The Hong Kong Protests: Thoughts from the BCA Student Community

Michelle Kim, General Editor

On the other side of the world, hordes of youth cluster together on the streets of Hong Kong, protesting in hopes of ending China’s hold over their government and society. Since we live on the other side of the world, it is understandable that many BCA students may find it difficult to be aware and knowledgeable about the protests. Nevertheless, the student community here at BCA still has many thoughts to offer with regard to the situation in Hong Kong. 

AMST junior Elliot Lee believed that there are fellow BCA students who are aware of the protests, “but a large number of people probably care less of issues that are happening on the opposite side of the world.”

Protesters hold their smartphones at a rally urging the international community to support their cause.

AVPA-T freshman Lynn Cheng said: “I do not think my peers are aware of these issues. I think it is because the Hong Kong protests do not directly impact us or involve us, so it is harder to care, especially if they are not Chinese. If my dad wasn’t Chinese, I would have no idea that these protests were happening. I feel like there is so much happening in our own country [US], that it is hard to keep up with the events in another one.” 

Lynn also said that she first became aware of the protests because of her dad: “I noticed one day that my dad looked extremely upset. I asked him what was going on, and he showed me videos of what was happening: police spraying tear gas among crowds of people, the young brave protesters risking their lives, and millions of people who took to the streets to protest. Since the beginning of the protests, my dad always looks so…sad. It’s hard to believe all these horrible things are happening when I can’t feel any impact over here.” 

An anonymous ACAHA freshman added that most of her peers are not aware of such issues. She, herself, first became aware through her friends and family in Hong Kong: “

The movement is one that affects the daily lives of everyone that lives in Hong Kong.

— ACAHA freshman

Protesters at the Hong Kong International Airport cause massive traffic and many flight cancellations.

While many of us may have a hard time understanding and imagining the circumstances surrounding the protests, this anonymous freshman offered to share her brief experience participating in a protest: “When I went to the Hong Kong International Airport to pick up my mom, that day a protest was taking place so I accidentally participated. I was surprised because on the news, mostly dangerous and violent scenes were shown of the protesters. However, this protest was peaceful. Everyone was sitting down or standing, chanting phrases such as ‘fight for freedom’ or ‘stand with Hong Kong.’ Most of these protesters were teenagers to young adults, which also surprised me. I saw this man pushing around a cart, giving people water [in case police would come and spray tear gas]. I realized how much of a community the protesters had formed.” This community has evidently spread online as there are now many social media accounts spreading awareness and expressing support. 

Alongside online forums and accounts showing support for the protesters, there are also other ways of expressing this support. AVPA-T freshman Lynn said that while she did not directly protest in Hong Kong, “there was a place in Central Park where a small group of people put up a bunch of board so people could come and write their words of encouragement to protesters on post-its. Even though we couldn’t be there directly, it still felt like we did our own little part.”

Even though we couldn’t be there directly, it still felt like we did our own little part.

— Lynn Cheng

The aforementioned anonymous freshman concluded that “protesting is a way for people to express themselves and I respect it.” 

While there will always be a wide array of opinions surrounding any global issue or international news, it is vital to keep the conversation surrounding such issues alive and active.