Our beloved Hong Kong is experiencing a devastating social unrest going on for over 3 months. Although the protests are generally peaceful, there has been isolated incidents of violence, disorder, injuries to some participants, shut downs and arrests. In times like these, it is important to remain safe and protected at all times, regardless of who you are, what your position in society is or your opinion on the demonstrations and protests. Here are a few ways to ensure your safety and maximize caution everywhere you go.
DISCLAIMER: Despite this article being related to a sensitive topic, we decided to write it. We express no views be it for or against the protests, simply some tips that we believe might help each of us stay safe!
1. The No.1 priority is to always be updated with the latest political news in Hong Kong. Know where the next protest will be held, update yourself by reading newspapers and watching the news.
2. Avoid wearing colours like white, red or black as they hold strong connotations to support certain causes/ parties, especially on the day of scheduled protests.
3. In a case where you are caught up in a tear gas zone, quickly hold your breath and try to evacuate from the area as quickly as possible. Among other lesser known symptoms caused by tear gas you will might experience a whole lot of mucus running down from the nose and breathing in tear gas can induce vomiting. Close your eyes but if it does happen to cause a burning sensation, rinse out your eyes with running water. Change into a new set of clothing and dry yourself of anything to ensure maximum protection.
4. Be careful of what you post on Social Media. Exercise caution over the words that you use as well as the stance that you take. It might be worth remembering that your opinions can be used against you in future scenarios. Encouraging phrases like ‘be water’ supports people to take the right action and to always remember that kindness and love is the solution to any problem.
5. If the protest situation is getting too tense around your neighborhood, take necessary measures to stay indoors. Even if it means taking a holiday from school or from work, your safety is an absolute priority.
6. Always bring along your HKID cards with you or official certification documents that prove your stay or residency in Hong Kong. In recent cases, a lot of people forget or are simply not bothered to bring their HKID cards with them. This is a very risky thing to do as political uncertainty leads to suspicion on the Hong Kong people themselves. Also, don’t be surprised if you are randomly stopped by a police officer asking for your ID, even if it seems like they have no reason to doubt you.
7. Keep a low-profile at all times. Everyone’s opinions are valid and they always matter. Peaceful protesting or not protesting at all is accepted regardless of who or what political party or group your support.
We at LocalHood, are a normal bunch of neighbors who believe that supportive and cohesive neighborhoods are important, especially in trying times for our beloved city.
Again, whatever your personal opinion on the Protests be it the government or the Protesters, we hope that you find the above tips useful and applicable in certain situations.
That’s it from LocalHood, we hope you keep faith, trust and love by your side in situations like these! Be water!