Hong Kong’s Democratic Movement – A Unique Protest Culture that Guarantees Success Never

Hong Kong’s Democratic Movement – A Unique Protest Culture that Guarantees Success Never

Source: Guardian

When one thinks of protest, one can picture that the people are unsatisfied by the government and have decided to take action over certain matters, to show the government (whether or not elected democratically by the people) that what it is doing is against the will of the people. Ultimately, the function of a protest is to make the government listen to the people, with the implicit threat that otherwise the people will make sure their demands are met – even if that means overthrowing the government.

We have seen thousands and thousands of protests in the world, and many end in bloodshed. It is no doubt sad but one has to pay a price for what one wants, and on the road to democracy and to freedom, prices often are high. Yes, blood will be shed, and yes those in power, democratically elected or not, will most certainly use propaganda to label the protests as “violent” or “irrational”. However, when a government goes against the peoples will’, or worse, betrays its people, the rational response is to behave “irrationally” – it is only human nature. After all, not all violence is visible and will directly cause death: bloodless violence does not mean that no harm is done. This type of violence carried out by a regime, or by people in power, will almost certainly trigger violence led by angry people – the people who no longer trust the government and doubt the credibility of those in power.

People protest with the aim of changing what is wrong in society. People want to make sure the changes happen. For better or worse, changes will bring new ideas to the regime, or even a new government that will listen to the people and respect their will. Demonstrations reinforce to those in power the fact that it is the people who give the government the privilege to serve, reminding the world of the foundations of democracy: A government is accountable to its people.

We have seen how Ukrainians rejected their government earlier this year. Of course we have all seen the videos of musicians playing music in front of fully-armed police troopers. Of course we have all watched the videos of Ukrainians explaining to the world what they are trying to achieve. All of these seemed peaceful and rational. However, when their voices were not heard, they marched on. They threw rocks at the police, who are supposed to be the servants of the people and protect the people, but instead were obeying a regime that ordered them to kill civilians. The police used their truncheons on the people, and snipers shot to kill.

The word “riot” is always used by governments seeking to bolster their own legitimacy in the face of a people who have decided that they will no longer accept their lies and betrayals! Words are amazing things: they control how the public see a certain issue, they plant ideas in our minds without us knowing, they are the best invention for those in power to continue brutality, and they are the killing machines which those who are high up deploy to manipulate the world’s point of view in the international arena.

In Hong Kong, the situation is completely different. Not that Hongkongers do not wish to have democracy, not that the government is less tyrannical than others, not that there are not protests. The key difference is the existence of “professional protesters”. These are those who take pains to appear to be helping Hongkongers on different issues: may it be broad topics like referendum and democracy, or local-scale issues like the construction of incinerators or the expansion of land-fills in certain areas. However, their goal is to take control (or hijack) the issue by representing the people. These people are high profile and are shape themselves as the frontline fighters in Hong Kong.

They violate the natural rules of protest. They promote peaceful, rational, non-(physically) violent and non-verbally-violent protests, but all these strictures apply only to protesters: That is to say that when the police use violence against protesters, they would tell protesters to remain non-violent and accept their fate – to be brutalised.

How do they do that? Let’s sum it up in a ten step routine they apply to EVERY PROTEST:

  1. An issue is brought up, and a small concern group is formed by the individuals being affected directly by the issue (e.g. Northeast New Territories Development Plan which will affect some villagers more directly than others, but it is important to acknowledge that the Plan will dissolve Hong Kong’s border which will lead to a catastrophic butterfly effect – so the issue is broader than it is being portrayed to the public)
  2. “Professional protesters” get involved and present themselves to be the approachable “protest experts” to the concern group
  3. When the “protest” comes around, the “professional protesters” will allow the concern group/the subject of the matter to speak on stage to attract more people and media, generating public support. These “protesters” will wait for the perfect moment, very patiently, sometimes days for days (e.g. the anti brainwashing-national-education-curriculum protest)
  4. When the moment comes, the “professional protesters” will take to the stage and hijack the protest
  5. The “professional protesters” will make a moving statement praising the concern group/affected individuals for their courage and determination to take the matter on, making everyone’s blood boil and bringing the atmosphere to a climax
  6. The “professional protesters” will then call for a photo opportunity for the media to take pictures to commemorate the event – a trophy for them, as their image as frontline fighters is reinforced once again
  7. They then will give the stage back to the concern group, and begin negotiating with them what the next step should be, behind the scenes. The group and the supporters will be left there to carry on chanting, shouting slogans, or worse, singing songs. They will talk the concern group down and the typical reasons they give to call it a day are, “we have achieved a great deal” (the ultimate goal is far from being achieved!), “you guys are really tired”, “the government and the public have heard our voice”, “let’s be strategic and focus our energy on our next move”, “the public is clearly on our side, look at the turnout!”
  8. The tired concern groups are talked down and their passion is weakened. Because of the “credibility” these “professional protesters” enjoy, the concern group believes in the key advice given by these “protest experts” – it is a long term game
  9. When they persuade the concern group successfully, the “professional protesters” retake the stage and announce on behalf of the concern group that, “we have made our voice heard today/tonight! We could not have done all this without you and the support of the people of Hong Kong, right? (every one shouts YEAH!)” and then, “let’s give ourselves a round of applause!”
  10. The “professional protesters” will then talk their way out and conclude the protest. The protest ends peacefully without challenging the regime, the government, the people in power – in fact the protest is concluded without achieving any of the goals originally set, let alone any demands being fulfilled.

