Marching with 220,000 Hong Kongers (七一遊行)

Hong Kong celebrated her 14th Handover Anniversary with the biggest march turnout in 7 years (500,000 in 2003). While Donald Tsang was staging a big celebration at Queen Elizabeth Stadium last night, a record of more than 200,000 protesters turned up on the streets to vent their anger and frustration against his government and major social issues.

Many of the protesters were unhappy about the skyrocket property prices and the growing gap between the rich and poor. Pegged with the falling US currency, Hong Kong dollars have fell sharply since the day I arrived. Property prices are ridiculously high and young families can never afford the down-payment. (The young generation of Hong Kong is going to slog their entire life just to pay for a pathetic small roof to sleep at night!) Many called for greater democracy and demanded Chief Executive Donald to step down. Large printed banners of characterized “Devil” Donald and “Blood Sucker Vampire” billionaire tycoon Li Ka-shing marched down the streets – the protesters accused the government and property tycoons for manipulating the property prices.

Tracy and I decided to lend our voices and joined the evening march from Wanchai to Central.  There was a commotion at Wanchai where police were out in force handing out warnings about “illegal public gatherings” (according to protesters) and closing off a ballpark.  This is the first time I took part in a march. It was an eye-opener for me to “see and feel” the passion and frustration of the Hong Kong people. Streams of protesters stopped traffic and won supports (waves and cheers) from the bystanders along the streets. It was a powerful united force.

Sadly, the property issues cannot be addressed or solved overnight. Property is one of the most abused necessities that should never be allowed to be speculated for greed. Already, some protesters are crying that it may take them 2 generations to pay off their housing debts. Real estates should never exhaust the value of one’s life. The high cost of real estates are adding significant cost to the food we eat, clothes we wear and the space we nurture our next generation. Freedom in this perspective doesn’t exist. It will take many years of fundamental and political changes before the Hong Kongers can break away from their current “property slavery”.

One Response to Marching with 220,000 Hong Kongers (七一遊行)

  1. Harshad says:

    It’s harishna 🙂

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