Monday, July 04, 2011
Anger among July 1 Protest Marchers
I went with my wife and daughter to the footbridge outside Police Headquarters around 2:45 PM to watch the July 1st Protest March. Reporters from TV stations and newspapers had already set up their cameras there way before I reached there. There were also a group of students from HKU there to count the number of marchers. However, I haven’t heard what their results were.
The head of the march reached our position just after 4:15 PM. By 6:30 PM I went with my family to Pacific Place to have dinner. By 8:15 PM, when we came out of Pacific Place, people were still marching and we could not see the end of the march. Certainly there were a lot of people marching. My estimation was that the march went on for more than 4 hours. I noted that the number of people who marched past my position ranged from less than 100 to more than 400 per minute, with an average of 200-300. Based on these numbers, my rough estimate is that there were about 100,000 people in the march.
Some of these people were angry about the proposed rules for the Legislative Council By-elections. Some were angry about the domination of the Hong Kong economy by real estate developers. Some were angry about the lack of democracy and true elections. Some were angry about the heavily-biased so called civic education curriculum. Some were angry about incompetency of certain government officials, in matters of distributing the promised 6,000 dollars, lack of beds for maternity wards, lack of space for burials, etc. The demands varied. But the common sentiment was anger. The marcher was peaceful. But the anger was palpable.
Whether there were 50,000, 100,000, or 200,000, there were certainly a lot of angry people out there. Why did they spend their precious day off sweating in such hot and humid weather? If the government was truly listening and responsible to the citizens, shouldn’t there be some evidence of self-reflection and real action in response?