Russ Grayson

The whole world is watching

…a Hong Kong democracy wall in Sydney

Saturday 4 October 2014, Sydney CBD…
SYDNEY has created its own democracy wall to support the people on the streets of Hong Kong who are standing up to the Chinese and Hong Kong governments in their subversion of democracy.

I encountered the democracy wall outside Hong Kong House on Druitt Street, opposite Sydney Town Hall. I watched as people wrote their support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement on the supplied sticky notes and stuck them alongside the hundreds already plastered on the building. It was interesting to see passers-by notice the wall, figure out what it was about, then spontaneously scribble and paste their own messages.

Standing there, watching people vote for freedom with coloured sticky notes, I was reminded of the line from Bob Dylan's song, Love Minus Zero, the line to do with how people " …draw conclusions on the wall".

Ironically, the idea of the democracy wall started in China, as this excerpt from Wikipedia (are Chinese citizens allowed to access Wikipedia or is it yet another website blocked by a paranoid regime?) states: "The Democracy Wall was a long brick wall on Xidan Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, which became the focus for democratic dissent. Beginning in October 1978, in line with the Communist Party of China's policy of 'seeking truth from facts,' activists in the Democracy movement recorded news and ideas, often in the form of big-character posters, during a period known as the 'Beijing Spring'." …

Now, Sydney people are 'seeking their own truth from the facts' going down there on the streets of Hong Kong and they're pasting them on the walls of Hong Kong House.

In an age of global media and citizen journalism, a time when many have the means to paste their own conclusions on the wall of the global social mediasphere, the government of China and all authoritarian regimes would do well to remember that the whole world is watching.