When I met Jason Ng, he was with his friends giving out cold lemon tea, boxes of food from the restaurant chain Maxims to the first aid workers and the supply tents in Admiralty. People were surprised when offered but took the food. He has not been doing this every night but he does so when he can.
After handing out the food, his friends go home. He goes to his spot on Gloucester Road, on the bridge where he lays down a small mat to sit on the pavement. Using a water bottle to tape two signs on them, one in Chinese and one in English reading: “lawyer, writer offers FREE! Help with homework - English, Essay Writing, Law.” Since the police used teargas, on September 28, he has been coming to the same spot most nights except when he has a public speaking engagement.
“The line between helping students and just talking to people is very blurred. Most people come by and ask about the movement. They want to understand what it is for,” said Ng. “A girl, from an international school, had to write an essay about Occupy Central and she came by with a list of 25 questions and I sat with her and helped her go through the questions.”
Jason was never directly involved with either Occupy Central, the pro-democracy group, or the Student Protesters but supports their position. He went to university and law school in Toronto and business school in Philadelphia before becoming a corporate lawyer. Returning to Hong Kong in 2005, he has written two books called Hong Kong State of Mind and No City for Slow Men and writes about current events and reviews of restaurants for the South China Morning Post (SCMP) and meanwhile continues working in law. On his website, it also lists him as a model, an English teacher, a public speaker, an interior designer and a future lecturer in law at the University of Hong Kong.
He is one of the many people who are protesting against Beijing government’s decision on the election of the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong in 2017. It will be through a nominating committee with a majority of Beijing supporters. For nearly three weeks pro-democracy demonstrators have blocked roads in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay, and Admiralty. Talks between both sides were scheduled for yesterday but were cancelled.
We are interrupted a few times as people stop by his place in the pavement, to ask him questions in Cantonese about the pro-democracy movement and what he is doing here. Since the protests have started, Mr. Ng has been interviewed by TV, radio, newspapers and journalism students. Some of the people are in groups while some are alone. One of the people asks him if he has ever been threatened.
“You just have to be smart about it, there are thugs all around Hong Kong so I don’t go to Mong Kok,” said Ng about any worries about his safety. “I stopped wearing the yellow ribbon yesterday not because we don’t want to be supportive but it’s just practical.”
When asked how long he plans to continue coming out here to the same spot, he says “as long as it takes, I work in Central so it is only a few steps from my work.”
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