The messages at Admiralty have gone beyond
cries for genuine democracy
And ditto at Causeway Bay, where a map has been set up
showing the locations of local retailers, etc. in the area
And the cleaning, and cleanliness, continues at Admiralty!
Two thoughts have been on my mind today. The first is -- with apologies to those who are not fans of the kawaii creature -- that today's Hello Kitty's 40th birthday! The second is that it's now November and the Umbrella Movement, which got going back in September, is still very much alive and kicking -- and, to judge from the behavior of some of the people I saw at Admiralty this afternoon, still attracting new visitors to the protest sites as well as regulars and those who don't so much visit as have made themselves at home there.
At the same time though, I think everyone knows that this "occupation" can't go on forever like this and talks of an endgame -- or, at least, the need for one -- have already begun. In addition, while the road to genuine democracy looks to still be firmly blocked, certain other paths look to have been explored -- or even already taken -- by Umbrella Movement members to help make Hong Kong better, including the following (in no particular order):-
1) Looking after the environment -- by keeping one's surroundings clean. This doesn't only mean no littering but also involves picking up trash, sweeping the roads, etc. -- and has been something that looks to have been done pretty much right from the start of the Umbrella Movement and remains the case at Admiralty, even if less so at Causeway Bay and Mongkok.
2) Caring for the environment -- by recycling plastics, paper, etc., and also asking visitors to the protest areas to bring water in their own containers rather than keep on purchasing small plastic bottles of it. Add to this that the protest areas are pretty much no go areas for cars and other motorised vehicles, and you've got yourself much more environmentally friendly areas of Hong Kong than the norm!
3) Caring for other people -- by doing such as donating and sharing food, drink, etc., and volunteering time and effort to a cause one believes in. On a not unrelated note: a fellow blogger emailed to tell me that she has been worried about venturing to the protest areas because of safety concerns but that the protests have got her wanting to do something to help Hong Kong, and she's gone and done that by way of donating to those in need. There may be people who scoff at her fears but I prefer to focus on her being motivated to do good -- and do look upon it as a positive outcome of the Umbrella Movement.
4) Valuing local produce and agriculture -- and food security and self sufficiency. It's been remarked by more than one person that if China wanted to quickly bring Hong Kong to its knees, it'd stop its supply of water and food to this territory with a "non-existent agricultural" policy. While it's hard to envision a time when Hong Kong could ever be entirely self-sufficient, Hong Kong also should not be leaving 80 percent of its agricultural land idle. And sure, not everyone wants to be a farmer -- but those who wish to do so should be encouraged, not discouraged, from doing so.
5) Rethinking shopping strategies -- and doing such as supporting local businesses, particularly those ones that cater primarily to Hong Kong residents rather than those people (who I can't really think of as regular tourists) who come over to Hong Kong and treat it as not much more than a giant shopping area.
Last Saturday, my friend over at The Fragrant Harbour wrote an excellent blog entry about the Umbrella Movement helping to re-balance the economy. It's also my hope that we're seeing a general move away from coveting luxury and "prestige" items, motivated in part by the sense that, contrary to what Deng Xiaoping said, to be rich per se is not glorious, not least since -- to judge from the examples of certain Hong Kong tycoons and other wealthy folks -- the pursuit of great wealth can sometimes make people become heartless, if not inhuman. How's that for a revolutionary idea?!