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Hong Kong: Voices of the People

Updated: December 8, 2014

Essays and Other Expressions

Human Rights in China invites the people of Hong Kong who have experienced—participated in or observed—the Umbrella Movement to send us short personal essays, poetry, journal entries, short video messages, or photographs.

The submissions will be posted in a special “Hong Kong: Voices of the People” section of our website.

A striking aspect of the movement—in addition to the clarity of the protest demands and the discipline and civility among the protesters—is the great display of creativity in visual and linguistic forms. We hope that this project will bring out the many, many personal stories still waiting to be told.

Voices of the People

Democracy as I Understand It
——To Hong Kong’s Occupy Central Movement

A post-90s’youth from Mainland China

“Democracy” may be more than just one-person, one-vote to elect the top leaders. What is more important is equality and mutual respect. That is, treat everyone—and their opinions—equally and with respect.

Every one of us has our own experiences, like every country has its own history. These experiences ultimately shape our thinking and character, which of course includes political opinions.

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Harcourt Village
by Maoshan

. . . In the dark of night, there are people making wood furniture for the students every day; there are people teaching German, democracy, and moviemaking; there are people underneath the escalator [next to Lennon Wall] attentively explaining to old grannies how democracy works; there are people distributing boiled eggs for breakfast . . .

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A Witness in Hong Kong
by Melissa Karmen Lee

I see that the top ten percent of my students are the most active in organizing activities: they politely email me to ask permission to boycott my classes; they repurpose the lyrics and music of Bob Dylan, “Les Misérables” the musical, and John Lennon to emphasize their message; and they build social media platforms such as the Stand by You: Add Oil Machine to channel messages of support from around the world, including, recently, the one from the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami: “A world without walls can be created in the quiet but sustained effort to keep on singing, to keep on telling stories, stories about a better and freer world to come, without losing heart.” I feel that a new generation of Hong Kong people has finally claimed Hong Kong for their own.

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Harcourt Village
by Maoshan

“To Myself of September 28”
by Kitty Ho

Dear Kitty Ho of September 28,

If I told you how I’ve spent this past month and what I’ve heard, you would tell me I am a liar . . . .

Ever since you were little, you’ve been scared of crowds and death. . . .

If I told you that for one whole month, you would be on the street every single day, would you believe it? Would you believe that the Hong Kong girl who couldn’t stand being dirty could sit on the street every night?

You once said that Hong Kongers were practical, that Occupy Central would fall apart as soon as a few mosquitos started biting the protesters, and that they’d begin to slip away after heading to the bathroom. You were wrong. You were thoroughly wrong.

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Submission details


  • Essays: English: from a couple of sentences to 1,000 words; Chinese: 100-1,500 characters (HRIC will translate select pieces)
  • Other forms: videos: 30 seconds max; photo size: each ˂ 2 MB; poetry or journal entries: same max lengths as those for essays

How to submit

  • Send text and photos as attachments to:
  • You may also submit text entries in the body of an email.
  • Photos: Include date, place, and a brief description.
  • Send video via Instructions:
  • File formats:
    • Text: doc, docx, txt
    • Still image:  png, jpg, jpeg, bmp, gif
    • Video: mp4, mov, mts
  • Include your name or penname, contact information, and some information about yourself.
  • Optional: a picture of yourself.
Other Resources

Events Around the World


Update Sites

Protest Groups

Occupy Central with Love and Peace

Hong Kong Federation of Students:


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