"Speak Now or China Will Come for You At Night," said, my Russian Mechanic #occupyhk #umhk #umbrellamovement

Awaiting a Democratic Hong Kong. 

I drove to the garage because my oil needed changing. The moment I got out of the car, my Armenian mechanic shouted at me, "Are you Chinese?" 

"I am from Hong Kong" I said, slightly defensively. "I need an oil change."

I looked passed him, to his garage, hoping he had time. It was empty. 

"Oh, trouble there," he said, "I see police put tear gas." He had been waiting to talk about this.

"Yes, but they stopped that. The protests are still going on. It's been six weeks already. It's still there." 

"You think it's good or no?"  He walked up to me and looked into my eyes, searching.

"Yes, I think it's good. I am not sure if camping out is the right thing or not, I don't know. It's good.  I am glad the people are speaking out, especially the young people."

He took another step, and used the back of his hand, hit my shoulder as if he wanted even more of my attention. He looked behind him and the around us, checking if someone's listening.

He leaned and said quietly,  "You know, I am from Russia. There you can't speak, nothing... not a word." He held up both his hands, and pointed at his forehead with his index fingers. 

"No think! You can't even think the wrong thing. Even that, you get in trouble," he began to get louder.

"You say the wrong thing, you are in trouble. One day, you wake up and the neighbour's house is empty." He swept his arms around to the direction of his garage -a stand in for the place he was remembering. I looked and wondered how far his real neighbour's house was. 

"Completely. Like no one ever lived there. But you don't ask where they went. If you ask, then you go to the same place. They come for you at night."

I took a small step backwards, because he had moved so close, right up to my face, his eyes huge. The pupils themselves felt like a small attack, not at me, but at the past. In it, a mixture of anger, distress, and brokenness. 

I never thought about where he came from much. Only that in Los Angeles, there are a lot of Armenians from Russia, many jewish, that came on asylum of some sort. I thought of him as a young man, living under this kind of repression. 

He saw my face, probably looking a little afraid, both of him, and the horror of the country he lived in. He softened. 

Stepping back, he relaxed a little. He wiped his hands on his crisp striped mechanic shirt with "Victor," on the lapel. 

"The young people in Hong Kong, they must speak now. In 20 years, no more. China will come for you in the night. Take you away, and no one knows where you are." 

I looked down, mulling on the future he painted for my city. 

His phone rang. He waved at me, and I walked away leaving the keys in the ignition. 


Ask Your Heart, Have No Shame. The Generations That Failed This One. #occupycentral #umbrellamovement

Awaiting a Democratic Hong Kong. 

Listening to a random HK legislator say that, this is the most unhappy time ever in Hong Kong. (I personally would choose the Japanese occupation). And how the protests have caused so many families to be unhappy, how many mothers to be unhappy, because every day they worry whether school will go on, and if it is, they worry about the traffic.

I wonder how happy they would be if their child is randomly arrested for pissing someone powerful off, and since there is no rule of law, or right to free trial, that child is thrown in jail with no recourse.

Every time I hear the student leaders talk about how the generations before failed them, I always agree.

And all these parents who are "unhappy" because they are sick of seeing the protesters on TV. I don't know how they think living in a repressive regime will serve them or the future of their kids.

I recently brought that up in a Chinese Democracy Group in LA. How the generations before didn't fight hard enough for freedoms and have left these kids with a questionable future. People freaked out, this woman started shouting at me. Doth protest too much. Those who disagree the most, probably have something to hide.

But they didn't do enough, as in the generations before didn't (with those who fought the communist excempt). Most people didn't have time or want to demand for more powers during the British rule. Those who cared, most didn't have the vision to ask for more rights within our own city.

The old activists kept dreaming of democracy for China, carrying the burden and dreams of the students of 1989, and they forgot the future of HK.

It was frustrating to keep going to the June 4th memorial, every year listening to the demand that the Chinese Government will reconsider their stance on what happened in Tiananmen. That each year they asked for The communist government to say they made a mistake.

I often wondered "Why?" "Who cares?" 

I never understood the worth of begging China admit something we already knew was wrong. If they weren't a totalitarian regime, they wouldn't be arresting people in the first place. 

I didn't know who we were shouting, "Democracy! Freedom!" for.  We did it over and over again for two decades. 

Democracy in Victoria Park on June 4th was a concept. A facsimile of 1989. A piece of nostalgia. 

And if I questioned the premise of asking China for something that didn't matter, I would hear something like,  "But if China, was willing to reconsider what happened in Tiananmen than it would be a different China," or even, "I don't need democracy in Hong Kong, I just come here for the students."

I knew when I said that, they felt I was betraying the cause. But I thought maybe they were because they didn't seek self determination. 

Which is what these student leaders and their supporters have finally done.  They were able to take the ideas of "Democracy," and "Freedom," and apply it to themselves. The first time in 25 years.

