reddit post by James, from yesterday, he has already received 0.21 BTC.
In the same reddit post, James described where the money would go. The donations will be used to supply real meals to the protestors and volunteers on the ground. James said in a reddit post that protesters have been only eating “fruits & biscuits but [have had] very little 'real' food.”
James wants to supply the volunteers with their favorite treat, Dim Sum, a bite seize dumpling filled with rice, meat, or vegetables. James explained the importance of Dim Sum:
“What I would like to propose is that we buy 'proper' hot meals for volunteers and students sitting in the front lines risking their lives. We love Dim Sum in Hong Kong and I think it would be a really pleasant surprise to the volunteers and dedicated students on the frontline.”
At the time of the post, they had raised US$81 dollars in bitcoin, which according to James, could feed exactly 27 volunteers. On average a Dim Sum costs 3 dollars, so US$3,000 dollars in BTC could fund 1,000 volunteers and protesters.
James Bang is a volunteer at the main supply station, helping with food and medicine. He has known about bitcoin for a while. James came up with the idea to supply Dim Sum to the protestors and volunteers by brainstorming with an old friend of his who goes by the reddit name, Jackcliu.
Jackcliu is a fellow Bitcoiner who used to live in Hong Kong, but now lives in California. James will also be recording the act of giving out Dim Sums to the volunteers, and protesters for the World Crypto Network.
The Umbrella Revolution: Unrest In Hong Kong
A week long massive student led protest has been going on in China’s financial hub, Hong Kong. The protests started small and almost faded away, but 17 year old Joshua Wong has inspired the protestors with an off the cuff speech that kept the movement strong. From there the numbers have grown to the tens of thousands.
The protests are about the mainland-Chinese government not letting Hong Kong choose its own leader without interference from Beijing. Beijing demands that all eligible candidates to be vetted by the mainland Chinese government first. The Chinese government has not backed down, but has not started using force to clear the protesters. The sovereignty of Hong Kong has been hot issue in Chinese politics since the end of British rule and these protests are bringing the issue to the world stage.
The revolution has been dubbed the “Umbrella Revolution” because of protesters using umbrellas to protect themselves from Hong Kong’s turbulent weather, tear gas, and pepper spray. While having practical uses, the umbrellas have turned into a symbol and brand for the protesters. #UmbrellaRevolution, protest logos with umbrellas circling around social media, and numerous photos highlighting the use of umbrellas in the protest have made the umbrella brand stick.
Paul Zimmerman, a Hong Kong district councillor, raised a yellow umbrella in support of the protesters at a reception for a Hong Kong flag raising ceremony, while Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying and other officials rose a toast.
Mobs of angry people have attacked the protesters, but the police have mostly remained peaceful. The police have used pepper spray and tear gas to stop advancing pro-democracy protesters from occupying a government building. The police have starting stocking up on their supply of tear gas and rubber bullets.
Tensions seem to be coming to a head, as the number of protesters grows to overwhelming numbers and the protesters continue to make threats to occupy government buildings unless the Hong Kong's top officials resign. The heads of the Hong Kong government have said they have no plans of resigning and are willing to play the long game.
Bitcoin And Political Activism
This is not the first time protesters or a revolution has been funded by bitcoin. Back in February of this year, Ukrainian protesters gathered to protest the government and its leader, President Viktor Yanukovych. The protesters had many violent clashes with government forces and many people loss their lives as a result.
Protesters started making QR-codes and posting pictures of them. The pictures were sent all over social media and many people for the first time could send funds to the protestors wherever they were in the world, and no matter what the current government said.
Legendary tech venture capitalist, Marc Andreessen, in his guest piece on The New York Times, described the use of BTC donations by protesters and activists as a possible use case for Bbitcoin. Andreessen writes:
“By literally holding up signs that let people anywhere in the world who sympathize with them send them money on the spot. Bitcoin is a financial technology dream come true for even the most hardened anti-capitalist political organizer.”
We have been informed by Chris Ellis from the World Crypto Network that "James has had his phone stolen which had the Hong Kong [protesters] Bitcoin wallet on it." and that while they are working on a more secure option, they asked that we take down the address in the meantime.