Monthly Archives: November 2014

Hong Kong risks descending into a police state–and the “Shopping Revolution”

[Updated on Mar 2, 2016]

See arrest by appointment. See police action after the Fishball protests.

[June 7, 2016] Approval ratings of the police continue to decline 港大民研:警隊評分創四年新低

[May 31, 2016] See how decadent police and pro-establishment camp have become

[Mar 2, 2016] The police arrested 1003 individuals, only 74 were convicted 佔領行動1003人被捕 僅74人定罪

[Feb 24, 2016] The police to receive a big boost in budget 警隊本年度超支 3 億元 來年預算開支再增 2 億 行動單位增幅最高

[Feb 5, 2016] More shaky police testimony at hearings of Occupy-related cases

[Dec 31, 2015] CY Leung appoints pro-Beijing member to police watchdog body IPCC:

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has appointed four members, including anti-Occupy activist Barry Chin Chi-yung, onto the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC). The IPCC is an independent statutory body responsible for monitoring and reviewing the investigation of complaints against members of the Police Force. 

[Dec. 10, 2015] UN Committee Against Torture urges gov’t to ‘duly prosecute’ police who used excessive force during Occupy

[Dec. 6, 2015] Google refused govt request to delete police brutality videos last year警方要求YouTube移除去年涉警車內毆打疑犯短片遭拒

[Nov. 22, 2015]  Wen Wei Po reports that the Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association Chairperson Ngo Chi-hang has distributed four posters featuring pictures of disciplinary forces engaged in frontline law enforcement work, including one of the pro-democracy Occupy movement.  The posters ask the force and their friends and their families to “cast a ballot you will not regret”, vote for “a candidate that contributes to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and only let “someone who does real work for the society” onto the Council. (HKFP)

[Oct. 15, 2015] Ken Tsang’s case: The police belatedly charges not only the 7 officers who beat him up a year ago, but also Tsang himself:

Seven police officers who allegedly beat up Occupy protester charged, one year on

Occupy activist allegedly assaulted by police to be charged with assaulting policeOccupy activist charged with assaulting and obstructing 15 police officers after ‘splashing liquid’ ; Yes to charges against cops but govt hits back with a low blow

Justice Sec’s says ‘no political considerations’ in Ken Tsang beating case, draws disbelief

‘Support the seven police officers’: Pro-gov’t groups rally to commemorate anti-Occupy movement

Having Ken Tsang and the seven police officers in court on the same day is not procedurally fair

Hong Kong democracy activists plan UN case over police ‘torture’

Amnesty: Ensure due process in case of protester assaulted by police

Satire Harmonious Hong Kong brings adversaries together for a fair cop-out

TVB reporters who caught the beating on film resisted order to tone down the incident and change wordings  (2014年10月15日 時事脈搏 無綫記者公開信:與高層分歧遭刪字眼(附全文))

Benson Tsang: Ken Tsang was handcuffed and then carried to the dark corner for beating (當時曾健超已經被捕並扣上手銬,根本已經沒有反抗能力,但一班警察竟然在眾目睽睽下將曾健超「齊心協力」抬到「暗角打鑊」。… 曾健超被捕後不是被帶上警車,竟然由一班「警員」有默契地將他反手背向天,然後抬往超過一百米以外的「喑角」毆打)

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[Nov. 21, 2015] UN Committee Against Torture questions HK police’s use of force during Occupy protest

[Nov 10, 2015] Hong Kong gov’t mulls greater powers for surveillance commissioner

Proposed amendments to the Interception of Communications and Surveillance Ordinance will give Hong Kong’s Commissioner on the Interception of Communications and Surveillance greater oversight into the conduct of the territory’s law enforcement agencies. In a set of recommendations submitted to the Legislative Council, the Security Bureau recommends empowering the Commissioner’s Office to use wiretapping and other eavesdropping devices to monitor law enforcement agencies for illegal breaches of Hongkongers’ privacy.

[Oct. 23, 2015]  Police abused their power when filming protester at close range, watchdog report finds

[Sep 27, 2015] Hong Kong police ‘friend’ request: force launches Facebook page to overcome post-Occupy negativity:

“Forcebook”, as some are already calling it… a primary aim is to re-build public confidence in the 28,000-strong force that went from heroes to zeros with a large section of the community thanks to their controversial handling of the Occupy protests that started a year ago this weekend…In December last year, a survey by the University of Hong Kong showed the police were the least popular among the city’s disciplined services… Another HKU poll, released in June this year, said the gap between the proportion of people satisfied with the police force and those dissatisfied with it was at its narrowest since the 1997 handover.

[Oct. 5] Not ‘liked’ genuinely enough: critical comments bombard the Hong Kong police force’s new Facebook page ; Police warn of ‘criminal consequences’ after Facebook page is flooded with abuse

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[Sep 25, 2015] A policeman quits because the police have lost political neutrality【一年.同袍說】警隊中立不再 離職警員:無法認同同僚所為 vs a policewoman’s defense 香港警察,無處安放的「政治中立」誰伴我闖蕩 vs. 南柯一夢

[Sep. 26] 傘後.一年》:警棍下的傷痕

[Sep 26, 2015] Legal scholar calls for database of false police testimony after Occupy cases reveal unreliability

[Sep 25] Action sought on cops who bear false witness against protesters

only 209 or 22 percent of the 955 protesters arrested during the Umbrella Movement have been prosecuted as of July, Ming Pao Daily reported. Also, 40 of the 140 cases in which a verdict was delivered ended up with the charges dismissed or the defendants exonerated, the report said.

