1st Jan 2013 – Major protest in Hong Kong

This protest was first talked about by a bunch of netizens who detest China Government’s illegal (according to Basic Law and Sino-British Joint Declaration) influence in Hong Kong. These people started talking about a protest on the new year’s day back in around November 2012.

Unfortunately, various political parties heard about this protest and started taking credit for this by claiming that they initiated it. Those who are truly independent and initiated it were not happy about it but if these politicians and organisations genuinely want to make Hong Kong a better place and share the same view (Mr. CY Leung, the Chief Executive of HKSAR to step down, universal suffrage, and a referendum on people’s constitutions), there is nothing to worry about.

The truth is, demonstration has long been dominated by a handful of political organisations. Every march in Hong Kong follows the same routine: gather at Victoria Park (the largest public park on Hong Kong Island, which is close to the heart of the government HQ) , then walk along the main roads which will be blockaded by the police ahead of time, within a certain period of time people in the rally have to arrive at a designated protest zone -> the “organiser” announces that the demonstration is a success (yet what’s been achieved is always the question) and urges protesters to go home…

This is exactly why nothing ever results from the numerous protests in Hong Kong in the past 15 years – Hong Kong is a colony of the People’s Republic of China, which is communist, perhaps more preciously, dictatorship. No dictator would ever listen to its people unless riots and violent demonstration kicks off.

“If you make peaceful revolution impossible you make violent revolution inevitable” – J.F. Kennedy

Somehow, people in Hong Kong are always very proud of themselves for being “peaceful, rational, and non-violent” during demonstration. They condemn the slightest anomaly (e.g. shouting at the police so that they will allow people to continue to rally) in a rally.

The “protest” in the 1st January 2013 march were once again hijacked by a political organisation. It seems like no body dares to walk on the street without a couple of “leaders”. Unfortunately, given their standard formula of demonstration, it was a complete failure, once again. Nothing’s achieved, nothings changed.

This year, a very very different form of protest happened. Around a dozen or twenty people who were wearing Guy Fawkes masks marched down to the cross road in the middle of Central, the centre of the Hong Kong Island and the financial and business centre of the city-state.

They sit down in the middle of the cross-road on a public holiday during non peak hour, blockading two main roads to make a clear statement to Hong Kong people, SAR government and international media that they are no longer content with what’s happening to their home.

This is the reason I detailed the “standard way” of Hong Kong style demonstration earlier. This group of Vs (V for Vendetta) is not from any sort of organisation, and they have one thing in common – passionate about Hong Kong, their home. Here’s an impromptu statement given by one of them who holds a handheld amplifier gave on the spot. In short, he was raising the questions about why Hong Kong people are tolerating the SAR government’s incompetence.

Very soon, people who were walking on the street started shouting at the masked protesters:

“You have the right to protest, but you should protest outside the government headquarters!”
“It’s wrong to cause inconvenience to people who aren’t in the protest! If you want CY Leung to step down, go to the Government House and tell him!””You people have nothing better to do! A bunch of losers!”
“You are blockading the road making your point, and I can’t go home!”

I was watching all these and feeling heart broken – why are these people so blind? There is no violence involved in this demonstration, and yet people do not appreciate what some of them put their liberty and safety behind to fight for them? (One of them got arrested at the end)

There were some, however, who read about the masked protesters online (Facebook, online media, etc), and went down to support.

The masked protesters were soon surrounded by police – no more than 20 masked protesters and over 200 hundred police officers. The protesters were about to retreat and head for another spot, and one of them who was further away from the rest was tackled by at least one police officer like in a rugby game, and fall over.

Soon, other organised groups went to the same location. They had no choice because the police were blockading all the routes to the Government House, and all these routes were agreed by the police when the organisers applied for the demonstration. The police blockaded all the roads, which major traffic go by 24 hours, and soon one of the representatives of the police force went on TV and condemned the protesters for disrupting the peace. Kwok-Hung Leung (nickname: Long Hair), one of the Legislative Council members participated in numerous demonstrations, was surrounded by over 300 hundred police in the middle of the road on his own, and was later on charged for illegal assembly.

