The “Sea of Umbrellas”: Where Are They Now?
The right to vote is a fundamental human and political right in which everyone around the world should have. And if there is some sort of “pre-screening” or an undue influence from another political body specifically on whom to vote, there could be harmful consequences to the rule of law and it could be damaging to democracy. And that makes me really sad!
When I saw on tv Hong Kong citizens (Chinese nationals) mostly students converging along the main thoroughfares of Hong Kong Central (Admiralty and Causeway Bay), I felt I was with them. I was with them in my heart and mind primarily in their cause for universal suffrage, the right to vote for the right people, their leader and lawmakers who will act on behalf of the citizenry. I felt I was with the brave young students under the rain with my umbrella widely opened and beaming with smile and a prayer that the leaders will hear their demand for a real universal suffrage. As one of the pro-democracy demonstrators indicated, that one Sunday night was a show of umbrellas, an “Umbrella Revolution”, so to speak, against China’s decision for the voters in 2017 to choose from a list of pre-approved candidates. Hong Kong demonstrators were not happy with the said decision and hence clamored for Beijing to give them that freedom to choose their leader which was rejected.
On a candid note, Hong Kong is one place where fashion trendsetters and entrepreneurs around the globe would love to go. We love to go to Hong Kong for various reasons. We love the place because it has some sense of a modern-day- freedom, a freedom the country gained from its British colonizers in 1997 when the latter gave the former that “high degree of autonomy” for 50 years except in foreign and defense affairs. But most of all, tourists love to visit Hong Kong because they have the freedom of choice, they are free to move around the city including the right to choose and buy caboodle of things from designer clothes to high tech gadgets, even from original to counterfeit products!
Personally, I have been to this place for quite a number of times. The Island Shangrila Hotel where I stayed in one of my related business sponsored trips is relatively near the area where protests fomented. These places are quite familiar to me. I thought it would have been more memorable and meaningful if I were there when the downpour of rain and large crowd literally happened.
The latest updates on the so-called “Occupy Central” may have appeared favorable to the political and pro-Beijing leaders in Hong Kong as the “show of umbrellas” are nowhere to be seen. According to reports, the crowd have thinned considerably. So,what happened? Where are they now? Where have they gone? Where are the tens of thousands of people who bravely showed their patriotism and love for Hong Kong during that rainy night? Did they unfold their “umbrellas” and surrender their cause for good?
While there was some kind of a stalemate, the key players and staunch supporters of the “Hong Kong lovers” will continue their demonstrations on theme of non-violence. They will not falter in their quest for a genuine right of suffrage, for a real democracy. In fact, based on accounts, they will hold on until their goal is accomplished. One of them said, they were called “Umbrella revolution for nothing”.
The Occupy Central website cited that protests are on going in small parts and in various districts of the city. Some of their followers became weary, tired and frustrated all at the same time as the ultimatum for its present leader Leung Chun-ying to step down failed, but definitely they are not quitters. They have only gone back to their norms, back to school classes , and had to refuel their bodies after a hard work-out! Thus, there will be more “sea of umbrellas” in the near future, “umbrellas” which have been renewed and envirogorated!
Indeed, the brave heroes of the so-called “Occupy Central” (the likes of the student leaders Joshua Wong and Lester Shum, Professor Chan Kin-man, Benny Tai, etc.) and their supporters who truly love Hongkong deserve a pat on the back for being able to voice out their opinions, for being able to stand up for their cause and get sympathies from billions of people around the globe. In the end, they have partly achieved the first few phases of their struggle and ultimately be victorious in their heroic quest for freedom!