Hong Kong (1967) / 1967 Riots in Hong Kong

Selective Urbanization of Hong Kong by the British Government in the Red Area. 

Map of Land Utilization of Hong Kong in 1970 © U.S. Central Intelligence Agency 

Zoom in of the framed area of the above map. Industrial areas are highlighted in this map. Hong Kong has undergone industrialization during 1950s-1960s

Map of Urban Area of Hong Kong in 1970 © U.S. Central Intelligence Agency 


During 1950s-1960s, Hong Kong, which was a British colony at that time, has rapidly transformed from a trading port city into a manufacturing industrial hub. However, the industrialization has been a hard time for many industrial workers. Factories exploit workers with very low pay and no labour protection for them. The growth of social discontent has transformed into action in the 1967 riots. The protest started from an industrial area in Kowloon mainly held by the industrial workers. It then assembled more people and moved to more urban areas. The 1967 riots was a protest of relatively large scale compared to other past or present protests in Hong Kong. The spaces for protest chosen by the protesters were dispersed and scattered, which is opposite to the approach of choosing space for urbanization by the British government.


Video Clip of 1967 Riots in Hong Kong,

“Large Event in Hong Kong in 1967” © 2010, HK Television Broadcasts Limited




Video Clip of 1967 Riots in Hong Kong,

“Hong Kong History Decode – 1967 Riots” © 2007, ATV Asia Television Limited




 Video Clip of 1967 Riots in Hong Kong,

“Hong Kong History Decode – fake and real bombs” © 2007, ATV Asia Television Limited


The three video clips recorded the process and development of the protest in 1967 in Hong Kong.The documentation of the space used during the protest has given a hint on the scale of the protest. From the small scale protest by factory workers in rural area San Po Kong, expanded to a protest by local citizens at Government House in Central. It then developed to be a protest involved also by the mainlanders that the protest areas involved Sha Tao Kok, the border between mainland China and Hong Kong.

At the first stages of the protest, the protesters acting the active role of choosing the space for protest. The space being occupied became a strategy for the protesters to demand for what they want successfully. When the protest developed progressively and became more violent by the protesters, the government then became another active role of choosing space for suppressing the protest. The 8 months protest in 1967 has involved different types of space for different underlying reasons by both the protesters and the government which will be further investigated.

2 Comments on “Hong Kong (1967) / 1967 Riots in Hong Kong

  1. It is interesting to research on the expansion of scale of the protest area during the 1967 Riots. The development from a small scale protest in Sha Tao Kok to become a large scale protest involving the boarder between Hong Kong and mainland area. What are the stage by stage developments of the protest and how the police responds to control the expansion of the protest.

    For the development of the next stage of the research, I think it maybe interesting to compare the 1967 Riots with the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ happened this year. They both involved an expansion of space. ‘Umbrella Revolution’ happen from Central, and it then started to expand to Mongkok, Causeway bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. However, the way of expansion is quite different in two events, in which in 1967 riots it involved the use of violence, such as the use of scattered fake and real bombs,to disturb most of the traffic and pedestrian in Hong Kong. But in ‘Umbrella Revolution’ , it involve a peaceful occupation of space, in which some of the important roads are occupied by pedestrian so that cars are not able to pass through. The method use in 1967 Riots happened to affect many different areas in Hong Kong, while in Umbrella Revolution the affected areas are more regional and centralized .Therefore it maybe interesting for the next stage to compare these two kinds of expansion of protest scale.

  2. The sentiments in these series of Hong Kong entries are very strongly and clearly articulated. The proximity of these events to us definitely helped fuel this work. There are some wonderful historical documents about the history of protest in Hong Kong! As you progress, I hope you can refine the argument to establish a possible link between the quality and types of public spaces in Hong Kong, and the places and routes protesters have elected to dwell and move through. In fact, it is interesting that the Occupy Movement elected to take on the streets, not the squares. It follows the argument that there are either insufficient public squares in Hong Kong, or the significance of such squares is low. For example, the historic Statue Square has much diminished value for the average Hong Konger today. Would it be possible to understand that the streets of Hong Kong are much more vital to its urban fabric and quality. The fragmentary nature of this project is quite apparent, despite the strengths behind each of the two to three key strands of ideas. Aim to tie the different ideas together, or build one strand on top of another, for a stronger thrust towards the end of this research.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.