HK protest group co-founder tells what it's like to fight for his ideals

HK protest group co-founder tells what it's like to fight for his ideals

HONG KONG - As co-founder of Hong Kong protest group Scholarism, Mr Ivan Lam is no stranger to the police.

But the protest leader's links with them are closer than you think - his dad is a senior police officer.

Sometimes the 20-year-old's actions exasperate his dad.

On June 19, he was arrested at home, in front of his dad, for illegal assembly, after occupying the Legislative Council building, in a protest against funds used for the North East New Territories Development Project.

"Of course he was pissed!" Mr Lam told The New Paper last Sunday from his favourite spot at the Legco building - just outside the entrance, where he had parked himself on a plastic mat.

As his only child was being led away - to be later released on bail - the former police academy instructor, who is now in charge of a firing range, curtly told his law-enforcement colleagues in exasperation: "I don't know how I have raised my son to be like this!"

It is now three weeks into Occupy Central, the ongoing protest that challenges China's decision to vet candidates for Hong Kong's next leadership elections in 2017.

And the situation at home can sometimes be tense, said Mr Lam.

He said: "These few weeks, I have been home only once to have a quick meal with my family and pick up some clothes. My mum is more neutral than my dad, but naturally she is worried.

"But I do drop my parents a text message every now and then to let them know I'm safe."

While he describes his folks as "annoying", Lam wishes to thaw the frosty relationship he has with his dad.

"I don't want to argue with him," he said. "I understand his position. Coming from the force, naturally he will side (with) the police. And all men have egos, I can't tell him straight in the face that the police are wrong to exercise violence. But I will continue to stick to my beliefs, whatever it takes."

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