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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 2 - 8  > Hong Kong ‘eggs’ fight against ‘high walls’ to protect civil liberty
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2019 October 2 - 8 [WORLD]

Hong Kong ‘eggs’ fight against ‘high walls’ to protect civil liberty

October 6, 2019

Akahata ‘current’ column

"Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg." World famous Japanese novelist Murakami Haruki used this metaphor in his speech delivered in 2009 in Israel to accept the Jerusalem Prize, Israel's prestigious literary award.

Murakami explained that the “wall” is the “System” and that the System is supposed to protect the people, but it sometimes kills them and causes them to kill each other. A book entitled “Hong Kong -- the Free City facing China” points out that the wall and egg metaphor was frequently quoted in the “Umbrella Movement” by Hong Kong protestors. They called an egg a lump of liberty and a wall the system of tyrannical politics.

Hong Kong residents, since its reversion to China in 1997, have been experiencing disturbances regarding the relations between the system and individual citizens. Every time the Chinese government intended to increase its control over Hong Kong, demonstrations and rallies took place. In the background lies Hong Kong residents’ fear that democracy and human rights will be gradually undermined despite China’s promise to maintain its policy of “one country, two systems” which grants a high degree of autonomy to Hong Kong.

On the day marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of China, in Hong Kong, a high school student was heavily injured by police fire during a demonstration. On the night of October 4, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the left thigh by a police officer. Frequent police shootings have provoked fierce public criticism.

With protest movements heating up, the Hong Kong government tightened its controls and invoked the emergency law which allows a concentration of power to the head of the administrative branch. The government implemented a ban on face masks without holding parliamentary discussions. Amid widespread public anger and backlash, this is a very serious situation. The world community is concerned about the situation.

A leading activist in the youth fight against the strong wall, Agnes Chow Ting transmits messages to the world. One of her messages reads that Hong Kong residents feel scared of thinking about a possible crackdown, but it is more terrifying to lose their freedom. That’s why we are fighting, she added.

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