The power of Hong Kong people comes from love

Social worker, Rivalino Chung.

Rivalino Chung Wai-lung, a school social worker and a member of the Reclaiming Social Work Movement, who joined an outreach team to support young protesters in June, said the power of Hong Kong people is unity and love.

Chung said many social workers took the initiative to help young people when they are off from work. In an interview with the Kung Kao Po in July, he said young people need help in many situations when they have conflicts with the police. For example, before the scheduled second reading of the bill on June 12, he could see that many young people were not allowed to leave the Admiralty MTR Station after police officers stopped them, told them to line up and searched them, which provoked many. He then immediately went to Admiralty to try to calm down the young people.

After protesters’ clashes with the police on June 12, the social workers’ groups organised a strike to demand the withdrawal of the bill. On that day, Chung took part in a meeting among social workers to think about how they could give professional support during social movements in different aspects, such as in hospitals, protest areas and for those who are arrested. Chung said he then decided to join an outreaching support team.

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His role was to act as a mediator between people with different views. He remembered that in a memorial service for a tertiary student who committed suicide to show her opposition to the bill, many people came to pay tribute. However, a number of residents nearby came to show their displeasure about the event. It was then his job as a social worker to comfort the feelings of both sides. 

He also find it necessary to search with other social workers for people who had suicidal tendency through the Telegram and Facebook in an attempt to stop such tragedies from happening.

Chung believes that the suspension of the extradition bill in June acted as a reminder for him to have faith and pray, and then wait until something happens. He explained that while even the protesters themselves had no hope on June 12 that the legislation of the extradition law could be stopped, miracle really happened as the government announced a few days later that the bill would be put aside.

He said the unity of the Hong Kong people was already shown through protests organised by different groups urging for the Hong Kong government to respond to their the demands. He believes the biggest power of Hong Kong people comes from love, which is also the core of our faith. SE

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