When we sobbed over the "end of a dream," brought on by a violent government, we should have been working out a new one. One that was current, that was of the time, and place we existed in. 

I probably will sit in another room one day saying this, and have another room full of people reacting loudly and violently to my accusation. 

So be it, and one of these days, the parents who was worried about traffic will probably have regrets too. 

The people protesting wont have any. They won't need to yell at anyone for saying they didn't do enough.  In fact, no one would accuse them of that in the first place.

As the Chinese saying goes, "Ask your heart, have no shame."

I apreciate people who can do that.




My Son the Mandarin Speaker, but I am a #HK person with HK Dreams . #occupyhk #umbrellamovement #occupycentral #689 #926

My son doesn't like his new school. It's a Chinese Immersion Program. 50% of school is taught in English, the other in Mandarin.

All the reasons he doesn't like the school are more than reasonable. There is no grass, the playground is small, he misses his friends from our Neighbourhood school, kids he grew up with. A number of kids in his class now, are very disruptive. Things six years old care about.

The only reason he is there is because it teaches him Chinese. He will learn to read and write Mandarin. There are studies after studies that say that bi-lingual education far improves self-confidence, the ability to think, problem solve, socially more empathetic and be better communicators.

But as the Umbrella Movement continues, and I read more and more about the conflicts between Mandarin and Cantonese languages and culture that spurs the protests which truly resonates with me.

I wonder, Why is my son missing out on a school he can scoot his Razor to every day? Why do I drive him somewhere else. Which means he spends less time on the tree lined streets. With kids whose family has the same expectations as I do?

For what? For a language of Hong Kong's rulers. For a language that I know is not mine. When he speaks to me in Mandarin, there is a pang that he does not reply in the boisterous, loud, bold, laughing, sarcastic tones of Cantonese, or as I lately have called "Hong Kongnese."

It's odd that a month ago, I was so utterly enthused by him learning "Chinese." A month later, I am not so sure if I am even Chinese. I am a Hong Kong Person with Hong Kong dreams.

And my former wish that he has an opportunity to return to "My Motherland" fills me more with fear and sadness than pride.

I have been showing him pictures of the protests, I am considering taking him home for us both to be amidst the yellow umbrellas.

So does it matter that he speaks Mandarin? Do I care anymore?

I don't know.

But I do know, I care a lot about my home. I doubt my son would feel the same, he is American after all. But he will know there is no doubt his mother is a Hong Kong person. I tell him stories of Hong Kong when he goes to sleep, in the mornings, I tell him my dreams.

Those who share and those who will be beaten #occupycentral #umbrellarevolution

I am learning there are two kinds of people who care about democracy in China, those who are very esoteric, they like the "idea," of a democratic China. It is reached by discussion, sharing, believing, and coming up with what is the best way. Then there are people standing in Mongkok willing to be beaten, and people in Central sleeping on concrete. So different.

Help us Translate what the protesters are saying into English! #umbrellamovment #occupycentral #689

Hi guys. We DESPERATELY need people willing to translate from Chinese to English (or any language) for a project I am starting for a pro-democracy organization of LA.

There is practically ZERO personal stories, memes, funny signs or commentary written by students or protesters in English.

Nearly all the traditional news and analysis are written by foreigners.

This protest is about having a voice for democracy and a voice for the people of HK, if they can't talk to the world what is the point?

The protester are not accepting foreign donations. China do not care for foreign political pressure. This is a social media age.

You can pick something that has touched you. A news article, a thoughtful blog post, one of those photo thingies, cartoon, op-ed, a Scholarism statement, Cheung Moa Quote, song lyric. Everything is important to someone.

Together will send it off in the big wide world of social media.

Let's help our people speak louder.


Leave a message on the tweet or email or comment or find a way to post and tag me. We will collate later. Thank you .



There are so many amazing things that has appeared in the last three weeks. We can never translate all of them. But some, we can.

HK Ren Pitted Against HK Ren While CY falls asleep in front of his TV #reminduswhy #occupycentral #umbrellamovement

Awaiting a Demoratic Hong Kong.

Instead of stories on every police or triad movement reported and large arrows pointing to pictures of police dogs.

I wish Apple Daily would print pictures of an arrow pointing at CY Leung sleeping in front of the TV or Carrie Lam chilling in her pajamas while her maid does the dishes.
Maybe with a time stamp, showing that at exactly the same time, a photo of an altercation between the students and police.

Because really, the only reason both sides are out there is because all those unbending hk government officials don't want more work. They don't want to prepare another report and have to send it to China.

If they say "yes," to it, it would mean, working out details, on who the group of people will be involved and not even just the content. Imagine having to find a consensus of what to send. Then checking, rechecking, everyone rechecking, making changes, then after that dealing with China.

