Starting on Monday, thousands of university students in Hong Kong have been gathering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tamar Park (outside the government offices) to protest the National People Congress (NPC) of China’s decision to restrict the right to vote…
PLEASE HELP US.
I am a 16 year old girl who grew up in Hong Kong. I’ve never really liked politics, never fought for anything. Growing up in such a sheltered family never got me thinking about anything on the outside. As I reached my secondary school/middle school years, issues like these have been affecting those around me and even my life directly. Hong Kong is no country, we’re simply a “Special Administrative Region”. But in no way, do we want to be anything like the People’s Republic China. Not only does the name mislead the general public, but the Chinese government has only been evading the pleas of the Hong Kong people. “People’s Republic” implies the government is functioning with the consent of the people. THIS IS NOT HOW THIS GOVERNMENT WORKS. There have been violations of human rights, illegal confinements that no one ever dared talk about because we all fear the consequences. The people of Hong Kong have stood idly with the belief that things perhaps will stay the way they are. THIS IS NEVER THE WAY. THINGS CHANGE. PEOPLE CHANGE. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE IN A DEVELOPING MODERN WORLD. IT IS WHAT DEFINES HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND CIVILISATION. There are thousands upon thousands of people of all ages protesting against the changes in the Hong Kong Government.
Now that I’m studying in the United States, I understand the importance of democracy. What the citizens of Hong Kong are being offered right now is a seemingly democratic policy with a seemingly democratic façade. What we are being offered right now, or we should rephrase this: THE “CHOICE” THAT IS BEING FORCED UPON US RIGHT NOW, IS TO VOTE FOR CANDIDATES THAT HAVE BEEN PRE-SELECTED AND “PASSED” BY THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. This is no longer democracy. Democracy will have us choosing the candidates and voting with a universal suffrage. Not only are we being denied this right, students are being arrested and taken by the police because we choose to voice our concerns. My parents are extremely liberal people and strongly support this cause, but one thing they have told me as we watch police haul 18 year olds off public space is this (roughly translates from cantonese into):
“Imagine the parents of these teenagers. They chose to step up and voice their opinions and yet they are being muffled and all that’s left to prove of this is a juvenile record. A black mark on their records. But then again, if they do not step up, who will? Why is society condemning the future generations simply because they don’t agree? If they didn’t have it in them to protest, who can we count on to represent the people? Do any of us have the bravery to do what they’re doing? Take the risks they are taking?”
As a 16 year old, I will legally be able to vote in 2 years time. If this is what I’m looking forward to, then I’d much rather give up my vote than give my vote up to a fake democracy. I want to be able to voice my opinions. I want my children, their children and their children after them to be able to do the same. Please help us. Democracy is a privilege that is available only to parts of the world. Studying in the States has taught me so much. I never truly understood why America so preciously guard their “Liberties” and “Amendments”. Now I know. This is what everyone should understand. THE WORLD NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT DEMOCRACY IS NOT SOMETHING HONG KONG WAS GIVEN BUT SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE ARE FIGHTING AND SACRIFICING FOR. BEING ABLE TO EXPRESS OPINION SHOULD BE AND IS A HUMAN RIGHT. WE ARE BEING DENIED BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS. PLEASE HELP US. WE ARE GIVING IT OUR ALL.
I’ve never like politics. Maybe I never will. But I will stand up for what I want and what I should have. It is the younger generation that will change this world and we are being shut down even before we can speak.