The people of Hong Kong are caught in a bind. The stand offs between the government and the young people protesting to keep their freedoms show no signs of ending anytime soon. Tourism is way down, as much as 70% in some parts of the city.
But even as their businesses suffer, signs abound that the inhabitants support the students and what they fight for. The name Popo and a drawing of a pig represent the police. The frog is a symbol of the protestors. After my nephew pointed out their depictions to me, I began spotting them in shops and windows and walls everywhere.
Their images pop up in unexpected places. We went into an electronics shop and some of the television monitors on sale were decorated with Popo and frogs.
This small cafe had a sign quietly propped against their outside wall. I actually turned around and walked back down the street to take a better look at it.
Frogs adorn metro buildings and elevators.
Just before Christmas, bags and t-shirts with the frog logo suddenly appeared. They vanished a few days later.
Much of the street graffiti is grimmer.
A special anger is reserved for Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong politician who since 2017 serves as the 4th and current Chief Executive of Hong Kong. She is seen as serving China, rather than the people of Hong Kong.
The government has deliberately blocked streets with barricades to hinder protests.
The decision of the police to use tear gas and pepper spray caused more protests.
I flew home with a deep, deep sadness that this incredible, wonderful, vibrant city is in such turmoil. This was my fifth visit to Hong Kong. I don’t want it to be my last.
Click here for a complete list of the December 2019 protests on Wikipedia
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