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.” 


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 Lavina also has this appeal to the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ve5UZBgnfU

An Umbrella Wedding at Occupy Mongkok on Nov. 15: 10655452_1017674068259524_140311302873894491_o

An Umbrella Baby on the 40th day of the movement: 10343528_533260770144454_3651878793521499596_n


After celebrating the lunar-versary on Oct. 28 (a month after the police fired tear gas), participants have been asking where the Umbrella Movement is heading. The government seems to have finally learned the lesson that the use of force would backfire. It has switched to a strategy of waiting out the protests but time is on the side of protestors. As for Nov. 12, “Hong Kong’s umbrella protests are here to stay.” A Reuter survey on Oct. 28 shows that “nine out of 10 Hong Kong activists say will fight on for a year.”   The High Court injunction empowering the police to partially clear occupy sites has ignited a debate over what protestors should do in their struggle to fight for democracy and defend the rule of law. See post on the rule of law. Protestors have been debating if they should withdraw or defy the court injunction, if they should turn themselves in or wait to be arrested (自首不如自強), if they should escalate their action, if pan-democratic legislators should resign and trigger by-elections which may then serve as a de facto referendum. There have also been calls to diversify their methods and tactics beyond just holding their ground at occupy sites (see targeted boycott), and to take the cause to neighborhoods. Such debates are part and parcel to democracy-building. However, some protestors may have taken the “leaderless” nature of this movement too literally, insisting that “there are only ordinary people and not organizers,” or that student leaders do not represent them: 10351329_787025561360613_5505111493115556544_n

“Long Hair” has sage advice: “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.


An anonymous observer warns that the movement could fail unless ordinary protestors and leaders can work together and diversify tactics: 雨傘運動即將失敗的幾種原因 Good sign: In the last two weeks (meaning early Nov.), organizers and ordinary protestors have been talking directly. The stage at Admiralty is now opened to ordinary protestors who may speak for 5 minutes during designated hours.


網民發起行動 促結束大台專制、解散糾察


Nov. 13: A group of HKU students launch a campaign to collect opinions so as narrow the differences among protestors: 「雨傘民意日」. The questionnaire is here: 雨傘民意日 umbrelladiscussion.

Nov. 23: Occupy Central co-founders hold ‘community dialogue day’

See escalation can also backfire.

An example of disagreement over attempted escalation and reconciliation: Nov. 8:  A group of protestors tried to block the bridge connecting Admiralty with government offices, triggering another debate between “radical” ordinary protestors and student leaders. Many urged more efforts at building consensus. Joshua Wong suggested that protestors should aim at mobilizing support and not pointing fingers. He also bowed to apologize for their inadequate communications. 路線之爭爆發 大台發言慢慢拗 當初不是市民衝,今日金鐘焉有唱K「大台」? 感激所有為香港付出的人,也感激黃之鋒同學 黃之鋒張秀賢為未能照顧所有佔領者鞠躬致歉


Disagreement over other possible moves:

1) Pan-democratic legislators to resign. Students are strong advocates of this strategy, but others are not so sure. Most of all, the worry is that pro-establishment legislators could play a trick to pass the NPCSC decision when the pan-dem seats are vacant. Occupy students call for pan-democrats’ resignation to trigger referendum 憂建制派趁勢立會為所欲為 辭職公投助長惡法 and 評論指辭職變相公投存隱憂

2) Student leaders visited Beijing on Nov. 15. There was originally a lot more disagreement over this move. After extensive consultations, opinions rallied behind the final decision. Also on Nov. 9, Occupy supporters marched to Beijing’s liaison office in the Western District.

3) Benny Tai asks CY Leung to dissolve Legco if the bill is not passed. But few people think that CY would agree. Dissolving Legco if reform bill vetoed could solve impasse, Occupy co-founder says


There is one consensus:

Protestors have to continue to win more hearts and minds by taking the cause to neighborhoods: Winning hearts and minds: 重佔人心 / 劉細良 學生落區系列(一):別讓悲情拖跨我們! On Nov. 2, students started to spread the struggle for genuine universal suffrage to neighborhoods by “flash action“. 1796850_1007921892568075_3629795325531945491_o


Hong Kong needs a political solution, not a legal one, to Occupy protests


Sentiments expressing the lack of direction:

“We feel as if we don’t know where we are going, and we are just waiting here, because if the government doesn’t do anything, we can’t do anything,” Lee said. “Some of the Occupy organizers have gone back to class, so we are under a lot of pressure right now,” she said. “People will probably say, if the organizers are getting on with their normal lives, then why are you still here blocking the road and obstructing our normal lives?”


Albert Ho:

Recently, there has been increasing concern, especially from those middle-aged supporters, as to whether there can be a planned end-game, which will allow the occupiers to withdraw peacefully and with dignity.

RTHK HK Connection on Umbrella Movement at one month 雨傘滿月 in Cantonese. How will things develop in the Occupy protests? [Sorry, the video doesn’t provide an answer.] One survey suggests that most people want street occupation to end

Of 1,005 citizens aged 18 or above interviewed between October 31 and November 5, about 70 percent were against continuing the street occupation while 24 percent were in favor, according to the survey which was commissioned by Ming Pao Daily. Eighteen percent of the interviewees said they had participated in the mass sit-in. Of those who had participated in the Occupy campaign, 70 percent deemed it necessary to stay on in the streets. In contrast, from the 82 percent who claimed they had never participated in the street protest, 79 percent said it was time to end the occupation.


Many unspecified images are taken from Facebook feeds, esp. https://www.facebook.com/socrec


Filed under Umbrella Movement

2 responses to “What’s next — Umbrella Movement into the second month

  1. Pingback: What’s next — Umbrella Movement into the second month | Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement

  2. Pingback: Which side is undermining the rule of law: protestors or the government? (Michael Davis) | Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement

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