It’s Not Just Violence

Photo by Kaique Rocha on

When people do not listen
When people do not care
There are those who
In their desperation
Turn to violence
Fighting to make themselves heard
And this is too easily met
With condemnation –

But there are also those who
Within their desperation
Find steadily more ingenious methods
Of peacefully expressing their pain
Whether it is through rallies
Or Airdropped leaflets
Or post-it note walls…

To meet violence and discrimination and tragedy
With peace and voice and human creativity
Takes a special kind of bravery,
I think…

But to fight is also brave,
And to those who thoughtlessly condemn protest violence
To those who use violence in return
I wish you would first imagine
How much suffering they must be going through
To be willing to risk their lives
To be willing to hurt other human beings
And for what?

There is a difference
Between violence born out of pain
And violence born out of hatred.

There is a difference
Between saying carelessly, “no more fighting”
And begging after careful evaluation, “world peace” –

Because empathy and compassion
May save us all
But society continues to strip them away…

One day…

Dedicated to the Hong Kong extradition bill protestors,
And all those who suffered at Yuen Long and elsewhere…