Hong Kong has a long and proud tradition of citizens taking to the streets for every cause imaginable, but few mass demonstrations in the city’s history have resulted in more bloodshed than the 1967 Leftist Riots.
The 60s were a decade of general chaos in China, with chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution stirring up local, pro-Communist Hongkongers who were getting tired of British colonial rule.
The final trigger was a labor dispute in April, 1967 between workers and management at the Li Ka-shing-owned Hong Kong Artificial Flower Works factory in San Po Kong — a lot of workers there were pro-Communist. Riots and mass protests followed, and sympathizers turned up in droves.
Things quickly escalated. The pro-Communist “leftists” planted fake and real bombs across town, killing innocent civilians and terrifying the public at large.
There were violent scuffles between the rioters and the police force. The colonial government fought back, arresting the leftists left, right and center. There were more than 50 casualties by the end of it all.
It was only when then-Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai ordered a stop to the madness in December, 1967 that the city started to find some peace and quiet again.
And you thought Occupy Central was insane.