Protests in Hong Kong end peacefully, every time, but no one ever asks why even though 99% of these protests preserve the status quo. No one follows up, and the “professional protesters” carry on looking for other topics and issues to dominate in order to build their reputations as the “face of democracy, and the power of the people” despite the fact that they have done, almost always, more harm than good.

Truth be told, people’s movements require no leader. Unfortunately, Hongkongers do not seem to be able to function without a leader in any circumstances – that is exactly why many Hongkongers began to use the term “Kong-sheep” to describe ourselves: desperate to follow.

In some recent occasions, anonymous protesters have volunteered to participate in protests even though the subject matter does not directly affect them. These protesters do not buy into the routine “professional protesters” practice throughout all these years, but believe that when the government is dysfunctional and can no longer be trusted, the people should overthrow it.

Source: Daily Telegraph

To Hong Kong’s eternal grief, these volunteers are always abandoned on-site without fail. The “professional protesters” will always stop them by taking the moral high grond: “this is not what the concern group wants! They want a peaceful and rational protest!” “Violence is bad in any circumstances (no matter what the government has done and what bloodless violence the regime has engaged in)!” All these may sound perfect at the point when a true peoples’ movement begins, but to a dictatorship or a government that is not accountable to its people, it is more than music to their ears!

Without disrupting the system by disobeying those in power, the people have zero chance to achieve what they demand – something these volunteering protesters understand. They are bold, but at the same time, they understand how corrupt the authorities and uniformed forces are. That is why they want to protect themselves with masks or cover – what we see as “black bloc” in many protests. However, the “professional protesters” will jump out to condemn these individuals as spies planted by the authorities and convince the “subjects of the protest (concern group)” to believe their story.

The individuals volunteering as protesters risk their personal safety for what they believe in, and for the concern group’s interests. However, they are being dismissed and often betrayed by the “professional protesters”.

Often times, lawmakers, who come across as being pro-democracy (a stand which once taken seems to lend a teflon quality to all adopters), are the first to condemn these “irrational acts” and even side with the authority to “prevent” any “violence” from happening again by endorsing the reinforcement of security around these events. Some even criticise protesters for wearing masks (surgical or otherwise Guy Fawkes masks) and demand that them surrender themselves to the police. If you read the news, you will find out who these people are.

Source: The Telegraph

Traitors of the people often come in disguise. Only when we realise who those traitors are can we break free from the burdens that have been laid on us all over the past decades, and really take control of the society that we want to make better.

If we continue to believe that the representatives in the legislative council will be able to resolve our problems, and lower our guard, we will be sold out. Because many of them, politicians or “experts”, are no different from the corrupt. Perhaps with the exception of the care with which they have painted their masks to gain the seats that you and I pay for.

20/Oct Demonstration – Justice for HKTV Hijacked by Pseudo Lift-wingers

The police in Hong Kong said there were 20,000 took it to the street yesterday, but being there from the early time (skipped the rally, but went straight to the Government Headquarter) to observe the flow, I am pretty sure that the number was closer to 80,000 or even 120,000.

Why did people take it to the street? According to BBC: “Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Hong Kong to protest against what they see as a lack of government transparency and accountability”. My attention was drawn to two words in this sentence “they see” – It’s either the journalist failed to investigate into the core of the issue, or they simply cannot be asked to report about Hong Kong properly. If that’s the case, do us all Hong Konger a favour, don’t report at all.

There’s a trend here, since the handover of sovereignty:

  • The HKSAR government dropped all charges against Sally Aw claiming that her prosecution involves “major public interest” and didn’t give any further explanation
  • Timothy Tong’s case is still lingering after all the evidence has been pulled out
  • The government continues to allow ATV to operate despite major scandals and horrendious quality of TV production (e.g. reporting a false exclusive story on Jiang Zemin’s death, producing close to zero programmes but repeatedly broadcasting the same shows over and over again for years)

Exactly why ATV still holds one of the two free-to-air TV channel licenses is beyond believe. Bear in mind the fact that HKTV only applied for an free-to-air TV license that does not take up any of the public air wave, meaning that even if HKTV can get the license, people won’t be able to watch any of the programmes without a decoder box.