In different parts of Central, some of the protesters were trapped between police cordons, and one senior officer (recorded on tape) shouted at the protesters that “do not let them leave” and ordered his subordinates to surround the protesters.

VJMedia, an independent online media (relatively new), published a very detail and probably the most unbiased article illustrating the details of what exactly happened during the march. I’m not translating it here, but if i receive any request (even one!) I’ll translate it for the English readers.

Please leave your comments.

Freedoms erode – a blatant violation of the Basic Law and Sino-British Joint Declaration

In light of recent rapid decline in freedoms in Hong Kong, the people of Hong Kong must not stand and watch Hong Kong burn. That’s why Hong Kongers took it to the street and the demonstration on 1st January 2013 opened a new chapter of Hong Kong’s continuous battle for freedom and universal suffrage.

I believe that every human being is born free. Before I go into the details of the demonstration, it’s important for me to talk about how freedoms in Hong Kong erode after the handover of sovereignty in 1997.

In the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law stated clearly that Hong Kongers’ freedoms are protected:

Sino-British Joint Declaration

(5) The current social and economic systems in Hong Kong will remain unchanged, and so will the life-style. Rights and freedoms, including those of the person, of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of travel, of movement, of correspondence, of strike, of choice of occupation, of academic research and of religious belief will be ensured by law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Private property, ownership of enterprises, legitimate right of inheritance and foreign investment will be protected by law.

The Basic Law

Article 27
Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of speech, of the press and of publication; freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration; and the right and freedom to form and join trade unions, and to strike.

Article 28
The freedom of the person of Hong Kong residents shall be inviolable.

No Hong Kong resident shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful arrest, detention or imprisonment. Arbitrary or unlawful search of the body of any resident or deprivation or restriction of the freedom of the person shall be prohibited. Torture of any resident or arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of the life of any resident shall be prohibited.

The truth is, the freedoms we enjoy in Hong Kong is gradually being taken away. Not ripped from us all at the same time, but bit by bit…

News reports (over the past years) are clear evidence of these. A few recent news reports are used below to outline what’s been going on in Hong Kong. You’d notice that only one publication is quoted – this is another evidence of the self-censorship amongst the Hong Kong media. Note: some other publications follow up with these reports, and a number of them are relatively unbiased whilst some completely ignore any of the above and continue supporting the Hong Kong SAR government and the China government.

Apple Daily (8th Jan, 2013) “Limiting access to records of registered companies, stops media from investigating and confirming identities – harms public interest”

Investigative journalism is important to a free nation, where people are informed the stories that matter to their livelihood.

Apple Daily (1st Aug, 2012) – Mr Paul CHAN Mo-po, Secretary for Development, was found to own sub-division flats under a company (sub-division flats are illegal in Hong Kong). In light of this scandal, the government stopped the public, including journalists, from obtaining drivers’ identity via going through records of licence plate number. (Mr. CHAN, who’s also recorded in camera for drink driving, is free from any prosecution and charges Apple Daily (4th Oct, 2012))

Apple Daily (13th Dec 2012) – End of 2012, Apple Daily also exposed a massive scandal about “ditch oil” (basically “processed” used oil that’s dumped by restaurants (some even “collect” it from the drains, hence the name), it’s proven to be cancer causing and China has been producing and selling within China for years). The story revealed that a China company has been selling ditch oil to at least one Hong Kong distributor and many restaurant chains have been using such oil. This China company is owned by a State-Owned-Enterprise, which emerged in recent years and already became one of the largest (cooking) oil companies in the PRC.

When the newspaper further investigated the matter in China, the journalists were taken to the police in China and threatened they will not be welcome to China if they report the story. One of the China journalists who first uncovered the ditch oil in the first place was found dead with multiple stab wounds soon after the news was published. The ditch oil business is believed to be owned by the powerful.

Censorship in Hong Kong is not done by the government nor in the form of active involvement. With the number of newspaper in Hong Kong, only one or maybe two would report government’s inadequacy or scandals related to local government officials as well as the government in China.

I’ll follow with another piece about the 1st Jan 2013 demonstration, and media in Hong Kong once again were clearly categorised into two groups: pro-China (the majority) and pro-democracy (minority).

Please leave your comments.