A record number of nearly half a million people gathered at Tamar Park in Hong Kong Saturday afternoon to send out the loudest call for an end to violence and radicalism that has clouded the city since mid-June.
Braving the drizzles, the 476,000 participants demanded an end to all violence and the desecration of national flags and emblems, as well as a halt to attacks on police stations and public facilities.
The participants chanted slogans while waving placards, banners and the national flags and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region flags.
The city was fed up with the endless illegal marches, they said.
Letter of a mother to her child
Recently, groups of violent rioters broke the peace of Hong Kong. Only when I hear your innocent laughter, can I have a moment of happiness. Only when I look at your sweet sleeping face at night, can I have a moment of peace.
That afternoon, you called me and cried in panic. It was through the window of your home that you saw the demonstrators in black on the street passing by the entrance to the building. I told you it was safe to stay home. I didn't tell you that your father's colleagues who live in the dormitory of the police force left their elders and children home when he went out on duty at night. Their windows were smashed and they wept in each other’s arms and spent an anxious night. My child, in fact, many people in Hong Kong have been recently crying, but as I told you on weekdays, do not indulge in self-pity. After crying, wipe away your tears, and stand up for yourself.
很快就开学了，你可能不知道，最近网上有很多仇恨的言论，要伤害警察的家人。是的，你的爸爸是警察，这是不变的事实。面对诅咒、恐吓和暴力，别害怕，怕也没有用。我们会否受到伤害，你会否在学校受到欺凌，没人说得准，但爸爸妈妈会尽一切努力保护你。最近和你讲完Bed Time Story后，我都加插了一番话，我知道你或多或少听得明白。我说，我们在面对困难时，自己要坚强一点，别人欺负我们，要懂得保护自己，同时要记住，我们没有做错。
School will start soon. You may not know that there is a lot of hate speech recently on the internet. Cuss words target policemen’s families. Yes, your father is a policeman. That fact won’t change. Amid abuses being hurled, intimidation and violence, don't get scared. It's useless to get frightened. No one knows for sure whether we will be hurt or whether you will be bullied at school, but mom and dad will do everything we can to protect you. Recently, after I finished my bedtime story with you, I added a few words. I know you can more or less understand it. I said, when we face difficulties, we should be strong, when others bully us, we should know how to protect ourselves, and remember that we haven’t done anything wrong.
If you ask me if your father can quit his police job, I will say he can, but this is the job he loves. Hence, we should not ask him to leave his post. Recently, he has been working day and night. He can endure physical hardships, but the hardest thing to face is the overpowering mental pressure. I know dad hasn’t forgotten that his original aspiration of becoming a policeman was to help maintain public order and protect the people. Now the police force is short of hands most of the time, but dad will not abandon the police force, and we will not abandon dad.
If you ask me if we can leave Hong Kong, I'll say ‘yes’, but Hong Kong is our beloved city and we don't want to leave home. Mom wants to stay in Hong Kong to spend time with her family and Hongkongers, and to work hard for Hong Kong until the very last minute. We should live our lives well and think about what we can do in the current situation. No matter how humble our attempts, at least we tried.
My child, on your long journey in the future, I hope you will always believe in love. Others may think it is absurd to talk about love in such a situation, but if we forget love, get blinded by hatred, and no longer have empathy to understand diversity, our world will become very dangerous. If we forget love, we will soon forget happiness.
The road ahead is not easy at all. A few years later, you will surely be able to understand this letter more clearly. In sad times, remember not only to be a good child of a policeman, but also a good human being. Mom and Dad will always guard you and Hong Kong.