Simon (an alias) in his early twenties, has been actively promoting Hong Kong independence in recent years. Simon broadcasts his messages over a loudspeaker on his own or with like-minded allies on the streets in Mong Kok on a regular basis. He recently started spreading his idea of Hong Kong independence in Shatin in light of the preferential treatment received by the Chinese woman who allegedly assaulted two Hongkongers, which raised many questions amongst Hongkongers. To Simon, the assault case in Shatin highlighted China’s brutal colonization of Hong Kong and the eradication of One-Country-Two-Systems.

At around 7:30 pm on May 17, Simon finished work and was about to walk upstairs to his family, he was stopped by two fierce looking men whom he believes to be gang members.

The two men told him that they wanted to speak with him in private, and delivered a “warning message” in a calm voice throughout the event.

Translated transcript:

Man in white t-shirt: “Someone want you to restrain yourself and we are only sending a message to you and we won’t do anything. We are only doing our job and hope that you can cooperate. I have seen you at the (Shatin) MTR station, and you have seen us when you were having lunch. We have no ill intention, but someone thinks that what you say (Hong Kong independence) may anger others or other ‘things’ and wanted me to bring you a message to remind you to ‘restrain yourself’. Of course, you can try to work towards your dream (Hong Kong independence), but we want to remind you and protect you.”

Simon: “So are you threating to hurt me?”

Man in white t-shirt: “Hurt you? We don’t hurt people. We are only sending a message to you on someone’s behalf. We don’t even know who that person is.”

Simon: “This person gave you my home address?”

Man: “Even if that person doesn’t have your address, others can find out things about you. You be careful yourself. Someone asked us to send you a message.”

Simon: “I will carry on saying whatever I believe is right.

Man: “That is not a problem. You weigh the consequences yourself. We are just doing our job.”

Simon is convinced that these two suspected gang members are sent by the Chinese government or members/supporters of China’s Communist Party.

When asked if he’s worried about his personal safety, Simon replied firmly that, “I am not afraid of the commies. The more they want to silence me, the louder I would speak and I will continue to spread the idea of Hong Kong independence.”

After the dramatic disappearance of Lee Bo and other Causeway Bay booksellers, concerns over freedom of speech and the validity of One-Country-Two-Systems continue to rise. Netizens immediately linked Simon’s case to the visit of Zhang Dejiang*, chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, who is currently in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Police Force is said to have deployed 7,000 officers every day during Zhang’s visit to “protect” the CCP senior member. The security implemented is categorized as “anti-terrorist level” (higher than Xi Jinping’s Hong Kong visit), which includes barricading the surrounding of the hotel and convention center where Zhang will appear. A total of nine police officers were sent to station on top of Lion Rock to prevent any dissent from hanging banners from the hill top which caused the HKSAR government some headaches during the 79-days long Umbrella Revolution as banners demanding genuine universal suffrage repeatedly appeared.

*Zhang Dejiang was the Party Chief of Guangdong when the SARS outbreak took place in Hong Kong in 2003. Zhang ordered to cover up the outbreak in Guangdong banning the media from reporting on the pandemic which is seen to be the direct cause of the spread of the disease to Hong Kong. 299 Hongkongers, including many front line medical staff, were killed in this pandemic.

First Editor: Edward White

Second Editor: Olivia Yang

The News Lens has been authorized to repost this article. The piece was first published by The Real Hong Kong News.