‘I’m ready for jail’: the Hong Kong dissidents who chose to stay and fight

‘I’m ready for jail’: the Hong Kong dissidents who chose to stay and fight

It has been more than 100 days since the imposition of the national security law on Hong Kong on June 30. In the third of a three-part series, the Post looks at how it has led to the emergence of a group of exiled dissidents who have sought refuge abroad and another group who have chosen to stay and fight.See here for parts one and two.For many dissidents who have remained in Hong Kong, it is hard to see in the future anything but a vision of dystopia, shrouded by uncertainty, death threats and surveillance. Under the shadow of the national security law, many feel jail time is a certainty, sooner or later.

So why are so many determined to stay? Many seasoned activists say it is necessary to be wherever the fight may be – and some say that battleground will always be in Hong Kong – while younger activists often cite their optimism, or even a sense of adventure. Generational differences aside, they share one thing in common: a commitment to the city.

Hong Kong’s exiled dissidents: world’s listening now, but for how long?

“I have decided to stay here regardless of the outcome because of my love for this place, my sense of attachment and my desire to walk alongside all of those who will continue to occupy this piece of land,” said student activist Isaac Cheng Ka-long.

The 20-year-old sociology student from Shue Yan University has been campaigning for issues at the heart of the city’s education system. A convenor of advocacy group Education Breakthrough, he reminds people about the importance of critical thinking for students at a time when – according to him – the authorities are tightening their grip on schools and using them for propaganda purposes.