We live in a society that prides in its ability to not see race, class, or gender, but neglects to see the human behind it. A man in raggedy clothes just crept into the Starbucks i’m at right now. People stare at him when he’s not looking, but otherwise pretend not to care. He wants to charge his phone, but the outlet he wants to use doesn’t work (we all know because we had tried earlier). A girl puts his phone in the non-working outlet, though she knows it will be faulty. She nonchalantly goes about her work. The girl, another guy in front of me, and I wait to see what will happen next. The homeless man tells the girl, “It’s not working.” She gives him a “what do you want me to do about it” stare. Finally, I muster the courage, “The charger won’t work, I can plug it into the other one on the other side if you want.” We all wait in anticipation. No response, just a blank stare. “How awkward,” I think to myself. “He thinks I’m pitying him. I did something wrong. I’ve offended him.” After a few more seconds of awkward staring, he leaves.
I don’t really know what significance this encounter had, but I’m realizing something about myself and the culture of this age. In the name of “not offending” I grow afraid to approach the visible issues before me. The man was clearly homeless, yet I’m afraid to love, to give. We avoid confrontation. We compromise. Love is not being able to tolerate others’ weakness, it is acknowledging and helping people to move out of them. I must apply this to all realms of society outside of the Christian world. When I teach, I must see my students for who they are. I am not “color-blind” as my textbooks would call it, but I see the culture they come from along with all of its implications—and I call it valuable. I call it a part of who they are, a part of them they might be ashamed of, but still holds significance. I guess what I’m trying to convince myself is: We are not all the same. A simple idea, but to love someone without taking to account everything that they are, is not loving at all. I must love people in their entirety.
My city is in chaos.
This is what’s happening to Hong Kong right this minute.
It is difficult for me to put into words, but simply put, University students started a class boycott movement demanding democracy and universal suffrage from the Hong Kong and Chinese Government this week, and the movement has escalated into citizens occupying Government Square and now, a main road leading into Hong Kong’s central hub.
Most protesters are younger generation Hong Kongers, including university students and even secondary school students. The leader of the student movement himself is barely even old enough to drive a car.
The movement began peacefully with citizens merely sitting quietly and occupying a public space in a silent protest on Friday night.
Then at 7:00 in the morning the next day, policemen stormed into the public square and began clearing out the area by force, dragging youngsters out violently, injuring many of them. Policemen have also been witnessed to beating youngsters without reason, and using high-concentration, anti-riot pepperspray on civilians who are merely attempting to protect themselves. No civilian put up any sort of fight or attempt at assaulting the police as far as i know,
(Police justified clearing out the area with the reason that protesters are holding illegal meetings in a public space.)
(Protesting civilians who remained on the streets overnight are wearing plastic wraps and raincoats under 30 degree weather in an attempt to protect themselves should the police utilize peppersprays again.)
The movement escalated again tonight when the protesters (now 4 times the size of the student movement the previous week) occupied a main road leading to the central hub of Hong Kong.
The police barricaded the roads and attempted to stop more people from joining the crowd this whole afternoon, but the peaceful crowd remained persistent and would not leave the area even after the police issued verbal warnings. (I emphasize “peaceful”, because protesters continued to be orderly and did not display any forms of aggression. They even cleared out a path for cars to pass the area, something the police didn’t even bother to do.)
At around 6:00, the police began using peppersprays on civilians again, this time high-powered ones that came in tanks instead of in bottles. Our people continued to shield themselves with umbrellas, but the umbrellas were also soon snatched away by the police. Live feed videos have also confirmed that police have been misusing peppersprays by firing them at close proximity, and also not giving any sort of verbal warnings before firing.
Video of a policeman firing at an elderly man at point-blank range:
Yet again, protesters remained, and at 7:00, armed forces were sent into the crowd. They began firing tear gas capsules INTO the crowds and even INTO First-aid stations. The rounds came every few minutes and i counted at least 5 capsules being fired in a 10-minute period according to the live feeds.
at least 30,000 people continue to stand their ground right this second, more armed policemen are being sent in, and news is that these police are ordered to use guns (loaded with plastic bullets) on civilians if protesters continue to remain.
I fear for the people because policemen are not what they used to be anymore. These “police” who should be protecting us are now private armies for the government. I am watching my city die. It’s a terrifying feeling. If the police feel they are justified to use force on innocent civilians, tonight could end up in another massacre just like that of the Tian An Men June Fourth Massacre in 1989.
And at this point I am too emotional to say anything else except that we need your prayers and your support. Please spread this out, people all over the world need to see what is happening right now.
LIVE FEED OF THE CURRENT SITUATION: