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Anger and frustration

Protest reflections

Posted in: by Pete Moser on 15 October 2014
Tagged with: Far East 2014 0

As soon as the police action started on Tuesday night the firewall went up and the BBC website was no longer available here on the mainland. No news at all so, being suspicious, I started contacting friends via 'whats app' and soon the news started flowing about police brutality and the protesters starting up alternative occupations of other roads and generally, as Chuen said, 'moving like fish'.

Unless there is real dialogue between the government and the protesters there will be no solution. The people of HK will not just lie down and let the Chinese government gain more control than they already have. There have been a number of changes since 1997 including an attempt to develop a new 'moral curriculum' in schools and the accelerating migration of mainline chinese into HK, both as workers and shoppers. There is a simmering racism against the mainland population who arrive in this way from the local hong kongers that is not healthy and can be seen in some small aspects of the protest.

The essence of this protest, though, is to ensure that when the vote takes place the people of HK are given a real choice of who they can vote in. I don't believe that the protesters can be forced to give up, the only question is whether they lose momentum and energy if it goes on too long. The violence, however, is exactly what they need to mobilise a mass protest again. I am so proud of all the people who are taking to the streets, sleeping out, contributing and discussing their futures. It is amazing to see the bamboo scaffolders working with the protesters to build walls of bamboo. If you want to hear some songs of protest written by my community musician friends in Hong Kong go to www.facebook.com/24HoursInTheRevolution.

An email arrived last week from friends at Radio Lancashire for an interview live from the region and this is the day. We sort out Skype connections and I gear my day off around the call. 

I start the day borrowing a bike from Dan and go cycling the city! Down to the river, along to the centre and round about. By chance I go through some lanes in the Dongshang district and spot this sign.



Curious - I go in and of course understand nothing at all. Everything in Chinese, wall of photos sharing the development of communism including the relationships with foreign leaders! Walking round a corner there is a very lifelike meeting going on! 

  

Outside again and opposite is a lovely house which turns out to be hosting a print exhibition which is quite beautiful with 3 generation of artists from the city. A rare moment of culture

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The rest of the day moves on gently with radio interview, email catch ups and a meal with my good friends Hannah and Dan. My enduring picture of the day is this man writing in water on paving stones in a park. I have seen this before but now in contrast to the violence in Hong Kong it seems a great image to hold in my mind.

 


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