Britain soft on China over Hong Kong crisis, says Chris Patten

Territory’s last British governor says Beijing is being allowed to ‘spit in the face’ of handover pact because of trade fears

The Guardian, Wednesday 5 November

Britain is not putting enough pressure on China to stick to its side of an agreement on the transfer of Hong Kong’s sovereignty because it is worried about damaging trade links, the former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten has said.

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Patten criticises UK’s ‘keep shtoom’ policy on Hong Kong

BBC 4 November 2014

Lord Patten has said the UK should be doing more to support democracy in Hong Kong, suggesting its policy of “keeping shtoom” was counter-productive.

The last British governor of Hong Kong suggested the UK was reluctant to raise difficult issues with Beijing because of fears of losing trade opportunities.

Ministers should speak out publicly rather than talk “behind their hands”. Continue reading

“Address the appeal for democracy. Stop the threat of violence.”

Sent on behalf of the signatories

“Address the appeal for democracy.  Stop the threat of violence.”

– an open appeal to the Government of Chief Executive C.Y. Leung

Starting from yesterday, there were rampant speculations about the HKSAR authorities’ determination to use brutal force to remove protesters appealing for democracy in Hong Kong.  Prompted by their concern for the safety of students, a number of academics have issued calls for students to withdraw from the public demonstration to avoid risking their personal safety. We share those academics’ concerns, but would like to stress that the fundamental solution to the current saga should lie with concrete action by the authorities to address the people’s demand.

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Stop the Violence Or We Call Off the Talks

(Issued on 3.10.2014)

Stop the Violence Or We Call Off the Talks
HKFS, Scholarism and OCLP say that if the government does not immediately prevent the organised attacks on supporters of the Occupy movement, the students will call off dialogue on political reform with the government.

– See more at: http://oclp.hk/index.php?route=occupy/eng_detail&eng_id=38#sthash.LmJIoP5Y.dpuf

In response to the police “strong condemnation” of protesters for not allowing “food trucks to enter the CGO as “inhumane”

(Issued on 3.10.2014)

In response to the police “strong condemnation” of protesters for not allowing “food trucks to enter the CGO as “inhumane”, OCLP notes the condemnation follows the police refusal to allow protesters to assist in delivering food. This is highly unhelpful to establishing mutual trust.

Protesters have pointed to repeated deception by police, giving them the feeling the police are “crying wolf”. OCLP believes the people are discerning, and hope police management do not make things difficult for frontline police officers.

– See more at: http://oclp.hk/index.php?route=occupy/eng_detail&eng_id=37#sthash.JfrdQToq.dpuf

OCLP welcomes talks between students and the government

Press Release by Occupy Central with Love & Peace (issued on 3.10.2014)
OCLP welcomes talks between students and the government
Occupy Central with Love and Peae (OCLP) welcomes the news that Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam will meet with the students. OCLP hopes the talks can provide a turning point in the current political stalemate. We will fully support the students in the process.

OCLP respects the students’ position that they will concentrate on discussing political reform at the negotiating table. However, we reiterate our view that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is the one responsible for the stalemate, and that he must step down. In order to achieve real universal suffrage, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee must withdraw its decision on Hong Kong’s political reform.

OCLP Secretariat

Statement by Occupy Central with Love and Peace in Response to the Chief Executive

Press Release by Occupy Central with Love & Peace (issued on 04:15, 29.9.2014)

Statement by Occupy Central with Love and Peace in Response to the Chief Executive

Since Hong Kong citizens began to use civil disobedience as a means to struggle for universal suffrage, the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has refused to enter direct dialogue with the public. Instead, he has unilaterally spoken on television to criticize the Occupy Central movement. The Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) movement strongly condemns this, and believe Leung ‘s non-response to the people’s demands has driven Hong Kong into a crisis of disorder. OCLP strongly demands that Leung Chun-ying resign to create a space for political reform and to defuse the crisis in our society.

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Press Release by Occupy Central with Love & Peace (issued on 30.9.2014)

Consolidate results, continue the peaceful struggle

The courage, determination, peacefulness and orderliness shown by the spontaneous democratic occupy movement in Hong Kong in the past few days, have written a glorious page in the development of Hong Kong’s democracy. The Hong Kong people’s demand for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down and the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) to withdraw its framework for fake democracy is loud and clear. In order to consolidate the results we have achieved, the students and Occupy Central With Love and Peace (OCLP) urges all Hong Kong people to join us in guarding the main thoroughfares of our major sites of democracy: Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok.

These “Democracy Squares” are the results of the resistance of countless Hong Kong citizens in the face of police obstruction, and of the collected will of the people. We must concentrate our strength and protect them. The students and OCLP hope that when the time comes, we can all be steadfast in making our demands. The first one is for Leung Chun-ying to step down. If this happens, the government will naturally have to re-launch the five-step political reform process. Second is for the NPCSC to withdraw its decision. We deeply believe the Chinese government, which was established through the power of the people, can accommodate the will of the people, and allow Hong Kong to enjoy universal and fair elections – thereby wholly implementing Deng Xiaoping’s vision of Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong.