[Sep. 24] [一年.檢控統計】佔領200控罪審結 定罪率不足三成 濫控錯漏多

[Sep. 26] Dubious police evidence against Hong Kong Occupy protesters has shifted burden of proof in court cases: “Strange”, “dubious” and “impossible” are among the adjectives magistrates have used in dismissing police evidence in other cases against Occupy participants.

[Sep. 23] [一年 ‧ 警亂作供】檢控佔領者 警員證供屢被法官指不可信、矛盾、不符影片

[Sep 24] Police watchdog yet to investigate 7 officers behind alleged beating of Occupy protester, 10 months on

[Sep 15] Occupy protester who ‘jogged’ towards police lines found not guilty:  

A 27-year-old chef who was accused by police of charging cordon lines “at a jogging pace” during the pro-democracy Occupy protests last October has been found not guilty of obstructing a police officer… The footage then showed him running to avoid being hit by police pepper spray… He then fell over and was subdued by the police. The evidence contradicted the testimony given by police officer Ho Yu-hin, who claimed that the defendant repeatedly charged police cordon lines. Ho also said that he had assisted in overpowering the defendant, but there was no sign of Ho throughout the video.

[Sep 14-5] Police rewrite history of 1967 Red Guard riotsWhy are the police tampering with 1967 riots history?以過來人身份為警改六七暴動史護航 葉國謙:難道手無寸鐵的學生也是「暴徒」?

[July 20]  Police ask watchdog to review finding cop assaulted protesters with video

The Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO), part of the police force, has suggested Hong Kong’s police watchdog reconsider its decision that a senior officer assaulted Occupy protesters last year, Apple Daily reported. On July 10, the members of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) concluded on a 12-6 vote that Superintendent Chu King-wai used his baton to beat two passersby during a clearing operation in Mong Kok in November and was suspected of abusing his power.

[July 22] Used baton as ‘extension of my arm’, says police officer

[July 23] Police watchdog upholds ruling that top officer assaulted Occupy protester

[July 23] Police officers are ‘bullied’ by provocative protesters, claims police watchdog chairman

[July 16]  A Hong Kong Woman Just Got Convicted of Assaulting a Police Officer With Her Breast The extent of the officer’s physical injuries was not revealed;  Protesters march to High Court over ‘breast assault’ conviction

[July 27]  Public trust in police force reaches new low – survey

[June 11]  HKU POP releases popularity figures of Hong Kong disciplinary forces and the PLA Hong Kong Garrison

[June 16] Civil groups urge police reforms after damning Occupy report http://www.ejinsight.com/20150616-civil-groups-urge-police-reforms-after-alleged-occupy-incidents/

In a report titled “Police Power in Umbrella Movement”, Professional Commons, a non-profit public think tank, said police excesses may have led to at least 2,067 citizens suffering physical or mental trauma.

The report, which was prepared in association with Hong Kong In-Media, an online media group, covered the period between September 26 and December 15 last year, when police sought to quell the Occupy street protests with a heavy hand, Apple Daily reported.

Professional Commons and Hong Kong In-Media jointly set up a database on police violence to help victims seek justice. ….

The report also pointed out that only 48 of the 955 arrested protesters during the occupy Movement, or 5.03 percent, have been prosecuted as of May, compared to the 12-86 percent prosecution rate range for protesters each year in the past.

In addition, people were convicted in only 11 of 32 cases where a verdict has been delivered. That marks a conviction rate of 34 percent, also clearly lower than the 47-53 percent range before.

The figures suggest that the police had abused their power in making arrests, the report said.

A FB page that posts videos showing police violence 嚴正要求警方停止暴力對待市民

The Civic Front asks the police watchdog to produce reports on alleged abuses during the umbrella movement:

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[Feb. 27] Amnesty voices concern over HK freedom of gathering & speech  港警佔領十二宗罪 違反《人權法案》

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The Decline of Hong Kong’s Police: It’s becoming the long arm of Chinese law

[July 9] Justice re: police violence against protestors? Retiring police official in alleged assault faces review (with video)

While the police have been super-efficient in arresting protestors, they have taken the time to handle cases against protestors and journalists: For Hong Kong’s Most Famous Victim Of Police Violence, Justice Is ElusiveOnly 3 out of 13 cases of violence against journalists in 19 years have been solved 19年13宗針對傳媒罪案 成功拉人僅3宗; and A year after brutal attack, Kevin Lau still awaits justice

[May 14] Police face more questions over wrongful arrest of autistic man; the police refused to provide an English translation of the not-quite apology to the autistic man 【誓死不講apology或sorry?】為拉錯人表「抱歉」 警方堅持不提供英文翻譯

[July 29] Among 955 arrested, 100 have to “face legal consequences” 955名佔領被捕者 至今100人需「承擔法律後果」 40人無罪獲釋

[Mar. 28] The police arrested 1726 people but charged under 10% for lack of evidence 警去年遊行集會拘1726人 不足一成被起訴

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Man arrested during the shopping revolution in Mongkok was released as the police provided contradictory evidence  到旺「購物」男子被控阻差不成立 警證供前後矛盾. Plan to sue the chief prosecutor for compensation: 涉煽惑非法集結獲撤控 陳白山擬向律政司索償

Two police officers made the same mistake in their testimonies against reporters 稱記者襲警 兩警口供同寫「農和道」被指夾口供

[Mar. 19] The six common charges against umbrella protestors:  抗命時代 警方常用/濫用的六條控罪

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The police have put the burden to prove innocent on the shoulders of the accused

