The girls behind us were new to Hong Kong and talking about how much they liked it. It was the food, the public transportation, the hiking. They just met and, by the sounds of it, from a church group. There was an innocence to how they talked. It was a mix of excitement about their new adoptive home. It was refreshing and reminded me of how I felt a few years ago before becoming more aware and more engaged with my adoptive home.
As the girls talked, 47 pro-democracy activists were arrested under the new National Security Law in other parts of Hong Kong. Their crime was organizing a primary to determine who is the best candidate in the next Legislative Council Election. They were arrested for organizing a primary. It included some of the biggest names in the pro-democracy movement. Also, it included many who have already left the city out of fears of the new law.
The news is nothing new. There has been a stream of arrests and suppression. The government uses the National Security Law to cut down decent, quash opposition and ensure the whole city is blindly obedient to the Chinese Communist Party. Those who worry have either fled or in the process of getting out. I have stopped reading the news of the arrests, the charges, those who have escaped. It is depressing to read about this city I love.
While walking around Sham Shui Po last Saturday, I turned to my love and wished I could go back to being ignorant about what is going on in Hong Kong. I envy those who don’t read up on what is going on, don’t want to understand since they will not be here for long, and there is always a way out. I also have that but care too much about this city I love. It is good to know what is going on, but I wish I could go back to be those girls at the back of the bus talking about how much they love dim sum and not aware or not talking about the arrests.