Letters from leaders of Hong Kong's political parties and government departments.
The anti-extradition movement has officially entered its 15th week – 15 tiring and heavy weeks of sweat and blood. I have witnessed with my very own eyes how Hong Kong people, especially the youth, fought and are still fighting for what they deserve – for what all Hong Kong people deserve. As a father myself, the youth being on the streets sparks inconceivable worry since we have all seen how cold-blooded the police could be. The situation is truly disheartening but the determination and perseverance of our youth sparks a certain kind of hope in me - a window of hope, a chance for Hong Kong to finally change.
On the 12th of June, I came to work ready to face the LegCo President and the guards by all means. It is no longer unusual for us democrats to be physically removed from the Chamber but that day was different. I came prepared to do anything that would stop this evil bill from passing – no matter what it takes. Yet in contrast, it was the youth who safeguarded and protected me and the whole Hong Kong through surrounding LegCo building. This act became symbolic for me. This act is an affirmation on where the true power of Hong Kong lies: in the hands of the young people. On that day forward, I was more determined to fight with the young people and support them wherever they go. I feel it is my responsibility to protect them. I want to let them know that I represent them and I am one of them.
I personally choose to be physically present at protests instead of watching it live on TV or following the updates on social media. I see it as an obligation regardless if it adds value to the movement or not. I am usually seen with my handy microphone and megaphone asking both sides to calm down, often pointing out the police’s abuse of power. The police would sometimes ignore me, other times throw multiple insults at me. Honestly, I would rather take their pouring anger than see them relentlessly beating young people.
I want the society to understand that legislators or members of parliament are not all elites – some still consider him or herself one of the millions who fight with Hong Kong people in this movement. I am and will eternally be one of those. I believe if we are united, we will make it. There is no need to be afraid, as Roosevelt put it – “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.
It was the 4th of September when Carrie Lam clearly wished this would be all over. She wished she could try to yet again blind and mislead Hong Kong people by formally announcing the withdrawal of the bill. She also insisted on a strict enforcement of the law but still chose to turn a blind eye on the massive police brutality everyone is now so familiar with. This decision is not just incomprehensive and is too late but also a devious strategy to further divide this city. After the death of 8 supporters, 3 supporters blinded, 2 MTR terrorist attacks, more than 1,000 people arrested, 100 plus people charged and multiple members of the press attacked, does she really think this announcement would even ease Hong Kong’s bleeding?
Hong Kong people have been very clear on the five key demands, not one less. This fake concession of hers just fuels the anger of Hong Kong people just like how it was previously fueled by her crocodile tears. As a Chief Executive, if she genuinely wants to hear Hong Kong people – she knows exactly how. It is not through her proposed staged-dialogue with community leaders, professionals and academics. Listening and hearing are two different things. For the past three months, the demands of Hong Kong people have already been out in the open – no more dialogue is needed. We are all just waiting for her concrete actions towards the 5 key demands, not one less.
Almost exactly two years ago, I remember writing a letter to the youth of Hong Kong asking them to never stop believing that things could change with determination and perseverance. That they should plant the seed they’ve gained from the umbrella movement and let it be their inspiration to create change. It is interesting how time flies and things really do change. I guess the tables have turned, I now draw my inspiration from the seed that the youth have planted since the day they took it to the streets and decided to save Hong Kong.
Now it is my turn to ask the world to see Hong Kong clearly. I am asking the world to help us uplift the core goals of this movement. We are not rioters, nor independence seekers, nor violence makers. I urge the world to lift the deceptive veil Beijing has been trying to put on Hong Kong. Please know that freedom and democracy are the only things Hong Kong people are asking for. Is that too much to ask?