Early on in today's protest march, so much sweat was already shed
Messages that have been ignored today :(
Please don't have the efforts of so many be in vain!
It's late, I have to work tomorrow morning,I'm still catching up on what's happened in the time that I finished today's protest march (at around 7.30pm) and then went to have dinner and a long chat with a friend. So I'll direct you over to a blog post of a friend
whom I marched along with earlier today, and just add that blood, sweat
and tears have been shed for Hong Kong today and it's all not over yet.
friend living in the US asked me earlier today whether there are
protests daily in Hong Kong. I can understand why, especially from a
distance, this can appear to be the case as about the only time that
Hong Kong gets mentioned in international news report these days, it's
with regards to the many and large anti-extradition bill protests that have taken place over the past month and a half now.
bridges and overpasses appear to be popular places for Lennon Walls.
In the past week, I've come across three in three different parts of
Hong Kong -- with the one in Causeway Bay being particularly impressive
and, here's a sign of our troubled times, manned by a volunteer
presumably on the lookout for those sad individuals with destructive
tendencies who evidently don't agree with the messages posted on the
Lennon Walls that include ones urging people to do such as "Love Hong
Kong" and with such apparently inflammatory sentiments like "Hong
Kongers, don't give up"!
specifically, I think that assertion doesn't stand to reason because I
am sure there are lots of opponents to the bill whose physical health
makes it so that they are unable to go out on the streets to protest
against it; and this particularly so since some of the marches are now
getting so many people out on the streets at the same time as to
literally bring traffic -- foot and vehicular -- to a standstill! And
then there also are people unable for other reasons to take part in the
protests, including because they have to work on those days and at those
times that those protests are taking place.
by themselves, today's silver haired protest march and the press' on
Sunday might not amount to much, especially in terms of numbers of
participants. But I think the fact that they have taken place and are
among a whole series of protests occuring in various parts of Hong Kong
that have included ones organized by mothers and will include one by
social workers later this week as well as more "regular" protest
organizers like the Civil Human Rights Front
says a great deal about the level -- and varied circles -- of
opposition that there is to the extradition bill and Carrie Lam's
administration in Hong Kong society these days.
Having also not gone to the anti-extradition bill protest march in Kowloon last Sunday
or other protests held outside of Hong Kong Island, much of yesterday's
march felt rather novel to me. In addition to the route taking me
through streets and past places I'm not that familiar with, there also
was the interesting experience of marching past area residents: some of
whom had turned up to watch the parade out of curiosity; others of whom
had turned up to cheer the march participants on (as could be seen by
their smiles, thumbs up gestures, applause and initiations of
interactive chants of "Hong Kong yan ga yau" (Hong Kong people, add oil)!).
else pretty noticeable was how the pace of the march was refreshingly
quick for the most part compared to such as the million (plus) people
marches that took place this past June 9th and 16th.
About the only two times, in fact, where the procession came close to a
standstill was, early on, when people were exiting the football pitch
that was the site of the official march start and at one road junction
where the police wanted to ensure that a road that we were walking past
would still be accessible to vehicular traffic.
waiting to be allowed to cross to the other side of the road, march
participants came up close to a bunch of police officers, some in
uniform but quite a few of whom were not. With time to spare to look
around and look closely at one another, many of the march participants
could not help but notice that a good proportion of the cops wearing
vests atop their t-shirts did not have their warrant cards or any other
form of identification displayed in the clear pockets of their vests -- which actually was a clear violation of police regulations.
needless to say, this did not endear the police to the protesters. It
also didn't help matters that the police did not offer any explanation
of why sections of the march had been made to stop. In all honesty, I
think some attempt at that rather than just menacing glares and robotic
repetitions of "Thank you for your cooperation" would have helped keep
things calm and got more understanding.
lieu of being supplied information by the police, people turned to
online Tweets and such to figure out what was going on. And it was
through that medium that I learnt via a friend that one reason for our
delay was that there had been a far larger turnout than expected and
that the narrower streets that the march passed through could easily
handle -- and, also, as my section of marchers neared Sha Tin town
center, that there already had been incidents involving the police firing pepper spray at protesters nearer the front of the march.
the latter reports though, we protesters kept walking along the
designated protest route and the mood actually was quite cheerful even
then. After we got to the area by New Town Plaza (from where the Sha
Tin MTR station is directly accessible) though, a good number of
protesters decided to call it a day and make for the exit. Most of the
party I was with went for that option; with the one friend who lives in
Sha Tin deciding to go all the way to the end of the march.
Sadly, in the two years or so that have passed, we have seen increased repressions in both Mainland Chinaand also Hong Kong.
And while conditions in Hong Kong are (still) nowhere as bad as on the
other side of the Hong Kong-Mainland China border, it is indeed
appearing to be so that peaceful protests are no longer as much of a
given as they were a little than a month ago.
the same time, it's also true that Hong Kong protesters are more and
more inclined now to make sure that they have some sort of protective
gear with them. For my part, even while there only been one occasion (thus far) when I felt a need to put them on, I do bring goggles and a face mask -- and, lately, a helmet too -- with me when I go take part in protest marches.
those who actually think this: of course I never have plans to attack
the police when I go protesting! Instead, I want to make sure that, in
the event that they decide to do such as shoot tear gas or pepper spray
into the crowd, I actually have some protection against the offending
Hong Kong is full of hiking enthusiasts. Every one in a while though, I'll encounter someone who absolutely can't understand why people would willingly go hiking as they look upon it as involving too much sweaty effort as well as the kind of people who look at anything "wild" as something to be scary, harmful and consequently to be avoided like the plague!
More often than not, these people who look upon me like I'm insane when I tell them that easy access to good hiking trails is one of the pleasures of living in Hong Kong will have never actually given this particular activity a try. When I learn this, I often find myself wanting to take them out to some place like Tai Tam Country Park and, if they're fit enough, up to the likes of Siu Ma Shan and Mount Butler, from where they can see wondrously scenic vistas on a clear day -- and then expect that they might then be able to see some merits to hiking in the Big Lychee... :)
In Hong Kong, one often goes from city to country, and also from
sea level up over a hundred meters above that, in just a matter of minutes ;b
One quick way to change elevation quickly is to ascend