[This website collects certain news and commentary on Hong Kong politics, society and culture. English-news sources exist in abundance, such as South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press, Reddit on Occupy Central, etc). This websites provides transcriptions/translations from Chinese-language sources, including both mainstream media (Hong Kong newspapers, television and radio) and social media (Facebook, YouTube, blogs, discussion forums).]

(Marketing Interactive) June 13, 2017.

Next Digital has recorded revenue of HK$1,783.8 million during the year ended 31 March 2017, a decrease of HK$543.9 million (23.4%) against the figure of HK$2,327.7 million earned in the previous 12 months. The loss was widened to HK$394 million from that of HK$324.2 million loss in the year-ago period.

The media company attributes its drop to a significant decline in advertising revenue of the group’s print publication in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. Other factors include the downsizing and consolidation of the group’s newspapers publication and printing division, books and magazines publication and printing division, the restructuring of Taiwan Apple Daily, Taiwan Next Magazine and Apple Daily, as well as Next Magazine in Hong Kong.

It ceased the publication of FACE and ME! in April and May 2016 respectively. In June 2016, Ketchup ceased its print version and switched its focus to solely digital. Auto Express and Trading Express have been packaged with Next Magazine and Eat & Travel Weekly as a new bundle to streamline the magazine’s operations and reduce operating costs.

During the six months ended 30 September 2016, the total revenue of the newspapers publication and printing division stood at HK$474.1 million, representing a decrease of 27.1% or HK$176.5 million. The company also associates the decrease with the drop in circulation income of the group’s publications due to the continued shift in reading habits towards free online media over printed properties.

On the digital front, the digital business division’s revenues, consisting primarily of online advertising revenue, together with content licensing payments, games and content sponsorship, and in-app purchase of virtual products, amounted to HK$649.7 million during the year under review. This represents a decrease of 1.5% on the previous year’s figure of HK$659.7 million, of which, around 76.0% was generated in Hong Kong while the remaining was from Taiwan and others.

Next Media’s digital division recorded a segment loss of HK$1.2 million compared with a segment profit of HK$35.2 million in the previous 12 months. It explains in the press release that it was faced with “strong competition not only from an increasing arrays of new local entrants on digital media, but also global platforms and social media that are vying for the same advertisers’ spending as Apple Daily“, which had in effect dampened their topline momentum for the moment.

(Hong Kong Free Press) Apple Daily Taiwan encourages reporters to leave and become freelancers. June 22, 2017.

The Taiwan office of Apple Daily has encouraged its journalists to leave and cover news for the media outlet on a freelance basis, according to an internal memo.

The proposed arrangement comes after parent company Next Digital announced losses of almost HK$394 million for the financial year ending in March. The loss is HK$70 million more than the loss in the preceding year, as advertising income declines.

In a circular dated June 14, originated on popular Taiwanese forum PTT. Apple Daily attributed the proposed arrangement to the difficulties faced by media outlets due to the rise of the internet and smartphones.

“We encourage our colleagues to be entrepreneurial, establishing a small company, a personal workshop or a personal media business – Apple Daily will then cooperate [with them] on a contractual basis.” The outlet told staff that if they left to become freelancers, they could be paid for each written article, and rewarded for exclusive or breaking reports. The outlet added “as an example” that graphic artists would only be paid at 70 to 80 per cent of their current salary if they signed a cooperation agreement with Apple Daily. However, they could also increase their income by submitting work to other companies. “Apple Daily will provide existing hardware and software (such as computers) for work purposes at no cost…. Colleagues from all departments are welcome to suggest proposals for entrepreneurship.”

The Association of Taiwan Journalists, the country’s industry group, criticised the proposal in a Thursday statement, likening it to a re-negotiation of employee labour conditions. “‘Contract reporters’ will lose the protective umbrella of the labour laws, including minimum wage, limits on overtime work and holiday rights, and will even have to pay their own insurance. Apple Daily’s ‘entrepreneurship proposal’ is also a blow against the rights of workers to unite… as an individual company or personal workshop, they will not have a labour union, and will lose collective bargaining rights against Apple Daily.”

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 23, 2017.

Following the lead of its Taiwan office, newspaper Apple Daily has announced arrangements to dismiss employees and rehire them as freelancers in Hong Kong, says its local trade union.

The Next Media Trade Union said in a Thursday statement that staff from Apple Daily’s supplement, entertainment, graphics, sport and finance sections would be affected. Staff contracting arrangements have also been planned for the weekly Next Magazine.

Earlier this month, parent company Next Digital announced losses of almost HK$394 million for the financial year ending in March. The loss is HK$70 million more than the loss in the preceding year, as advertising income declines.

According to the Next Media Trade Union, several departments or teams from Apple Daily have been asked to establish separate companies. The newspaper would then subcontract production work to them. It added that some employees had been asked to leave at the end of June. They would then be rehired as freelancers beginning on August 1, under contracts lasting from six months to one year.

“We understand that the media industry is undergoing massive transformations and the group is facing pressures on costs,” said the union. “However, subcontracting is not the solution to the problem, because labour protection and news quality will take a big hit.”

The union said it would hold a meeting with management on Friday, and urged employees not to accept any contracting arrangements beforehand.

Internet comments:

- (Hong Kong Journalists Association) June 22, 2017.

(Chinese only)

The Hong Kong Journalists Association has the following comments on Next Media's purported plan to outsourcing:

1. HKJA has contacted Next Media maangement in order to learn more, but has not received any response yet. The HKJA requests Next Media management to disclose more details;

2. HKJA questions whether outsourcing will protect the rights of the workers, and is concerned whether workers can decide on whether to accept the outsourcing arrangements without being under pressure;

3. We concur with the call of the Next Media Trade Union to ask workers not to accept the proposal at this time.

- Why can't the HKJA take their Statement on Government ban of online media from attending press conference held by Carrie Lam on June 21, 2017 and rewrite it as:

1. HKJA expresses deep regret and disappointment with the decision of Next Media owner/management to outsource journalism;

2. HKJA reiterates that forcing workers to accept outsourcing contravenes CAP 57 Employment Ordinance which safeguards a comprehensive range of employment protection and benefits for workers, as well as Articles 33, 36 and 39 of the Basic Law;

3. Next Media majority owner Jimmy Lai has always stated that he supports freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. We hope that he will honour his pledge.

4. Apple Daily always take the lead to criticize government departments and large corporations to outsource services in order to reduce costs and maximize profits. We hope that Apple Daily will take the same stance with respect to the vital interests of its workers.

- In Hong Kong, the pan-democratic political parties bill themselves as the true defenders of workers' rights. I wonder what the Democratic Party, Civic Party, Labour Party, Confederation of Labour Unions and the League of Social Democrats will have to say on this matter. Over the years, these parties have received millions and millions in political donation from Jimmy Lai. Will the dogs bite the hand that feeds them?

- Why is the Hong Kong Journalists Association talking about "pressure"? Well, if you quit voluntarily, we will hire you back as a freelancer on a per-piece basis; if you don't quit, we will fire you and we won't ever use you again. That would be coercion.

- (Oriental Daily) June 23, 2017. Comment from stock analysts: (1) "Next Digital revenues have declined over the course of several years already, showing that they don't have an effective business plan to deal with the crisis. Since the problems have continued for years, investors should not be holding Next Digital stock." (2) "Next Digital cut back on its print operations in order to focus on digital operations, but the latter has moved from profit to loss as well. Therefore, the digital business has failed while incurring developmental costs. There is no prospect for earnings growth at Next Digital in the foreseeable future."

- Buy low and sell high? This is the bottom because there can't be more bad news, right?

- (Oriental Daily) June 23, 2017. Next Media management issued an internal memo to encourage the workers to voluntarily resign, become entrepreneurs, form workshops and sell news reports back to Next Media.

- What are the tricky issues here?

(1) If you voluntarily resign, you are not entitled to severance pay;

(2) If you become an entrepreneur and form your own company, you are responsible for your own health insurance, retirement fund, etc;

(3) As an outside supplier, you can be fired at will anytime. Next Media does not have to provide you with an explanation (e.g. another service provider will do the same job cheaper; your stubbornness in wanting to be fair and balanced in your reporting; etc).

(3) If you get sued for libel during the course of your reporting (and Next Media has been sued hundreds of times already), you will pay for your own legal fees. In fact, Next Media will stiff you for 100% of the responsibility/liability as the service provider whose contract stipulates so.

- (Oriental Daily) June 23, 2017. Several days ago, Jimmy Lai told the Oriental Press Group reporter: "Fuck your mother's cunt!" Today, Jimmy Lai's employees are saying "Fuck your mother's cunt" to the outsourcing plan. What goes around ... comes around.

Related Links:

Bawang vs. Next Magazine (2016/05/24)
Sudden Closures
Jimmy Lai - Most Influential Person In The World (2015/04/17)

(HKU POP) Survey question

Q1-You would identify yourself as a : (Interviewer to read out the first 4 choices)
Hong Kong Citizen
Chinese Citizen
Hong Kong Chinese Citizen
Chinese Hong Kong Citizen
Others (Please specify)
Don't know / hard to say
Refuse to answer

(HKU POP) Findings [sample base: 661, using only a sub-sample of the tracking surveys]

37%: Identified themselves as "Hongkongers"
21%: Identified themselves as "Chinese"
40%: Identified themselves with a mixed identify of "Hongkongers" plus "Chinese" (that is, "Hongkongers in China" plus "Chinese in Hong Kong")
63%: Identified themselves as "Hongkongers" in broad sense
36%: Identified themselves as "Chinese" in broad sense

When asked to make a choice among 4 given identities, namely, “Hongkongers”, “Hongkongers in China”, “Chinese” and “Chinese in Hong Kong”, 37% of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers”, 21% as “Chinese”, 26% as “Hongkongers in China”, while 14% identified themselves as “Chinese in Hong Kong”.

In other words, 63% of the respondents identified themselves as “Hongkongers” in the broader sense (i.e. either as “Hongkongers” or “Hongkongers in China”), whereas 35% identified themselves as “Chinese” in the broader sense (i.e. either as “Chinese” or “Chinese in Hong Kong”), 40% chose a mixed identity of “Hongkongers plus Chinese” (i.e. either as “Hongkongers in China” or “Chinese in Hong Kong”).

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 21, 2017.

The percentage of young people identifying as Chinese has dropped to a new 20-year low, according to the latest University of Hong Kong survey.

The university’s Public Opinion Programme interviewed around 1,000 people by phone last week.

In one question, they were asked if they were Hongkongers, Chinese or a mixed identity of both. In general, 37 per cent identified as Hongkongers, 21 per cent said Chinese, whilst 40.2 per cent either answered “Hongkongers in China” or “Chinese in Hong Kong.”

But different age groups presented very different results.