Man cleared of ‘throwing’ barricades at police after news footage emerges

警片段證警先襲擊再拘捕 設計師獲撤襲擊罪 警曾稱「沒案發片段」

女子嘆自行找證據證清白感悲哀 

女收銀獲街坊片段證清白

Police launch internal review of how they handled Occupy Central protestsAssistant commissioner to review police conduct during protests

Hong Kong police stress use of public order law against ‘fishy’ gatherings

All police officers are to enforce laws governing public order “more strictly” to prevent any “suspicious” gathering of at least three people from turning into a protest, according to a new guideline from the top cited by multiple police sources…  If necessary, another source said, the crack Police Tactical Unit would be deployed to patrol the streets. The stipulated enforcement actions are provided for under the ordinance, which since 1967 has outlawed any gathering of three or more people without police permission. The law came into force that year to crack down on pro-Beijing leftist riots against British colonial rule. It was briefly relaxed during the final years ahead of the handover – so protest organisers need only notify the police of their plans – but was reversed after 1997, making it a must to obtain prior police approval.

Security review at Hong Kong’s Legco recommends searches of reporters

[Feb. 14, 2015] Hong Kong police force set for manpower boost after shortcomings exposed by Occupy: Hush-hush plan would see 500 new posts used to strengthen units that manage public order after pro-democracy sit-ins exposed limitationsPolice seek more manpower and equipment after Occupy

[Feb. 15, 2015] Hong Kong police pulled down more web content in last four months than in previous four years: Force insists content is criminal but activists say they are targeting online political organising as rise coincided with Occupy

[Mar. 28] The police plan to buy 3 water cannon trucks that can eject colored liquids 警擬斥資2700萬元購3輛特別用途車 可噴染色液體

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[Mar. 29]  Police to beef up ability to gather evidence against protesters;  [Sep 29, 2015] 成立新「搜證小隊」,警權更加張狂?

Pepper spray and police batons seem to have become the new normal, even inside shopping malls. The “shopping revolution” is mutating into an anti-shopping revolution, with Civic Passion and HK Indigenous protesting against “parallel traders” from mainland China. The police used pepper spray first in Tuen Mun and then in Shatin. Protestors should maintain nonviolent discipline so that police force backfires on the police rather than on protestors.

In Yuen Long on Mar. 1: Police use pepper spray amid chaotic scenes as protest against traders continues into the night; 圖輯】【水貨圍城】亞視記者被警胡椒噴霧「洗臉」; 【水貨圍城】警稱黑衣女企圖搶犯 網民質疑

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See Fresh clashes in New Territories protest against parallel traders. See video at【水貨圍城】百人阻拉人推冧貨架 警出胡椒噴霧

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[June 29] Do Hong Kong localists hate dancing? Sunday night’s protest in Mong Kok

… bear in mind the enormous effort the police had invested in detaining this single person, and then how hands off they became once things got really serious and laws were blatantly broken.

… If getting the Beijing loyalists in was impressive, extracting them was a military operation to behold. The police effectively made an impenetrable blue tunnel for them to scurry through. It was an epic, superstar treatment fit for a king.  Needless to say, tensions were now off the charts and most importantly, confidence of the “blue ribbons” in the area was at an all time high. The police had demonstrated in spectacular fashion which side they were rooting for, and so the fighting began.

At this point, let us remind ourselves of the first localist arrested – the man was chased 100 metres down the road, hog-tied and carried onto the police van by six officers. Yet when the police were now confronted with victims of assault, with obvious signs of injury and multiple people wanting to give statements, the police let them go. No hog-tying, no violent police takedowns and no pepper spraying. Those accused of the assaults were given the friendly shoulder tap and released out of sight.

…  All in all, the night was a sad example of just how much energy the police will spend on detaining localists, while going to great lengths to avoid detaining their own so called supporters.

The aunties never featured in the night, not even for a minute. The night was never about dancing. The localists chose the dancing because they knew it would raise alarms with the authorities, and true to form, the Hong Kong police showed once again that they are now just a paramilitary force set up to defend the mainland Chinese. They are happy to let clear assaults pass by in plain sight, so long as those assaulting support mainland China.

Another video

[July 1] Andy Tsang was rewarded with a Bauhinia award for his hardline on the Umbrella Movement 處理佔領有功 曾偉雄獲金紫荊星章

Hard assessments of the retired police chief Andy Tsang 曾偉雄退休在即 — 回顧慈母、黑影的天方夜譚 ; 誰在辱警?人必自侮,而後人侮之

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[May 13] Here’s what is wrong with police identification parade:

three assault suspects and fillers in a police lineup were allowed to wear face masks and shower caps, making it impossible for their victims to make a positive identification. The three are accused of assaulting television journalists during last year’s democracy protests. Police officials later announced they had decided not to press charges due to lack of evidence, prompting the justice department to clarify that what they meant was they needed to investigate further.

[May 13] Albert Cheng bristles at police remark to sales staff:

Albert Cheng, founder of internet radio D100, said the policemen came to the shop in the Sheung Wan MTR station on Tuesday. One of the officers told a staffer: “So you people are members of the yellow ribbons”, Cheng was quoted as saying by Metro Daily Wednesday… Cheng said the officers might have engaged in political harassment which is a violation of their supposed neutrality.

