When I followed the Hong Kong Protests daily, what captured me the brilliant use of colors. Not just in clothing and tools but as forms of communication. As with all things, I always filter how I see the world through my Elder’s teachings (Elder Isaac Day of Serpent River First Nations). Some of the colors that held the most sway overall were Yellow, Red, Black and White. In Isaac’s teachings that would be Honesty, Kindness, Caring and Sharing. As I reflect on these teachings and think about the Hong Kong Protests I find these teachings completely and aptly applicable.

Of all the signs I choose to replicate the ones that resonated with me the most is “Don’t Shoot Our Kids”, “I Will Not Kill Myself”, “Stop Killing Us” “Be Water! We are formless. We are shapeless. We can flow. We can crash. We are like water. We are HONGKONGERS.” and Hong Kong People Hearts Never Die in Cantonese. I think it is important to profile that the police brutality in Hong Kong has largely targeted the childen and youth, medics and journalists, hoping to scare others into submission. Without the children and youth the movement is ashes on the ground. So I am showing solidarity and my own prayers that the Kids are protected. It is a sad state when children have to take to the streets to protest their own government and write wills to do so.

“I Will Not Kill Myself” was the single most emotional sign I had to replicate. Thinking of the allegations of “suicide” that clearly are of well know prominent protesters including Chan Yin-Lam (15 year old), Chow Tsz-lok (22 year old), Alex Chow and so many unnamed victims targeted by the Hong Kong Police Force, and their enacted state sanctioned brutality during the protests of 2019 and 2020. What struck me in my research is how difficult it was to find a list of these names. I hope these moments and acts are not lost to the tendrils of history. A not so gentle reminder of the great human rights abuses that are being perpetuated in Hong Kong against it’s citizens as we speak. “Stop Killing Us” isn’t just a poster it’s a reality for Hong Kong citizens right now as we speak.

Finally closing this circle of grief is still the strong hope and message of Hong Kong People, Hearts Never Die written in Cantonese. I believe in the future of our peoples. As long as our hearts live with the fire of the future and we flow like water, then this hope and fight for freedom also never dies. Until we are all free.

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