Only 3.1 per cent of the respondents between 18 and 29 said they identified as Chinese, dropping slightly from 3.4 per cent when the poll was conducted six months ago. It the lowest result since the survey began in August 1997. 65 per cent of the age group identified as Hongkongers. 28.7 per cent said they had a mixed identity. Of those older than 30, 24.1 per cent identified as Chinese, whilst 32.1 per cent identified as Hongkongers.

The results of the survey came after an interview of chief executive-elect on Tuesday, which she vowed to tackle pro-independence forces and foster the Chinese identity among toddlers.

Reference: Hong Kong By The Numbers (2014/11/12)

(SCMP) June 15, 2017.

Hong Kong student leaders arrested over the city’s 79-day pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014 have indicated that they will admit obstructing the court-ordered clearance of a key demonstration site.

Demosisto secretary general Joshua Wong Chi-fung and former Hong Kong Federation of Students deputy secretary-general Lester Shum, along with nine other protesters, are set to admit that they had committed contempt of court, their lawyers told the High Court on Thursday.

In the present case, a total of 20 demonstrators allegedly obstructed the work of bailiffs acting on a court injunction to clear occupied roads in Mong Kok, a major base for Occupy protesters at the time, on November 26, 2014.

This resulted in the issue of a batch of summonses against them for contempt in April last year. Another group of protesters is facing summonses in a separate case concerning the same clearance operation.

Some of the 20 protesters, including Shum and League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming were in court for a pre-trial hearing on Thursday when their lawyers informed Mr Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai that more than half of their clients would admit liability. Joshua Wong, who was the convener of student group Scholarism when he became the poster boy of the protests at the time, was not present.

Senior counsel Lawrence Lok Ying-kam said seven of the clients he handled, including Joshua Wong, would like to plead guilty when the trial was conducted in July. “Mr Lester Shum would also like to plead guilty,” he added. Four more protesters, to be represented by Gerard McCoy SC, will also plead guilty. They are expected to formally admit their liability during the trial to be commenced on July 3, with mitigation put forth on their behalf.

Mr Justice Chan adjourned for another pre-trial session on June 27 for both counsel from the Department of Justice and protesters to sort out details of evidence they would like to call over the clearance operation, which involved more than 800 police officers.

(Oriental Daily) June 15, 2017.

Former Hong Kong Federation of Students deputy secretary-general Lester Shum said that the reason why they challenged the court injunction was that the government used the court to solve a political problem. Just yesterday, CY Leung admitted that it was a political decision not to use the police to clear the Occupy areas. Shum said that challenging the court injunction does not mean that they are challenging rule-of-law. As long as they accept their legal responsibilities in court, they are respecting rule-of-law. Shum wants to show the pro-establishment camp and the authorities that he is willing to accept the legal consequences, including a jail sentence.

League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming said that he supports Shum, but he himself has doubts about whether disobeying the court injunction is the same as contempt of court. Therefore he chooses to contest the case.

(Oriental Daily) June 15, 2017.

Senior counsel Lawrence Lok Ying-kam requested the prosecution to hand over the notebooks of all 800 to 1,000 police officers who helped the bailiffs to clear Mong Kok. The prosecution argued that this case is different from the usual criminal case, because the police officers were merely witnesses who did not conduct any investigation. If the defense can point out the connection between the notebooks and their legal argument, the prosecution is willing to coordinate. Lok explained that the notebooks were to be examined to see if there are discrepancies among the police officers about the interaction between the demonstrators and the police.

Mr Justic Andrew Chan Hing-wai thinks that it is not feasible to turn over 1,000 police notebooks. He arranged for a second hearing on June 27 and asked both sides to narrow their differences on this issue.

(Oriental Daily) June 15, 2017.

Joshua Wong is rumored to be planning to run for District Councilor in Southern Horizon in 2019 and then Legislative Councilor in 2020. But under the District Council Ordinance and Legislative Council Ordinance, anyone sentenced to jail for more than 3 months will not be allowed to enter the election in the next five years.

In the previous case involving Cheng Kam-mun (#676) for the same contempt of court charge during Occupy Mong Kok, the sentence was 3 months in prison which was just under the threshold. So Wong's election plans will hinge on the length of jail sentence. Will it be 3 months or less?

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 12, 2017.

Over a dozen Taiwanese lawmakers established a cross-party group on Monday to demonstrate concern for the development of democracy in Hong Kong.

The Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus was set up by Huang Kuo-chang of the independence-leaning New Power Party, and aims to promote exchanges in democratic experiences between legislators in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Legislators from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have joined the 18-member caucus, but no legislators from the Chinese nationalist Kuomintang party – currently in opposition – are known to have done so.

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers Nathan Law, Ray Chan and Eddie Chu, as well as activists Joshua Wong and Alex Chow, attended Monday morning’s establishment ceremony in Taipei.

“Hong Kong and Taiwan face a similar problem in that we are being challenged by an authoritarian Chinese government, especially on human rights,” said Law. “From the incidents concerning [the disappearance of] Taiwan’s Lee Ming-cheh and Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay booksellers, to Hong Kong’s democratic development and Taiwan’s lack of international recognition – these all originate from the same authoritarian government,” he added.

Chu said that Hong Kong’s current stage of democratic development is equivalent to Taiwan’s tangwai period in the 20th century, when the Kuomintang ruled as an authoritarian government and violence against opposition was common. “Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers have obtained over half of the popular vote, but less than half of the seats… we can see from this that Hong Kong must catch up to Taiwan with regards to democratic development.”

New Power Party legislator Huang added that the caucus will not only discuss issues of democracy – it will also exchange views with Hong Kong lawmakers on issues of youth, land distribution, urban development and gender.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 14, 2017.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has strongly opposed several Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers’ visit to Taiwan to establish a congressional group on Hong Kong affairs.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Office, said: “We strongly oppose the collusion of Taiwan and Hong Kong’s independence forces to interfere in the implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle in Hong Kong, and to destroy the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.” “The plot and [their] actions are not welcomed by the people and will never succeed,” Ma added at a regular press conference on Wednesday.

But Nathan Law dismissed criticism of the meeting, saying they were merely excuses.

“The Democratic Progressive Party, which has been labeled a Taiwan independence force, is now the ruling party. The [pro-Beijing] DAB party also formed a group to visit them in 2008,” he said on Tuesday. “It shows how ridiculous the claim of collusion with Taiwan independence forces is – also, it is normal to have interactions in civil societies. Beijing has long implemented an isolation policy on Hong Kong which claims that fighting for international support is equal to colluding with foreign forces – an attempt. But Hong Kong is an international city – we cannot stop and let Beijing control us. Fighting for international support is a necessary part of democratic progress.”

(Ming Pao) Editorial. June 14, 2017.

The "Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus at the Legislative Yuan" has been set up by lawmakers from the New Power Party and the Democratic Progressive Party, and a number of Hong Kong Legislative Council members attended the tea party celebrating the event.

Both Hong Kong and Taiwan people enjoy freedom of speech. Exchanges between citizens from the two regions should not be criticised as long as they are not illegal. In fact, every time the Taiwanese presidential election is held, members of Hong Kong political parties fly to Taiwan to study the election and visit the campaign headquarters of candidates from all the major parties. However, the invitation issued by the Caucus to Hong Kong lawmakers from the "localism" and "self-determination" camps is different in nature from those exchanges. First, the Caucus was set up by Taiwanese members of the Legislative Yuan, and the tea party was held at the Legislative Yuan. The interactions were thus of a higher level than ordinary exchanges between citizens. Second, according to Huang Kuo-chang, Chairman of the New Power Party, the Caucus was a cross-party alliance of members of the Legislative Yuan. However, one does not need to look further than the list of the Caucus's 18 members to realise that the so-called "cross-party alliance" was in fact made up of "deep-green" politicians from the Democratic Progressive Party and New Power Party only, with lawmakers from the Kuomintang and the People First Party not participating in the Caucus. This shows that the Caucus is not an alliance of lawmakers from across the political spectrum, and is instead a group with an obvious political leaning. If Hong Kong politicians want to compare notes with members of the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan, they should meet with people from different camps. They should not contact just a specific group of politicians and leave people with the impression that they are forming an alliance with those politicians.

For a long time, Taiwanese politicians were not particularly concerned about Hong Kong affairs. That was the case during the presidency of Chen Shui-bian and that of Ma Ying-jeou alike. However, since Tsai Ing-wen took office, Taiwan's policies towards Hong Kong have changed without many noticing. As pointed out by a Hong Kong expert on the field, the Democratic Progressive Party's advisers on cross-strait relations now take the view that Taiwan and Hong Kong can "fight shoulder to shoulder with each other to defend the core values that they share, including democracy, freedoms, and judicial independence". The Caucus was established against such a backdrop. Huang has claimed that the Caucus was set up to invite Legislative Yuan members from different parties to be concerned about and support Hong Kong's fight for democracy and to enable lawmakers from the two regions to exchange views on issues like young people and land justice. Despite such an ostensibly lofty goal, the actual proposals of members of the Caucus make one suspicious about their motive — are the so-called exchanges on public policies just a masquerade for promoting something entirely different?

Hong Kong's democratic movement before 2014 was never linked to topics like "self-determination" and "independence", let alone being interpreted as separatist. Joshua Wong, Secretary General of Demosistō and Nathan Law, a lawmaker, who were both invited to the Caucus's tea party, said invariably that both Taiwan and Hong Kong were under pressure from Beijing and as such should "support each other". But they have failed to understand one key difference: Hong Kong is fighting for democracy in the face of Beijing, while what deep-green politicians in Taiwan want is Taiwan's independence! Forging friendship with advocates of Taiwan's independence in the belief that "an enemy's enemy is your friend" is likely to backfire — it will complicate Hong Kong's fight for democracy and make it difficult to separate the democratic cause from the Hong Kong independence ideology.

- (SCMP) Taiwan is sending wrong message about Hong Kong’s rule of law. By Alex Lo. June 15, 2017.

Some political groups in Taiwan are helping to turn a Hong Kong fugitive into a human rights claimant. They are, in effect, undermining the well-earned reputation of the city’s judicial independence.

Lee Sin-yi, 18, who allegedly took part in the Lunar New Year riot in Mong Kok last year, has been charged with rioting and assaults against police. She jumped bail and escaped to Taiwan. A court has issued a warrant for her arrest.

A simple case of absconding? Not according to some Taiwanese activists. New Power Party legislator Huang Kuo-chang, who has been briefing reporters about the case, said several Taiwan-based human rights groups had been helping Lee.

But why? She is clearly not a dissident, nor is there any evidence that her civil and legal rights may be violated under Hong Kong’s judicial system. The young woman made a terrible mistake but now refuses to face the music. Yet, some groups in Taiwan are deliberately misrepresenting her situation as a human rights case.