The police’s intimidation of protestors is also contrasted with their inability to arrest criminals, esp. a gunman who stole luxury watches on Mar. 12:

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[Mar. 30] 練乙錚:香港有淪為Police State的傾向

[June 29] Scholarism leader Joshua Wong, girlfriend attacked after movie 

[July 28] Collusion between triads and politicians? 新義安總管大壽 政黑俾面雲集夜宴

—-

In clearing Occupy Mongkok, the HK police again forgot the Sep. 28 lesson that the excessive use of force can only backfire rather than silence dissent, and that massive arrests can only strengthen rather than weaken determined protestors. By beating up and arresting even passers-by, the police also achieve the counterproductive effect of sending more people to support hard-core protestors. (See https://victoriatbhui.wordpress.com/?s=backfire)

Worse, some police actions show worrying signs that HK is starting to descend into a police state. This is what wikipedia says: The term “police state” has “taken on the emotional and derogatory meaning of a government that exercises power arbitrarily through the police.” Here is a longer, more academic, elaboration:

“Decisions of state leaders come in two basic forms, routine and exceptional. The implementation of routine decisions means that state officials in their regular practice attempt to fulfill and comply with standing laws and procedures that govern their activities. In contrast, the implementation of exceptional decisions comes when bureaucrats obey an order from an authorized state superior, such as a president or governor, that comes in response to specific circumstances that may be discretionary, or even potentially unlawful, under existing rules. For example, when the police investigate crimes defined by law, this is consistent with the implementation of routine decisions. When the police implement an order to overlook the crimes of a political ally of the leader, or frame political opponents of the leader for a crime they did not commit, this represents compliance with exceptional decisions.” (p.16)  “Analysts of law enforcement have noted the potentially wide gap between ‘police power,’ in terms of the formal laws and rules that regulate police functions, and ‘police action’, the actual behavior of the police.” (p. 34)

“Overall, under Vladimir Putin, the Russian state showed a much greater capacity and willingness to deploy state coercive organs against opposition political parties, candidates, and groups. Russia’s power ministries were able to respond to exceptional tasks set by the state leadership in terms of fixing elections and cracking down on opposition demonstrations.” (p.99)”Power ministry personnel are more oriented toward serving their own personal interests or those of the powers that be than those of society as a whole; predation and repression dominate  over protection in terms of law enforcement behavior and norms.” (p. 288) “to the extent that this regime of repression became institutionalized, attacks on regime opponents stopped being extraordinary tasks and became routine ones. ” (p.303)

“Putin’s philosophy toward the use of the law seemed [to be]: ‘for my friends, everything; for my enemies, the law.’” (p.106) “A Russian NGO noted that almost all opposition demonstrations were banned or dispersed by the police … At the same time, pro-Kremlin groups…  had no difficulty conducting marches and rallies. This is clear evidence that the new regime of repression was deployed in an exceptional fashion against antigovernment forces and was not simply part of a stronger capacity to uphold public order during legal demonstrations.” (p.98)

“What is ‘disorder’ in the eyes of a man in uniform? It’s the absence of control. If there is not control, there is the possibility of independent influence… The Duma [legislature] is not subordinate to the presidential administration? Disorder… Political parties wanted something, the mass media talked about something? All of this is disorder that must be liquidated. And they liquidated it. In seven year [under Putin], the chekists [security ministries] have completely changed the political system in the country, not changing one letter of the Constitution.” (p.62)

“as Charles Tilly famously argued, state building looks an awful lot like organized crime” (p.308)

(Brian D. Taylor, State Building in Putin’s Russia: Policing and Coercion after Communism, Cambridge University Press, 2011.)

Coincidentally, Chinese president Xi Jinping calls the judiciary a ‘knife’:

In an important meeting in early January, Xi stated that the party must ensure “the handle of the knife is firmly in the hands of the party and the people.”… Xi’s speech and the subsequent hoopla about the revival of the knife metaphor in state-owned media makes clear that the party still sees the police and courts as weapons, not neutral actors charged with enforcing the law. (China’s President Raises Eyebrows with Sharp Rhetoric on Rule of Law)

HK isn’t quite a police state yet. But the police are no longer the same police that I used to know. When I was little, my mom always told me: if you are lost and separated from mommy, don’t trust anyone else but the police uncles and aunties; ask them for help and they will reunite you with us. When my girl was little, I told her the same thing. Fast forward to today, that trust is gone for good. People are probably having nightmares about ferocious police officers wielding batons, shooting pepper solution and firing tear gas.

The HK police then and now:

攜手滅罪.守護香港 (雨傘運動真實紀念版) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5kEyAySyqw

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152445445341363&set=a.10150117742891363.283440.542866362&type=1

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The police are supposed to be impartial, serving the public interest and applying the law without regard to political affiliations. But that long-cherished neutrality has been eroded under CY’s watch. (See a blog post on police neutrality by a friend of the police 香港警察,竭力中立 and Li Yi on professionalism  專業)

During the clearing operation in Mongkok, it seems as if the police became fearful of HK people, beating up and arresting reporters and passers-by as well as protestors. The police are clearly trying to prevent re-occupation of Mongkok by protestors. And occupy supporters started to answer CY Leung’s call to “go shopping in Mongkok.” But how could the police distinguish protestors from ordinary passers-by in a place like Mongkok? I have always found Mongkok extremely crowded, so crowded that it can be difficult to stop to look at things without getting pushed by people behind me. If the police have no tolerance for crowds, they may as well shut down Mongkok altogether.  Protestors have cynically remarked that the police are imposing curfew in Mongkok. That may well be the only way to keep Mongkok free of crowds, but that would be tantamount to declaring “war” on HK people (in the language of theories of state-society relations). It would also be the sure way to kill HK’s economy as well as freedom, and in full sight of the world. See Thousands of police stationed in Mong Kok to stop Occupy protesters re-taking the streets

When police neutrality goes, so go the rule of law and press freedom. See “the freedom without democracy model is broken.” And it is more broken today than a week ago.

