Friday, July 14, 2017

Disappointment in Hong Kong one day after tragedy struck in Mainland China

A space to mourn Liu Xiaobo's premature death set up 

in front of "Civic Square" this evening 

This afternoon, I went to the China Liason Office in Hong Kong to pay tribute to the late Liu Xiaobo.  Or, rather, I went to the area set up in front of the Liason Office for mourners that has been bedecked with white flowers and signs urging people to remember the Nobel Peace Prize winning pro-democracy activist and demanding his widow, Liu Xia's freedom, and where a condolence book also is available for people to sign.

Not surprisingly, a rally was organized this evening to protest the decision and also to show support to disqualified lawmakers "Long Hair" Leung Kwok Hung, Nathan Law, Law Siu Lai and Edward Yiu.  With many of its speakers being the same ones who also had spoken at another rally this past December, I couldn't help reflecting sadly on how the mood has changed.

Then, there was jubilance in the air since that event at Chater Garden had come in the wake of Leung Chun Ying's announcement that he'd not be seeking re-election as Hong Kong's Chief Executive.  This time around, at the rally in front of the still closed 1,000-square-meter forecourt to the Central Government Offices at Admiralty popularly known as Civic Square, there were notes of defiance struck but along with Liu Xiaobo's death casting a shadow on things was a sense among the assembled crowd that the battle for democracy for Hong Kong is not going to be won anytime soon.

This is not to say, however, that people in Hong Kong have decided to give up the fight.  Especially considering that tonight's event was effectively a one and half hour press conference and had been organized and announced at pretty short notice, the number of people who turned up was surprisingly high.  

One of the folks who turned up to voice their disappointment and unhappiness at what's happened today in Hong Kong was quoted in a Hong Kong Free Press report as follows: "There is no point in protesting when an oppressive government won't listen to you. But I still felt that coming here, contributing to the headcount, was better than staying at home and typing up a status on Facebook. At least I was here."  To which, I'd say, "Hear, hear -- and that's the (Hong Kong) spirit", at least to the latter part of that statement!


Anonymous said...

The world needs more like Liu Xiaobo...But I'm gladdened to know that there are always folks who will speak up for the betterment of their country, for democracy, and for those who are unable to speak up themselves. And meanwhile there are many who care about the future of HK. You aren't alone!

YTSL said...

Hi Anonymous reader --

Thanks for your vote of confidence and assurance that I'm not alone in caring about the future of Hong Kong, etc. There are days when I worry that's not the case but there also are days when I feel that there indeed are more Hong Kongers may be more willing to stand up for those in need and Hong Kong itself than we often think. I just hope that there's enough of us to be of real use. And I also hope there are enough people out there who care about Hong Kong and will keep the eyes and attention of the world focused on what's happening here.