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'I must face these fears': HK shop owner on strike

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 03:05s - Published
'I must face these fears': HK shop owner on strike

'I must face these fears': HK shop owner on strike

When Alan Li listened to the Hong Kong government's response to Sunday's million-strong protest, he knew he had to do more.

He's joining about 100 businesses and numerous workers in a rare strike to protest against an extradition bill that many fear will undermine freedom and confidence in the commercial hub.

This is his story.

(No reporter narration).

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NO REPORTER NARRATION.

(SOUNDBITE) (CANTONESE) ALAN LI, HONG KONG BUSINESS OWNER, SAYING: "Even though we can't do business for a day, for me there is nothing more important than defending our freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

I am Alan Li.

This is my shop.

We are open nearly 365 days a year, except Chinese New Year.

But we are closing tomorrow (June 12) to support the strike because if the extradition law is tied around people's neck, will we still be able to say what we want to say?

After the protest on Sunday (June 9), that night we watched the government's response.

I believe everyone was completely disappointed.

We were thinking, what else shall we do?

The next day we saw a lot of suggestions on social media.

We saw this strike suggestion.

I thought I would like to contribute a bit more.

I would like to take one step forward for Hong Kong.

The strike tomorrow will influence my clients' bookings.

When I decided and told them we'll be on strike their reaction was very positive.

Some of our former customers have left messages on social media saying they have chosen the right shop.

The reason so many people invest in Hong Kong is because we are governed by the rule of law and have a good human rights record.

But if the extradition law passes, I believe investors will leave.

Have I considered leaving Hong Kong?

Yes.

But I grew up here.

I got everything from this place.

This is my home.

How can I leave?

Fears?

I have fears.

Certainly.

Fear of speaking out.

Fear of my company being connected to politics.

But I must face these fears.

If we don't speak out now, if the extradition law is passed, the fears we will need to face will be even more horrible.

So we must stand up and encourage more people to speak out - to have this bill overthrown."




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