[Jan. 14, 2015]  Occupy protests a disaster for police, says frontline officer

Ah Fung (not his real name) is a typical police officer, politically neutral, always ready to obey his superiors and serve the public….  What frustrated Fung most was that the police viewed themselves as a tool of the government rather than law enforcers. Fung insists that the government intervened in the operations of the police. In the police academy, cadets were told that police serve the people by executing the law, and not by serving the administration…  Fung also revealed that members of the police management have instilled the thinking that the protesters were the enemy. “It was like a culture that has spread throughout the squad, we were led to believe that we should support the police no matter what,” he said.

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Unity and leadership are critical to success–why it is wrong to advocate “there are no organizers but only ordinary people, no orders but only commonsense”

[Updated on Mar. 20, 2015]

See also “almost a revolution

——-

I am increasingly troubled by the challenges of what Patten calls “rowdies” to the movement’s mainstream. All over the world, unity is what makes or breaks a movement. Occupiers share the same goal of genuine universal suffrage. If there are disagreements over strategies and tactics, talk them over. People fighting for democracy have to demonstrate that they can resolve differences through democratic methods. It is not surprising that international media are now talking about “rift” and “split” rather than order and discipline.

Hong Kong Protesters Face the Limits of Their Power: Disorganized and divided, the pro-democracy movement is losing steam

After 50 days, rifts emerge among Hong Kong’s protesters

Hong Kong democracy movement split in protest-weary city 

A Struggle for the Soul of Hong Kong’s Protest Movement

Hong Kong’s House, Divided

Unity, planning, and discipline are the three ingredients to all successful movement. And planning and discipline are not possible without unity. Unity, in turn, is a function of leadership. Don’t be fooled by the perception that this is a leaderless movement. Successful movements have decentralized leadership, but there has to be a leadership nonetheless. See post on leadership. If everyone acts out of his or her own judgement of what is right or wrong, then you get a Hobbesian world. The position that  “there are no organizers but only ordinary people, no orders but only commonsense” as shown in the Passion Times’ profile picture (they are not alone,  other “rowdies” are also anarchists) can only hurt the movement. The slogan  is also simply untrue and hypocritical — as those who lead Civic Passion are clearly leaders while challenging mainstream leaders.

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10339338_822958777767291_2167952586276670335_ohttp://www.passiontimes.hk/article/12-26-2014/20138

One question is if the movement should stay or withdraw (there is a difference between withdrawal, which is more tactical, and retreat, which is more passive).《佔領故事》:佔領區內外對撤離與否民意分歧 At issue also is if the movement should escalate. According to the Civic Passion:

“The Occupy campaign needs to be taken to a new level,” he said in an interview. “There needs to be escalation, occupation of more areas or maybe government buildings. The campaign at this stage has become too stable.”

Was it wise to escalate by storming the Legislative Council building on Nov. 18? Members of Civic Passion (https://www.facebook.com/passiontimes) are indignant that other protestors blame them, but Passion Times has various posts justifying the act. (A colleague suggests that justifying is not the same as advocating. I am not sure why Passion Times would bother to justify something that they don’t advocate. But I am a boring academic and I grant this analytical distinction.) It could be the work of “the Golden boys“. And see this disclosure by an anarchist.  Whichever organization “the rowdies” belong to, why not learn from experiences from around the world?

Artists calling for unity: https://www.facebook.com/pages/香港藝術家關注示威作品召集群組-Hong-Kong-Artists-concern-protest-art/283372865206454

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Listen to “Long Hair” : “Prominent Hong Kong activist says protesters need to unify, strategize“:

The diffuse nature of the protest leadership may have helped perpetuate the demonstrations – but also has limited protesters’ ability to forcefully unite and agree on a strategy to bring more pressure to bear on government authorities. Leung’s remarks came as two founders of Occupy Central, university professors Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man, announced they have resumed their university teaching duties after a month spent mainly at the protest zone in the Admiralty district, near government headquarters.

Another hero of radicals: Patten said that “I am sad” about what “the rowdies” did, referring to the storming of the Legco building last week. He wasn’t even asked about this at the CECC testimony but made a point of giving this advice to HK protestors. See http://www.cecc.gov/events/hearings/the-future-of-democracy-in-hong-kong. At the CECC hearing, everyone expressed concern about the storming act — here is how the movement could lose international support with a single act!

從甘地與馬丁路德金看佔領運動的失敗 http://www.inmediahk.net/node/1029574

領袖道德魅力…要成就一場成功的公民不合作非暴力抗爭,必須有具道德魅力且能服眾的強勢領袖,領導一場能施加實質經濟壓力,且不惜影響民生的大規模抗命運動,向當局提出清晰和堅定的訴求,才有成功的希望。在運動裡建立烏托邦式的社群,雖然是美好,且令人回味,但此社群亦有完結的一天,亦無助於目標的達成。

從魁北克罷課反觀香港雨傘運動 http://www.inmediahk.net/node/1030246

成功秘訣之一:由下而上的全民決策

罷課最終迫使自由黨在選舉中落敗,當選的魁北克人黨撤回加學費方案,並廢除議案 78 (一條類似香港《公安條例》的法例)。而這場全民運動的成功秘訣,原來只在「團結」二字,而要做到團結,則是由一個從下而上的全民決策模式所達成。

CLASSE 在罷課前舉行多次全民大會,讓支持和反對罷課的學生申述自己所持立場的理據,而且每次發言並非空談,必須提出一些方案、計劃、行動,最後讓學生以直接民主的形式作出重要決策:以投票決定開始罷課,亦以投票決定結束罷課。

Julien 說:「We are get used to the general assembly.(我們已經習慣全民大會。)」直接民主已成為魁北克學生的傳統,因此就開始罷課與否投票時,即使支持和反對的聲音相約,雙方都會尊重投票結果,尊重罷課的決定。的確,由下而上的決策模式費時間、耗精力,但這種方式最能避免因欠缺討論而出現的矛盾和爭執。

提倡「沒有大會」的組織 ─ 訪本土民主前線黃台仰

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Bridging the generation gap at home?