Why bother to risk displeasing China? Who wants to lose power and be humiliated? Part of the high level government jobs is to keep China happy, a kind of personal assistant to the PRC I suppose.

It's so much easier to "know" it will not be accepted, do nothing and send the police to deal with it.

It's not their family and kids worried about if their dad would be hurt during their beat or the parents and friends worried if a protester will be beaten.

The people who tell the police chief to clear the streets don't even actually give orders. They have zero stake in these protests and beatings. The police fails, blame them. The students finally retreats. The HK government has gained control. Their glory.

I wondered why CY and whoever else is in charge wouldn't do as nearly all independent news organization and academic says, "Act sensibly, negotiate with the students, stop aggravating the situation by agreeing to talks, quitting talks, just about to have talks, send in more police."

Bit then I realized, it might have been embarrassing at first, that they didn't have the city under control, but as time has gone on, they realize it doesn't change their lives one bit.

These people do not answer to the public, the answer to the Central government. Keep them happy and their big apartments, maids and Mercedes are safe. In order to do that, all They have to do is start to attain the glazed blank faces of communist officials.

Carrie Lam during the recent press conference seemed to have mastered the eyes focused-on-exactly-the-space-between-them-and-journalists move. Coward.

It's so hard for everyone whose life is completely involved in daily protests to be not angry at immediate happenings.

The triads destruction, anti-occupy protesters that doesn't speak any dialect people in HK speak. The police brutality.

But for me, also in my cushy sunny safe home in California, over four devices, and too many feeds and pings to be healthy, I remember whose fault this is. Who can make this all stop.

The people who if they would just spend their time in their office writing a proposal (that in the end might be rejected) can restore peace in Hong Kong instead of pitting Hong Kong people against Hong Kong people. Yes, the police are hk people too. They go home to normal hk people families.

So really, instead of Giant red arrows pointing at the police dogs, we need photos of Carrie Lam with her tea seeping. a metal lid on it, as it keeps warm by her side, while she plays with her phone and CY having a silent dinner with his dreadful daughter playing happy family, when the pictures outside looks really different.

I feel so angry that these people's lives are exactly the same as three weeks ago and the students and police are all hurt and suffering. Hong Kong Ren against Hong Kong Ren and Chinese Spawns At home drinking tea.

The government knows these students will live another 60 years right? #umbrellamovement #occupycentral

The government has been such total liars. One moment they are saying they want to talk, next moment they are ordering the police to clear the roads. Their whole attitude seems to they want to show them who is "boss." Except they seem to forget when this is over, these students remain in Hong Kong, remain alive, remain thinking living individuals that still they have to convince to live under their rules. And somehow miraculously they will "fook" like listen with acceptence? I don't think so.

Why are they creating a generation, and probably more than one that will directly oppose, hate, and not trust them. These people probably plan to have another ten, 15 more years of working. They are so power hungry otherwise, they would like most sensible civil servants of the British era retire quietly in 1997, if they could afford it, and if not, keet their head down, and worked until they could.

Trust me, Ip had the worse reputation even then for being a very unplesant woman. 

But honestly, each day I watch, each day I wonder if the government officials actually think these student and people who support them will miraculously vaporise when they finally go home and don't live in Hong Kong, ready to make their lives difficult at every point. 

You can see they don't think like politicians, they think like dictators. 

I barely live in LA..

It's 2pm. I fell asleep. I woke up half awake and thought, "I will just catch the MTR to Central."

Then I thought, "Oh I can't but why?"

Oh. Just a little problem I live in a different country. I simply forgot.

3/4 of my time this week has been devoted to HK. To pay attention to each event. To make sure that I am up to date.

The feed is on, the news pings me, Cantonese radio in my car. I do my tasks, but I barely live in LA.

4:55am. Arrival of safety time? (Apple feed up!) #occupyhk #umbrellamovement


Nothing. Central still have quite a number of people. Am I optimistic that It's already too early in the morning for anything to kick off? I would assume that it will happen before work time, with plenty of time to spare for clean up. 5am probably would not be able to fit all that in, ready for the civil servants coming to work.

Will the students stay for another day? Is the government waiting for the outcome of the negotiation? Is there even room for any compromise. What will China give?

All us watchers wait. The students wait.

But sometimes the government will strike once everyone is relaxed. Maybe in a day or two.

But it will be at least nightfall tomorrow. The government said they want school to start. I doubt the will cause chaos in the day.

Do these links work for you? #umbrellamovement #occupyhk

I can get on them and have done for for the last week. Can you?



Live feeds blocked. Just me or everyone #occupycentral #umbrellamovement

4:16am HK Time.

All the live feeds I usually watch are blocked from my devices.

I simply can't play them. Is it just me because I am blogging and they still monitor this blog?

Or has it been shut down for everyone so we can't see what's going on in real time?

