Still, hundreds of protesters charged inside the government headquarters and proceeded to vandalize portraits of Legislative Council presidents, deface the Hong Kong emblem, and spray graffiti on walls and desks. During the commotion, Wong and a dozen or so pastors remained outside. “We don’t want to separate from them. We’re together, even though we don’t agree with them,” Wong explained.
Demonstrators eventually evacuated the complex before riot police arrived. Four initially refused to leave, but a swarm of activists returned to pull them out. Cindy Chan sees that as “a big lesson for Christians. … We can’t leave even one behind.”
Chan, whose name WORLD has changed because of security concerns, is a theology student in her early 30s. She had been coordinating efforts to provide medical care to protesters injured in the Admiralty district earlier on Monday evening. “As a Christian it’s hard to find my place but to go forward and join in the front line,” she said. “Being with the people is the most important. We pray, but no one knows what will happen. … What gives me the most peace is to be in solidarity with the people.”
At a press conference, Chief Executive Lam condemned the storming of the legislative complex as an “extreme use of violence and vandalism.”
“Christians don’t agree with violence,” Wong said of Monday’s events. But he added that Lam’s focus on protesters’ physical violence toward inanimate objects overlooks the government’s systemic violence toward its own people.
On behalf of Hong Kongers under a government influenced by Beijing’s agenda—and for demonstrators who’ve shed blood from the police’s excessive use of rubber bullets and beanbag shots—Wong asks, “What else can we do to make you listen to our pleas?”