Occupy Central with Love and Peace condemns the government for ignoring people’s request for genuine universal suffrage and simply employing delay tactics

OCLP Press Release (issued on 29.9.2014)
 
 
The occupy movement has become full-fledged with tens of hundreds of citizens taking to the streets fighting for genuine universal suffrage and supporting the students.  Chief Secretary Carrie Lam responded by just postponing the second-round constitutional reform consultation instead of restarting the five-step procedure.  We believe the government is just employing delay tactics and waiting for a more favorable timing to implement a fake universal suffrage with screening.  This is clearly a disregard for public opinion.  Also, Chief Executive CY Leung has been evading the strong request of the public to step down, which does not help resolve the crisis of social disorder triggered by the constitutional reform issue.  We believe CY Leung will be condemned by the history of democratic development in Hong Kong.
 
Carrie Lam said the government will wait for a “favorable condition” to resume consultation on implementing the NPC Standing Committee’s decision on constitutional reform.  However, we believe they are just hoping people’s desire for genuine universal suffrage to fade out over time.  By delaying the consultation procedure, the government will be able to rush the Legislative Council into passing the fake universal suffrage plan by shortening the time for public discussion.
 
We must point out that the government’s decision to cancel the firework display on the national day and postpone the consultation on constitutional reform is just aiming to avoid further deterioration in governance and intensification of social conflicts.  They are not really making any concessions.  In fact the government does not concede even the right to use the Civic Square to the citizens and requires strict adherence to the tightened application requirements.  This shows that the government does not have the slightest sincerity and should be condemned.
Advertisements

Global Solidarity Campaign: Support the Fight for Democracy in Hong Kong

For immediate release

Global Solidarity Campaign: Support the Fight for Democracy in Hong Kong  
We are a coalition of overseas Hongkongers who are organizing a series of solidarity actions to voice support for the weeklong class boycotts and democracy movement in Hong Kong.
On Saturday, Sept 27, 9 cities in Bosnia, Canada, the UK and the USA will be leafleting, organizing stand-in or protesting to demand democracy in Hong Kong. Organizers in Berlin will be hosting the event on the following day, on Sept 28.

Continue reading

Press Release by Occupy Central with Love & Peace (issued on 25.9.2014)

OCLP Press Release

“Civil disobedience is the fight against injustice. We are fearless in front of violence and will not strike back,” said Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man, the Occupy Central with Love and Peace organizers, in today’s press conference on the verge of occupation. They called for participants of civil disobedience to adhere to the principle of non-violent resistance.

Today OCLP released a manual of disobedience that explains the philosophy and principles of peaceful disobedience, and provides legal guidance on which particular laws participants could be violating and how to protect personal rights on arrest. It also gives detailed recommendations on how participants should be equipped prior to the occupation. The manual has been uploaded to the OCLP website. (link) http://oclp.hk/index.php?route=occupy/eng_detail&eng_id=28

OCLP has put forward eight rules of non-violent resistance. Specifically, in the face of law enforcers and anti-occupy demonstrators, participants should never hurt anyone physically or mentally, or damage any properties. To ensure the safety of the assembly and the effective dissemination of information in the case of emergency, participants should not bring any loudspeakers or large banners that may block the views. According to Chan Kin-man, any participant who deliberately violates the principle of non-violence will first be advised by the picket team to calm down and, if this does not work, asked to leave the assembly. He further said that there are backup plans to change the leadership should all three organizers be arrested.

Benny Tai pointed out that Occupy Central participants could be violating the Public Order Ordinance and the Summary Offences Ordinance. However, British judge Lord Hoffmann once made the following comments in a case: “Civil disobedience on conscientious grounds has a long and honourable history …. It is the mark of a civilized community that it can accommodate protests and demonstrations of this kind.”

It is hard to predict how long the occupy action will last. Chan Kin-man recommended participants to prepare enough food for two to three days. Also listed under the outfit and gear section in the manual are backup batteries and protective goggles against pepper spray.

On the day of occupation, a large number of professionals are expected to offer support to the participants. About 160 medical personnel, including 30 doctors, will be providing medical assistance. An 80-person emotion support team, 90% of which are registered social workers, together with a clinical psychologist, will be working closely with the medical team. For people who are arrested, there is a team of 160 registered social workers providing emotional counseling and another 120 people providing administrative support such as collecting personal particulars for the lawyers. It is also understood that a large number of lawyers are prepared to offer legal support on a personal basis.

Benny said that each participant can submit their personal information to a hotline set up by the organizer via SMS prior to being arrested. 

Chan Kin-man said civil seminars will be held throughout the assembly where participants can “quietly reflect on what each of us can do for Hong Kong in the post-occupy era.”

