Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rather Be A Broken Piece of Jade Than A Perfect Tile


This is a very moving statement from Ray Wong (Wong Toi Yeung), the 22-year leader of Hong Kong Indigenous, a localist group that defended night market vendors in Mongkok on Februrary 8 as the police threatened to drive out the hawkers, pepper spraying and beating up protesters and journalists. The violent clashes were dubbed as #FishballRevolution.

Wong released the recording of his last words a few hours ago as the police were surrounding his apartment building, possibly to arrest him. His statement (in Cantonese) has been shared around widely and featured in media. I just translated his words into English. Please share.

Wong's last message in Oriental Daily
My fellow Hong Kong people, greetings!

I am Wong Toi Yeung of Hong Kong Indigenous. I don’t know what my situation is when you listen to this recording of my words. I don’t know what event I’ll be facing either. That’s why I’m recording these words for Hong Kong people. Possibly this is my last chance to speak to you publicly. 

As a young person born and raised in Hong Kong. I’ve been living and growing up in Hong Kong. I love, care and cherish this place; But as I grew up slowly, I witnessed the place that belongs to Hong Kong people changed beyond recognition. When I stand on the railroads, gradually, I can’t tell if I’m in the mainland or Hong Kong. That’s why I came out to participate in social movements: I’ve joined in the Movement Against Patriotic Eduction and the Movement Against Development in North East New Territories. But these movements all ended in failure. For some time, I was very disappointed and dismayed. I had thought Hong Kong was beyond repair, until September 28, 2014, which was when the Umbrella Revolution started. I saw many Hong Kong people being fearless, facing off the tear gas and guns of the riot police on Harcourt Road. At that moment, I really saw the courage of Hong Kong people being the masters of our own place. I saw Hong Kong people’s bravery in fighting back. The Umbrella Revolution ended in failure, but it changed my thoughts about Hong Kong.

I think Hong Kong can be changed. 

Wong in Mongkok on Feb. 8, 2016. Photo by Kris Cheng
In came February 8, 2016, we launched an action to protect night markets. Like when we established Hong Kong Indigenous, we believed we could bring change as long as we insist on our beliefs. On that night, many things happened. Probably many protesters and members of our group will be arrested because of our action that night. But we hope everyone will trace memories back to the days after February 8, 2014 (“reclaim Tuen Mun”). On that day, we didn’t step back because of any lack of crackdown from the government or social pressure. We still kept on launching the reclaim actions in order to bring change.

We’ll be facing more serious problems in 2016, and will have more issues that force us to take to the streets and resist. But I do hope Hong Kong people will keep it up. Hong Kong will change if we believe our strength will bring change. Finally, I have these words to give to Hong Kongers, hope you will believe and hold onto them:

“I’d rather be a broken piece of jade than a perfect tile.”

(English translation by Rose Tang)

News report on Wong’s last message:
In English: 

In Chinese (with recording file): 

Wong on Wikipedia (in Chinese):
https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%BB%83%E5%8F%B0%E4%BB%B0#.E5.8F.83.E8.88.87.E5.85.89.E5.BE.A9.E5.B1.AF.E9.96.80


黃台仰錄音全文:
各位香港人大家好,我是本土民主前線黃台仰,未知當大家聽這段錄音的時候,我處於一個怎樣的狀況,亦不知道我將會面對何事。所以我錄了這個錄音向香港人講以下的一番說話,可能這一段會是我最後一段能夠和大家公開的說話。

我是一個土生土長的年青人,我由出世、成長直到今日都是生活在香港,我愛護我珍惜這個成長的地方;但當我慢慢成長的時候,我見到這個本來屬於香港人的香港已經慢慢變得面目全非。當我站在鐵路上,我慢慢已經分不清我在大陸還是在香港。所以我走出來參與社會運動:反國教、反東北我都有參與過,但最後都是失敗告終。曾經有一段時間,我心灰意冷,我以為香港完全已經無可救藥,直到2014年9月28日-即是雨傘革命爆發當日。我看到有很多香港人,在夏慤道縱使面對防暴警察的槍支、面對催淚彈依然無所畏懼。那一刻,我真正見到香港人有當家作主的勇氣,我見到香港人有反抗的勇氣。雖然雨傘革命最後仍是失敗,但改變了我對香港的想法。
我認為香港可以改變。
所以我成立了本土民主前線,我們第一個行動就是光復行動。最初的光復行動亦是受盡千夫所指,亦不斷被政府、主流媒體、被市民指責我們是暴徒,被指破壞社會秩序,但我們仍然相信我們的信念,我們仍然堅持。我們知道這個政府漠視人民的訴求,人民則必須用自己的方式捍衛自己的家園,最後光復行動迫使政府取消一簽多行改為一周一行,走私水貨的問題亦減輕了許多。
來到2016年2月8日,我們發起捍衛夜市的行動,我們仍然像最初成立本土民主前線一樣,我們相信只要我們堅持我們的理念就一定帶來改變。當晚發生了很多事情,可能很多示威者、抗爭者、我們的成員都會因為當日的行動而被捕。但我們希望大家回想2015年2月8日(指光復屯門)之後,當日就是因為我們沒有受到社會輿論及政府打壓而卻步,我們仍然堅持發起光復行動最後才能帶來改變。2016年我們會面對更加嚴峻的問題,將會有更多的議題需求走上街頭抗爭,但我希望各位香港人仍然能夠堅持,只要相信大家的力量能夠帶來改變,香港一定能夠改變。最後希望送八字給予香港人,希望大家能夠相信及堅持.
「寧為玉碎、不作瓦全。」