Outside the LegCo Complex, Tim Mei Village was filled with happy faces. After the vote, Helena Wong Bik-wan was spotted celebrating with villagers. She spread her arms and hugged one of the three Uncle Wongs.
The Tim Mei villagers were veterans of Occupy—and still practising. Tents and canopies line up along the pavement of Tim Mei Avenue. According to the latest Umbrella Movement Tent Population Census done on June 16, Tim Mei Village currently consists of 131 tents.
Master Chik (戚師傅) is one of the villagers who have been here the longest. “I have been here for 120 days since September 27 last year,” he said. “I was there to support the class strike. The tear gas was fired on the 28th, and that was how it all began.”
As the reform package had been voted down, villagers began to feel perplexed. To stay or not to stay, that is the question.
Yeung Chai (楊仔) is a volunteer at Citizen Charter 617 and an Occupy veteran. He usually works in Mongkok, but for the past week he had been running the Charter’s booth on Tim Mei Avenue. After the vote, he is going to leave here and go home—in the mainland.
“I’m done here. It’s time for me to go home,” he said. “I might continue my studies in the mainland, or go to the overseas.”
Elaine, a high school student, frequents the village almost every day and occasionally stays overnight. On one hand, she was glad the reform package failed to pass; on the other hand, she dreaded about the fact that quite some villagers are going to move out. She has not made up her mind whether to stay.
“I don’t know what to do. It feels like our goal has been achieved and I have no reason to come here ever again. People are going to move out from here,” she said. “But I miss here. I really like here. I still want the village to persist so I can visit every now and then.”
Auntie Ho (好姨) shares the same concern. “Many people are probably leaving and going home,” she said. “After all, it is quite an unpleasant place here. It is summer now and the heat is unbearable. Stay here for one night and you will know how bad it is.”
With that being said, she is going to stay. “I will go home tonight and take a break of one to two days, but I will be back,” she said. “We can’t just abandon here; someone has to stay. We can’t let the government win. I am here to give pressure.”
Master Chik is staying too. “There is still a long way to go,” he said. “Yes, the reform package has been vetoed, but we are still far from having genuine universal suffrage. I will—we will—fight on.”
Read main story: Hong Kong Reform Voted Down as Pro-Est make historical blunder