Love and Peace at Admiralty

My wife, my ten-year-old son and I were at Admiralty on the afternoon of 2nd October.

These were scenes at Admiralty: all photographs here were taken by my son.

_MG_0418 640

_MG_0420 640

Supplies station near Admiralty MTR Station.

_MG_0431 640

A phone recharging corner.

_MG_0459 640

The overall sense was that the students were resting in the day.

_MG_0523 640

_MG_0464 640

_MG_0485 640

The atmosphere was of love and peace. There were many people walking up and down the streets.

There were families with young kids, and tourists were snapping selfies.

It really felt like a tourist attraction. Yes, we’re reminded by the banner above that it’s not a party.

_MG_0626 640

_MG_0627 640

There were refreshments for protesters and passers-by alike.

I think there’s a dual character to the protest.

It’s more family and tourist-friendly in the day, while at night, things get relatively more serious.

_MG_0493 640

There were students distributing yellow ribbons.

_MG_0499 640

The streets at that time were not densely packed at all. I had the feeling that most of the protesters had gone home to rest so as to return later.

_MG_0507 640

Passers-by were encouraged to leave behind messages.

_MG_0524 640

_MG_0516 640

This is a protest you could bring your kids to. It has really been a family-friendly protest, in the day at least.

_MG_0508 640

_MG_0521 640

But the umbrellas were reminders, of course, of how things could turn ugly very quickly.

_MG_0527 640

The protest so far has the moral high ground because it’s about love and peace.

The protesters are unbelievably civil and polite.

The challenge, I think, is to keep on being civil.

For the protest to fail, the governments of Hong Kong and China have to do precisely nothing.

I am genuinely afraid that frustrations would build among protesters, that there might be internal divisions, that a tiny bit of friction between the police and the protesters might lead to violence.

_MG_0547 640

_MG_0562 640

It’s a wonderful dream to have – but what happens if the dream doesn’t become reality?

My worry is that my students might become bitter and disenchanted.

In which case, my practical advice would be: hold on to the dream but work with the system, become part of the system, climb whatever corporate/social/political ladders there are in front of you and change the system from within. You’ll then have the Hong Kong you deserve.

The dream of an entire generation of university students is a powerful dream that will never dissipate, no matter what.

You are the future of Hong Kong, no matter what.

Of course, I’m being somewhat pessimistic, and these are early days.

_MG_0605 640

_MG_0609 640

This has been a thoughtful protest – even the trash was being sorted out for recycling.

_MG_0546 640

The thoughtfulness that went into creating this ashtray would be the thoughtfulness that would change Hong Kong.

_MG_0577 640

_MG_0602 640

These are signs of love and peace.

_MG_0633 640

Police presence was token at best in the day.

_MG_0634 640

There’s a police recruitment poster at the sidewalk – I was amazed it wasn’t defaced in any way.

_MG_0646 640

There were speakers’ corners set up at various places.

_MG_0649 640

Anyone, regardless of whether they were for or against the movement, got to speak for 2-3 minutes should they wish to do so. There was a man who talked about how he argued bitterly with his wife as they were on different sides of the fence with regards to the movement.

_MG_0653 640

This group was reading aloud a prayer for Hong Kong.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, good people of Hong Kong.

I pray for love, peace and wisdom.