UI Professor Encounters Hong Kong Protests First-Hand

Oct 21, 2014

Art Durnev is a finance professor at the University of Iowa, but he got a crash course on political science when he encountered protests daily during a two-week stint at the UI's MBA program in Hong Kong.

Durnev would walk through the protesters every day to get to work. Though the protests have been going on for weeks and there have been some scattered clashes with the police, Durnev says the protesters are calm and friendly.

It literally became like a tourist attraction. I had some concerns about going there, but the local people just took me around to walk around. There are a lot of people bringing kids, taking pictures, and trying to help protesters."

Durnev also says that though they're impassioned and dedicated to democracy, the protesters haven't forgotten their studies.

"The most striking thing they organized study corners, put out desks to do their homework. [...] I volunteered to help some of the students from the universities with their finance homework."

Host Ben Kieffer discusses the ongoing struggle for democracy and the University of Iowa's presence in Hong Kong with Art Durnev in this episode of River to River.