Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Waiting for Friday

Student leader Joshua Wong speaks to a rapt crowd at Admiralty
The General Federation of Students will meet with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Friday afternoon at 4pm at a location still to be confirmed.

It has been agreed that both sides can have five representatives, and the media can attend, but not the public. The first dialogue will be split into two sessions, discussing the constitutional basis and legal basis of constitutional development.

Huh? Sounds like governmental filibustering...

Deputy secretary of the federation Lester Shum is disappointed the government has set the agenda -- not really addressing the students' demands, but he feels they should go ahead with the talks anyway.

At least the students are demonstrating they are making an effort to move things forward.

This afternoon I had a great chat with my brother's classmate. He was born and raised in Hong Kong, but went to school in Vancouver. The tech entrepreneur has two young children.

Carrie Lam has the tough task of diffusing the protests
He was thrilled to see what the students have done, immensely proud of them. He's gone to the protest sites a few times and told me once there were two groups, one discussing politics, another about 50 or 60 of them, who, through a show of hands knew that Beijing would never cede to the students' demand to change its electoral reform plans, which clearly demonstrated to him they are not naive.

They totally know what they are getting themselves into and do not regret what they have done so far. However, the businessman does not know what the solution is -- how can both sides resolve this and not lose too much face?

He points out his father's generation had to fight against the Communists in the 1960s with 1997 looming, and then his generation now with 2017, and then when his children are in their mid- to late-30s in 2047 when Basic Law ends, they too will be fighting for what they should be entitled to.

While he doesn't want his children to have to go through what we're experiencing now, he still believes Hong Kong is a vibrant city, his home, and is not entertaining leaving; but he admits a foreign passport would be handy.

Nevertheless, many are proud of the students and everyone who has come out to support them. Literally sleeping out on the streets isn't easy, particularly when there's rainstorms! While they may not have experienced famine or poverty like the older generation, they have single-handedly changed Hong Kong in a matter of days.

The city will never be the same again and we thank them for leading the way.

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