Since the night of Nov 16, the situation has been escalating at Polytechnic University. Police aimed tear gas, “non-lethal” bullets and even real bullets at the students. Water cannon trucks and Mercedes-Benz Unimog U5000 4×4 trucks were used to aid the siege.
Currently, the police have surrounded the university, arrested first-aiders and medical personnel, and throwing out numerous reporters. We now fear the worst: a resurrection of what happened on June 4, 1989 at Tiananmen Square right here at PolyU.
Some of you reading this now might disagree with me, claiming that the police are merely carrying out their duty to arrest “violent rioters”. Please, before you turn away from this piece of writing, read my story.
I have been in Hong Kong for only three months, but I have inhaled tear gas and seen the police shooting at students and chasing them down and arresting them – students who aren’t even dressed up as protesters. All of this happened at my university.
Universities are supposed to be a place where people are encouraged to seek knowledge and exchange opinions freely, but we can see very clearly now that the government cannot tolerate this.
The people you call “violent rioters” are my schoolmates; they are not inhuman devils. They cried when Chow Tsz Lok died; they cried because they felt powerless to fight against the government; they feel fear when the bullets whip past them; they cried when their friends were arrested.
Yes, they threw Molotov cocktails, and no, I do not encourage violence. However, you have to understand that while protesters are arrested and held accountable for what they do, the riot police roam free even though they beat up protesters until they suffer from bone fractures and internal bleeding. Due to this, the riot police have become increasingly violent.
The night is late, and the protesters who have been continuously fighting for more than 24 hours are tired. They have only umbrellas and helmets to shield themselves, and they are running out of Molotov cocktails. On the other hand, the police are well-rested and have full protective gear and almost endless ammunition.
Why not surrender, you ask? Because the students do not know what will happen after the arrests. They are afraid that they will be beaten up by the police, or “suicided” (a murder disguised as a suicide). But it is doubtful if they can continue fighting anymore, and we are afraid that they will lose their lives. Eggs do not stand a chance against rocks.
Please, to all of you out there – even though Hong Kong is a city so far away from Malaysia – please, voice out against this humanitarian crisis in Hong Kong.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.