One protester who’s been braving Hong Kong’s scorching sun and police violence recently released a letter to the people of Mainland China explaining why protesters have been fighting for democracy, freedom, and human rights in Hong Kong since June 9.
The letter was published in the online forum Pincong under the name “A nobody protester in Hong Kong.” It mentioned the Tiananmen Square Massacre, saying that today’s demonstrations are not only for the purpose of achieving independence for Hong Kong, but above all, to protect all Chinese people from a mutual enemy — the “totalitarian regime” — that is, the Chinese Communist Party.
Dear Fellow Citizens of Mainland China,
In the midst of the cold political climate and its heavy snowfall in Hong Kong this summer, I am just a nobody protester. Perhaps I do not have the right to represent all protesters — yet, it’s the nobodies like myself who have been running this storm of a movement since June. So let me disclose what we have actually seen and experienced in the eye of the storm.
None of us expected this freedom movement to ever grow into such a massive force that we see today. We also never anticipated that we would ever explain the situation to our fellow Chinese in the Mainland. But since things have come so far, it’s obviously no longer a movement that is only for us people of Hong Kong and a fight for our future, but a protest that is also closely related to the freedom and future of the 1.4 billion fellow Chinese in Mainland China.
This goes further than Hong Kong’s independence, and it’s not about separating Hong Kong from Mainland China. This is an uprising born from the resentment, blood, and tears of the fearless, upright, and sincere fellow Chinese — who were at Tiananmen Square 30 years ago.
Let’s join the march at Tiananmen Square. Why? Because it is our duty. This is part of a conversation between a Beijing University student — wearing a red headscarf and riding a bicycle — and a journalist that took place 30 years ago. It was captured on film and has spread throughout Hong Kong these days.
We Hong Kong citizens have never been separated from you in the Mainland, since the night of June 4, 1989. It’s only the totalitarian regime that’s been looking down on and tearing us apart.
All the news, messages, and transfer information you receive in Mainland China highlights us as nothing but a group of mobsters in black, who are destroying everything, ruining national flags and attacking the police. However, you never see the other side — like a Hong Kong citizen getting shot and blinded by the police during a peaceful rally as a result of them intentionally aiming at her head. Or uniformed policemen greeting and talking with gangsters who were responsible for attacking citizens. Nor would you see the Hong Kong chief executive’s coldness toward the youth who were demanding for inquiries to be made. And of course, you would never see that the mobsters were attacking citizens everywhere and that they will never face legal sanctions.
These gangsters have beaten youths until they are on the ground covered in blood with severely injured limbs — but you wouldn’t see that either. Or the officials of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government (LOCPG) inciting gangsters to beat citizens during the public rally. All the facts mentioned above are the true reasons why the protest has been growing out of control and has reached such a scale.
Hong Kong’s silent majority have had their conscience awakened, gradually realizing that everything under the totalitarian regime, including the constitutionality and the promised democracy and freedom, is just a deception that the government created in order to gain political power. Under the totalitarian regime, societal control and social order can only be maintained through deception and violence, and by inciting fear in the public. This is why us citizens of Hong Kong have been continuously demonstrating and marching across different areas. What we oppose is neither China nor fellow citizens in the Mainland, but our common enemy — the totalitarian regime.
The protest has been revealing, layer after layer, the corruption and eventual collapse of the authority and constitution of Hong Kong. The silent majority have started to realize, in fact, that the so-called ‘”eaceful and promising” Hong Kong had already begun degenerating before the protests took off.
Perhaps most of our fellow Chinese in the Mainland would consider all that I have said here to be lies. You may think that Hong Kong and everything that happens here is supported and manipulated by Western countries to go against China. Thus, I do not expect you to change your mind right away. But I sincerely believe that someday you will. Perhaps in the future, you will remember this storm that swept up Hong Kong in 2019 — the movement that was launched by its youths. As time passes and the dust settles, this protest will become just like a ripple that dies away; more likely than not, it will fail — just like at Tiananmen Square 30 years ago. Among us protesters, many of us clearly understand that it is almost impossible for us to realize our appeal. This storm is far more disappointing and hopeless than that of 30 years ago.
So why do we still do this?
It’s not for anything in particular; it’s similar to the beautiful day in 1989 when the young man on the bicycle said: “Because it is my duty.”
Maybe this protest will be our last. After this, Hong Kong citizens may not be able to walk side by side with the fellow Chinese of the Mainland, who are also longing for freedom. The identity of Hong Kong citizens and this group of protesters will perhaps — when this protest fails — disappear into the long river of history. However, my dear fellow citizens of Mainland China, please remember that we Hong Kong protesters are never your enemies.
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to those Mainland citizens who have taken the huge risks to support Hong Kong, while also craving for freedom. No words could ever express our profound gratitude to you. We hope you can keep up your faith, even if you are alone, until the day that we succeed in breaking through the prison bars of dictatorship. For those who choose to remain silent under the totalitarian regime, we definitely understand your tough situation. With your appreciation, the protesters in Hong Kong are never lonely.
Translated by Sharon and edited by Emiko Kingswell