• wethepeopleofhk

Our Summer of Discontent: Stay calm and be tough 我們的不滿之夏:保持鎮定,堅強

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

(Please scroll down for Chinese translation 繁体中文请往下滑).

It’s a tense time in Hong Kong. Nearly every weekend for the past few months myself and many others have joined protests or rallies. More than once recently I have read rants blaming teachers and the Hong Kong education system for fomenting the current social unrest. This criticism ignores the historical fact that the democracy movement was alive in the SAR even before the Umbrella Movement began in 2014.

Last week the Chief Executive Carrie Lam hosted her first televised ‘Public Dialogue’ in a Wan Chai sports stadium with 130 randomly chosen citizens. This was an attempt to begin rebuilding trust in her government, but it seems only to have been successful in providing a focus for more anger. Lam apparently listens, but fails to engage with either the people or the issues in a manner that resonates with them. This week Hong Kongers were expected to join in celebrations for the 70th anniversary of communist China’s founding, but instead many chose to wear the protesters’ customary black either as a gesture of defiance or one of mourning. There was a large turnout at a rally on Saturday 28th September marking the fifth anniversary of the umbrella movement which is considered by many to be the force behind the calls for greater democracy in the SAR.

What motivates me to participate in the protests is the strong sense that the government is ignoring my concerns, that it does not fairly represent the values and wishes of the people who live here. I am sure that many protesters are motivated by passions similar to mine: they are angry that their government wishes to push legislation through despite widespread opposition to it; they don’t like to see young people beaten by Police or arrested, they don’t accept Hong Kong’s unfair electoral system; they feel threatened by Big Brother Beijing; they are anxious about the erosion of freedoms here and their future prospects for happiness in the SAR.

At this point it doesn’t look as if the tensions in our city are likely to be resolved quickly. One news commentary wrote that Hong Kong’s summer of discontent could turn into an apocalyptic autumn. We have already seen people’s tempers flare, and while there is widespread distrust of the Police others have tried to take the law into their own hands. The authorities, both local and in China, have issued threats on more than one occasion, but mostly the communist party is being very careful about what it does whilst under the microscope of international attention. Behind the scenes protester people are getting more organised, evidence is being gathered, strategies are being refined on the basis of lessons learnt, and informal networks are being consolidated. People are finding strength knowing that there are things they can do, and working together is building resilience within the movement.

We are all in this for the long haul, regardless of what the weather brings to Hong Kong. So when the times get tough we need to look out for one another. We know where our faith lies and who we can trust. We must stay calm and be tough.

Jeremiah B.


上週,行政長官林鄭月娥在灣仔體育館舉行了她的首次電視轉播的“公共對話”,有130名隨機選出的公民。這是試圖重新建立對她的政府的信任的嘗試,但似乎只有成功地為更多的憤怒提供了焦點 。 她顯然在聽,但未能以引起人們共鳴的方式與人們或問題互動。預計本周香港人將參加慶祝中國建國70週年的慶祝活動,但許多人選擇穿著抗議者的慣用黑色服裝,以示反抗或哀悼。 9月28日(星期六)舉行的一次集會上,參加者人數眾多,這標誌著雨傘運動成立五週年。許多人認為這是要求特區實行更大民主的動力。




Jeremiah B.

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