“When the British handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997, the ‘special administrative region,’ it was determined, would follow a policy of ‘one country, two systems.’ Hong Kong was promised democracy; yet the process has stalled. For more than two months last year, thousands of protesters, me included, united for more robust voting rights. And though the student-led demonstrations were peaceful, the police responded with pepper spray and tear gas. For protection, the students used umbrellas; thus, the Umbrella Movement was born. And it isn’t dead: More protests occurred in June, when lawmakers were considering the government’s political reform package.
The yellow I use in the ribbons, umbrellas, and banners (‘I want real universal suffrage’) symbolizes our peaceful fight. The red, white, and blue cloth in the foreground is a cheap material commonly used in Hong Kong and represents the soil on which the city stands. Our demand never reaches Beijing, which is set high and far in the background.”