Millions, marchers, white noises on the island side,
full of first-timers learning how to map landmarks.
We took turns to wave flags that parodied the police’s
yellow, red and black flags. An uncle shouted at us
‘So wrong: This will only give people false alarm.’
‘Oh.’ No room for cutting mat. No room for reversing 割蓆
the reversed Eiffel Tower endlessly like bureaucrats: 巴黎鐵塔反轉再反轉
Tam Tsai led the way, aligning props, gathering others
who got off at different train stops of limited operation,
drifted off check points under crowd control. Other
students located drum troupes to take down the sky.
Fish sausages made drum sticks, bouncy orange casing
against a 165 year-old tin drum bought 6 years ago,
not made for such a use. Myriad methods sprung:
Air dropping pamphlets with saucy Double May covers, 大波妹
captioned footage, or just reasoning with passengers;
Signing petitions started by brother Kwan Yi-Gor, 關二哥
instead of teachers threatened with white terror;
Distributing elderly memes with wavy, rainbow terms 長輩圖
that the fractured others understood and cared for;
Sewing cut oppositional banners with a zipper,
attaching a note on how it’s for venting one’s anger.
When he unfurled himself down Pacific Place
like his handwritten banner, our hearts sunk
further down the info flow, back to how he
was part of the Occupy Central, back to how
another protester opposing juxtaposed controls
at West Kowloon Station also made himself
a martyr. Virtual tributes to the Raincoat Man,
previously nameless, one of us, exploded
like handmade white flowers of tissue, paper
and balloon bundled around fences in a sea
of smartphone flashlights the night after.
There are always some cruel coincidences
between the word and the world: Cheng 鄭,
the maiden name of Carrie Lam, the fourth
disappointing appointed Chief Executive,
who claimed to be the mother of Hong Kong,
when divided in half, they’ll only be left
with a funeral 奠 by taking away the ear阝.
When Lam Wing-kee held a press conference
after being taken away from Shenzhen, a televised confession being staged three years ago
today, we knew how one country overrode
two systems. Today, two million minus one
took to the streets again with more supply,
voter registration stations, recycling teams.
Moses parted the Red Sea; we parted for ambulances,
but all of our demands were not satisfied,
except for a ‘noted with thanks’ press release.
Around midnight, marchers formed circles
singing Hallelujah while others who stayed
outside LegCo, the Pot’s underbelly, belted 煲底
out slogans against the night sky of a milky,
indigo hue. No one could dismiss religious
gatherings. Some friends stayed until dawn.
Some slept on asphalt roads. What’s ours?
Beyond’s ‘Today I‘ was not sung. Instead, we 「今天我」
cheered at what expats blared from balconies,
Do you hear the people sing, not really
knowing the lines except for the chorus. A
week ago, we sat outside United Centre in a circle.
Samuel told us about 928; Sze Ming taught us 雨傘革命928淚彈驅散行動
how to locate ourselves. The days, the unsexy
deeds that didn’t make international headlines.
Between waiting and walking; between boredom
and bullets; between rules and ruse; between
force and faults, comings and closings: readers
find lagged patterns, bystanders are always
the wisest; protesters on the fly with delayed Wifi.
Avoiding white-clad men, even those without knives. Advancing anarchy. Apologizing sometimes unnecessarily. / Boycotting companies yielded to white terror, chain stores not on strike. Being a mobile Lennon wall, Lennon dragon, Lennonsaur./ Carrying extra colourful clothing in backpacks. / Distrusting. Doing laundry prioritising items black. Deciphering/ Encrypting: Si Doi Gak Ming? Si Dor Bea Lei? Revolution of our time, or simply strawberry? / Fact-checking. Fidgeting but fighting. / Grunting at televised nonsense of a system so shaky. Guiding parents through fallacies. / Handing out leaflets on Hong Kong, Hong Wrong. / Imagining how this is not the endgame, but just the beginning. / Joining Kung-Fu classes for the first time, just in case. / Knocking off tear gas rounds with rattles, metallic plates for steaming fish. / Learning about protests nearby, protests distant, protests recent, protests long ago. / Marching as much as we can in districts we’ve never been to. / Noting missteps but not niggling, not cutting mats, not poking ash. / Offending in defence. Overcoming defeats, the mute undercurrents in daily life after all those sounds and furies. / PISHING (not pushing!) every Linden (LIHKG) post for strategies: zany, practical. / Quitting WhatsApp and Telegram groups before arrests. / Retreating with friends we never met before. / Removing surveillance lampposts. Reading. Rejecting labels from cockroaches to locusts. Reporting online bullies, misinformation, disinformation. / Seeing umbrellas, raincoats, tents differently. Singing. Sharing food, water, masks, goggles, free hugs with strangers. Safe. Swift. Screaming names at the camera to avoid being suicided. / Trespassing areas fenced off like an adventure in RPG. Thinking if I should put gears into my bag, just in case. Testing each other’s helmet strength with batons. Trusting/ Using cash instead of Octopus Cards. / Visiting small shops with the same cause. / Wrapping arms in cling film, I.D. cards in tin foil. Writing. / X-raying footage, articles, images to get a grip. / Yelling beyond the window at 10 pm every night, every household an echo chamber. / Zooming along with the crowd. Zestful. Zealous.