Worried protesters reveal their fears

Top News | Phoenix Un 10 Jun 2019

Parents with young children, expats and even the wheelchair-bound took to the streets, with some saying it was the first time they had joined a protest since the 2003 rally against the Basic Law Article 23 enactment.

A man called Poon came to protest with his nine-year-old son and said he was worried that Hong Kong would no longer be suitable for his child to live in after the fugitive law amendment was passed.

"After it has passed, Hong Kong will lose much freedom it is enjoying, as it's breaking the wall between the mainland and Hong Kong despite the two being so different," Poon said.

The child was also against the law. "We come out against the evil law, as many people may disappear after it is passed," he said.

The father was surprised that his son knew what the protest was about as he did not tell him about it.

Wong, a 47-year-old father of two children aged five and six, went alone to the protest, saying this was the third time he had taken to the streets. The first two times were in 2003 against Article 23.

"I do this for the next generation. If the law passes, my children could become the last generation of Hongkongers and there won't be Hongkongers anymore, as it will deprive us of all freedom of speech in Hong Kong," Wong said.

"I am worried that this can be the last mega protest, as they can use any excuse to arrest you and send you back to the mainland."

Wong slammed the government for forcing the law amendment through just by having enough votes in the Legislative Council.

To, a patient with muscular dystrophy, went to the protest by himself from his home in Ma On Shan.

"I am very worried about the law - it would have so much impact on Hong Kong," To said. "I hope it will not be the case that [Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor] will ignore the number of protesters."

Rocky Chang Kou-chuen, a Polytechnic University associate professor of computer science, raised a banner calling for Lam, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah and Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu to step down.

"They are incapable and immoral and they cannot explain why we have this urgency to amend the law. And they openly tell lies, that they want to amend the law for the Taiwan murder case, but everyone knows it's not the case," Chang said.

He said almost everyone in society is against the amendment and, if it passed, there would be no defense of Hongkongers in court, as the legal sector had warned.

Liu, aged 70, said he saw too much unfairness in the mainland government. "Just like the case of dissident artist Ai Weiwei, Beijing doesn't need to prosecute him for political crimes, instead they accuse him of evading taxes," Liu said. "If it's not taxation, they can always make up some crime for you and extradite you."

Matthew Flintoff, a British teacher who has worked for seven years in Hong Kong, feared that a mega protest like this one would be impossible to be staged in future after the amendment was passed.

"I'm almost certain Carrie Lam will push forward the legislation because I don't think the Hong Kong government is in any way governed by the will of people of Hong Kong," Flintoff said. "She is somehow disconnected from the reality of Hong Kong."


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