Jul 19, 2012|
HK Magazine: How many people are occupying the space now?
Denise Wong: [For those] actually sleeping here every night, there’s around eight. For the people who are still active—we organize events and stuff—we are around 20.
Nin Chan: When we first came down here, there were 300 or 400.
HK: How did you get involved with the movement?
DW: I didn’t expect to be here for the long term. At the beginning, I just came here because I thought that, of course, there’s something wrong in society. When I knew that people were really camping out here, I came back and planned to just stay for two days and then leave forever. But the conversations and interactions really inspired me.
HK: What would you say is the movement’s agenda?
NC: I think of Occupy Central as an irritant. We’re trying to open up a space for thought so that we can break with these habits and reflexes that we unthinkingly reproduce. [We have to question] our ways of thinking—about the way we organize work, education or the use of money. We have to think about how capitalism regulates every dimension of everyday life. For example, you’re using a cell phone. For a cell phone, you need people to go down to mines to risk their lives and extract metals. In a post-capitalist society, when there’s no longer a class of people that is designated to go down there, would we still use cell phones? None of these things can be taken for granted. I feel like these tiny questions hold the fate of the entire human race.
HK: What about specific goals?
NC: In terms of more long-term or concrete goals, I don’t think those are important for us—not as important as reflecting upon our experiences.
DW: Usually when we say “anti-capitalism,” people say, “What else?” They expect us to put forward a complete proposal [for an alternative], like we represent all the people who are not happy with this situation. What we’re expecting is that everyone who comes here will start a conversation in their own communities and think about what they want.
HK: Have you had any memorable experiences with passersby?
NC: Once, we had a general assembly and then this drunken student burst into the assembly and was being really rowdy. He was like, “Why don’t you all just get a job?” We had to eject him from the premises.
DW: There are some people who work around this area who, when they have time off, come and chill here and talk a little bit. There are some foreign people who visit Hong Kong and then stay here for a few days.
HK: Have you had any interactions with the HSBC staff?
NC: We haven’t had any contact with the powers that be in this bank. We’re not really interested in initiating any kind of dialogue with them, either, because it’s not even a dialogue in the first place. When they request that we leave, it’s not a matter that’s up for discussion—it’s a unilateral order [that is] just phrased in a diplomatic fashion.
HK: What about plans for if you end up getting kicked out?
NC: The first instinctual reaction is to put up a fight. Of course, this fight would be kind of futile, because if there’s a court order to evacuate, then we’ll get evacuated.
DW: We’ve asked the lawyers, “What if they kick us out and we come back? Would they have to [prosecute us again]?” And they said, “Yes, [the bank] would have to do this procedure all over again.” So we think it’s something that we can try.