HKFP Voices Politics & Protest

Why they marched: Hongkongers explain their hopes for the future

Mariusz Bogacki spoke to ten people at last Friday’s July 1 pro-democracy rally about their hopes for the future. Follow his Tumblr blog here.

july 1 protesters

Charles, 23, Banker

What’s your nationality?
Hong Kong.

Why are you here today?
I’m  not satisfied with what the government has been doing over the last few years. I see that the future of Hong Kong should be more in the hands of Hong Kong people. We need to voice out our opinion – more often that just once a year.

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
It’s quite uncertain. Hong Kong is a place with a mixture of cultures and has loads of freedoms, especially freedom of speech. Recently with the issue of the Causeway Bay booksellers, that kind of freedom is threatened. If we don’t speak out maybe in the next 5-10 years our freedom will be less.

What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be? 
I hope that we can live happily and without worries of being caught for some kind of normal actions. By normal action I mean reading the books we want to read, using and participating in social media we want to. Maybe in 5-10 years, we will not be able to access some kind of websites or publications. That is quite worrying.

july 1 protesters

Katty, 22, Administrator/Student

What’s your nationality?
Hong Kong.

Why are you here today?
Because we are not satisfied with the chief executive and with the issues with the Causeway Bay bookshop. Today, he [Lam Wing-kee] was meant to be here and he is not. We are even more angry about this so we have to be here.  

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
I can’t see the future of Hong Kong. China is a devil. We don’t think Hong Kong has its own future. It’s going to be just another city of China.

What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be?
To be more democratic. I don’t think we can be an independent country but at least we should have more freedoms.

july 1 protesters

June, 33, Accountant 

What’s your nationality?
Chin… hahah… Hong Kong!

Why are you here today?
For our Hong Kong future. For democracy. We need to stand out and speak for ourselves.

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
Damned. I think the future is not looking good. I think we can do much more. At least we stand out and speak for ourselves.

What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be?
I want Hong Kong to be independent. Right now we don’t want China and don’t like their government. I want Hong Kong to be independent but I think we can’t… Because of the location. It’s like with Taiwan – but they’ve got the geographical advantage of not sharing a land border.

july 1 protesters

Winnie, 30, Designer

What’s your nationality?
Hong Kong.

Why are you here today?
To protest for Lam Wing-kee, the bookstore owner from Causeway Bay.

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
Hopeless. We just try to fight as much as we can. If we don’t do nothing the hopelessness will come soon.

What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be?
Its very uncertain. The government officials in Hong Kong don’t fight for us. They try to make Beijing – their boss – feel good. But not fight for us. Even when the Hong Kong football team was playing China, no government official supported Hong Kong team. What’s the point?!

july 1 protesters

Ben, 25, Website Designer 

What’s your nationality?
Chinese.

Why are you here today?
I think I need to voice my opinion. I need to show my solidarity not only with my mouth – i need to show my presence along with people who have the same ideas as me.

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
To me the future of Hong Kong is not only about money and business. I think we need to emphasise core values more. We want more freedom. We want to protect what we have and we don’t want to lose it.

What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be?
So I can enjoy the things I have today in the future. For example the freedom of expression and freedom of demonstration. The fact that I can openly criticise the government without fear – this may not be possible in the future. Maybe I say something and then I’ll be arrested by the police or government.

july 1 protesters

Chen, 40s, Manager

What’s your nationality?
Australian and Hong Kong (dual citizenship)

Why are you here today?
I want to participate in the march.

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
It’s not as optimistic as I would want it to be. I think economically China needs Hong Kong, yet politically Hong Kong can’t change the larger politics in China. However, it can have a catalytic role. Hong Kong cannot change China fundamentally. Hong Kong can serve as a catalyst for Chinese people.
What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be?

I want Hong Kong to have a chance for self determination. Self determination doesn’t need independence. Hong Kong can become a federal state of China. Or China can remain united under the umbrella of confederation.

july 1 protesters

Jessica, 42, House Wife

What’s your nationality?
Hong Kong.

Why are you here today?
Because we are angry about our government and the China government. They broke their promises.

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
I cannot not see our future. I feel very bad about it.

What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be?
For Hong Kongese, like me, I want freedom of speech and to have a more equal society – because the wealth inequality is huge in Hong Kong.

july 1 protesters

Degas, 31, Social Worker

Whats your nationality?
Umm… Chinese. Haha, Its difficult. Chinese – Hong Kong

Why are you here today?
Try to do something to help Hong Kong.

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
Actually from my point of view, I’m very disappointed. The policy is very ridiculous these days. We have just discussed that some politicians who, while not contributing, receive great rewards. Because they tend to vote for the government most of the time. So i think this is very ridiculous – this situation. If you agree with China, if you take side with China, then you’ll get a lot of benefits – even if you’re not at the side of people of Hong Kong. That’s why I’m so disappointed. The chief executive – we call him 689 – because he only got 689 votes. There are more than 7 million people in Hong Kong but he only got 689 votes. He’s not representing people.

What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be?
More democratic. The government should listen to the people of Hong Kong. I think this would be enough already.

july 1 protesters

Charles, 31, Teacher 

Whats your nationality?
Chinese – Hong Kong

Why are you here today?
To protest and take records for NGO development.

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
Full of darkness. The democracy development has been stopped and there are no prospects.

What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be?
I would like Hong Kong to be a post-industrial place with democracy. We want to have more accountability in politics and policy. And also, living qualities such as housing and education should be more healthy.

july 1 protesters

Ryo, 13, Student 

Whats your nationality?
Hong Kong, I would say Hong Kong.

Why are you here today?
To demonstrate. We want to fight for our freedom in Hong Kong. Yes, because freedom is not free – just like the poster says. Therefore we need to fight for what we want and to protect what we want.

What’s the future of Hong Kong?
If the people of Hong Kong, don’t come out to demonstrate what they want, there will be no future for Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s future is what Hong Kong’s people want Hong Kong to be.

What would you like the future of Hong Kong to be?
To keep our core values, our independence, our freedom of speech. We want to demonstrate that our Hong Kong people will not let someone take our freedoms, but we will try our best to protect what we have and to fight against someone who wants to take our freedom away.

Mariusz Bogacki has just finished a postgraduate exchange semester at Chinese University of Hong Kong, majoring in Anthropology. He is currently living and conducting an anthropological project in Chungking Mansions. You can check out his “scrapbook” here.

Why they marched: Hongkongers explain their hopes for the future