Umbrella Uprising — What We Think

Seen on the HKBU campus.

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I have run out of umbrellas to lend to my students,
braving all weathers, all scorn, for a future they no longer have any option
but to believe in.
Now it is my heart I would shelter them with.
I do so happily, without reservation.
They were the first, and will be the last,
to welcome me here.
They have always stood by me.
—Stuart Christie

Young people, yellow-ribboned, faces covered with cling film and goggles, and equipped only with umbrellas to fend off the fierce sun, rain and tear gas, have fought peacefully, proudly and insistently, for genuine democracy in their—my—beloved city. It is their efforts—nonviolent but still resolute and resourceful—that have not only captured the attention of the city, but of the world. […] At times, I have been worried—worried about the safety of the protestors; worried that their efforts will fail to bring change; worried about the future of the city that I love. But I have also been deeply moved and inspired. I have never been so proud of Hong Kong. It has never been so determined. For those of us who support democratic change, we realise that the time has come, that we have to fight now, before it’s too, too late. We are uncertain of what the outcome might be, but we are nevertheless united, hearts with one purpose, and we are fighting.
—Tammy Ho Lai-Ming [Read more here]

I hope that all of the students participating in the protests will stay safe and remain optimistic for a better future of this place we call home.
—Heidi Huang

It  must be really hard for all the students who sit in the heat and rain, spend the nights on the roads, and continue to endevaour to achieve what they believe in. Such bravery and resilience. All in the cause of democracy.
—Itakura Hiroko

Glorify the Umbrella with me,
   The city has raged in anger!
   May it inspire counsels of peace
   Let democracy reign forever.
—Magdalen Ki

Our leaders have promised us ‘dialogue’ and ‘democracy’, but they have twisted the words and changed their meaning. The people in power want us to believe that we choose, but what’s the point when they decide? So, ‘choice’ has become meaningless, ‘democracy’ an utter mockery! I’m in awe of our students and other pro-democracy fighters who refuse to let powerful people who call themselves leaders change the meaning of words. May you have the strength to endure!
—Hans Ladegaard
 .
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Blessed are those who dare to dream and have the courage to fight for justice. It might be a long and winding road, but you will never walk alone.
—Phoenix Lam
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The awakening of the student’s consciousness can only mean well for the future. Clearly these protests are more than just about democracy-growing disenfranchisement, erosion of identity, a sense of helplessness — and I expect these issues to recur again over the years. Still, what is happening now is not the turning point in the fight for HK’s political future. Instead, it is one of many battles which will be played out and led by this new generation of activists for the next few decades. I think we’re just getting started… the students have found a voice, and they’re going to be the torchbearers for Hong Kong’s political protests for many years to come. And there’ll be more flash points in future, of that I’m sure.
—Jason Eng Hun Lee
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I’ve seemingly always already been way more cynical than sentimental. But I found myself crying in the face of the generous and caring humanity of Hong Kong’s youth, both in Mong Kok and in Central. Hong Kong is my much loved home—and it’s the Umbrella Uprising that has delivered this sense of home to me.
—Jason S Polley

The movement has demonstrated the best of Hong Kong people. It is a large scale demonstration, yet there is minimal chaos. People are in general polite, helpful, selfless, and determined. In the face of pepper spray, tear gas, and the disdain from the authorities, people stand peacefully, yet relentlessly, together. They hold on, under the blazing sun, and in the torrential rain, for a just cause. Yes, it’s not easy. Sleeping on the street is never easy. But by standing together, dreams may come true.
—Vinton Poon

I applaud the courage and restraint of the protesters, who are mostly students, and am as proud as ever to call myself a Hong Konger!
—John Wakefield

What we saw from the first day of protest till now [Oct 2] is a real-life manifestation of the teachings of Gandhi and all other civil rights leaders. This is a moment when we look at the college students and see that humanity has hope in the future. Please stay safe. Please remember this spirit and keep it alive even when we become old and waning.
—Lian-Hee Wee

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