The Executive Council refused to disclose details about the evaluation and claimed that it’s all confidential. When public interest is involved, the government has the obligation to disclose details to ensure that the fairness and transparency of the evaluation is understood. If there is nothing to hide, of course!

Reports have been leaked, and all pointing to the fact that the recommendation made by independent consultant(s) and Executive Council’s original proposal was to issue licenses to all three applicants, including HKTV. Why the sudden change of tune? Why only iCable and PCCW, two telecommunications giants that have pretty much dominated the industry for years, are granted the licenses?

Ricky Wong, HKTV’s founder, years ago founded CTI which basically targeted the telecommunications industry and forced the then monopoly, PCCW, to engage in a price war – introducing competition in the market and bring the service prices of  internet and international direct dial (IDD) down dramatically. We used to pay US$2 a minute for IDD back then if not more. Now, we can spend no more than US$0.1 a minute!

Combining the fact that Li Ka-shing, the ultimate owner of PCCW, had been saying to the market that he’s going to sell off a couple local businesses, including ParkNShop, which triggered the market’s nerves – IS LI KA-SHING RETREATING FROM HONG KONG?

Coincidentally, Li announced that he’s not selling ParkNShop after all, soon after the license was granted to PCCW.

This is only one conspiracy theory, but I believe there’s a lot more behind – the China government has no doubt be involved in the TV license matter. Why would China, which has been suppressing the language and the free thoughts of Hong Kongers, be happy to see a TV channel that only service the people of Hong Kong? Soft power can easily be created once again if Hong Kong’s TV drama became internationally recognised – back in the 70s and 80s, Hong Kong movies, TV series and songs were known to our neighbourhood countries (Japan, Malaysia, Korea, etc) as well as the Western countries. This has long gone.

Once again, I cannot help but start to feel the creepiness of this all – about how a tyrannical regime controls the people by altering the language and making it impossible for the people to think…

Mind you, as long as the Chinese government continue this global brainwashing programme, the free thinkers in the world will cease to exist… Doesn’t take too long, a couple of generations, all people fought for and democracy and freedoms that you and I cherish will perish.

I’m not sure if you’ve experienced a demonstration or a rally in Hong Kong. The script is pre-set, and that’s exactly why we still haven’t achieved anything from all these festival and weekend parades:

First people walk from Victoria Park or thereabout, then arrive at the Government Headquarter or China-Hong Kong Liaison Office, then shout slogans a little, then start singing songs (same old songs every year, including “Do you hear the people sing”, I kid you not), then the organiser would announce “Our voice has been heard. We’ve achieved interim progress. We shall continue to fight, but now that we should all rest before the next round of protest.”

There organisers are the pseudo lift-wingers (I’d try to write a bit more about this), that the Hong Kongers called them “left plastic”. “Plastic” in Cantonese is “Gaau1”, and it sounds just like 鳩 (Gau1), a rude word that refers to penis, but most often used to refer stupid, dumb and useless gits. So instead of “swearing”, we often call someone “plastic” if he/she does something dumb – the full term, in case you’re interested, is “Ngaang6 Gau1”, which literally means “hard plastic”.

Here’s the emotion icon for of calling someone “hard plastic”, widely used in Golden Forum, and can simply be replaced by this one :o)

So these “left plastics” aim at essentially achieving nothing – in any society with 100,000 people participating in a demonstration, it can essentially overthrow a government. Not in Hong Kong! These left plastics aim at raising money for themselves (obviously) and most importantly “raising their own profile” and created the illusion that they represent the people of Hong Kong, and the proxy of all social movements.

At the demonstration yesterday (20 Oct 2013), however, when two of these left plastics (they are new faces, as the public resentment against the well known left plastics grows) hijacked the stage of the HKTV staff (started encouraging people to leave the government HQ and proposed their “plans” as if they are in charge of the movement), someone went up to the stage and tell them to stand down and give the stage back to HKTV which should be in charge. This brave man has done a good job by telling them off, and was supported by many. There was a little incident happened at the same time that NO MEDIA reported – another young man went up to the stage and waved the pre-97 Hong Kong flag (with the union jack at the corner), and shouted “Hong Kong should declare independence!”.

Of course he was arrested#, but I wonder what happened to him?

Over and out

# Sorry, thanks to a reader’s comment, this chap was taken off stage, not arrested. Please see comment of this blog post