On the Alliance for Peace and Democracy petition and 8/17 demonstration

Original published in OCLP website on 17 August 2014
Translation on 18 August 2014

We respect each and every citizen who voluntarily participated the signature campaign and demonstration, and also understand their worries.  We reiterate that occupying Central is only the last resort and, if happens, will definitely be peaceful and non-violent.  Just like the 2 July sit-in by 511 protestors at Chater Road, there will not be any confrontation with the police. 

We cannot comment on the number of signatures collected by the Alliance for Peace and Democracy because the organizer did not appoint any independent supervising or executing agency to prevent duplication in the signatures on the street and on the web.  What is even more regrettable is that there were reports of Mainland students being asked to sign on anti-Occupy Central forms when applying for visas from the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong, as well as reports that employees of certain companies were urged to give their signatures.  We believe it is inappropriate for anyone to take advantage of their power relations in pushing forward any political movement.

What is equally regrettable is that reportedly some organizations did not clearly explain the nature of the demonstration that they asked their members to join, and that some even enticed people into showing up by offering cash allowances and meals.  We believe there are citizens who participated the signature campaign and demonstration on a voluntary basis, but the fact that the organizer allowed these things to happen for the sake of higher numbers will only cast doubt upon those numbers and is also unfair to the voluntary participants.

No matter how many people signed and showed up in the demonstration, the voice of the 800,000 citizens who voted in the Occupy Central civil referendum will not be drowned.  The results of the civil referendum have mandated OCLP to fight for the three-tracked proposal and have demanded the Legco to veto any universal suffrage proposal that does not conform to international standards.  The anti-Occupy Central campaign claims to be anti-violence and strive for universal suffrage.  These are no different from our goals unless it is “pre-screened universal suffrage” that they are actually talking about.  Unfortunately the organizer has never put forward their own proposal on universal suffrage.

Lastly, if the Alliance for Peace and Democracy wins the support of more than one million people, they should know this is a huge number (as compared to merely 1.8 million who voted in the Legco election).  As such, there is really no need for the pro-establishment camp to be afraid of civil nomination and a universal suffrage method that conforms to international standards.  They should just let Hong Kong people have a genuine choice!

17 August, 2014