But the news organization are there. Social media is there. It's coming out real time in plenty of avenues anyway.

Don't Let The Govt Triumph. Go home. #occupyhk #umbrellamovement

It's really time to negotiate before everyone is forced home. At least offer the government a choice that if they give way a little, people will go home peacefully and spare them the difficulties and awful PR of deploying riot police. If that happens, the students and public will be defeated and the government triumphant, they would have no reason to even have talks.

Don't let them win. Go home on your own terms with a chance to get concessions.

Time to negotiate before it ends tonight and go home. #occupyhk #umbrellamovement

I been texting and calling my friends about there whereabouts. I wonder how many of them plan to be there in the last moments of the protests.

Who knows if the Chinese government will deploy their nasty triads to hurt the protesters.

With the ultimatum by the HK government that the streets has to be cleared in Monday, we know they will deploy riot police.

I really think my friends need to go home. We are adults now. There are children and jobs, and mortgages to pay. It's time to let the young take over. They are idealistic, strong and have much less to lose if they are hurt. If they want to stay to the end, they should.

But politically it's time to negotiate. Once everyone goes home there will be no leverage at all. It would be so much better if the students can promise they will leave if they can get some concessions in regard to the 2017 elections. That will for the government a choice to whether give way a little bit and end peacefully thatn deploy riot police leaving a even worse police and public relations and the horrible images of police attacking the unarmed students.

When people are home. There never will be talks of any meaning.

From the Frontlines #occupycentral #umbrellarevolution #umbrellamovement #occupyadmiraty

This is a fantastic personal account of what's going on. I really appreciate that she's not making a huge deal about the triads and being overtly bitter about it, and focusing on the students themselves.


Photos from day 6. Sweat, blood, and tears. What's happening, friends ask, from faraway. What's happening will make your heart bleed for us. Anti-Occupy thugs descended upon Mongkok this day, wreaking havoc and causing a maelstrom of violence, threatening to sexually harass female protestors (these are but young girls, mostly students), in attempts to rouse anger and instill fear. Scuffles ensued. There was blood. Cries for justice were unheard as the police stood on by and watched, no action from their side. My cousin Lucky helped form a citizen vigilante team, encircling thugs, demanding police arrest. Lucky saw the *same* thugs released around the corner with not so much as a pat on the back. Reports streamed in, police were even politely escorting these thugs into cabs, the outrage!! Firsthand accounts, videos, photos of police rallying "Blue Ribbon" strong arm support meant only one thing: Beijing had shifted its strategy. And this one's as old as Sun-Tzu's "Art Of War". These "Blue Ribbon" thugs from the triad (and off the street, some appeared to be addicts taken from the methadone clinic) were hired by Mainland forces, the CCP. Playing dirty. But cover their tracks they did not: circulating online was a breakdown of the dollars that these thugs would earn for their dog work. Peaceful protestors could hold on no longer. We've lost Mongkok, retreat! They asked us to fortify Admiralty, the main site, regroup, and come up with counter insurgency measures to better protect our students. We could no longer guarantee their safety. The Hong Kong Federation of Students expressed they would NOT negotiate with the government under these conditions, feeling betrayed. Hong Kong now had a taste of Mainland brutality. Instead of feeding our fears we decided to feed the students hearty, healthy meals donated by a local restaurant gathered by Daniel, Dylan and I. The downpour had protestors in ponchos sat in puddles, huddled under bridges, unconcerned about their own welfare, they were even hesitant to take our food, saying: "Give it to those who need it more than me." I have never seen such selflessness in Hong Kong. A group of students waved us over, pointing at a friend who was lying supine, saying: "Give it to him, please, he hasn't eaten in days." We passed off a box of chicken salad to this pale boy, under an umbrella canopy. Finally, more arms reached for food, and they even broke in cheer as we left. They were so grateful. Their main fare had been dry biscuits. "It's delicious", a women turned to me and said, "Thank you." Once we were done passing food around (as if karma was instantaneous), we were fed sausages made by the famous BBQ guys doing their rounds. No tear gas, just BBQ smoke in the air. There were some other small battles we won that evening, like the expelling of triad agents in our midst at Admiralty's main protest site, but the night was a long, dark one. When we left there were still calls for first aid reinforcements, as Admiralty prepared for the worse. It is darkest before dawn. We need to keep the faith. May the world come to our aid, may these voices be heard. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Martin Luther King, Jr.

LOVE over fear, always.

Stay rooted in your truth, HONG KONG."


Investigate China's dirty tricks instead #occupyhk #umbrellamovement

Hours of news on beatings. People asking for international organizations to investigate the police, to send foreign help to the students. How about exposing this for the dirty tricks China gets up to? Ask why CY Leung is sitting so comfortably. I hate this. The chaos has worked as planned. They have hijacked the narrative. The greater cause distracted.