In the middle of the night in the middle of the streets in the middle of Hong Kong protesters are sleeping. There are dozens of tents, some available on a “first come, first served” basis for visitors. Quiet is required and cleanliness is mandatory. The student movement is well organised.
And while the tents provide a place for tired protesters to rest their heads, they aren’t the only ones tired in Hong Kong. Today The South China Morning Post published a poll of local citizens taken by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Of the 1,003 adults surveyed some 34% support the movement and 43% do not. This monthly poll tips public opinion against the protesters for the first time. One month ago 35% did not support the movement. The demography of support skews by age, education and income:
“In a more detailed breakdown, more than 67 per cent of those aged 15 to 24 said they supported the movement. Among those aged 40 or more, support stood at 27 per cent. Almost 46 per cent of those with a tertiary education supported the movement, dropping to 21 per cent among respondents with a junior secondary or lower education.”
But more than anything, the people of Hong Kong are tired. “Despite the divided opinions between people of different ages, education levels and political beliefs, the poll shows that almost 70 per cent of respondents believed the protesters should leave now,” reported The South China Morning Post.
The people of Hong Kong want the protesters to go home. Try something else. Clear the streets.
For those accustomed to more aggressive acts of disharmony, the clashes between protesters and citizens have been infrequent and without bloodshed. Those most likely to clash with the protesters have been retailers whose businesses are blocked, or taxi drivers losing fares due to road closures. The rest of Hong Kong has shifted routines. Kids wake up earlier for longer commutes to school. Workers move from buses to MTR or trams. Public transport has been running at peak capacity for a long time.
But in the end the people of Hong Kong have spoken. They’re worried about the long term impact of the Umbrella Movement on business, foreign affairs, civil harmony and their daily routines.
In the Mel Brooks 1974 comedy “Blazing Saddles” actress Madeline Kahn plays eccentric showgirl Lili Von Shtupp. In her cabaret number she slowly saunters on stage and sings a unique song. In it she listlessly describes her exhaustion.
Much like the people of Hong Kong, Lili Von Shtupp is tired.