See also “Why teenagers are protesting.”

Occupiers have been trying to mobilize more support for genuine universal suffrage. They are going out of the bubbles of occupy sites to different neighborhoods. However, wherever they go, they are surrounded by anti-occupiers.

Maybe young students can bridge the generation gap at home first? Many don’t dare talk to their anti-occupy parents and would go home only while their parents are out at work. If they can withstand counterprotestors who curse them and spit at them, why not convince parents, grandparents, and aunties and uncles who love them?

Young students have shown their determination for genuine universal suffrage by camping out, sweeping the streets, recycling garbage, and cleaning toilets. Why not also show their determination and transformation to parents? Clean up their rooms and apartments, make dinners for parents, and sit down for a long chat on what they are fighting for? Every parent in the world can be easily melted by the good son/daughter.

Schoolgirl Protester Risks Future for Hong Kong Democracy Fight http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-23/schoolgirl-protester-risks-future-for-hong-kong-democracy-fight.html

Confrontations as Occupy activists hold roadshows http://www.ejinsight.com/20141124-confrontations-as-occupy-activists-hold-roadshows/

Many parents are opposed to the Umbrella Movement. Students have written open letters to their parents explaining why they are occupying:

給爸媽的信 https://www.facebook.com/alettertoparents?fref=nf

一個坐在金鐘多天沒幫媽媽做家務的不肖子:爸爸媽媽,請讓我們去 為自已的未來奮闘 http://hktext.blogspot.hk/2014/10/please_20.html

屋邨仔自白:我愛父母 所以選擇佔領 https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLQcmGU2t4gsp4RMgrqnMiaJq24FJyWGhz&v=Zjsn2kBV9cU

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Fight or flight? Voice or exit?

Executive Council member Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun said that her friend floated the idea of emigration because of “fears about the students, rather than the Communist Party.” Occupy supporters are furious, saying that people are emigrating “because of people like you”:  移民係因為有羅范椒芬你呢班人呀! A one-year-old RTHK documentary shows that HK’s professionals began to re-/emigrate in droves last year — as a result of the erosion of HK’s core values under CY Leung’s government.

驪歌再唱 00:21:56 2013-10-06 

保安局最新統計數字,港人移民數字回升,今年上半年已有近四千人,較去年同期上升近一成。「移民」一詞彷彿是九七回歸前後的熱門話題,直至近年,香港人又將移民一詞掛在口邊。 「為了下一代,當年爸爸媽媽帶我們移民加拿大,今天我身為父母,亦決定帶兒子移民。」任職銀行的夫婦,事業基礎穩固,因不滿教育制度,決定回流加拿大。 「賭上人生所有東西來台灣重新生活,並不代表我勇敢,反而是無奈,回香港生活可以怎樣?」年輕一輩,不適應香港的發展模式,為了將來,大半年前移居台灣,到他鄉闖一闖。 「香港前景黯淡,變得越來越陌生」有去年參與反國教運動的專業人士,眼見近半年的政治亂局,也正醞釀移民。 離開土生土長的地方,連根拔起,重新開始是一個重大的決定,各有原因,唯一共通點是他們都認為香港這個家,不再宜居。

The Umbrella Movement actually restored hope for many. At Occupy Admiralty, it has not been difficult to find people who returned from abroad to play a part in rewriting HK’s history. However, those hopes are dashed again by government intransigence. Since the 1980s and especially after 1989, HK people have long opted to flight rather than fight. This is what Albert Hirschman calls exit vs. voice. See his “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty.” What is actually more unusual is the determination of the young generation to fight rather than to flight this time. Moreover, for those who choose/have chosen exit, they have combined it with voice and have in fact helped to spread the struggle for genuine universal suffrage farther than before. The message for Fanny Law is this: Don’t hold your breath that the problem will go away with another wave of exits.

[Oct. 19, 2015] Tsang Yok-sing also quotes Hirschman to explain why he is criticizing Beijing’s HK policy and the Leung administration 忠誠發聲:

政治經濟學家赫希曼(Albert Hirschman)的經典著作《退出、發聲與忠誠》(Exit, Voice and Loyalty,1970年出版),指出當一個組織開始衰敗時,對它失去信心的成員可能作出兩種回應:「退出」(離開組織)或者「發聲」(用溫和以至激烈的方式向組織提出批評意見,促使組織改進)。赫希曼分析了這兩種回應方法跟成員們對組織的忠誠程度的關係:一般來說,忠誠程度愈高的成員,愈願意通過「發聲」去嘗試令組織改善;忠誠程度低的,則較易「退出」組織。這理論適用於一家公司、一個城市以至一個國家。

Also 四種反應

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Another wave of exodus after Occupy?

[Jan. 21 2016] It’s Time to Start Hedging on Hong Kong: Beijing’s brazen behavior should make investors and residents reconsider the city’s future

The 3rd emigration wave: why this time is different:  In a survey done by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups earlier this year, 62 percent (more than three in five) of the young people interviewed said they hope to emigrate. The proportion has not been as high since the handover in 1997.

