Hunger Strike Manifesto -- from HongKongers Studying in the UK
28th September 2014, a day that will go down in history. It was the day when the Hong Kong Police brutally suppressed unarmed pro-democracy protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray. It was the day when millions of Hong Kongers around the world were heartbroken. Many of us yearned to be in Hong Kong but we couldn’t; still we try our best to play our part in the Umbrella Movement: we organise sit-ins around the globe as a sign of moral support; we utilise social media to raise awareness. Yet, a sense of helplessness lingers. This is the reason why we, Jobie Yip and Daniel Chan, have decided to go on a 24-hour hunger strike. Hong Kong, we stand as one amid the pain.
Jobie has graduated from HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity and is now studying at the University of the Arts London. I, Daniel Chan, am reading a Master degree of Film Studies at the University of Warwick. As young artists-to-be, we understand how art and creativity are intertwined with our daily lives and the society. We have learnt to stand up to injustice with the help of art. Having endured the suchlike of the Hong Kong Express Rail Link controversy and the Anti-National Education protests, the time has finally come for HongKongers to make history. Inspired by a sign hung in Jobie’s alma mater – “As humans we cannot bear to be silent” – we are determined to appeal to the world through a form of protest that is humble yet confident ; tender yet firm.
Last but not least, we would like to say a few words to our parents. Mom and Dad, we are forever grateful, for without your support we wouldn’t have been here in London today. Mom and Dad, we promised you that we would work hard; we understand your concerns about our health. But Mom and Dad, compared to what the students protesting in Hong Kong have been confronted with, the hunger that we are enduring seems trivial. Even though we have differing political views, Mom and Dad, please, we need your respect and support.
We fully support the four appeals raised by the Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism. Without civil nomination, we will resort to civil disobedience!
We hope that our city will be blossoming with the flowers of freedom and democracy upon our return after graduation.
Jobie Yip Daniel Chan