Huang and other members of his pro-independence party have formed the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus, which is allied with pan-democratic lawmakers and activists such as Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Alex Chow Yong-kang. The caucus is pushing for legal protocol to be set up in Taiwan for Hong Kong and Macau people who may need to seek political asylum. Do they really think people in both places are facing persecution and need to flee like Lee?

A fugitive is being turned into a cause celebre. This picture is so wrong on so many levels. It sends a message to young people in Hong Kong that it’s okay to behave violently and lawlessly – and to refuse to face legal consequences – so long as you claim to take an anti-government stance.

It sends a message that our judiciary is not independent but politically compromised, and so cannot be trusted.

It sends a message that our city is not a free society but runs on a system of repression. As a result, any normally legitimate law enforcement or prosecution may be in danger of being dismissed as an act of political persecution so long as it suits someone’s political agenda.

If the pan-democrats really stand for the rule of law and judicial independence, now is the time to speak up.

(The Standard) Rival camps argue over Taiwan caucus. June 16, 2017.

The pro-establishment camp has shown no signs it will stop pro-democracy lawmakers from joining a Taiwanese legislature caucus even as the former condemned their colleagues for colluding with independence advocates on the island. Raymond Chan Chi-chuen of People Power, Nathan Law Kwun- chung of Demosisto and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick of Land Justice League on Monday participated in the establishment of the "Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus," a group of 18 Taiwanese Legislative Yuan members who aim to track the SAR's progress toward democracy.

Law and Chu said they advocate self-determination, but not independence. Chan does not support self- determination.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has slammed self-determination, citing it as a prelude to independence.

Thirty-nine pro-establishment legislators yesterday signed a joint declaration, strongly condemning their three colleagues. Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen was not among the signatories.

"As legislators of the Hong Kong SAR of the People's Republic of China, they openly joined activities of that organization [the caucus], and advocated 'Hong Kong Independence', 'Subtle Independence' and 'Taiwan Independence' and intervention in the internal affairs of Hong Kong, threatening the 'one country, two systems,' unity of the country and violating the Basic Law," according to the declaration.

Martin Liao Cheung-kong, convener of the pro-establishment caucus, described the Monday event as "collusion," citing members of the Taiwan caucus.

The pro-establishment side has had many contacts with Taiwanese political groups, but those contacts were different, the DAB's Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan said. "This group [Taiwan caucus] has vowed to interfere with Hong Kong's internal affairs," Quat claimed.

Law hit back, saying the Taiwan caucus was similar to Legco panels which cover nothing about Hong Kong independence. Chan said the pro-establishment camp's declaration would mean stopping all contacts with the Taiwan government.

Internet comments:

- (EJ Insight) Can Hong Kong rely on Taiwan to help it fight for democracy? By SC Yeung. June 13, 2017.

Many Hong Kong people admire the culture and democratic political system of Taiwan but would they also accept Taiwan politicians voicing out support for Hong Kong democracy?

On Monday, about 20 Taiwan lawmakers formed an alliance to support calls for democracy in Hong Kong. The group is led by Huang Kuo-chang, chairman of Taiwan’s pro-independence New Power Party, and includes lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

Several Hong Kong pro-independence politicians and activists including Nathan Law, Joshua Wong, Alex Chow, Chu Hoi-dick and Raymond Chan attended the launch ceremony.

“We need to be united and share our experiences more as we are faced with suppression,” Wong said, adding that his party does not advocate independence for Hong Kong but self-determination.

There are many reasons for politicians in Hong Kong and Taiwan to join hands against the Communist Party of China. The alliance could cement the public impression that both Hong Kong and Taiwan are under massive pressure from Beijing. That should help send a signal to the world community that Hong Kong and Taiwan are the victims of Beijing’s “one China” policy.

New Power Party said Hong Kong and Taiwan face difficulties like a housing shortage and an inefficient youth development policy. The party would be a good platform for exchanging ideas.

The incidents concerning the disappearance of Taiwan’s Lee Ming-cheh and Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay booksellers, as well as problems in Hong Kong’s democratic development and Taiwan’s lack of international recognition are tied to the authoritarian regime in Beijing.

Meanwhile, the new alliance could trigger another round of criticism of local pro-independence politicians. Beijing could further label them as enemies of the “one China” policy.

Hong Kong and Taiwan may just want to find a way to get rid of the iron rule of China. Beijing, on the other hand, could interpret the move as an attempt by the younger generations from both places to challenge the legitimacy of Beijing’s rule over Hong Kong.

The alliance also shows the transformation of the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong.

Previously, traditional democrats from the Democratic Party were willing to challenge Beijing’s red line under the “one China” policy. But now, a younger generation has taken up the role to promote Hong Kong’s independence overseas.

In fact, if Beijing kept its promises under the Basic Law and the Joint Declaration, Hong Kong people should enjoy a high degree of autonomy under “one country, two systems”.

But sadly, Beijing failed to keep its commitments, which worked against the interests of Hong Kong people, but strengthened its political agenda.

Hong Kong is not a closed-door issue. The global community has also expressed its concern about Hong Kong’s democratic development.

Early this year, US Republican Senator Marco Rubio, his partymate Tom Cotton and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin jointly reintroduced the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” to Congress, a move that might prompt Washington to review its policy on Hong Kong and increase uncertainty in Sino-US relations in the days ahead.

Once the bill is passed, the State Department will submit a report on the state of human rights and democratic development in Hong Kong to Congress on a yearly basis.

It’s not surprising that Beijing would ferociously attack the Taiwan-led alliance as evidence of collusion between pro-independence forces. But the Hong Kong and Taiwan partnership should send Beijing a warning that it needs to keep Hong Kong in good shape.

- (EJ INsight) For Hong Kong lawmakers, no Taiwan friends, please. By SC Yeung. June 14, 2017.

Does Hong Kong still enjoy freedom of expression, or more to the point, is it free to make friends in Taiwan?

There could be no definite answer after Beijing criticized a group of Hong Kong lawmakers for supporting a Taiwan-led alliance on democracy.

That triggered allegations by the pro-Beijng camp that the alliance is a joint independence force by certain lawmakers from both sides to challenge Beijing and its “one China policy”. It accused the Hong Kong legislators of violating their oath of office.

Based on that, Beijing loyalists want Nathan Law, Chu Hoi-dick and Ray Chan, who are labelled as pro-independence politicians, to be ousted from the legislature on the grounds that they are a threat to China’s national security.

Pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao criticised the Taiwanese lawmakers who are spearheading the alliance for blatantly interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs. It said Hong Kong is a matter for Beijing alone.

However, what the Taiwan lawmakers want to do is their own business, so in that case, Beijing is trying to poke its nose in their backyard.

The pro-Beijing camp is using an old tactic to deal with the collaboration between the pro-independence camps of Hong Kong and Taiwan by using an out-of-date argument to set the bottom line.

For example, Business and Professionals Alliance lawmaker Priscilla Leung said the collaboration highlights the need to introduce national security legislation in Hong Kong.

If three local lawmakers showing up at a press conference in Taiwan can threaten the national security of China, then the “motherland” is simply too weak to be Hong Kong’s sovereign.

Hong Kong people are clever enough to understand the rationale behind the collaboration between the Hong Kong and Taiwanese lawmakers in pushing for Hong Kong democracy.

The alliance shows the muscle of the pro-independence camp in dealing with overseas politicians and bring Hong Kong issues beyond Hong Kong, as well as raise political awareness.

Hong Kong people also have the right to know how the Taiwan experience can help to achieve Hong Kong democracy.

Such discussions could be more like academic sharing rather than an action plan that can affect the national security of China.

But Hong Kong people know Hong Kong’s fate is tied to Beijing, not Taiwan, or any country in the world.

Hongkongers may not like to express their patriotic feelings publicly but deep in their minds, they believe that Hong Kong cannot be separated from China.

That should be enough for Beijing to stop worrying about the growing independence movement.

In fact, it’s a non-issue raised by outgoing Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying two years ago without providing concrete evidence, using it as a tool to attack a small group of politicians who prefers to maintain the uniqueness of Hong Kong rather than fully embrace China.

Speaking to reporters before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Leung said Hong Kong cannot be complacent in its response to calls for various degrees of self-determination, including separatism and outright independence.

However, Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam is convinced that the idea of Hong Kong independence is supported by very few people and has not gained ground as a popular ideology.

Still, Leung insists Hong Kong must adopt a clear and strong stance against calls for self-determination, as the notion violates the Basic Law.

But it is not appropriate for Leung to talk about Taiwan independence. The more he talks on this issue, the more pushback he gets from Taiwan people. That could further drive Taiwan away from Beijing.

In fact, if Beijing strongly believes that “one country, two systems” has achieved significant results in the past two decades, top leaders should welcome opposition lawmakers to make friends with their Taiwan counterparts without fear of upending the system.

But can Beijing do that?

- Even before the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus at the Legislative Yuan officially came into existence, the New Power Party is already meddling in the judicial system of Hong Kong. After initial denials, they admit that they are harboring the fugitive Lee Sin-yi from the Mong Kok trial. In so doing, the New Power Party has decided that they shall decide what is justice in Hong Kong instead of some Hong Kong judge or jury. I am sure that the one of the first actions of the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus at the Legislative Yuan will be to summon Lee Sin-yi to report on the state of freedom/democracy/human rights in Hong Kong.

- This will make it into One Country Three Systems, with the Supreme Court of the Judicial Branch of the Hong Kong system being the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus at the Legislative Yuan.

- No, this will make into One Country Four Systems, with the Legislative Branch of the Hong Kong system being co-located at the United States Senate per the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of Republican senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton.

- Yes, and we need the United Kingdom to host the Executive Branch of the Hong Kong System in order to have One Country Five Systems.

- Talk about the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus is just hot air. The real question is: Will they put their money where their mouths are? How much are they going to donate (openly or surreptitiously) to Nathan Law/Joshua Wong/Agnes Chow, Eddie Chu or Chan Chi-chuen? Until the money is delivered, all the talk is worth less than a piece of toilet paper.

- The United States of America puts its money where its mouth is as it funneled billions of dollars through the National Endowment for Democracy to promote freedom and democracy all over the world.

- (ESWN November 11, 2006) Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian once gave Chinese student leader Wang Dan US$200,000. So how much is Joshua Wong worth?

- (Taipei Times) June 9, 2017.

Exiled Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan (王丹) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communication Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) yesterday engaged in a war of words after Hu chided Wang for saying “there will not be Taiwanese independence without bloodshed.”

Wang, a student leader in the pro-democracy protests in Beijing in the spring of 1989, in a Facebook post marking the 28th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre on Saturday called on Taiwanese independence advocates to stop advocating independence if they are not prepared to shed blood, otherwise their words would only amount to “verbal masturbation.”

