Diminishing space — can we still scream?

After the Beijing and Hong Kong governments forcibly imposed the so-called “National Security Law” on us on 30 June 2020, I have been feeling more and more difficult to breathe. I bet other Hongkongers (at least those who treasure free speech) might feel the same.

When I started my career in journalism and then in the NGOs, I repeatedly heard from mainland activists exclaiming “Finally, I can breathe some air of freedom” when they first visited Hong Kong.

Now, that’s all gone. The pride of having a sound rule of law system, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and many other freedoms has all gone. I feel very much ashamed whenever I see the news about how the police arrest dissidents in the city and how the Hong Kong officials do whatever they can to please the Chinese government.

I also feel that I can’t write as much as I could. The whole situation just suffocates all of us. It’s so hard to breathe.

I didn’t have any clear personal plans in the past. But now, it looks like we all have to make some plans for ourselves.

Everyday, I intentionally try to avoid reading the details of some news, too much to absorb and too disheartening to know.

What we are doing are having so little impact, no matter how optimistic we try to be.

Then, I have done more reading than writing recently. Have read more about contemporary history about China and Russia. Authoritarianism has always been around us. Feeling grim and dimmed. Can we still scream?

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