HONG KONG (Reuters) – Pun, 22, was still at the Hong Kong airport on the morning of Aug. 14 after a night of clashes with police, when protesters also controversially harassed two mainland Chinese and caused all flights to be canceled for the day.
FILE PHOTO: An anti-extradition bill protester throws a stone at a police station in Tseung Kwan O residential district, in Hong Kong, China, August 4, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo
He has participated in violent confrontations with the police since early June, when unrest erupted over a now-suspended extradition bill. The movement then morphed into a broader pro-democracy campaign.
This is what Pun, who like most protesters did not want to give his full name, had to say:
“I do want to apologize to the tourists but at the same time I do feel it is the lack of response from the government pushing us to pursue more aggressive means.”
“It is very important people are willing to fight for what they deserve. If we stop now we will fall into a deeper hole than we can ever imagine.”
“We are only fighting to preserve what’s been promised to us. We are not trying to overthrow the government or cut ourselves off from China. But we fight for our rights; democracy was promised as part of ‘one country, two systems’.”
“I was born in 1997, the year Hong Kong was returned to China. I always knew that when I turn 50 Hong Kong will become a part of China. But the problem is we are already becoming that.”
“When I am on the frontline I feel scared but also I feel that extreme passion of wanting to cause something to happen. You don’t know when a rubber bullet might hit you or when tear gas might explode near you or when police may catch you.”
“On the 28th (of July) I was very close to the police, we had to run away, me and my friend, but he got caught. And I’ve been thinking: why does he get arrested and not me? Am I lucky or am I a coward?”
“The future is unknown and mysterious. But who expected that we would still be fighting after two months? We have evolved so much, we are constantly changing, constantly adapting, constantly improving.”
Reporting by Marius Zaharia and Felix Tam; Editing by Nick Macfie