It might be a little late on writing the article about #OccupyCentral, or #UmbrellaRevolution, or what some locals may call, incident 928 (indicating the protest started on September 28th). But, as a blogger, I feel the responsibility of raising just that little bit of awareness to the online world of what Hong Kong’s protest is about.
A tiny tiny background…
A made up shrine mocking CY Leung (Chief Executive of Hong Kong)
Just to give you a brief idea, Occupy Central is named as a historically significant protest that is happening in Hong Kong currently. They are fighting for true democracy (ie. given equal rights to vote for their leader) over what they have now. Okay, I admit that I do have a slight confusion about the political system in Hong Kong, but what I can inform you is that the system they currently have is in favour towards the Chinese government (ie. the bills/regulations HK citizens want to pass are all dependent upon the Chinese government’s decisions).
How the protest started…
So, I was actually visiting Hong Kong with a friend when the protest started. I didn’t think it was a big deal at first simply because Hong Kong has had its long list of protests since 1997. The news about it came up a few times, but I didn’t care much at all. Oh, I thought, here goes another protest! The clip played a group of students crowding around the government headquarters, and policemen were given orders to carry them away one by one. That was when Occupy Central started.
Things start to heat up when police used pepper spray and tear gas bombs onto the crowd of students on the first night of Occupy Central. For those of you unfamiliar to the living standards in Hong Kong, may I tell you that Hong Kong is rated one of the most safest cities to live in! A news like this totally surprised everyone. Eventually, it caused a huge media outbreak; all Hong Kong TV and radio news content are filled with shocking news about the violence, Facebook was bombarded with videos of tear gas bombs, and even my personal Whatsapp group chats were onto it too. Unexpectedly (from the government), the phenomenon actually resulted more people to support the protest.
And I decided to join in as well.
My involvement with the protest…
I was glad that one friend of mine asked me to go and support the protest. It wasn’t really peer pressure; I
really wanted to support them before they officially asked. Before that, I figured it was difficult to go by myself, as I am not a local in Hong Kong.
I have never attended any protest or any political involvement prior my visit in Admiralty (the area where the protest all started). Actually, I never really cared about the politics happening in Canada either (statistically, my generation made up the least amount of votes the last time I remembered). It was, indeed, actually a pretty big deal for me to support the protest in Hong Kong while I was there. But I was glad that I went; I have experienced the most gracious and united group ever. It is very, VERY rare to have such a huge group of protesters working and acting together, keeping calm even in the scorching hot weather, and be very well organized as a society (they managed to build first aid stations, supply stations, and even study areas…really?? Wow!). Being part of the protesters totally threw me off guard; I never expected to be so welcomed and well treated like a family! At that point, all I could think of is how the government has completely underestimated their abilities.
To be honest, it was a sudden realization how privileged I was to be a Canadian citizen. Many of us are spoiled; we didn’t need to fight for democracy, and we took it for granted. I am 23 and I have not even voted for anything at all. Seeing how young high school teenagers fight for their part as a society definitely made me feel quite shameful. They’ve definitely taught me a valuable lesson, and they are worth the praise. I will definitely continue the support of Hong Kong’s democracy. Hope this article will actually raise some kind of awareness for them!
Thanks for reading!