My Facebook Page is awash with yellow ribbons. They express support for the thousands of young people staging a peaceful protest in Hong Kong. They want Hong Kong to have the right to hold free democratic elections. Chinese government leaders in Beijing say they must first approve all candidates who will run for political office in Hong Kong.
I lived in Hong Kong for six years and still have many contacts there. My former Hong Kong students, colleagues and my friends are expressing their support for the protestors by using yellow ribbons as their Facebook profile pictures.
Some of my Hong Kong contacts do not agree with what the protestors are doing, and others are urging the protestors not to make the police their enemy, since they want democracy too. Everyone though admires the peaceful, polite way the students are exercising their right to protest. No stores have been looted, no windows broken, no physical damage done. Hong Kong citizens supporting the strikers have voluntarily helped them to clean up garbage so the streets will remain as clean as possible. I even saw photos of protestors cleaning police cars.
A friend posted just minutes ago that she was walking among the protestors at one site and couldn’t believe how clean and organized everything was. Volunteers collected trash, directed traffic and provided first aid. People were caring for strangers and the protestors sat quietly, patiently and peacefully.
One former colleague walked amongst the protestors last night and reported, “Those people have my respect. It was stifling hot tonight, the pollution was off the charts, and yet they all remain calmly determined.”
Another Hong Kong friend who has been going down to visit with the protestors says he is so impressed with the way the people are caring for each other by handing out water, giving away food, providing cold compresses and helping to collect rubbish and recycle it. My friend says the community spirit he is observing is amazing. He photographed signs promoting love and peace.
One Hong Kong colleague of mine posted an announcement for a church prayer service for the city and another noted that one church was acting as a distribution point to dispense provisions to the protestors. A Hong Kong pastor I know posted a Chinese sign on his Facebook page.
It is in front of an apartment building near the protest site and reads…..”Flat 61 is open for the use of the people of Hong Kong! For those who need it, please go to the 13th floor.There you’ll find water, electricity, toilet facilities and a little place to rest. PEACE HONG KONG.”
Hong Kong holds a very special place in my heart and in the last few days I have been watching the news of the protests with interest and concern. I am praying that things will resolve peacefully. One of my former students posted this on her Facebook page last night.
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