Toby is deeply politicized, even though he sometimes wishes he wouldn’t have to be. Because, he says, it is not only exhausting, but also frustrating to fight and still see your freedom slipping away in front of your eyes. Almost every conversation proves how much politics rule his life. Even when we just talk about banalities he manages to turn the conversation political. Such as this one:

Hey there! How was your evening?

I went to watch a movie with a friend

Are the cinemas in Hong Kong allowed to be full again?

I think they can only be half-full, only two people can sit together

and they have to wear masks throughout the movie

Hongkongers are legally required to wear masks in public, and that helps the protesters because they can’t just be stopped and searched by the police anymore just for covering their face

When was the last time you were active in the protests?

last time super active: November 2019

last time as a participant: July 2020

What do you mean by super-active?

On the streets, confronting the police

Running as fast as I can to avoid getting hurt

Getting hurt nonetheless

Something like that

But when I put down the gas mask in November I never put it on again

Did the police hurt you?

The tear gas

During the protests at the Polytechnic University last year in November the smoke was so concentrated that I could feel my body burning

What exactly happened there?

The siege there lasted for two weeks. But I left early

I found the last available escape

And like two minutes later the route was blocked by the police

I just remember that after leaving the campus my friends and I used all our energy to run

After leaving I immediately sent the route to my friends who were still on campus

Some of them succeeded

Some of them were arrested

That sounds intense. Do you still have the message you sent to your friends?

Could you translate?


Go to the Z core (of the university campus)

Take the escalator to the ground floor

There is a thing like a railway level crossing

On the left there is a blue ribbon security guard security guard

On the right there are two police officers

Forget them and try your best to run to the front

Slip under the metal wire

There are steps that go up

When you get to the main road keep running

You will find rescuing vehicles at the front

Best of luck


It’s too late, the police found out about the route