Growing up in Hong Kong, Joey Siu thought he could be a high school teacher, but two years ago, when democrats filled the streets of a Chinese-dominated city, he found himself.
Siu participated in the rallies as a student rights activist, but actively played a key role in the movement, promoting international support and speaking regularly to the media.
Then, in June last year, China ordered National Security Act – difficult legislation stating that it was necessary to address isolation, terrorism, insurgency and “foreign relations”.
One night, TV accounts were closed, and pro-democracy groups were shut down. The symptoms, which were previously relieved by the coronavirus epidemic, have evaporated.
One chose slavery. Siu complained for weeks about what he was doing.
“I have never considered leaving Hong Kong recently,” the 21-year-old told Al Jazeera of Washington, DC, where he settled in October last year. “I always thought that I would have a job in Hong Kong, as well as my future and live in a city where I could live forever.
“[But] I realized that if I chose to leave Hong Kong, I could do more in Hong Kong. ”
The political turmoil in China, Siu’s rise as an opponent and the frustration of opponents as he fights for his beloved city and the heart of Do Not Split, a 35-minute video by Norwegian author Anders Hammer that features a handful of photographs Oscars on the Sabbath.
‘There is no way to protect yourself’
Described by Variety as “visceral, very close and personal”, Hammer went down the streets to film with his critics and captured not only the protests, but also their uncooked ideas.
Ever since it was opened by a group of black-clad men entering a Chinese bank, a group of policemen pushing an opponent to the ground, stretching his cheek to a device, his shirt torn, and his stomach exposed, and critics.
Everywhere are the clouds of oil, water spray and rubber bullets.
Siu recalls how the protests clashed and how to deal with the growing police force.
“When the group began to oppose many, including me, they were new,” he said. “We didn’t know what to do with tear gas, rubber bullets and everything.”
At first, the police gave the people a chance to disperse and return home, but then their methods changed, he recalls.
Opponents are often found in the form of tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets. Some critics were was shot with bullets.
The government has also stated that those arrested could be charged with felony criminal mischief, which has been punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years.
“There was no way to defend myself, other than to send a strong force,” said Siu.
The Hammer arrived in Hong Kong in June 2019, and – in addition to returning quickly to Norway to pick up more weapons – stayed for several weeks on the ground.
While some of the violence was disruptive – the Hammer pointed to representation by police at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which was surrounded in November – it was the spirit and determination of the critics that affected him most.
“In view of the stress, frustration and the way the protests are still trying to keep hope alive even though it was very difficult for the protests and they can see clear signs that Hong Kong is growing differently than they are fighting,” he told Al Jazeera.
“They want to protect and preserve the city as they know it and fight against the close ties with Beijing. And they were protesting because they felt that their democratic rights were being violated.”
Hammer provides an opportunity for exhibitors to speak out about their origins and their perceptions of poverty.
“The British handed us over to China as a bag of potatoes,” said the United Kingdom, which ruled Hong Kong as a citizen until 1997.
Siu is shown to be struggling with the ongoing crisis.
“When our city is destroyed, [and] fall, “tells the Hammer.” What do we mean when we think about our future. “
The 2019 protests began against the Hong Kong government allow the suspects to be sent to China, where the courts are overseen by the Chinese Communist Party.
A million people he walked in the streets of the city on June 9, and almost doubling the following week – the largest show in the area’s history – but not until September when Carrie Lam’s senior official finally withdrew the money.
These meetings did not happen overnight, however. The people of Hong Kong have long been angry with Beijing’s resilience.
In distributing this, Communist Party leaders pledged to respect the rights and freedoms – unknown on the coast – for at least 50 years.
Prior to the 2019 protests, the main protests in the region were 16 years earlier against the idea of enacting a national security law, which was repealed by the government.
The demands of the global crisis – the great need for the 2019 demonstrations – as well as the right to elect a city leader from time to time they started large demonstrations, especially in 2014 when thousands of people marched peacefully for 79 days in the city, after Beijing declared that the area had no independence.
“I saw that this was one of the most important political events in the world at that time,” said Hammer, as he decided to move to Hong Kong in 2019. “I think that’s the case.”
Opposition groups called for a boycott of the by-elections before the National Security Law, but critics say the law has even mandated legitimate anti-political extremism.
In January, about 50 politicians, freedom fighters and students were arrested for robbing police in the first round formed an organization in July 2020 to help the democratic party to elect the people who have the courage to vote in the delayed Parliamentary elections.
Since then, Beijing has also drafted rules for local elections to ensure Only “patriots” can be responsible.
“I feel sorry for Hong Kong,” Hammer said, noting that two of the detainees appeared in his film. “These are dark times. What we are describing in the text because of the declining democracy continues. ”
Continuing, which caught even former lawyer and politician Martin Lee who helped draft Hong Kong laws after colonialism, has widened the divisions between China and western democracies including the United States, the UK and the European Union.
China is upset with the Oscars
Not surprisingly, Oscar’s nomination for Do Not Split has caused outrage in Beijing.
An article published by the Global Times, a former Communist party, denounced the film as a “false” article that was “incompetent” and “full of political ideology”. Choosing such a video would “offend” the Chinese audience, it said.
The Oscars will not be shown on the surface, with a Hong Kong TVB reporter criticizing the “commercial” for its non-compliance with the event for more than half a century.
“Our main goal in producing this document was to highlight the challenges in Hong Kong,” Hammer said. “Surprisingly, the management of the Oscars and the interest we have placed in our records has led to a lot of talk about the crisis in Hong Kong so Beijing is helping us.”
Siu is currently working as an international activist for the Hong Kong Watch, where he talks to US politicians and informs what is happening in Hong Kong, which they believe China wants to be “another common Chinese city”.
They are concerned about where they have been forced to flee, but are encouraged by the new methods that the people of Hong Kong are rejecting, and that the democratic governments seem determined to protect and support their policies and lives.
“I am encouraged and encouraged to see that, either here in the States or in other countries, such as Europe, people are beginning to realize that the approach we have been taking over the years is wrong and we need to take more serious and more effective measures against China,” he said.
It is far from the quiet life of teachers.