Well, they would say that.
But after examining dozens of photos of protesters posted on social media networks and elsewhere, we realized they had a point. These guys are extremists, as in extremely clean, polite, generous and orderly.
Just look at these protesters diligently cleaning up after themselves, even taking the time to remove the tops from plastic bottles so they can be recycled efficiently.
Citizens distribute food, collect trash/recycle, help each other, wash sweat/tear drenched towels 2:15 pm Admiralty pic.twitter.com/5dfil66Zai— Larry Au (@larryau) September 29, 2014
Many of the young protesters have been on the streets for days demanding full democracy in leadership elections in 2017. Volunteers are distributing buns, chocolate, bananas and bottles of water to keep them fed and hydrated.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Such is the determination to keep this protest movement clean, participants are turning banana skins into an organic cleaning fluid. Seriously.
Some protesters haven’t changed their clothes for days so this girl is kindly offering to freshen up stinky t-shirts.
When thousands of people take over the center of a city the size of Hong Kong, transport and local businesses are bound to be disrupted. The protesters have sincerely apologized for any inconvenience they have caused.
A very polite note from a protester in Mongkok. pic.twitter.com/314yeVcUOj— Lily Kuo (@lilkuo) September 30, 2014
Peace-loving demonstrators have even said sorry to the police when one of their own has stepped out of line.
This was on a vandalised police van in Admiralty today pic.twitter.com/sSiTI3kaMw— James Legge (@James_Legge) September 29, 2014
Graffiti is not tolerated either.
Many school students have joined the growing protest movement. But just because you are protesting for democracy doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your homework.
Hong Kong students are starting to do their homework while occupying. pic.twitter.com/HJzk1l8cue— Lily Kuo (@lilkuo) September 30, 2014
School kids do their homework in the streets at Hong Kong protest pic.twitter.com/pZXkDOaSTp— Richard Frost (@frostyhk) September 29, 2014
When protesters aren't using their now iconic umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas, torrential rain or the burning sun, they hang them neatly on a fence.
Hong Kong is hot right now, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. These people are doing what they can to keep protesters cool.
Demonstrators create a lane for an ambulance to drive through.
Even when demonstrating, Hong Kong protesters still obey signs to keep off the grass.