Hu yesterday commended Wang for “speaking the truth,” but criticized him for the timing of the remark, as Wang, who has spent eight years in Taiwan, is scheduled to leave for the US next month.

Wang has “milked” his “charmed life” in Taiwan “for all it was worth” and only spoke the truth before “abandoning” Taiwan, Hu said.

Wang said on Facebook that the KMT had deliberately misinterpreted his words.

The “bloodshed” remark was meant to encourage younger generations to fight for independence, but also act as a reminder that they should be prepared to pay a price, Wang said. He dismissed Hu’s remarks about him living a high life in Taiwan only to abandon it.

Wang compared Hu’s words to propaganda by China’s Internet trolls, calling them “vulgar.” He urged the KMT to “mind its own business,” saying that countless Republic of China soldiers were killed by the Chinese Communist Party during the Chinese Civil War, but instead of avenging them, the KMT has played second fiddle to Beijing.

The KMT lost its reign over China and repeated its mistake after it retreated to Taiwan, he said. “If I were the KMT, I would have dug a hole in the ground and jumped in. How come you still have the audacity to accuse others?” Wang said. “Spokesman Hu, how shameless you are.”

Hu yesterday said he is not ashamed of “stating the facts.” Citing a list pan-green camp politicians that have also criticized Wang’s “bloodshed” remark, he said the antipathy toward the remark had crossed party lines.

The best “revenge” the KMT can have is to promote the teachings of the democracy pioneers who died during the war and pass on Taiwan’s democratic values to all Chinese, Hu said. Wang’s remark that the KMT should take revenge on China shows that he is not well-versed in democracy and that his thoughts have progressed little since 1989, Hu said.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) June 13, 2017.

Panama and China announced Tuesday they were establishing diplomatic relations, as the Central American nation became the latest to dump Taiwan for closer ties with the world’s second-largest economy.

The move prompted an angry response from Taiwan and will likely further strain ties between Taipei and Beijing, which considers the self-ruled island a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland.

Taiwan is recognised by around 20 countries worldwide and its status is one of the most politically sensitive issues for Chinese leaders who pressure trade partners to accept its “one China” principle.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela said in a nationally televised message “to the country and the world” that “Panama and China establish diplomatic relations today”.

The two countries issued a joint statement saying: “In light of the interests and wishes of both peoples, the Republic of Panama and People’s Republic of China have decided to grant each other, from the date of this document’s signing, mutual recognition, establishment of diplomatic ties at the ambassadorial level.”

Taiwan reacted furiously to the latest move. “We strongly condemn Beijing for manipulating the so-called ‘one China’ policy to continue to suppress Taiwan’s international space through various means,” the presidential office said. “This kind of action is not only an open threat to Taiwanese people’s survival and welfare but also an open provocation to peace and stability in the Taiwan strait and the region.”

- (SCMP) June 14, 2017.

The United States wants China and Taiwan to engage in dialogue instead of escalatory or destabilising moves, a US State Department spokesperson said after Panama cut ties with Taiwan and switched its official recognition to Beijing.

The US continues to oppose unilateral action by either side to alter the status quo across the Strait, spokesperson Heather Nauert told a press briefing on Wednesday.

Nauert declined to comment whether Panama, a small Central American nation, had informed the US of the change in advance.

“The United States urges all concerned parties to engage in productive dialogue and to avoid escalatory or destabilising moves,” Nauert said.

- Hmm, " the United States continues to oppose unilateral action by either side to alter the status quo across the Strait"? Whatever happened to the rights of the sovereign nation of Panama to choose which countries it wants diplomatic relations with?

- The Hong Kong independence movement needs strong and powerful friends. Taiwan is not one. What Hong Kong needs is the United States Seven Fleet permanently guarding Victoria Harbor. But the United States seems no reason to do that.

- The Hong Kong independence movement is not looking for that single strong and powerful friend. They are looking for many friends. They think that if Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang declare independence simultaneously, the Chinese Communists won't be able to attack on all fronts at the same time. This is the Whac-A-Mole strategy.

- While it would be a major war to invade Taiwan, and Tibet and Xinjiang have huge areas to cover, Hong Kong is a piece of cake -- just cut off food, water, electricity and telecommunications. Hong Kong will capitulate within a week.

- Here is the list of the 20 countries which recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan):

The top picks for the next to go are: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Vatican City. However, China will probably schedule them to take place one every three months.

Nicaragua's president is Daniel Ortega (Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)) while El Salvador's president is Salvador Sánchez Cerén (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN)). Both are leftists/socialists. Just like Panama, these countries are always worried about being invaded by the United States to overthrow their democratically elected governments. They need China's support at the United Nations. The only reason why they haven't done so yet is that China told them to wait.

Meanwhile Vatican City's has to weigh the conditions of the Devil's Bargain because there are 1.4 billion Chinese souls waiting to be saved. If Vatican City does not act, they will all go to hell.

- (HKG Pao) June 15, 2017.

On Radio Free Asia, Causeway Bay Bookstore's Lam Wing-kee said that Hong Kong independence is unlikely to be realized in the foreseeable future. "However, Hong Kong independence can serve as the bargaining chip against Chinese Communist meddling." He said: "What is wrong with the people of Hong Kong fighting for independence? I don't see anything wrong with it. It can be used as a bargaining chip!"

Lam Wing-kee said that he does not approve of violent resistance. However, the people of Hong Kong should be able to bring up self-determination, independence and other demands as bargaining chips in negotiations with the Chinese Communists over their meddling. "If you have bargaining chips, why not use them?"

Lam Wing-kee said that culturally speaking, the Chinese Communists should be able to rule for another 3,000 years. The China problem can only be solved by "rectifying" the traditional Confucian ideas in Chinese tradition. He said that it will be impossible to bring down the Chinese Communists. "But I think that it is possible to maintain a distance from them, in the sense the river water won't mix with the well water."

Lam Wing-kee said that the people of Hong Kong can hold down Chinese Communist meddling if they stick to their principles. He does not think that Hong Kong is a hopeless, but it all depends on how the people of Hong Kong. "You have to ask the people of Hong Kong, not mainland China." Lam said previously that he has no plans to immigrate to Taiwan. He said that Hongkongers can surely immigrate to Taiwan to enjoy the "fruits of their resistance." But as Hongkongers "hae the duty to defend the land in which they were born and raised." Therefore he does not approve of immigration.

- Here is a gambler who holds a hand that is a sure loser (=Hong Kong independence will be impossible to realize), but he wants to bet the family house on it.

What is the situation of the other player (Chinese Communists)? If he concedes this bluff, he will also lose Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and the hearts and minds of every Han person. So he will have to go all in, and take over the gambler's family home.

- (AM 730) By Lee Wah-ming (Democratic Party). June 16, 2017.

In Taiwan, eighteen legislators formed the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus on June 12. The Democratic Progressivfe Party's Secretary-general of the Legislative Yuan Lin Chih-chia said that, as the representative of the speaker and deputy speaker of the Legislative Yuan, he promises to do everything possible to provide resources to this Caucus.

he signs are the the members of the Caucus come from the New Power Party and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. The New Power Party was formed in January 2015 and won five seats in the Legislative Yuan elections last year to become the third most powerful political party after the Democratic Progressive Party and the KMT. This young organization supports Taiwan independence. They are basically formed by young persons backed by the Democratic Progressive Party, which includes Taiwan independence in its party policty.

The Caucus is clearly formed by pro-Taiwan independence elements. Although the three Hong Kong legislators who attended the inaugural ceremony insisted that they have never advocated Hong Kong independence, their previous ideas and actions show that they do not think they are Chinese. They use the term "Chinese Communists" instead of the "Central Government" or "Mainland Government." During the legislative council elections, they repeatedly emphasized that they are for self-determination and not Hong Kong independence. But there is not much difference between the two ideas.

Ever since the Democratic Progressive Party took over the reigns in Taiwan, cross-strait relationship has dropped to the freezing point. The Chinese government is isolating Taiwan internationally. Earlier, they prevented Taiwan from participating in the World Health Organisation meeting. Recently Panama broke off diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. My guess is that the Taiwan government wants to use Hong Kong to make trouble for the mainland government, even secretly giving resources to support Hong Kong forces to oppose the central government.

My other interesting observation is that while Caucus chairman Huang Kuo-chang (New Power Party) Noted that this is the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China, Chan Chi-chuen, Joshua Wong and others from Hong Kong said that this is the 20th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty to China. The different ways of characterization of the same event showed that these Hongkongers don't like the word "handover" for obvious reasons which I don't need to explain.

I am not criticizing the formation of this Caucus because I am afraid of making the central government angry. I will fully support anything to help democracy in Hong Kong. But there is absolutely no point in these kinds of actions that only provoke the central government. Above all, I don't want to see Hong Kong being used as a chess piece by Taiwan and other foreign forces. We have to fight for our own democracy, and we cannot expect someone else to do it for us!

- (Ming Pao) June 16, 2017.

Certain Hong Kong Legislative Councilors went to Taiwan to form a Taiwan Legislative Yuan Hong Kong Democracy Concern Network with Taiwan legislators.

Unsurprisingly, the Beijing camp characterized this network as a coalition of Hong Kong independence and Taiwan independence elements. Joshua Wong said that this was a mischaracterization and insisted that this was just political exchange.

Actually, the Hong Kong delegates must know beforehand how this coalition would be viewed.

Traditional Hong Kong political parties such as the Democratic Party and the Civic Party did not participate. From Taiwan, only the pro-independence New Power Party and the Democratic Progressive Party participated while the Nationalist Party and the People First Party did not.

This sort of coalition cannot be said to be a coalition between the legislatures in both places. Instead, it is at most a coalition of certain kinds of political forces.

Irrespective of whether this is a coalition of pro-independence forces or not, what is the practical usefulness of such a network?

Can Hong Kong use Taiwan to apply pressure on mainland China?

Taiwan can hardly even take care of itself. Taiwan was hapless when Panama dumped it for mainland China. How can it change the political hold of mainland China on Hong Kong?

Democratic Progressive Party legislator Wang Ting-yu said that he hopes that Hong Kong legislators will not be disqualified for failing to take the oath of office in accordance with the ceremonial rules.

How can such a Taiwan-Hong Kong network hope to apply pressure on the Hong Kong Legislative Council?

Another New Power Party legislator Kawlo Lyun wanted to be able to introduce motions in the Taiwan Parliament for the government and society to provide help to Hong Kong people who are facing political suppressoin.

This makes one think of Lee Sin-yi who skipped bail for the Mong Kok riot charges and went to Taiwan to seek political asylum. It seems that the short-term goal of the Taiwan-Hong Kong network is to turn Taiwan into a safe haven for Hongkongers seeking political refuge.

But does the Taiwan parliament have consensus on such difficult issues?