Over 60% of young Hongkongers hope to emigrate, poll shows http://www.ejinsight.com/20150113-over-60-of-young-hongkongers-hope-to-emigrate-poll-shows/

Giving Up on Hong Kong http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/opinion/giving-up-on-hong-kong.html?fb_ref=Default

[Jan. 23, 2015]  Hongkongers moving to Taiwan in droves, buying up homes http://www.ejinsight.com/20150123-hongkongers-moving-to-taiwan-in-droves-buying-up-homes/; challenges they confront  落地生根難

[April 15] Dramatic upsurge in the no. of HK students applying to study abroad after occupy 雨傘運動後 赴英升學港生大增

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The “Freedom without Democracy” model is broken

[Relevant developments on the erosion of freedoms are regularly added. Scroll down. Last updated on June 20, 2017.]

My updated submission  to the British Conservative Party Human Rights Commission

[July 1, 2016 — written in April] Life Support For “One Country, Two Systems” Urgently Needed

[June 28, 2016] The British Conservative Party Human Rights Commission report 

My commentaries for the anniversary

[Oct. 17, 2015] What the current political storm spells for Hong Kong’s freedoms (HKFP)

[Oct. 14, 2015] 打壓不會輕易落幕 好戲在後頭 (The struggle to rein in HK’s freedom is not over and more is yet to come) (Ming Pao)

[Oct. 8, 2015] 沒有民主, 香港怎能在「風雨中抱緊自由」(“Without Democracy, How Could Hong Kong Embrace Freedom in the Storms )? (BBC Chinese)

NPC chairman Zhang Dejiang “inspects” HK

Zhang will attend the “One Belt, One Road” top-level forum and “inspect” the Hong Kong SAR. Previous reports carried by the official media normally used “visit” or “fact-finding” visit to describe those trips.… It is yet another worrying sign of the Beijing leadership magnifying the importance of the principle of “one country” while downgrading the special status of Hong Kong. It raises the question of whether the city will become “just another Chinese city” ultimately as pessimists and sceptics have warned…  (Word Play In Beijing’s Hong Kong Game Worrying)

Causeway Bay Books’ owners abducted and detained 

Bookseller Lam Wing-kee reveals explosive details of his mainland China detention, claims Lee Po told him he was ‘taken away from Hong Kong’ ; The saga of Hong Kong’s abducted booksellers takes a darker turn Hong Kong No Longer a Safe Place to Criticize China

The abduction of Lee Bo from HK formally marks the death of the “freedom without democracy” model. Joshua Wong said at a HKU forum on Jan. 12: From now on, we can no longer take for granted of even our personal safety.  See more below under “2e. HK book sellers abducted.”

‘Mind your words’: China slams Britain for ‘interfering’ in Hong Kong bookseller case

Arthur Li is turning HKU upside down

King Arthur turning HKU into political battlefieldSee more below under 2f.

Popular Film “Ten Years” presents the worst scenarios in 2015, disappeared from cinemas

Ten Years: A film that speaks to Hong Kong’s worst fearsDark vision of Hong Kong’s future proves surprise box office hit ; Imagining Hong Kong’s Future, Under China’s Tightening Grasp ;  A 2047 scenario for Hong Kong and ChinaGlobal Times says the film is absurdDystopian Hong Kong Movie Disappears From CinemasDystopian HK film Ten Years leads to Chinese media boycott of Hong Kong Film Awards. It won the Best Film award at the HK Film Festival:Ten Years wins ‘best film’ at 2016 HK Film Awards, as news of win is censored in China ; 圖解評審機制 一人一票選出《十年》 評審包括他們

Disappearing freedoms

Disappearing freedoms: 5 examples of Hong Kong’s fading liberties under one country, two systems: Threats to creative, academic and press freedoms dominated headlines in 2015, making Hongkongers question their level of autonomy under China’s much-touted ‘one country, two systems’ rule

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1. Background

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China conducted a hearing on “The Future of Democracy in Hong Kong” on Nov. 20: http://www.cecc.gov/events/hearings/the-future-of-democracy-in-hong-kong

The CECC was established by the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000 as China prepared to enter the World Trade Organization. Martin Lee was instrumental to US support of China’s accession to the WTO. See Lee’s statement and congressional report then. See also “Foreign forces at work in HK?

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Testimony by Victoria Tin-bor Hui, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science; Faculty Fellow, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, University of Notre Dame.

I am very proud of my Hong Kong origin. But today I should speak as an academic expert because I don’t dare claim to speak for protestors who have faced down police force and thug violence. I only wish to highlight the significance of what they have been doing.

The protestors’ demand is best captured by this yellow banner that can be seen everywhere in Hong Kong: “We want genuine universal suffrage (我要真普選).” This refers to the right to nominate candidates as well as the right to vote for the next Chief Executive in 2017.

The Umbrella Movement has witnessed hundreds of thousands of protestors occupying busy streets. At the same time, the media have shown images of counter-protestors roughing up non-violent protesters.

The division among Hong Kong people hinges on one question: Is it possible to preserve freedom without democracy? Hong Kong people, whether they are pro-occupy or anti-occupy, cherish freedom. They want a neutral civil service, an impartial police, an independent judiciary, and a free press. These core values are disappearing without democracy.

Hong Kong has seen three Chief Executives since 1997. They were chosen by a narrowly-based Election Committee beholden to Beijing and have undercut Hong Kong’s core values.[i]

The first Chief Executive, C. H. Tung, under Beijing’s prodding, introduced a draconian national security bill in 2003. He was forced to shelve the bill and then resign after half a million protesters took to the streets. These days, pro-establishment figures are talking about re-tabling the bill to stifle future dissent.

