Personal notes – protesting in Taipei and Hong Kong

by Michelle I-jou Wu

Talking about a revolution (Issue II/2020)

I’m actually studying in Taiwan. But for several months and along with many other activists, I’ve been standing by the side of demonstrators in Hong Kong. The idea of “one land, one system” between China and Hong Kong has been a colossal failure. It’s terrifying. I’m seeking as an activist to open Taiwanese people’s eyes, to see that what’s happening at the moment in Hong Kong could also happen soon in Taiwan.

I’m one of the organisers of the “Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy”. We stage demonstrations, have organised trips home for Hong Kong people who live in Taiwan so that they could be in Hong Kong in time for the elections in November 2019, and we’re still supporting persecuted Hongkongese who have fled to Taiwan, which has to be done in secret. After Hong Kong University had been attacked by police officers, we helped several students to continue their studies at Taiwanese universities. Sometimes the help we give is practical: we collect helmets and other protective gear, which we then transport to protesters in Hong Kong. When I travelled there with a few friends in September 2019, that got us into a lot of trouble. The police bombarded us with questions. Why are you bringing in so many helmets? Who are you in contact with? Are you also demonstrators? Although we’d been careful to split ourselves up on different flights, some of our group were held for hours at the airport. Now their names are blacklisted, which means that in the immediate future they’re no longer allowed to travel to Hong Kong.

As told to Gundula Haage

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