The results we have achieved so far have not come easily, the incident in Mong Kok in the early hours of this morning show us these results can easily be damaged by individual people. We urge everyone to come and participate in this movement, and to take up the role of guardians, or “everyone a steward”, so that we can ensure this diverse movement initiated by Hong Kong civil society is peaceful and safe. Also, there have been rumours, some of which are harmful to the movement have been spreading recently. We hope everyone can first verify such “news” with your prime source before spreading it.

Since the movement started, some medical personnel have volunteered to provide medical assistance to participants, yet their efforts have been unreasonably hampered by authorities. We attach great importance to each citizen’s rights to receive emergency medical treatment. Starting from today, our stewards will set up humanitarian corridors in the occupied areas, so that emergency vehicles can have access when they need it.

[和平佔中秘書處新聞稿] 2014年9月30日
 
 

鞏固成果  繼續和平抗爭

港人自發的香港民主佔領行動連日來展示的勇氣、決心,和平有序,為香港爭取民主發展寫下光輝一頁,要求行政長官梁振英下台及人大常委會撤回它在香港實行假普選的港人訴求,清晰響亮。為鞏固我們已經取得的成果,學界聯同和平佔中呼籲全港市民,明天(10月1日)與我們一起留守已佔領的民主大廣場:金鐘、銅鑼灣和旺角的主要道路。

民主大廣場是無數市民努力抵抗警方阻撓的成果,亦是民意的凝聚,我們必須集中力量守護。學界聯同和平佔中期望,大家屆時堅定地提出我們的訴求。一是梁振英下台,若此,政府自然要重啟政改五部曲;二是促請人大常委會撤回其有關行政長官普選的決定。我們深信靠人民力量起家的中國政府會順應民意,讓香港享有普及而平等的選舉,全面落實已故中國領導人鄧小平構思的港人治港。

現在的成果得來不易,今天凌晨在旺角發生的突發事件,讓我們明白到這些成果很易被個別人士的行為破壞。我們呼籲大家前來參與這場運動,並擔當守護角色,「人人是糾察」,讓我們確保這場由多元化的公民社會發起的運動是安全及和平的。另外,近來有不少不實的流言傳出,損害運動,我們希望大家在收到任何傳言時,先向消息來源核實,才再廣傳。

運動開始以來,有醫護人員自發為參與運動的市民,提供醫療援助但卻受到當局無理阻撓。我們重視每一位市民接受緊急救援的權利,從今日起,我們的糾察會沿著佔領的地方,設立人道走廊,讓緊急救援車輛在有需要時使用。

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.

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.

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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.”

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“Don’t let the striking students stand alone” – An appeal from and views of a group of teachers and staff at tertiary education institutes

Chinese

The August 31st decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Hong Kong’s Chief Executive election stated that the threshold for nomination would be the support of “more than half of Nominating Committee members”, that the number of candidates be limited to two or three, and that the composition of the Nominating Committee be based on the four sectors of the Election Committee. As teachers and as citizens, we are pained and outraged to see the advancement of democracy in Hong Kong stifled and suppressed. Even though it is unlikely that democratic universal suffrage can be realized in the short term, we absolutely must not give up. During these dark days, we must resolutely guard our stations and stand together to shoulder the responsibility of our time.

A new round of protests in the form of class boycotts is currently being discussed and planned in the education sector. When we look back at history, both in China and overseas, we see that student movements have been an important force in pushing for social progress. Our hope in Hong Kong’s future lies in the passion and spirit shown by our young people and their willingness to take up the mantle in the fight for democracy and social justice.

Yet, while the students are pure of heart, they have recently become subject to unreasonable smears and attacks. We appeal to all sectors of society, and particularly to our colleagues in the education field, to cherish the innocent hearts of the students – do not let them stand alone to face the white terror, give them our staunchest support and protection. During the class boycott action, every student should have freedom from fear.

Here follows some specific suggestions for consideration by colleagues:

  1. As citizens of society, tertiary students have the freedom ofassociation and expression; they have the right to express their opinions onpolitical issues and teachers should respect this. Student movements provide great opportunities for civic education. We suggest that teachers discuss issues with students in an interactive way and in an atmosphere of mutual respect; encourage students to care about society and to make independent and rational judgments.
  2. As class boycotts may affect day-to-day teaching, we call on teachers to be understanding of students’ difficulties. While upholding educational principles, we hope teachers can be lenient in dealing with student absences arising from class boycotts. We also suggest that teachers should, as much as possible, avoid setting any important tests or assignments during the period of the class boycott.
  3. We urge teachers to do as much as they can to allow striking students to catch up with their studies. For example, they could provide make-up classes, offer guidance and classroom audio/visual recordings to help students complete their academic requirements smoothly.
  4. Colleagues in the education sector and other sectors of society can show their support to the striking students during the period of the class boycott by wearing yellow ribbons.

Link