The second Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, introduced political appointments to top civil service positions. Without electoral accountability, this practice created cronyism and eroded the meritocratic civil service.

The third and current Chief Executive, CY Leung, has stepped up the appointments of his loyal supporters to key government positions and advisory committees. This has further corrupted the government. Under his watch, even the Independent Commission Against Corruption has become the target of a corruption investigation. Worse, CY Leung has been accused of receiving payouts of HK$50 million and then $37 million from the Australian firm UGL without publicly reporting them. In addition, the police have come under attack for making arbitrary arrests of protestors and selectively enforcing the law. Media critics of the government have been demoted or fired, with some journalists subjected to physical attacks by thugs.

The rapid erosion of freedom in the past two years has seriously undercut Hong Kong’s promised autonomy. Protestors want genuine universal suffrage because the previous system of “freedom without democracy” is broken.

Some Hong Kong people, many in my generation and older, still believe that Hong Kong can keep its freedom without democracy. But this view goes against world experience.[ii] It is not coincidental that Hong Kong has been the only case of “freedom without democracy” in the world — and this unique case is fast disappearing. All around the world, freedom and democracy are either present together or absent together, strong together or weak together. It is simply impossible to preserve a meritocratic civil service, an impartial police, an independent judiciary, and a free press without democratic accountability.

If protestors are loud and clear about their goal of genuine universal suffrage, it is not easy to get there.

The Umbrella Movement is nearing the end of the second month. As the government has refused to have a meaningful dialogue with protestors, supporters are looking for alternative ways to sustain the movement beyond occupying busy streets.

It may be less daunting, though by no means easy, to put pressure on business elites who are in the position to influence the government. All over the world, business elites are naturally pro-regime. But they may have second thoughts if protestors can impose costs on their continued collusion with the government.

Protestors are circulating a list of businesses for a targeted boycott.[iii] The government plans to turn the 1200-member Election Committee into a nominating committee for the Chief Executive in 2017. Leading members of this committee are Hong Kong’s wealthiest tycoons who dominate most businesses and make money off every ordinary HK person.

Hong Kong’s rich and famous may be convinced that keeping the economy open to the world depends on guarding Hong Kong’s freedom with democracy.[iv] Their long-term interests are better served in a Hong Kong that remains an international city rather than a Hong Kong that becomes just another Chinese city.

Ultimately, it is incumbent on the Hong Kong government to address protestors’ demand. As bailiffs are clearing occupy sites this week, the government may be tempted to think that the problem will simply go away. But the source of the problem is not the occupy movement; it is the government’s erosion of freedom.[v] Protestors will continue the struggle with other forms of civil disobedience. Now that the government has also trained a fearless generation, repression can only backfire and is not an option. The government has no alternative but to reopen the consultation process on electoral arrangements.

HK’s student leaders say that history has chosen them – powerless students have shouldered this burden with courage. History has also chosen powerful adults to make the right choices.

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Escalation by protestors can also backfire

See also https://victoriatbhui.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/unity-is-the-key-to-success-vs-failure/

I have been talking about government action, police violence, and thug violence backfiring on HK people. Protestors who advocate escalation should know that their action can equally backfire on HK people, alienating supporters of the Umbrella Movement and solidifying support for the blue ribbons.

Frustrated with the lack of progress? See “targeted boycott.”

Throughout the world, unity is key to ultimate success. Fighting fellow protestors is self-defeating. Long Hair’s advice: maintain unity.

People who struggle for democracy have to practice democratic principles within the movement. If you can’t convince other protestors of the merit of your escalated action, then try harder.

Successful nonviolent protests often have marshals to maintain nonviolent discipline. They serve an important function.

See what Patten said about the storming of the Legislative Council building:

The future of Democracy in Hong Kong

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What’s next — Umbrella Movement into the second month

Patten’s advice: Do not even break glass doors or windows; remember how you have won the world with your nonviolent discipline. Think about how to pursue the struggle through other means. Watch his testimony.

Are occupy movements sustainable when we look around the world?  Physical space and ‘Occupy’ tactics: a new trend in civil resistance?

“it remains to be seen whether movements have been doing themselves a favor or a disservice by allowing themselves to be defined by the site of occupation or by the tactic itself, and not by political and social claims on behalf of  those whom they represent.” 

馬嶽從危機到更深的危機

Occupy Central leaders are talking about turning themselves in on Dec. 5. 朱牧:自首另開戰線

Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Student Leaders were Refused Entry to Beijing

The appeal against the High Court injunction was rejected.

Albert Cheng: Take the long-term view 佔中不爭朝夕

See “targeted boycott and noncooperation — If we withdraw now, we would lose everything that we have been fighting for?.” See also “teenagers,” “leadership,” “increased support.”

It would be a mistake if the CY government thinks that the problem would go away once the occupy sites are cleared. The Umbrella Movement has already taken roots among protestors. They will continue the struggle by taking other forms of civil disobedience.

Images that suggest that the Umbrella Movement will not go away simply by clearing the sites:

Lavina says: “Clearance welcome; we will meet again in Mongkok”: 10410967_797510816978754_5689121843206830119_n Continue reading

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Quotes on civil disobedience — beware of “spurious quotes”

Martin Luther King argues in Letter from Birmingham Jail:

I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court because it is morally right, and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances because they are morally wrong.

See also Wikipedia. —– Occupy supporters: Use correct quotes on civil disobedience! Continue reading

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