Is the government willing to do so? When Taiwan becomes the safe harbor, will Hongkongers become even more extreme when they fight against the government because they know that someone is looking after their backs?

There is no clear roadmap at this point.

Wang Dan said that it is bullshit to fight for Taiwan independence without shedding blood. This has raised controversies in Taiwan, and I think it is thought-worthy.

Will the network become a battleground? Are our political figures prepared to go to war? We wait for the answers.

- The model would be the Contras. Taiwan can covertly fund and arm a Hong Kong Resistance Movement.

- (HKG Pao) June 21, 2017.

- In a June 12, 2017 news report in Taiwan, "Legislative Yuan secretary-general Lin Chih-chia said that Taiwan's international space is under pressure from China. The executive branch has its difficulties, so Legislative branch representatives must form various parliamentary friendship association at various countries around the world to break through the political difficulties and raise the visibility of Taiwan. So far, the Legislative Yuan already has 60 international friendship associations with various countries.

According to the Act Governing Relations between People of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area Article 5-1,

Any authorities or institution at each local government level of the Taiwan Area shall not negotiate or execute any agreement in any form with any individual, juristic person, organization, or other authorities or institution of the Mainland Area unless authorized by the Mainland Affairs Council, Executive Yuan. The same applies mutatis mutandis to the civil servants, elected public offices at all levels, or local representative organs at all levels.

Any individual, juristic person, organization, or other institution shall not execute any agreement involving the governmental powers of the Taiwan Area or political issues with any individual, juristic person, organization, or other authorities or institution of the Mainland Area unless authorized by the Mainland Affairs Council, Executive Yuan or each competent authorities concerned in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Please note the point about "execute any agreement in any form." Nathan Law, Chan Chi-chuen, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Alex Chow and Joshua Wong went to Taiwan for a signing ceremony for the establishment of a network with the pro-Taiwan independence legislators. According to pro-independence legislator Huang Kuo-chang, "This network is formed mainly by the Taiwan Legislative Yuan and the Hong Kong Legislative Council together. No matter what form this takes, the exchange will continue on issues ranging from youth, land justice to urban development, high housing prices, low wages.  Taiwan and Hong Kong can learn from each other about the various policies adopted to deal with the common problems."

- Please note also that the Act Governing Relations between People of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area refers to the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. There is no such thing as the Hong Kong Area or the Macau Area, because those are considered sub-areas under the Mainland Area.

- The three legislators told the media afterwards that they participated as "individuals"". But once they met in Taiwan, they pronounced that the meeting was "an exchange between the legislatures of Hong Kong and Taiwan." So the three legislators appointed themselves to represent the Hong Kong Legislative Council in Taiwan.

Has the Legislative Yuan receive the authorization of the Mainland Affairs Council, Executive Yuan in according to Article 5-1 to establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong network supported only by pro-Taiwan independence legislators?

What does it take to for Hong Kong legislative councilors to officially represent the Hong Kong Legislative Council? There are some very specific steps. For example, according to Legislative Council document CB(1)712/16-17, the Legislative Council received an invitation from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and World Trade organisation to send two Legislative Councilors to attend a workshop in Singapore. The Panel on Commerce and Industry at the Legislative Council met to decide whether to accept this invitation. Once there was agreement to accept, the next consideration was to determine which two legislative councilors would go. Yiu Chung-yim and Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu were selected. A budget was estimated for expenses. After the Panel on Commerce and Industry passed the request, the matter was referred to the Home Council for approval. Only then can these two legislative councilors represent the Hong Kong Legislative Counil.

In the case of Nathan Law, Chan Chi-chuen and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, they did no such thing because it should be very clear that the Home Council would never approve of a delegation to sign a cooperation agreement with something called the Taiwan Legislative Yuan Hong Kong Democracy Concern Network.

(SCMP) June 12, 2017.

The Democratic Party has vowed to fight for “self-determination to the greatest extent” for Hong Kong, although it flatly rejects calls for Hong Kong independence.

The party also says it rejects “any form of violence” in pursuing democracy, while saying it appreciates why there has been a rise in “violent or radical resistance” in recent years.

The party spelled out its stance on a range of political issues in a 16-page report released on Sunday after a review of the city’s democratic movement since the 1980s and the implementation of the “one country, two systems” policy after the 1997 handover.

The document reads: “The Democratic Party will not allow Hong Kong to move towards ‘one country, one system’. Nor will we support Hong Kong independence. We believe that we should strive for self-determination to the greatest extent under the current framework of [recognising China’s] sovereignty.”

Without naming any party, the Democratic Party also rejected the idea of having a referendum for Hongkongers to decide whether the city should cut ties with mainland China, calling it a “political gamble with extremely high risk”. Such an idea has been put forward by Demosisto, a political party led by former student activist Nathan Law Kwun-chung.

The Democratic Party is the biggest pro-democracy party in the Legislative Council with seven seats. It has more than 600 members. The document was released at a seminar hosted by the party on the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover.

Most speakers were from the pan-democrat camp. They criticised Beijing for not respecting the “one country, two systems” policy by imposing tighter control over Hong Kong in recent years.

One speaker, Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming said: “It has now become the Communist Party ruling Hong Kong.”

The only pro-establishment speaker, lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee of the New People’s Party, argued that increasing calls for independence, as well as the city’s failure to enact a national security law, had caused Beijing to adjust its policies on Hong Kong.

Representatives of various pan-democratic groups told the seminar they had to learn more about Beijing and its politics to advance the democratic movement.

Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan said: “We can’t knock down China. China is getting stronger. We need to ask ourselves if our democratic movement is aimed at destroying a giant. We should get to know more about China. We are not making a revolution. We have no army, no weapon. So, what is our democratic movement aimed at?”

Raphael Wong Ho-ming of the League of Social Democrats agreed. “It seems Beijing knows us much more than we know it. Without an understanding of your opponent, how can you tackle it?”

Internet comments:

- The Democratic Party document referred to the relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China as "Hong Kong-China relationship." This is the same positioning as the Taiwan-China relationship, as if Hong Kong and China have equal standing. Worse yet, this is "Hong Kong-China relationship" with Hong Kong taking precedence over China. What were they thinking? Or were they not thinking when they wrote it?

- The Democratic Party arrived at this position by procrastination. A year or two ago, it was fashionable to talk about Hong Kong independence as a possibility. They could not bring themselves to go against the current to oppose. So they dithered around. Now the situation is clearer in view of developments over the past couple of years:

(1) The Central Government/Chinese Communist Party are firmly against Hong Kong independence/self-determination.

(2) The Chinese University of Hong Kong survey showed that 83.5% of persons age 15+ think Hong Kong independence is impossible and 2.9% think it is possible.

(3) The only possible path to Hong Kong independence is based upon the Coming Meltdown of China.

(The Diplomat) March 20, 2015.

The temptation to make predictions about China is probably irresistible, because it is arguably the most important contemporary case in international relations. Thus, a few Western observers have risked their professional reputations by acting as prophets. Perhaps the most (in)famous is Gordon Chang, who published The Coming Collapse of China in 2001. “The end of the modern Chinese state is near,” he asserted. “The People’s Republic has five years, perhaps ten, before it falls,”

China didn’t collapse, as we all know. “So, yes, my prediction was wrong,” he admitted in an article (“The Coming Collapse of China: 2012 Edition”). But he remained convinced about the imminence of a Chinese apocalypse and offered a new timeline: “Instead of 2011, the mighty Communist Party of China will fall in 2012. Bet on it.”

But China seems to be getting stronger every day. So how do you rationalize your timeline/path to Hong Kong independence?

(4) No foreign country is willing to support, fund or arm a Hong Kong independence movement. Not the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan or Taiwan.

(5) After the Fishball Revolution, it is clear that the leaders of the Hong Kong independence movement are great at incitement but they run off to 'study' at Oxford University and Harvard University while the foot soldiers are arrested and sentenced to jail.

(6) When resources are limited and even shrinking fast, what is left to do is to plunder from fellow travelers. Thus, the Democratic Party issues its position paper in order to cannibalize Demosisto, Civic Passion attacks Raywond Wong/MyRadio, Wong Yeung-tat fights Cheng Chung-tai within Civic Passion, etc.

- Why is Helena Wong Pik-wan so humble about the need to know more about China? Previously (Ta Kung Pao, June 1, 2017)

Democratic Party legislator Helena Wong Pik-wan said that many people recommended her to watch the television serial drama <In the Name of the People>. So far she has reached Chapter 9. She said that she has gained greater understanding of political culture in mainland China through this show.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen told Wong that he has reached Chapter 16 of <In the Name of the People." "The show runs to more than fifty chapters, so there is plenty more to watch. This is a good show, so I recommend Legislator Wong to finish watching it." However, Tam said that Wong should not be purely watching television drama in order to understand China. He urges Wong and her fellow party members to go more often to mainland China to observe and communicate.

- Raphael Wong Ho-ming of the League of Social Democrats agreed. “It seems Beijing knows us much more than we know it. Without an understanding of your opponent, how can you tackle it?”

The League of Social Democrats' toolkit of dealing with Beijing consists of (1) hanging down banners from Lion Rock; (2) carrying a cardboard coffin to the China Liaison Office, spreading joss money and then disbanding; etc. How do you gain any understanding of the opponent?

(Wen Wei Po) June 9, 2017.

Recently former Civic Passion leader Wong Yeung-tat has been attacked on multiple fronts. On one hand, his mentor Raymond Wong Yuk-man is accusing him of betrayal and disloyalty in order to make more money. On the other hand, there are internal dissension at Civic Passion, with many veterans breaking away. The two major ex-Civic Passion members are Pierre Cheung (aka "The French Guy") and Lee Ching-hei.

Cheung and Lee followed Wong Yeung-tat at many of the major clashes, such as the Occupy movement, breaking into the Legislative Council and the so-called Restore movement in Yuen Long.

According to Cheung and Lee, Wong Yeung-tat is guilty of three things:

(1) Wong Yeung-tat told his trusted aides to clash with the police. Beforehand, he promised to pay for all legal expenses. Afterwards, Wong refused to give a single cent and in fact severe relations with them. Lee Ching-hei is now in court for clashing with the police and Wong refuses to help him. Lee is now cursing Wong as a cowardly bastard "who talks deceptively about morality/ethics all the time."

(2) Wong Yeung-tat believed that it is advantageous for him to run for office on a list with other people who have criminal records. Pierre Cheung said that Wong wanted to run for Legislative Council on Wong's list, because his criminal record gives him an aura of social activist hero. When Cheung refused, Wong ostracized him from Civic Passion.

(3) Wong Yeung-tat cared only about reaping money for himself. He believes that politics is merely a business to make money, and his supporters are merely financial tools. When they are useful, he refers to them as brothers. When they are no longer useful, he discards them.

