Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement occupied commercial districts for 79 days, from September 28 to December 15, 2014. The movement is so named because protestors opened umbrellas to shield themselves from the police’s pepper spray and tear gas. The sudden explosion of public outrage had deep roots. This essay examines how the Hong Kong government fueled dissent through its hardline rejection of democracy and use of excessive police force. The movement demanded “genuine universal suffrage” because successive chief executives unaccountable to the public have eroded Hong Kong’s freedoms. Protestors will persist on or off streets if the root causes are unresolved.