Thanking Us?

Around June 4 every year, what we consistently hear from the human right activists in China - those who have been threatened, imprisoned, tortured or maimed because of their insistence on justice and making the truth known - is how they are deeply moved by and grateful for the tenacity of the Hong Kong people in the matter.

I fully understand why. While, in China, the activities to commemorate, and seek accountability, for the massacre have been heavily suppressed in the last twenty-three years and those engaging in them have been ruthlessly persecuted, the sea of candle light at the Victoria Park year after year must be hugely comforting and empowering to these gallant fighters.

But I also find those compliments very humbling. What are the prices we have had to pay, compared with the sacrifices that those in China have had to make, such as their liberty, their limbs or their loved ones? Spending an evening to pay our respect and homage, and maybe shed some sweat and tears, is all we have to do. It is also the least we can do. In that sense, do we dare to take credit for our little bloodless and painless act?

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