29th October, 2014
Adults in Hong Kong, it’s Time to Finish the Fight We Failed to Complete 11 Years Ago
On the crack of dawn of the 32nd nights of occupy, I woke up on a chair in the middle of Mong Kok protest site. It was not the loud music the old communist supports played – they really don’t understand us who are so used to the comfortable beds at home are still struggling to treat the hard and slightly smelly roads as home after sleeping on them for over a month. I had never even done camping in my life, so with or without that loud music, I cannot sleep tight on the hard ground. What woke me up was the bean of sunlight. Although the feeling of luck for surviving in major clashes subsides, the sunlight does still bring me a hint of hope – even though I am exhausted physically and mentally.
It is now autumn, but the weather stays as warm as the blood that runs through our veins. I was born in the 70s, so was able to witness the rapid growth and prosperity of Hong Kong – even my parents, who benefited from the Touch Base Policy in Hong Kong, enjoyed the prosperity of the economic growth in Hong Kong back then. They managed to raise me up without major issues – it has been a relatively comfortable life for all of us. I should have been like most of the ordinary Hongkongers: get married, have children and enjoy an ordinary life until the end. However, 11 years ago when SARS hit Hong Kong, besides the 299 deceased, I also saw the sham democratic system that was manipulated by the CCP. I was nine years old, when Britain and China signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984. I could not, of course, understand why Britain would have handed Hongkongers to a brutal and cold-blooded murdering regime that killed millions of its people. I was 11 years old, when 4/June Massacre took place, all I can remember is my mother sobbing in front of the television on that night, not the people who “disappeared” overnight. I was slightly older when the handover happened in 1997, but everything seemed to be “business as usual” and wholeheartedly believed that whatever my parents achieved, I could do better. However, in 2003 when 299 Hongkongers were killed by SARS, the HKSAR Government that responded so slowly woke me up from a sweet sweet dream: no matter how hard I try, I could no longer bear the pain. The prosperity in the 80s was no different from anything in the world – one day it will cease to exist.
On 1st July, 2003, I joined 500,000 other Hongkongers on the street – from Victoria Park to Government Hill (which does not exist anymore) – I can never go back to what I used to be.
500,000 protesters on the street is a massive number that can shock the world and overthrow any government in any time of history. But the HKSAR Government, which was still young then, managed to survive! We let go of that once in a lifetime opportunity because CCP played a trick: Tung Chee-hwa stepped down claiming that his leg was no good. This simple trick brought a total 10 years of resting period for CCP and its puppet HKSAR Government. Ten years is sufficient for any autocracy to penetrate all levels of all walks of lives, ensuring that Hongkongers will have less than no chance to turn around the situation.
Eleven years ago, we protested peacefully and had no idea what pepper spray was. Eleven years ago, we protested peacefully, no one would possibly imagined police would ever use teargas and truncheons on us. Eleven years ago, we protested peacefully, wearing light summer clothing. But today, eleven years after 2003, everyone who participates in a peaceful demonstration wears masks and goggles – not because the police had been replaced by Chinese Gongan, but because Hong Kong police have changed from the bottom of their hearts and their sense of justice is gone. All of us who have taken part in the protest in 2003 are accomplices of the CCP.
Showing mercy to your enemies is being cruel to yourselves. The consequences of our mistakes in 2003 should not have been borne by the teenagers nowadays! We left the roads 11 years ago without carefully considering the consequences we bear today, allowing our enemies to rest and regain their strength. The brutal truth is, the first groups of people who suffer from the consequences we contributed to in 2003 are the ones who were not even there 11 years ago! Those who endured pepper spray and were beaten on their heads are the unarmed children today. The democracy we have “fought” for in the past two decades have yielded nothing. How could we let the younger generations to sort out the mess we all contributed to creating in the first place? We often blame the younger generations for not having dreams, for not being able to endure hardship, for not being persistent. Have you, on the contrary, tried to camp in the middle of the road for a month whilst worrying about attacks at every moment? Have you thought that, the younger generations are guarding the barricades with basic masks and goggles day and night, just because they have a dream that everyone will enjoy a good night sleep in the future? You say that the younger generations are immature, but there was this girl in her school uniform standing in the rain in front of the barricades facing the police without any umbrella or protective gear? All she wanted to do is to ask the police on duty who were drowned like she was in their faces, “officers, can you not beat people up today?”
We, as adults, should have built a better future for our children and our next generations. However, 11 years ago, we made a huge mistake that has subsequently brought what is happening now to our children and their friends. We began conniving the government 11 years ago, nurturing them to be the machine that suppresses us and our younger generations. Our younger generations are now paying the price. I beg everyone who took part in the 2003 march but have yet to show their faces in the current protest to pluck up their courage and stand up once again. We must not let our enemy off again. If we lose this time, it will not be pepper spray, teargas and truncheons next time – it may be guns, and Hong Kong will no longer have a future.
There is only one chance and we must not allow any room for regret. For those who have already stood up, please do not give in before our goal is achieved. It is easy to retreat, but none of us can bear the traumatic consequences that await us ahead. For those who are still unsure, come and join the students for the sake of the dream you used to believe in. Don’t ask what the chances are. Our next generations, whom we should have protected from the start, have already been standing on the front line. We took the wrong path before, and it is now time to finish off what we failed to complete 11 years ago!