[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Queen's Pier - my retrospective

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Queen's Pier - my retrospective

Covering the last few days of the Queen's Pier saga was exciting, tiring and ended up with mixed feelings once the last rooftop activist was pulled away.
First of all, I didn't grow up in Hong Kong and I don't feel anything special towards Queen's Pier. But I can understand why some would want to save it. That's also why I understand the bigger picture; how Donald Tsang's comments about us not being too "overzealous" when it comes to saving heritage at the expense of competition and efficiency.
The two sides to this argument - heritage activists not only want to save these structures but also angry at the fact that the government can just get rid of anything in the name of expansion and development.
The latter does make sense though, Hong Kong's competitive angle has been dented by the rise of other Chinese cities and Singapore and Macau. Adding a new highway there will ease congestion - a good thing in any case - and a new mall? Well, it better not be the same fucking bland shops you see everywhere!
Ah, and not to mention the argument that didn't get a lot of attention, the fact that some Chinese patriots would love to do away with Queen's Pier because it represents the colonial past, and is essentially "un-Chinese."

Watching and filming the activists' singing and dancing, I did admire that Hong Kong's usual placid youth would take on such an endeavour to protect the pier, well a teeny minority of them anyway, most that did I'm sure came for the photo-op. And with the small media circle here, the rooftop activists got maximum exposure and sensationsalism, which I'm sure would be embedded in Hongkongers' mindset for years to come. Hopefully fostering and growing the grassroots movement.

It was tiring for me to say the least, I started on Tuesday 8pm (eve of eviction order) till 6am. The fanfare had died by then, and many took solace in watching the sunrise.
Scurrying back to my bed, I was back on the field at 2pm next day and the cops had sealed off the area, and stayed till 8:46pm. We made two videos on the event, on the eve - which I did - and one on the actual day. My legs still ache and got a little bit of jet lag but man, it's all over.

"A night to remember"

"Activists clash with police"