Internet comments:

- (HK Nuts Power Facebook)

Here are  the 11 vacations that Mr. and Mrs. Wong Yeung-tat took over the past 5 years:
May 2017: Osaka
February 2017: Tokyo
October 2016: Vancouver/Toronto
September 2016: Taipei
April 2016: Taipei
October 2015: England
February 2015: Taipei
December 2014: Osaka
May 2014: Seoul
October 2013: Portugal
August 2013: Kenting (Taiwan)

Here are the Cartier rings that Mrs. Wong bought ($12,600 for white gold, $25,900 for platinum)

Where does the money come from?

Civic Passion member Chan Pak-yeung was sentenced to 9 months in prison for participation in the Mong Kok riot. Civic Passion asked people to donate money, noting that Passion Times will keep 30% of each donation to cover daily operational costs.

- (HKG Pao) Mrs. Wong responded on Facebook: "I only think that two trips per year is too miserly? Over the decade, many of the trips to France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, England, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere have been great ." This is an insult to those who cannot even afford to visit a wilderness park in Hong Kong once a year, or have fewer than 7 days of vacation per year.

There is nothing too unusual about two trips per year. What is astonishing is that Mr. and Mrs. Wong keep wanting the Civic Passion supporters to donate money which is always in short supply, and then they take vacations and buy jewelry for themselves. Don't the Civic Passion supporters feel foolish about how their money is being put to use?

(Wen Wei Po) June 12, 2017.

On the night before yesterday, Chau Sze Tat held a Facebook live broadcast, during which he played an audio recording of Civic Passion chairman and legislative councilor Cheng Chung-tai spoke during a work session.

Cheng was heard to say: "Between September last year and January/February this year, Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching ... fuck you! They should have died, fucking bastards! But the problem is that I cannot say so in public. I have to pretend to be their friend. I need to show people that I am helping them, because people are idiots! They think that we are Localists, do  you understand? The Localists are in one camp. Some people actually think that we are Youngspiration!"

Chau Sze Tat said that Cheng Chung-tai is a bare-faced liar. If Cheng dislike Leung-Yau, he should say so. During the oath of office conflict, Civic Passion provided no help to Leung-Yau. "There is no way to spin this. Fuck your mother! Go home and sleep on it ... Fuck your mother! You don't have to purge your party. You should disband your party!"

In addition, a former Civic Passion member named Ah Lok all called in on Chau Sze Tat's show and provided multiple screen captures of mobile phone text messages of the group "Full White Flag" headed by Cheng Chung-tai.

At the time, the localist Jacob Choi had passed away and a Pui Kiu Middle School teacher had his identity forged to create a Facebook account to make critical comments about Jacob Choi and Localism. The Civic Passion organized a demonstration at Pui Kiu Middle School. The screen captures showed that Cheng Chung-tai made a call to action late the night before. "We must burn some mourning clothes to let people know that Civic Passion did this. We must have very loud loudspeakers.

Ah Lok said: "They wanted to publicize Four Eyes (=Cheng Kam-mun). So Four Eyes led the group to the school ... I don't sense any sorrow among them. They merely felt: "Jacob is dead and we can use his aura.' They were laughing and joking about taking more photos of Four Eyes. I fuck your mothers! You are not fucking human! How can you fucking laugh at a time like that?"

Last night, Cheng Chung-tai admitted that the audio recording was authentic. "Someone just told me that my internal report to the working group has been leaked." He said that he regrets profoundly that someone should disobey party rules and violate internal communication protocol. He said: "There is nothing in there that could not be publicly said. There are no secrets or exposés." He added later: "All those who supported Leung-Yau on September 4th (2016 Legislative Council elections) and caused Raymond Wong to lose are mentally defective."

Some Civic Passion supporters believe that the audio recording was leaked by Raymond Wong Yuk-man, who has broken up with Civic Passion and Wan Chin. Most of Cheng Chung-tai's aides worked for Raymond Wong previously. "So it is not surprising that someone is Raymond Wong's mole and passed the audio recording to Chau Sze Tat."

(SCMP) By Alex Lo. June 13, 2017.

Beijing-friendly politicians are often accused of practising “united front” tactics. As it turns out, pan-democrats and their radical allies are doing exactly the same. Worse, some have such contempt for the public in whose name they are always claiming to be speaking that it’s truly breathtaking.

The radical Civic Passion chairman and lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai has found himself at the centre of a political storm among anti-government circles. This comes after a heated discussion during a secretly taped party meeting was released online at the weekend.

Cheng was heard blasting ousted lawmakers Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching – both of the localist group Youngspiration – and dismissing the public as “retarded”. The two localist activists had disrupted the Legislative Council’s swearing-in ceremonies and other meetings last October, behaviour that led to their disqualification as lawmakers.

Cheng was heard shouting Cantonese obscenities while discussing the case of Leung and Yau, saying they both “should just die”. He also complained about having to pretend to be their friend, “to make it look like I was helping them”.

“The public is retarded,” he said. “They assume I am part of localism. Some even think I belong to Youngspiration, do you understand?”

Posting a response on his own Facebook page, Cheng neither confirmed nor denied he was the one speaking during the meeting. But he complained that his party comrades should not have made unauthorised recordings of confidential party meetings and then released them on the internet.

So it turns out Cheng and presumably more than a few other opposition figures have had tremendous contempt for Leung and Yau. Yet, they have kept up what is literally a united front for the longest time, just to exploit the pair’s disqualification from the legislature as a rallying point to fight the government.

Cheng is also in legal trouble himself. He has been charged with desecrating the national and Hong Kong flags after he turned upside down small versions of those flags that lawmakers from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong had displayed on their desks inside the Legco chamber in October. It was a completely pointless gesture, other than as a childish insult to the Hong Kong and central governments.

Maybe Cheng shouldn’t be so harsh on Leung and Yau. He is turning out to be as big a fruit cake as those two.

Audio recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_agogBdKsVU

(SCMP) Radical localists have pressed the self-destruct button. By Alex Lo. June 21, 2017.

If a recent poll is anything to go by, localist-inspired separatism has just self-imploded. The June study – by the Chinese University’s centre for communication and public opinion survey – finds that only 14.8 per cent of people aged between 15 and 24 support independence for Hong Kong, down from 39.2 per cent last year. Meanwhile, 43 per cent from the same age groups oppose independence, compared to 26 per cent a year ago.

A single poll may not be representative, but the localist movement is certainly losing steam. Cheng Chung-tai is just the latest so-called radical to be exposed for his questionable character and political judgment. The Civic Passion chairman and legislator was caught cursing ousted lawmakers Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching and dismissing the public as “retarded”.

Edward Leung Tin-kei, once a localist star who threatened the need to spill blood, went overseas to pursue studies on independence movements after calling himself “a coward”. Wong Yuk-man and Horace Chin Wan-kan, the so-called fathers of localism, have been the ones most looked up to by young radicals. Both men now spend more time attacking each other and their own one-time followers than anything else.

Wong single-handedly caused more splits and disputes within the pan-democratic and localist camps than anyone. Just think of all the groups he had split from, causing deep-seated resentments along the way. He went from the League of Social Democrats in the early 2010s to People Power, the Proletariat Political Institute, Civic Passion and finally a so-called alliance with Chin by the combined acronyms CP-PPI-HKRO, only for both men to lose in the last Legislative Council elections.

But let’s not forget the crucial role Wong played in the original spit within the pan-democratic camp that has been at the root of its disarray. That was after the Democratic Party held not-so-secret meetings with Beijing in 2010 that led to a significant expansion of the franchise in the 2012 Legco elections.

That marked the start of local radicalism, when Wong and others helped whip up hysteria against the Democrats. If only the pan-dems had been able to continue dialogue and build trust with the central government!

But with so many leaders discredited, radical localism is burning itself out. Sadly, its only real legacy will have been to give Beijing the perfect excuse to intervene in Hong Kong affairs.

(SCMP) Political conflicts have left our real problems on the back burner. By Alex Lo. June 22, 2017.

When Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying leaves office next week, he will leave behind a highly contentious legacy that will be the subject of debate for years to come. But while his enemies and critics will never admit it, there is no doubt that he has scored two major victories: against the Occupy movement and localist-inspired separatism. Ultimately, they count the most in the eye of the central government.

Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that Leung did not so much as defeat the two movements than that they self-imploded through poor leadership, lack of organisation and constant infighting. You can draw a straight line from the Occupy protests to localist separatism. Clear-sighted observers had always known that the Occupy movement would get nowhere, having been led by naive and incompetent scholars, churchmen and youngsters. Leung and his bosses in Beijing knew no massive state violence in the mould of Tiananmen was necessary or even desirable. All they needed was to wait it out. Sure enough, it lasted just 79 days.

The outcomes were also predictable: political disillusionment for most, self-styled radicalisation by a few. Pan-democrats like to blame Leung for creating radical localism. That’s their backhanded acknowledgement of his success against the Occupy protests. Having exhausted the sloganeering on universal suffrage when pan-democratic lawmakers voted down the last electoral reform package in 2014, the worst of the city’s political malcontents switched to the notion of sovereignty, hence their ever changing, usually incoherent, sometimes contradictory demands for independence, full autonomy and/or city-state status over different time frames, up to 2047 and thereafter. The problem is that the localist radicals can’t even agree among themselves when and in what form Hong Kong’s separation from the rest of China will take, let alone convincing others that it’s a viable political programme.

Having seen the Occupy movement self-destruct, we are now watching the localists self-implode. But Leung’s victories may yet be pyrrhic. Marxists like to point out that political conflicts are merely the surface problems caused by underlying socio-economic contradictions within a society. And they would be exactly right. Our legion of social problems – from extreme inequalities and lack of social mobility and opportunities to profound demographic changes, declining productivity and inability to innovate – are the real issues. Sadly, our leaders and our community as a whole don’t seem to be up to the challenge.

(Marxists. org) Sectarianism. By Duncan Hallas (1985/1987)

The term sectarianism is used so loosely that it may be as well to start by clarifying what it does not mean. It is sometimes asserted that it is sectarian to try to build your own organisation in the course of intervention in various struggles. This is nonsense. If you believe that your organisation’s politics are correct, or at least more correct than those of others, you will naturally want it to grow and will try to build it. Otherwise you are not politically serious.

Of course, this may sometimes be attempted in an arrogant or insensitive fashion, but that is not so much sectarianism as stupidity.

Sectarianism refers exclusively to erroneous attitudes to the class struggle.

“By directing socialism towards a fusion with the working class movement,” wrote Lenin, “Karl Marx and Frederick Engels did their greatest service: they created a revolutionary theory that explained the necessity for this fusion and gave socialists the task of organising the class struggle of the proletariat.”