Continue reading

List of Hong Kong tycoons, business elites and CPPCC members called to Beijing, September 21-23, 2014

From Sunday, September 21 to Tuesday, September 22, former Chief Executive, Tung Chee-hwa, himself a tycoon, leads over 70 members of the Hong Kong business elite in attending a seminar on Hong Kong ‘political reform’, a meeting with President Xi Jinping and a dinner with National People’s Congress Standing Committee head Zhang Dejiang in Beijing.

This is only the second time since the 1997 handover that such a delegation of Hong Kong business elites have visited Beijing, called by Chinese Communist Party members to discuss ‘political reform’.  The first time was in 2003, after the July 1 march of more than 500,000 people against Article 23 security legislation that the CCP and the Hong Kong government were trying to introduce in Hong Kong.  As a result of that march, the Article 23 legislation failed and Tung Chee-hwa, Chief Executive at the time, was eventually forced to resign.  Both visits of business elites, in 2003 and 2014, have come at moments of what the CCP regards as political crisis in Hong Kong and have been meant to shore up support by Hong Kong business elites for CCP policy in Hong Kong. 

By many people in Hong Kong, the people on this list are regarded as amongst those most opposed to genuine universal suffrage.  The business elites perceive equal political rights as threatening their business interests.  Hong Kong is currently run as a kind of plutocracy, with the Chinese Communist Party and the Hong Kong business elites monopolizing all real political power.

Continue reading

Press Conference of tertiary teachers and administrative staff supporting university students’ boycott of classes

Representatives of the tertiary teachers and administrative staff campaign are hosting a press conference on Sept 21 (Sunday) to:
  1. Announce the result of a signature campaign targeted at tertiary-level academics and administrative staff (over 320 names obtained); and
  2. Announce that 108 tertiary academics plus 8 civil society professionals / leaders have agreed to deliver talks for students next week to support students’ boycott of classes in their fight for genuine universal suffrage.
Date: Sep. 21, 2014 (Sunday)
Time: 2:30 pm
Venue: Lecture Theater no. 12, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong. 
Organizer: Local academics (about 25 will be present)
Guest speaker: Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun

Commentary: Dictators and tycoons gang up to deny the people of China and Hong Kong meaningful political participation

As former Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Tung-chee Hwa, himself a tycoon, is about to lead a delegation of more than 40 Hong Kong tycoons to Beijing on Monday to engage in talks with Xi Jinping and other Communist Party officials, it’s important to recall that the most powerful political institutions in both Hong Kong and the mainland are stacked with the wealthiest people. They are not elected but appointed.

Continue reading

Commentary: The Hong Kong pro-democracy movement compared to other nonviolent freedom struggles, part 2

In my last piece, I compared the Hong Kong democracy movement to other nonviolent freedom struggles, focusing on three ultimately successful ones, the Indian independence struggle, the US civil rights movement, and the eastern European fight against Communist dictatorship. While these movements are today regarded retrospectively as successes, we noted that what they have in common is that 1) they took decades to accomplish their aims and 2) they required a deus ex machina beyond their control as a catalyst for realization of their aims (respectively, World War II, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Gorbachev). The conclusion drawn from the comparison is that freedom struggles are often long, hard and uncertain, and rarely are freedom struggles powerful enough in themselves to accomplish their aims; they usually need other forces to align with their interests. Those struggling for freedom must persevere even when the outcome appears highly uncertain and distant. They must continue to exist until the opportune moment.

Today I look at some ‘failed’ freedom struggles, namely China ‘89, Iran ’77-‘79, Burma ’88-’90, and Egypt ’11-present. Note that all four of those countries are still ruled by authoritarian regimes.

Continue reading

17 tweets in response to Liu Xiaoming’s attack on Chris Patten for ‘rankest hypocrisy’

Liu Xiaoming’s attack in the Telegraph.

Hong Kong has not, as Lord Patten appears to believe, been bequeathed democracy by Britain. For more than a century and a half, Britain had total responsibility for the territory – and did nothing to encourage or produce democracy. It is therefore the rankest hypocrisy of people such as Lord Patten to criticise China for any perceived failings to introduce democracy.
— Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to the UK

1. Since Liu Xiaoming is so interested in history & ‘rankest hypocrisy’, we’ll take up the matter ourselves in the following tweets.

Continue reading

Class Boycott Declaration from Secondary School Students

Original in Chinese

We are a group of secondary school students who have been told to be the masters of the future. So we study and learn to be the future of Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong’s future is now manipulated by a small group of people who have taken away our choice of Chief Executive.

Class boycott is not taking a break.
Class boycott is not stop learning.
Class boycott is not for fun.
Class boycott is not a crime.
It is for our future.

We know the consequences and are ready to take any punishments by school. However, we must step forward when some adults choose to remain silent. If we choose to escape today, we won’t have any choice tomorrow. When the minions of tyranny just expect us to go to class, the best resistance is probably boycotting it.

