He quivered in the possibility of communing with countless like-minded office employees awakened by the organizers’ rallying cry, “Revolution is a responsibility!” He had been on time. He was sporting a brand new black face mask. He had been fired up. He was prepared. He was also completely alone.
Confused, stunned and more than a bit sad because he gazed unbelieving round the vacant playground with a total of just one protester — him — that the workplace intern drew this conclusion: Hong Kong’s establishment-shaking protest motion, that has plunged the global business hub into catastrophe and appeared to possess boundless reserves of determination, vitality, imagination and popular service, could eventually be dropping a little steam as it enters its fifth month.
“nobody showed up! Only me! Wearing a mask to flaunt! This is very unsatisfactory,” stated the 20-year-old.
Ronald would not give his surname.
Ronald explained another demonstration he had attended the previous day, at the longer residential Tsuen Wan district, was nearly as much let-down: It attracted only five participants.
“People are losing their fire,” he explained. “At the onset of the protests… countless people would appear, even if they’re working.” Whether this weekend does not again draw out the number of demonstrators viewed as recently as Sunday, then it might be a sign that protesters are growing tired, broken up and getting less of a challenge to the authorities of this semi-autonomous Chinese land and its masters in Beijing.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive, will draw additional encouragement if a silent weekend is subsequently followed closely by her not being surrounded by demonstrators if she produces a yearly policy speech on Wednesday.
But that’s a good deal of ifs.
Given that Lam is not expected to announce an amnesty for detained protesters or utilize her address to bow into the motion’s other important demands, she is still a very long way out of assuaging the fury which has turned Hong Kong into a powder keg.
The youth-led motion has radicalized a new generation of protesters improbable to go easily back in their box.
Fears that Hong Kong is gradually losing its independence and is on course to be a closely controlled city such as most of the others in China are broadly shared and cross-generational. Protesting, from sporting black and spraying graffiti into occasional outbursts of road violence, has become Hong Kong’s new standard, slowly engraining in its customs like snacking, shopping along with the light of incense sticks as offerings.
And there to encourage an activist attractive his six-year prison sentence revealed that if the motion is flagging, it’s far out.
“People can not protest daily,” explained Roy Tse, one of the demonstrators who held five hands aloft to signify that the motion’s five important demands. “Should you protest daily, you shed your imagination.”