Fusion, in this context, does not mean the dissolution of a revolutionary organisation into a non-revolutionary one. Lenin was totally committed to building a revolutionary organisation and broke ruthlessly with those, including many of his former collaborators, who wavered on this central point. The key words are “the class struggle of the proletariat”. It is with this that socialists must “fuse”.

The notion goes back to the Communist Manifesto. Sectarians, for Marx and Engels, were those who created “utopias”, abstract schemes derived from supposed general principles, to which people were to be won by persuasion and example – co-operative “islands of socialism” and suchlike – as opposed to the Marxist emphasis on the real movement’, the actual class struggle. It was with this in mind that Marx wrote: “The sect sees the justification for its existence and its point of honour not in what it has in common with the class movement but in the particular shibboleth which distinguishes it from the movement.” (The emphasis is Marx’s own.)

Class movement is meant literally. It is not a matter, or not primarily a matter, of this or that working class institution but of the course of development of the real class struggle and the development of class consciousness. Marx was a revolutionary. For him revolution was not a “particular shibboleth”, but a necessary stage in the struggle for socialism which, in turn, can only be based on the class struggle, regardless, as he wrote, of “what this or that proletarian, or even the whole of the proletariat at the moment considers as its aim”.

However, sectarianism is not necessarily avoided by formal acceptance of the centrality of the class struggle. As early as the 1880s Engels was ridiculing the German Marxist emigrés in the USA for turning Marxism into “a kind of ‘only-salvation’ dogma and [keeping] aloof from any movement which did not accept that dogma”. Engels had in mind the Knights of Labour, a considerable, although confused, attempt at working class organisation, which, he argued (vainly, as far as the German-American Marxists were concerned) “ought not to be pooh-poohed from without but revolutionised from within”.

The argument applies generally. So, in the early years of the Communist International, a good number of genuine revolutionaries, mainly in Germany but not only there, were opposed to systematic work in the existing unions. Their argument was that these unions were bureaucratised and conservative, if not downright reactionary. It was broadly true. It was also true that these unions organised millions of workers and, however bureaucratised and reactionary their leadership, they were class organisations which necessarily played a role (a bad one) in the class struggle and could not simply be bypassed. As Lenin wrote:

We are waging the struggle against the opportunist and social-chauvinist leaders in order to win the working class over to our side. It would be absurd to forget this most elementary and most self-evident truth. Yet this is the very absurdity that the German “Left Communists” perpetrate when, because of the reactionary and counterrevolutionary character of the trade unions’ top leadership, they jump to the conclusion that – we must withdraw from the trade unions, refuse to work in them, and create new and artificial forms of labour organisation! This is so unpardonable a blunder that it is tantamount to the greatest service Communists could render the bourgeoisie.

The common thread between this mistake by the (for the most part) active and revolutionary “lefts” and all other forms of sectarianism is failure to relate to the concrete struggles of workers, however difficult it may be to do so, and to set up utopian schemes as alternatives.

Thus, the propagandistic forms of sectarianism, very different at first sight, have this same root. There is a rich (if that is the appropriate word) experience of this in Britain. We may call them “the pure selected few” sectarians after a verse by the late Tommy Jackson, referring to the British Socialist Labour Party:

We are the pure selected few
And all the rest are damned
There’s room enough in hell for you
We don’t want heaven crammed.

The SLP, although by no means the worst of its kind, placed excessive emphasis on propaganda and a very high level of formal (Marxist) training as a condition of membership. Not so surprisingly, it also believed in separate “red unions” and had a rule forbidding members to hold union office, although they were allowed to be card holders where “job necessity” (that is, the closed shop) required it.

An obsession with “high quality” members, and fear of “dilution” by “raw workers” also came to characterise some of the Trotskyist groups (though not all) and their offshoots. Why is this attitude sectarian? Again we come back to the class struggle as the heart of the matter. And that cuts both ways.

As Trotsky himself wrote: “Coming from the opportunists the accusation of sectarianism is most often a compliment.” True enough, but this in no way alters the fact that sectarian deviations can be a real danger. Trotsky explained the emergence of sectarianism amongst some of his followers by the circumstances of their origin.

Every working class party, every faction, during its initial stages, passes through a period of pure propaganda ... The period of existence as a Marxist circle invariably grafts habits of an abstract approach onto the workers’ movement. Whoever is unable to step in time over the confines of this circumscribed existence becomes transformed into a conservative sectarian. The sectarian looks upon life as a great school with himself as a teacher there ... Though he may swear by Marxism in every sentence the sectarian is the direct negation of dialectical materialism, which takes experience as its point of departure and always returns to it ... The sectarian lives in a sphere of ready-made formulae ... Discord with reality engenders in the sectarian the need to constantly render his formula more precise. This goes under the name of discussion. To a Marxist. discussion is an important but functional instrument of the class struggle. To the sectarian discussion is a goal in itself. However, the more he discusses, the more the actual tasks escape him. He is like a man who satisfies his thirst with salt water; the more he drinks, the thirstier he becomes.

Fortunately this variety of sectarianism is less common now than it was even a few years ago. many of the erstwhile sectarians of this stamp having been absorbed by the Labour Party.

But doesn’t everything that has been said point to the conclusion that revolutionaries ought to intervene in the Labour Party and, to do so more effectively, join it? Isn’t it sectarian, as Militant argue, to stay outside?

(Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey, Chinese University of Hong Kong) June 2017. 1,028 Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong citizens aged 15 or older were interviewed by telephone on May 23-June 2, 2017 at a response rate of 37%.

Q1. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 means totally dissatisfied, 10 means totally satisfied), how would you rate the Central Government on implementing One Country Two Systems?
0-4: 30.2%
5: 30.1%
6-10: 38.7%
Average score: 5.17
(July 2016 average score: 4.77
July 2015 average score: 4.87
December 2014 average score: 4.99)

Q2. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 means totally distrust, 10 means totally trust), how much do you trust following entities:
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government: average score 4.86
The Central Government: 4.91
The Hong Kong Police: 6.09
(Compared to 4.43, 4.33 and 5.93 in July 2016, and 4.38, 4.54 and 5.41 in July 2015).

Q3. How does Hong Kong compare now against before the handover 20 years ago?
62.9%: Worse
19.2%: About the same
15.4%: Better

Q4. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 means extreme pessimism, 10 means extreme optimism), how would you rate the future of Hong Kong?
0-4 33.4%
5: 37.1%
6 to 10: 29.1%

Q5. Have you considered immigrating overseas?
16.1%: Have considered
2.6%: Have seriously planned
1.1%: In the process of immigrating
79.0%: Have not considered

Q6. What do you think about these three preferences about the future of Hong Kong?

Maintain One Country Two Systems
71.2% support
4.9% oppose
22.3% so-so
(compared to 69.6% support and 6.0% oppose in July 2016)

Direct rule by China
14.7% support
58.6% oppose
24.3% so-so
(compared to 13.8% support and 59.2% oppose in July 2016)

Hong Kong independence
11.4% support
60.2% oppose
25.9% so-so
(compared to 17.4% support and 57.6% oppose in July 2016)

Q7. What is the likelihood of Hong Kong independence occurring in the foreseeable future?
83.5%: Impossible
12.5%: Half-half
2.9%: Possible
(compared to 81.2% impossible and 3.6% possible in July 2016)

Q8. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 means totally negative, 10 means totally positive), how would you rate these three political factions in Hong Kong?
Localists: average score 3.48
Pan-democrats: average score 4.51
Pro-establishment: average score 3.9
(compared to 3.45, 4.54 and 4.00 in July 2016)

Q9. Do you agree that constitutional development must adhere to the principle of peaceful non-violence?
78.4%: Agree
15.5%: So-so
4.8%: Disagree
(compared to 71.3% agree and 5.9% disagree in July 2016.

[Note: In July 2016, 39.2% of persons 15-24 support Hong Kong independence while 26% oppose. In July 2017, 14.8% of persons 15-24 support Hong Kong independence while 42% oppose. Why the reversal? (1) small survey sample size for persons 15-24; (2) National People's Congress Standing Committee interpreted Basic Law Article 104 against pro-independence legislators-elect Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching; (3) heavy jail sentences given to Mong Kok rioters; (4) disarray and squabble among localist groups (Civic Passion; Hong Kong Resurgence Order; Proletariat Political Institute; MyRadio; Youngspiration; Hong Kong Indigenous).]

(Hong Kong Economic Journal) June 20, 2017.

In less than two weeks’ time, our next chief executive, Carrie Lam, will be sworn in and, together with her new administration, they will open a new chapter in our city’s history.

For now, it might be too early to tell whether Lam will make a good leader in the next five years, but so far we have seen two good omens about her which may indicate that at least she and her new government won’t get off to a bad start on July 1 like her predecessor did five years ago.

The first good omen is that compared to Leung Chun-ying, who had already been engulfed by scandals over the illegal structures found at his own home, and who had provoked thousands of protesters to take to the streets and demand his resignation even before he officially took office, Carrie Lam seems to be a lot more popular among the public at this moment.

According to a recent poll conducted by the Hong Kong University, Lam’s approval rating stands at 54.7 percent, its highest level since March when she was elected the new chief executive. Her relatively high popularity suggests that Hong Kong people are eager to give their first ever female CE an opportunity to show them what she is made of.

The second good omen was created by Lam herself. During an interview she gave to former Legco president Jasper Tsang, Lam said that most people in Hong Kong, including the pan-democrats, have faith in “one country, two systems”; all they are demanding is to preserve “two systems” more properly.

On the other hand, she said she has strong reservations about whether separatism truly poses a real threat to “one country, two systems” like some people have suggested.

As she put it, separatism remains an impractical and infeasible idea proposed by a very small bunch of radicals, while the overwhelming majority of the public are against it. As such, she believes separatism in Hong Kong is a rhetoric among the minority and doesn’t constitute any cause for concern.

We believe Lam’s opinion about the so-called “growth” of separatism in Hong Kong is rational, objective and healthy. In contrast, Leung Chun-ying has entirely, or perhaps deliberately, blown it completely out of proportion over the past couple of years.

In fact, we are more than delighted to learn that our next chief executive hasn’t lost her head nor her sense of perspective over the issue of separatism in Hong Kong, if we can call it an issue at all, which is undoubtedly a good omen.

It is because her proper and sensible assessment of this issue, as well as her ability to keep things in proportion will help put an end to the controversy surrounding the false proposition of secession from the mainland and restore balance to “one country, two systems”.

In fact, the hype surrounding the growth of separatism has led to overreaction and misunderstanding in both Beijing and Hong Kong, thereby leading to Beijing’s toughened stance on our city in recent years on one hand, and deteriorating public confidence in “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong on the other.

As Jasper Tsang put it during the interview, as the separatism hype continues to heat up, Beijing has become increasingly under the impression that things in Hong Kong are spinning out of control.