Let’s meet the challenge of the era and complete our historical mission. We must establish ourselves in an era that belongs to us. Let’s shape our hopes and show our vision of the future.

Our future is in our own hands. We will take it back.

The Hong Kong pro-democracy movement compared to other nonviolent freedom struggles, part 1

Part 2 is available.

In his “Hong Kong’s Power of the Powerless: Hong Kong’s Last Stand”, Kong Tsung-gan looked at the Indian independence struggle and the US civil rights movement in some detail. He found that both had advantages that the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement lacks:

Gandhi and Indians knew it was just a matter of time. They could outwait the Brits. At the end of the day, there were just so many more Indians than British administrators and resources that if the Indians refused to cooperate, British rule was unsustainable. The Indians had superior numbers on their side. Hong Kong obviously doesn’t. There are 7 million Hong Kong people, and 1 billion mainlanders (or, maybe more to the point, 86 million Chinese Communist Party members). These days, Hong Kong people feel almost inundated by the number of mainland visitors. The number of mainland immigrants per year is about 54,000. One cannot help but think that part of the CCP’s end game for Hong Kong involves the mainlandization of Hong Kong’s population, much as in Tibet and Xinjiang, a process very different from the type of immigration from the mainland to Hong Kong that occurred in the mid-twentieth century.

Continue reading

Prof. Chan Cho-wai: On the “International Standards” of Democracy

Original Facebook post by HKU Prof. Joseph Chan Cho-wai

INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (1948)
3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;
this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall
be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by
equivalent free voting procedures.

Continue reading

Did Reuters Get Lost in Translation Over Official Quote?

12 September 2014 | Hong Wrong

Reuters apparently scored quite a scoop yesterday when it quoted an official offering up what amounts to a death threat against a local pro-democracy figure…

According to the article, two anonymous sources confirmed that Zhang Xiaoming, the head of Hong Kong’s China Liaison Office, made the comment to pro-democracy lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung when asked whether a democrat could ever become Chief Executive.

Continue reading…

Press Invitation: Black Cloth March

Thirty years ago, the Chinese Central Government promised Hong Kong “one country, two systems” and “high degree of autonomy”. Those promises have never been fulfilled and democracy in Hong Kong is stifled. Students in those days have their hair turned grey already while students today are going on strike and united in their fight for democracy. The whole city is united in its fight for democracy. This Sunday, Occupy Central withLove and Peace, together with a number of civic organizations, will be holding a black-cloth demonstration to tell the world how Hong Kong people have been betrayed.

Continue reading

Taiwan Backs Democracy Movement in Hong Kong

12 Sept 2014 | Voice of America

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Wu Mei-hung urged the governments in Hong Kong and Beijing to use tolerance.

She said that with respect to the Hong Kong people’s desire for universal suffrage, her office and every segment of Taiwan expresses a high level of concern and support. Wu said her office hopes the Hong Kong government and leaders in mainland China can use wisdom, tolerance of different opinions and rational dialogue and other peaceful means to reach a consensus.

Lai I-chung, vice president of Taiwan Think Tank, said Hong Kong has lost its appeal for Taiwanese since Communist China took it back from Britain.

“I think they’re now looking at Hong Kong as a place that’s a Chinese territory. Since Taiwan democratized and Hong Kong is reverting back to China, Hong Kong is no longer presented as a new place for hope or place for modernity, not a place Taiwan would like to learn from,” said I-Chung.

Continue reading…

Showdown in Hong Kong

Zoher Abdoolcarim | 11 September 2014 | Time

Beijing must realize that the territory’s openness is what gives it real value to China

To China’s leaders, what’s different about Hong Kong is what makes it dangerous. Some local activists have called for the end to Communist Party rule of the mainland, making them, from Beijing’s standpoint, subversives. Beijing’s harder and more intimidating line toward Hong Kong reflects its harder and more intimidating line at home and toward much of the rest of the world. If powers like the U.S. and Russia are reluctant to challenge China, goes the thinking in Beijing, who is tiny Hong Kong to do so?

Continue reading…

Commentary: ‘When you’re pushed around, what else can you do?’ – The dilemma of Hong Kong people in facing a big bully

Our friend the accountant is, typical of a certain sort of Hong Kong person, generally apolitical. Whatever else you might say about him, he certainly isn’t a rabble-rouser. But that was his sympathetic comment about Occupy Central: “When you’re pushed around, what else can you do?” To him, Occupy Central is a logical response to bullying: Either you back down and comply with the bully’s wishes, or you stand up to the bully- there isn’t much middle ground. In a nutshell, that is the dilemma Hong Kong faces at the moment—what to do with a big bully.

Continue reading