I was not planning to go to the march today. I support democracy and fair elections, of course. But I am not so sure about the strategies that some of the politicians are advocating. But then Liu Xiao Bo was sentenced to 10 years in prison, just for peacefully advocating democracy. That is very upsetting. So I decided this morning to join up.
When I got out of the MTR at Charter Street, I found myself stuck in the middle of the crowd. I estimated the crowd to be about 10,000. It was not scientific, of course. I did not have the means to do a comprehensive count. It was just a feeling, based from the size of the venue and the density of the crowd, having attended so many marches before.
We started at about 3:30 PM, and it was quite orderly. The progress was slow because only one lane of Queen’s Road was reserved for the march. And we have to stop very often to let cars and pedestrians cross. Gradually I worked myself to the front of the march.
There were a variety of demands. But two major ones: fairly elections (one man one vote, and abolition of functional constituencies), and to free Liu. The marchers spanned quite a broad range: students, adults, seniors, men, women, Chinese, some Caucasions, ... I wish I can bring some of my students here. Perhaps some of them came by themselves. A university education is supposed to educate a person. Today, it has been reduced to academic learning, and even vocational training. It is a collective failure of the community, the university and us teachers. Some of us do try to do more, but it is not often appreciated.
There was a very heavy police presence, much heavier than previous marches. It was particularly noticeable towards the end, when we got close to the destination - China Liaison Office.