Hundreds of police officers, many in riot gear, swooped into Hong Kong's Mong Kok Occupy encampment in the early hours of this morning. Police and street cleaners removed barricades and tents, leaving pro-democracy protesters restricted a smaller area of Nathan Rd in Kowloon, occupying the southbound side only.
The revolution is here. But, unlike our predecessors, who witnessed mass changes in cultures via whispers in their community after the event, we're watching it unfold in front of our eyes. And what is it that's changing this time? Well, the very fundamentals of business strategy and commerce itself. Although instead of waiting to see what's happened, we're online and in the thick of it. Watching the revolution in real-time.
The Holy date of 25 May, the day of presidential elections in Ukraine, the country's territory is becoming smaller and smaller. Indeed, the elections will not take place in Crimea, rightful territory of Ukraine which was proclaimed by Putin and his gangs of separatists as part of Russian territory. Even after a failed referendum, it seems like the eastern part of Ukraine is not going to participate in the vote as well, as half of the polling stations are already occupied by separatists in the Donbass region. The country is in the middle of a war with an exterior enemy but Ukrainians say that the elections have to happen anyways!
It gives me no pleasure to say this: revolutions are often in vain. It is, alas, too easy to be swept up in the excitement of young protesters taking control of the streets... TV cameras blinking down from the balconies of nearby hotels give us the impression of a people in revolt, an unstoppable wave of protest, sweeping away oppression and corruption.
Russell Brand found a willing audience in Cambridge earlier this week as students turned out in their hundreds to hear him muse upon subjects as diverse as One Direction (Harry Styles is "apparently a bit of a character"), recreational drugs (Brand would have them fully legalised and regulated) and, of course, his much fêted revolution.
The biggest tragedy of all is, if we're lucky enough to survive until we're old, grey and wrinkled, and our grandchildren ask us what we gave to the world we lived in, we are only able to say that we took more than we gave. For the man who dies without giving more than he has taken can take no triumph from his life.
We're not interested in winding back the clock. We don't see the world as an epic struggle between capital and labour. And we don't have all the answers. Yet. What we do see is people being disempowered. And not just by the government. What marks out the political discourse of my generation is that we have organised against any power which negatively impacts our lives.
Russell Brand told us it was time for a revolution. And we can see the logic to his reasoning. People are suffering as never before, through no desire or fault of their own. And when the Appeal Court twice in one week have deemed government action illegal - over aspects of the NHS privatisation and on Workfare - it could seem that now is as good a time as any to revolt.
I suggested a few days ago that urging people not to vote might not be the most effective way to bring about fundamental political change... Here are my thoughts on some other ways of acting politically without necessarily having to faff about putting a mark on a ballot paper next to the name of someone for whom you may have nothing but contempt. My slogan for today (yes, I know it's not original) is: Think Big, Act Small.
One thing's for sure, Brand has managed to get the county talking, and that's a political bullseye in itself. It seems it takes a rather large hammer to crack the apathetic nut that is UK politics, and this proves Russell's point as to why there's a very real and ingrained reason that we're swaddled in political apathy. We are creaking under the laden weight of a benign democracy.