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In front of the barricades on Lung Wo Road, these youngsters were unprepared but unmovable
Special thanks: Stories of Anti-#ExtraditionBill Hong Kong
Date: 12 June 2019
Writer: Reporter 車仔
Translator: Cindy Chung
Proofreader: Joey T., Haylie, Ashley C.
It was 2 pm on 12 June, right before the use of gunshots and tear gas bomb (which were released from 3 pm onwards). The atmosphere of Lung Wo Road frontline (near the government headquarters and the Legislative Council) remained calm. Supply station initiated by volunteers was distributing water and food, even boxes of sushi. Meanwhile, Lau yelled at the police behind the metal barricades, “Who wants sushi with wasabi? (辣辣壽司邊個食？)” The crowd burst into laughter.
“I don’t know, just act.”
Lau, a long-haired college student with a yellow towel around his neck, said, “I am not afraid, well, you can’t be afraid.” We are standing at the same place where Special Tactical Squad charged at protestors like “werewolves” just two nights. Undoubtedly, many people were still traumatised by these “werewolves”. However, in the face of rows of round shields and riot shields, Lau responded calmly with no fear.
“I didn’t stay behind that night (9 June), there was no food and any other supplies.”
“Then, how about last night?” I asked. “It was quite frightening,” Lau replied while casting his gaze towards Tamar Park, recalling the scene of fully armed police. Indeed, on midnight of 11 June, more than a thousand protestors had already arrived Tamar park, waiting outside the Legislative Council.
“Then why do you still come forward to the frontline today?” I followed up. “I am actually unprepared. I was being driven away from Lung Wo Road in the morning to where I am now [by the police] and so I decided to stay.”
“Then, are you afraid of being arrested?”
“I don’t know, leave it until the time comes.” He shrugged.
“Have you psyched yourself up for it?” I asked, and he answered no, “if the police rushed over, the only option is to hold on.” This, for me, sounds like an insightful answer, therefore, I further asked whether he had prior experience with similar situations. He shook his head bashfully, “No, I don’t. I wasn’t there during the Umbrella Movement.” I asked one last question: “Will you consider the protest worthless if the bill passes?” And he responded, “I don’t know, I just act.”
“It is indeed very devastating. ”
Yuen, who claimed to be over thirty (and patted my shoulder saying, “Hong Kong is counting on you guys.”), arrived at Lung Wo Road at 9 am today. He considered the situation similar to what happened earlier — despite the fact that police continued to provoke protestors verbally. For instance, Yuen noted, “Those police in white claimed that they have received information that protestors had two vehicles equipped with brick. He was threatening us that they would apply violence if necessary.”
“Do you have any expectation towards the mobilization?” The sun suddenly shone vigorously, making the stuffy air even more intolerable. Yuen pulled down his mask and said, “there is a high possibility, 70 to 80 percent, of passing the bill. It is indeed very devastating.” However, he continued after a moment of silence: “Still, we have to step up, it may be the last time in the worst case scenario.” He pointed to his right to the building of Chinese People’s Liberation Army Forces nearby. “These people[People’s Liberation Army], they are all out now. I’m not sure if all of them have the ‘Little Red Book’ (Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung) with them… You see, they are out again, just like today’s morning.” In other words, once the bill is passed, there will be no more opportunities for Hong Kong people to voice out, just like our mainland counterparts.
“If everyone is scared, why not just stay at home?”
Apple and her friends arrived at Admiralty at 730 am, walking towards Tamar Park from the MTR station, everyone behaved orderly despite the crowd of people gathering around the station. Afterwards, arrays of police entered Tamar Park and the crowd was driven away to the tunnel entrance at Lung Wo Road. Several people rushed to the driving lane, and called out to the crowd “Come down! Come down!” Discrepancies appeared regarding the choice of coming down (to occupy Lung Wo Road or not) among the protestors. She recalled a secondary school student having a complete meltdown, kneeling down at the center of the road asking people not to rush down. While some at the side endeavouring to comfort, some concerned thatthe inadequacy of people would lessen the effect. At that instance, people sprung up through the other side of the tunnel, and that was how the road was occupied.
“I was afraid.” Flashing back to the live news on the 9th of June, seeing the protestors being besieged by the Special Tactical Squad and the riot police, she described them as very brutal. Yet she insisted, “If everyone is scared, why not just stay at home?” When asked about the atmosphere on site, she said: “everyone takes care of each other with supplies of food and water.” Never thought of being arrested, she gave me a stern look, “Unity is strength.”
I asked the three interviewees for their contact methods, so they could read this article before publication. “Thanks but no thanks. Time is limited.”
All of them refused the offer. An hour later (around 3 pm), police cleared the site. In the midst of tear gas and shootings, where else to find them?