In an inspiring show of solidarity, citizens of Hong Kong banded together in an act many are comparing to the United Kingdom’s Dunkirk evacuation during World War II.
Protestors aimed to shut down Hong Kong Airport (HKG) over the weekend. But authorities were prepared and not only blocked the protest, but shut down the Metro system, stranding thousands of protestors on Chek Lap Kok island, about 35 kilometers from central Hong Kong. Protestors began walking back to Hong Kong by foot along the highway. But in an amazing act of defiance and camaraderie, citizens began offering rides to protestors. Word was sent out through Telegram messenger service, prompting even more drivers to offer help.
If you are unfamiliar with the Dunkirk evacuation, it was a 1940 evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France by over 800 civilian vessels. The evacuation took place during the Battle of France, when soldiers from France, Belgium, and Great Britain found themselves surrounded by German troops and facing imminent death. The heroic actions of citizens who risked their own lives to rescue stranded soldiers provided a huge moral boost to the Allies. The 2017 film directed on this evacuation by Christopher Nolan is highly recommended.
While it is a bit of a stretch to link the act of saving over 338,000 soldiers to helping stranded protestors trapped in Hong Kong Airport, I get the connection. Both acts involved “normal” citizens banding together to help those trapped and in need.
Dunkirk evacuation in hong kong
those braking night are the driver who volunteering pick up the demonstrator who were trapped in highway as gov shutdown all the public transport between airport and downtown #HongKongProtesters #HongKongPolice #antiELAB #HongKong #FreeHongKong pic.twitter.com/f7zy68RuFk
— Hker (@Hker75931672) September 1, 2019
9.01 Airport Rally have been compared to Little Ships of Dunkirk, when 850 private boats sailed to rescue over 336,000 soldiers.
Tdy hundreds of protestors walked on Lantau Hwy from airport. Numerous altruistic citizens showed up in cars to drive them safe back home. pic.twitter.com/QL3IQQ5elR
— #AntiELAB Fight for Hong Kong (@Fight4HongKong) September 1, 2019
I know I was not the only one who cried when protestors sang Do You Hear The People Sing? from the arrivals hall of HKG. Once again, I smile at the solidarity shown by the protestors. Whatever your views on the legality of the protestors or their cause, the acts of brotherhood and sisterhood shown over the last 13 weeks has been inspiring.