For a typical car owner, walking up to one’s treasured vehicle and finding it vandalized with drawings and other graffiti would be absolutely horrifying.
But for 30-year-old Max, a car mechanic, everyone is welcome to deface his golden convertible as long as the messages are about Hong Kong’s democracy fight.
In fact, his car — by now a familiar sight in the protest sites in Admiralty and Causeway Bay — has become a sort of democracy wall where activists freely scribble their thoughts about their hopes and dreams for their beloved city, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
It carries the license plate “Janposuen”, which is Cantonese for “genuine universal suffrage”, the major demand of the young activists whose Occupy campaign is now on its second month.
The whole thing started a few days ago when he drove his car to Causeway Bay to deliver some materials, and he found a “true universal suffrage” sticker had been pasted by an activist on his vehicle.
That gave him the idea that his car could become a traveling propaganda vehicle for the Occupy movement. From then on, he would ask people in the protest sites to write down their thoughts and messages on his car, and they happily obliged.
Even singer and actress Deanie Ip wrote a message on the car: “We are peaceful people, what about you?”
Max isn’t a student any more, nor does he consider himself an activist. He delivers supplies and install lighting equipment for the students manning the barricades.
His transactions with the students, however, have provided him with the opportunity to discuss with them the issues that have prompted them to take to the streets.
Now he thinks of himself as a volunteer for the Occupy movement, helping deliver supplies to and from the protest sites, and acting as a handyman for the students.
His volunteer work for the students is starting to affect his income as he can no longer focus on his business, but Max is not bothered.
“I don’t mind earning less,” he says. “Everyone has to do their bit, and I will always remember that I did something for the democracy movement.”
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