25 Years after Tianamen: Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protests Unfold (excerpt)
During two months in Hong Kong this summer, I marched in solidarity with demonstrators at two historic protests: the 25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square on June 4th and the annual July 1st Protest Rally March. Protesters by the thousands gathered in Victoria Park to take part in candlelight vigils, staged performances and peaceful singing en masse.
Student activists who had died in 1989 advocating for democracy in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square were memorialized. On July 1st, I along with other New School students, in Hong Kong as part of the International Field Program,conducted video interviews with protesters asking, “If you could break the rules, what would you do?” The premise of the exercise, as explained by our faculty adviser, was to get protesters and spectators to reevaluate the nature of rules -in general- and question aspects about the concept of “rules” that are supposed to work in our favor. There was no context nor was there a right or wrong answer to the question we posed. Many of the protesters made mention of the upcoming 2017 Chief Executive election and said that if the promise of democracy is not followed through during that time, they would break the rules in favor of universal suffrage. Now, on the eve of China’s National Day on October 1, the largest mass protest in recent memory is taking place. (To read the FULL ARTICLE, visit The New Context, an online journal for the Milano School of International Affairs, The New School.)