Health & Environment

Let my T-shirt do the talking

Legislator Leung Kwok-hung talks about his iconic look and protest experience.

 

WITH his trademark long hair and Che Guevara t-shirt, the now "short hair" Legislative Council member Mr Leung Kwok-hung talks about how one can speak through his or her outfit and how he sees the student-initiated class boycott and Occupy

Central movement. "Howyoudressisakindofstatement to everyone," Mr Leung said, "people can see clearly what you wear ... that is what a T-shirt is for."

Mr Leung's iconic image has helped him make a point and arouse public attention on many occasions, for example when his hair was cut short by jailers inJune this year. Another time he was denied entry to Shenzhen as he refused to take off his shirt reading "Never forget June fourth, citizen nomination, Occupy Central" while he was on his way to a meeting with senior mainland officials about political reform in August this year.

Symbolic installations and banners are other tools for him to express his opinion, espe- cially in demonstrations. "They need to fit the subject and be symbolic enough to make everyone understand, sometimes with a little humor and sarcasm," said Mr Leung.

Like many students who are part of the class boycott or Occupy Central movement, Mr Leung's first protest was when he was a student, about 15.

"They need to fit the subject and be symbolic enough to make everyone understand, sometimes with a little humour and sarcasm." 

Although he is not optimistic about the effect of student strikes alone in over- turning the NPC's decision on Hong Kong's chief executive election in 2017, he believes the power of the masses to stop society's daily operation

might help push the powerful to reconsider.
"If you want to change a decision from any government,

the movement should be massive and direct," said Mr Leung. He added that a large-scale and long-term struggle would be decisive to get the government and the business circles to respond.

Although the strikes for genuine democracy have mostly been peaceful and non-violent, Mr Leung said, many people have mistaken non-violent civil disobedience for peaceful action.

"The cruelty is there. It's on the other side, just like what happened in Beijing," he said.

He reminded first-time protesters to be prepared for po- tential challenges and harassments. "You need to have the courage to understand yourself, your limit, the power of the people and also to understand what you are fighting for," said Mr Leung.

Comments

We have choices - Audrey Eu's vision on Hong Kong's struggle for democracy

On the other side of the - Voices against Occupy Central