An Occupied Christmas
Masked riot police. Assault rifles. Armoured police vehicles. Black-clad teenagers scurrying around the city like prey. Scenes of defiance: protestors belting their crowdsourced anthem, “Glory to Hong Kong,” in the city’s swankiest malls. Chants of “Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times” ricocheting through cathedrals of consumerism. Phone alerts punctuating the peace with updates on the latest police movements. Shoppers marching past the tattered remains of once-vibrant Lennon Walls (many of which are now being rehabilitated). Anxious parents clutching their children tightly. Christmas-carollers singing with strained, overcompensating smiles. An announcement: tear gas has just been fired in Tsim Sha Tsui, one of our iconic tourism districts. A collective, knowing sigh. “Everyone, be safe!” urges one protestor over a loudspeaker. The shopping continues.