Basic Tenets

Hong Kong people deserve better
If you’d only turn the page

What type of a Hong Kong person are you?

1. Long working hours. Barely making ends meet. Mortgaged to the hilt. Outrageous rent for tiny cubicle flat.

2. Law-abiding. Respectful of rules and regulations. Yet witness to a Chief Executive and Senior Officials playing havoc with their public duties.

3. Hong Kong, your only home. Values high-degree of autonomy. Falling victim to collusion of big business and political interests, and blatant intrusion from Central regime.

4. Faith in democratization. Fully expectant of long-promised universal suffrage. Say “No” to “democracy with Chinese characteristics”.

If you can identify yourself with one of the above, please join the movement of Occupy Central for bringing changes to Hong Kong. Let’s work together and break the deadlock.

Occupy Central with Love and Peace – Basic Tenets

Goal

The election of the Chief Executive beginning in 2017 by universal suffrage consistent with accepted international standards. Specifics should include :

a. Right to vote ;

b. Each voter has an equal number of votes and with equal weight, and ;

c. Right to stand for office with no unreasonable restrictions.

Values

Democracy

Civic Participation

Non-Violence

Process

Public deliberation , Public authorization , Dialogue and Negotiation , Civil disobedience

a. Public deliberation

Participants deliberate on the Occupy Central movement and political reform options.

b. Public authorization

One or more political reform options emerge out of the deliberation and subjected to popular voting for confirmation.

c. Dialogue and Negotiation

The option which enjoys the strongest public mandate is presented to the SAR government and the Central Authorities through political parties, civic organizations and campaigns. At the end of these negotiations, the proposal is once again subject to a process of public authorization before voting by the Legislative Council in accordance with public opinion.

d. Civil disobedience

Should the Central Authorities renege on its pledge of genuine universal suffrage, the Occupy Central movement will demonstrate the disapproval of Hong Kong people by occupying the Central District peacefully.

FAQ

1. What do you mean by Civil Disobedience?

a. Civil disobedience is an act of conscience, actively refusing to comply with a law, decree or order that is unreasonable and unjust, but without resorting to violence.

b. Civil disobedience acts in the interest of the public and is peaceful and non-violent.

c. The person acting in civil disobedience is prepared to accept due penalty. The act is therefore not a challenge to the rule of law. Rather, it is an attempt to get the public to reflect on whether the existing law and order meets the requirement of justice.

2. Why resort to civil disobedience in the struggle for universal suffrage?

a. A Chief Executive elected only by a small circle of select persons lacks legitimacy and the government thus formed is not subject to public scrutiny. People are unwilling to give it their support. Without public mandate, the Chief Executive finds it difficult to resist special interests or take a firm stand on controversial issues. The capacity for effective governance is compromised.

b. The existing system is unjust because it puts Hong Kong citizens into two classes. A tiny few have the right to elect the Chief Executive. The rest, the overwhelming majority, are kept out. With the 2017 Chief Executive election, should some kind of candidate screening device be introduced in order to keep out certain persons, it would be near impossible to secure the necessary two-thirds vote for passage in the legislature.

c. Should this happen, the existing unjust system will carry on and society will continue on its downward fall. Hong Kong will become ungovernable. When people lose hope in political progress, social conflicts worsen, despair takes over, and many leave for good. This city is standing right on the edge of a political cliff. We have to resort to the extraordinary means of civil disobedience. This is a prophetic call to the entire community of Hong Kong.

3. How do you ensure Occupy Central will remain peaceful and non-violent?

a. We have the assurance of past events. 1 million marched in protest over the June 4 massacre of 1989. 500,000 took to the streets against the legislative enactment of Article 23. And over 100,000 assembled to defeat the introduction of national education. And through-out, on all these occasions, there was no unrest. Peaceful and non-violent protest is a strong Hong Kong tradition, which does us proud.

b. To further drive home the message of non-violence, Occupy Central organizers have spent close to one year spreading the word of peaceful protest. Every participant of Occupy Central has to sign a pledge, committing himself or herself against the exercise of bodily and verbal conflict in confrontation with the authorities. Participants acting otherwise automatically rule themselves out of the movement.

c. Mandatory workshops on the art and skill of non-violence will be provided to participating citizens. On-line offers are also being considered. The training deals with the idea of non-violence, and the management of emotions, of ourselves, of fellow protesters and of law enforcers.

d. Hundreds of stewards will be deployed during Occupy Central to prevent rowdy behavior by or instigated by by-standers. The protest venue will be served with means of instant communication. Civility will be the hallmark of the day.

4. Will Occupy Central likely lead to violent suppression?

a. Occupy Central is an exercise of peaceful and non-violent civil disobedience. In case of participants being arrested, no resistance will be offered.

b. Given the strength of the Hong Kong Police establishment, the government has the capacity to arrest all the protesters in a matter of one or two days without resorting to force. There is no need to summon the People’s Liberation Army.

c. Should the government see fit to use brutal force, the response of civic disobedience is one of “peaceful non-response”. Should circumstances warrant, protesters might together turn themselves in in group formation.

5. Will Occupy Central bring the central business district to a halt, causing heavy financial damage?

a. When Martin Luther King led the boycott of bus companies in southern United States for discrimination against black people, business suffered loss. Occupy Central might conceivably bring about certain inconvenience to members of the public. Is this a fair price to pay for the cause of justice? This is an assessment you and I must make in the light of the values we embrace.

b. If Occupy Central participants number in several thousands, it is probable the police could complete their arrest action within the span of one day. Impact on the public would be equivalent to that of a typical typhoon.

c. Should tens of thousands turn out to Occupy Central, the primary concern of the authorities would have to be different. Then it would not be a matter of arresting or dispersing the protesters. It would be a matter of moving towards introducing genuine universal suffrage, awakening to the fact that the executive and legislative authorities of this city have long been usurped by a small clique of privileged power brokers, that this could no longer be tolerated, and that failure to act would incur even more draconian social loss.

6. How can I participate in Occupy Central?

You and every Hong Kong citizen can participate in Occupy Central:

a. by giving support to those participating in civil disobedience, without yourself engaging in the act ;

b. by undertaking civil disobedience but would not voluntarily turn yourself in or waive the right of defense in court ;

c. by engaging in civil disobedience, by turning yourself in to the authorities and by waiving the right to defense.

Whatever your option, the cardinal requirement for participation is non-violence and steadfast refusal to engage in bodily and verbal conflict with law enforcers and provocateurs.

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