The train reached Admiralty, the main transfer station, and we couldn’t get off the train. There were too many people. It was unlike anything I have seen before. It was a protest and also a statement of how special this place is – my home; my Hong Kong.
It takes an hour to go from my house to Hong Kong Island on the subway. Yesterday it took 2.5 hours. The trains were filled with people wearing white symbolizing peace and justice. People were polite in letting people on and off the trains. It was noon on a Sunday.
The march is against proposed legislation allowing people to be extradited to Mainland China. Basically, if anyone has had any problems with the Chinese government, they could be arrested and sent to China. The Hong Kong government has said there are safeguards and protections in the legislation, but no one believes them.
Either 300,000 people were according to the police or 1.03 million according to the organizers. The truth is somewhere in between and would guess in the higher end.
It was supposed to start at 2 but needed to start at one because of the amount of people gathering at Victoria Park. People were still leaving at 6 and 7 pm from the park to make the 4 km walk to the Legislative Council Buildings. It started as one lane closed for the protest and ended with all lanes.
The crowds were mixed and united unlike the more famous protests of Occupy Central / Umbrella Movement. There were divisions in those protests but in this one everyone is united. During Occupy the corporations which rule the city are also agaist the legislation as the various chambers of commerce have voiced their displeasure. The government have made amendments but there problems and worries. There is no trust and that is what brings the people out.
The slogan for the march is 反送中, which means ‘oppose sending to China.’ It focuses on the idea of Hong Kong not being part of China. As well it also contains a hidden message since 送中 sounds like 送終, which means seeing someone off to die, implying the potential death of Hong Kong. Many see the possible passage of this bill is the death of this city as an international city based on law.
The reaction of the government was basically ‘lots of people came out against this but we don’t care and are going to move on since we are not accountable to you.’ Hong Kongers can’t choose their leaders; only Beijing can.
There will be more protests and I hope to be there. ^��c�4