And the oath-taking saga surrounding the Youngspiration duo in Legco last year only further reinforced Beijing’s impression that separatism poses a real threat.

As a result, it took quick and heavy-handed actions to intervene and curb the rise of so-called “separatism”, thereby arousing growing suspicion and apprehension among people in Hong Kong that Beijing is deviating from the original intention of “one country, two systems”. This is how much distrust across the border has grown.

As a matter of fact, some key Beijing officials almost share a similar view with Lam on this matter. For example, both Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and Wang Zhenmin, director of the legal department of Beijing’s Liaison Office, have both dismissed separatism in Hong Kong as “negligible” and “insignificant”, let alone an imminent threat.

And there are numbers to support this view, and numbers don’t lie. According to a recent poll conducted by the Chinese University, only 11 percent of respondents said they are in favor of separatism, down 6 percentage points from last year.

In particular, among the 15 to 24 age group, the number of those who support separatism has plummeted by 24 percentage points compared with last year. Altogether, 70 percent of respondents are for preserving “one country, two systems”.

It is our sincere hope that Carrie Lam’s correct and rational assessment and understanding of separatism can help put an end to this meaningless controversy and the ongoing ideological witch hunt against separatists mounted by the pro-Beijing camp, so as to put “one country, two systems” back in working order again

(Oriental Daily with video) June 7, 2017.

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai is a devout catholic who embraces the universal values of freedom and democrdacy.

On June 4, Lai attended the June 4th prayer meeting at Victoria Park. An Oriental Daily reporter was present at the scene. At around 7pm, the reporter was positioned about 7 to 8 meters away from Jimmy Lai, who was sitting on the ground. The reporter used his photo camera and video cameras to record the scene. During this time, the reporter was aware that Jimmy Lai glared angrily at him. However, there was no contact or conversation between the two.

At about 715pm, the prayer meeting ended and the participants got ready to leave. Jimmy Lai was still seated on the ground. The reporter put down his equipment and stopped recording. About 15 seconds later, Jimmy Lai stood up and walked over to the reporter with a fierce expression on his face. Lai wagged his index finger at the reporter and said "I fuck your mother's cunt" a couple of times. Then he said to the reporter: "You should not film me from so close. I am surely going to get someone one fucking cause you trouble. I will surely cause you trouble. I am telling you now. I have fucking taken your photo."

Afterwards the Oriental Daily reported filed a police report about a criminal threat against his person. The Hong Kong Island Criminal Investigative Division is following up on the case.

(Oriental Daily) June 6, 2017.

After the June 4th assembly, Jimmy Lai traveled by car back to his home. An Oriental Daily reporter followed the car and filmed it. When the car went down Argyle Road and turned left onto Kadoorie Avenue, the driver drifted over to the opposite lane for several seconds. Fortunately there was no oncoming traffic late at night. The driver realized his mistake suddenly and cut back across the double white line back to the proper lane. This evidence has been submitted to the West Kowloon Traffic Police to follow up.

According to the CAP 374 Road Traffic Ordinance, careless driving carries a maximum penalty of a $5000 fine and six months in jail; dangerous driving carries a maximum penalty of a $25000 fine and three years in jail.

(Oriental Daily) June 9, 2017.

On June 6, Sing Tao Daily reported on this incident. Without checking with the Oriental Daily, Sing Tao Daily reported that "the video had been edited so that we do not know how the incident started or ended." The Oriental Press Group issued a legal letter to Sing Tao Daily to demand a correction/apology.

Today Sing Tao Daily posted an advertisement on Sing Tao Daily as well as Oriental Daily and On.cc: "In our June 6th report on the On.cc reporter being insulted/scolded by Jimmy Lai, it was inaccurate for us to write: 'the video had been edited so that we do not know how the incident started or ended.' We make this clarification and we withdraw that previous report. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to the Oriental Press Group."

(Oriental Daily) June 8, 2017.

Ever since the incident was reported, a number of Internet users have gone to the Hong Kong Journalists Association Facebook and asked why they are not commenting. Today, there was a statement ostensibly from the Hong Kong Journalists Association:

With respect to the On.cc reporter being threatened by Next Media's Jimmy Lai during the June 4th assembly this year, the Hong Kong Journalists Association strongly condemns Jimmy Lai and demands the Hong Kong Police to conduct a thorough investigation. Our association will refuse to accept any more donations from Jimmy Lai. Anything that Jimmy Lai does in the future has nothing to do with our Association.

In the afternoon, the Hong Kong Journalists Association makes an official statement:

On 8th June 2017, a fake statement with attached logo of HKJA circulated on the Internet. The contents in that fake statement referred to an event that happened on 4th June. HKJA clarified that it was a false statement and was not issued by HKJA. HKJA strongly condemns the issuance of the fake statement under the Association’s name,and reserves the right to hold to account those behind the fabrication.

(Hong Kong Journalists Association) June 8, 2017.

A journalist has recently filed a report to the police alleging media owner Jimmy Lai of verbal intimidation. Hong Kong Journalists Association strongly adheres to the principle that journalists enjoy freedom of reporting in public space. Public figures should respect this freedom.

Should a journalist feel intimated by any interviewee, verbally or otherwise, the most appropriate course of action is to report the incident to the police.

Internet comments:

- CAP 200 Crimes Ordinance Article 24: Certain acts of intimidation prohibited:

Any person who threatens any other person—

(a) with any injury to the person, reputation or property of such other person; or

(b) with any injury to the person, reputation or property of any third person, or to the reputation or estate of any deceased person; or

(c) with any illegal act,

with intent in any such case—

(i) to alarm the person so threatened or any other person; or

(ii) to cause the person so threatened or any other person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do; or

(iii) to cause the person so threatened or any other person to omit to do any act which he is legally entitled to do,

shall be guilty of an offence.

Article 27: Penalties

Any person who commits an offence against section 24 or 25 shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $2,000 and to imprisonment for 2 years and shall be liable on conviction upon indictment to imprisonment for 5 years.

- Why is Jimmy Lai in such a foul mood? (Oriental Daily) June 5, 2017. Next Media announced that the losses have multiplied as of March 31, 2017, mainly due to the economic conditions in Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as the general shrinkage of the print media market. The advertising and distribution revenues of the Next Media publications have decreased by 23.4%.

- But is that an excuse to vent his unhappiness at a reporter?

- (HKG Pao) From the Hong Kong Journalists Association Facebook:

Question: Sham Yee-lan, any comments?

Answer (from Sham Yee-lan): According to information, a police report has been filed. No comments. Please don't be fifty-cent ganger.

Question: Someone asked me whether the Hong Kong Journalists Association is selective in their responses. I did not know how to reply. Therefore I asked you! How is that being a fifty-ganger?

- (Speakout.hk) By Chris Wat Wing-yin.

This incident occurred because Boss Lai was upset at the Oriental Daily reporter for observing him closely. I am perplexed. Mr. Lai's newspaper, magazines and website have always used this type of doggedness to gather news. From Occupy Central to the Mong Kok riot, the Next Media cameras record their news right next to the police officers' noses. Their paparazzi hounded celebrity stars everywhere. At press conferences, Next Media reporters always asked the most provocative questions (see what was asked of Emma Stone). Thus, their boss should believe that this must be the only, logical way to gather news.

Unexpected, our media boss blew up at the presence of the paparazzi and said: "I'm not going to let you get away with this!"

When a multi-billionaire who owns multiple media outlets said that he is going to "cause trouble for you," you have reason to be afraid.

But the reporter was even more shocked by the silence over at the Hong Kong Journalists Association. Whenever a government official won't answer media questions, or responds with too stern a tone, Association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan can always be counted upon to come out and issue condemnations. But when a media boss stopped a reporter from covering news and told him "to watch it," the Hong Kong Journalists Association had no response. Chairwoman Sham was nowhere to be found.

Question to the Hong Kong Journalists Association: Is the ON.cc reporter a journalist? When Boss Lai stopped this reporter from gathering news, it is suppression of the freedom of press? To take a close-up photo of the reporter, point a finger at the nose of the reporter and say "I'm definitely going to make trouble for you" .... is this not threatening a reporter? To tell the reporter that "I fuck your mother" ... is this not insulting the reporter?

When someone suppresses freedom of press, and threatens and insults a reporter, you make no response. What is the point of setting up this association for journalists?

- Jimmy Lai must be the real-life Vordemort (= "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named"). Look at the contortion in the clarification statement from the Hong Kong Journalists. The incident is simply "the incident that took place on June 4th" and the participants are not named. Is it really so hard for the Hong Kong Journalists Association to be clear about which "incident" or the involvement of one Jimmy Lai?

- In the past, the Hong Kong Journalists Association would come out to condemn any insults, threats and attacks against reporters. In this case, the Hong Kong Journalists Association is punctilious in stating that it has not issued a condemnation of Jimmy Lai's insult and threat against a reporter.

- (Oriental Daily) June 10, 2017.

There is a western saying: "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." Everybody saw that Jimmy Lai insulted and threatened the reporter, thereby angering the whole world. But the freedom-defending Hong Kong Journalists Association acted as if they were deaf, blind and dumb. Their chairwoman vanished from public view.

The incident is clear: Jimmy Lai threw a fit and told the Oriental Daily reporter: "Fuck your mother's cunt", "I fucking took a photo of you," "I will get someone to fucking cause you trouble." The police is treating the case as criminal intimidation. So why does the Hong Kong Journalists Association act as if nothing has happened? Do they think Oriental Daily reporters are not journalists?

Of course, they can't avoid the issue forever. Over the past several days, numerous organizations have asked the Hong Kong Journalists Association to state their position. Finally, the HKJA issued a written statement. However, it was very lame. They did not condemn Jimmy Lai's actions. They only told the reporters that "when threatened during the course of news gathering, the correct thing to do is to report to the police."

Each year, the Hong Kong Journalists Association holds a fund-raiser, because "they will never bow to the forces that suppress freedom of press." But at this critical moment, they said that the matter should be referred to the police!? Why is their raison d'être?

It is one thing for the HKJA to be silent about Jimmy Lai's actions. The worst part is that they rushed out to denounce the fake statement on the Internet. They even said that they have filed a police report. Actually, the key sentence in that fake statement is: "Our association will refuse any donations from Jimmy Lai in the future. Anything that Jimmy Lai does hereafter has nothing to do with our Association." After all, what happens if Jimmy Lai actually thinks that this is a true statement and turn off the money flow in future? Of course, they have to come out with a denial.

People have wondered: If the person who used foul threatening language was the owner of another newspaper or a pro-China organization and the reporter works for Next Media, then the Hong Kong Journalists Association would have jumped out immediately to issue a denunciation about "this darkest day in freedom of press in Hong Kong."

Do you recall that during the Chief Executive election, a pro-democracy activists refused to support John Tsang. Jimmy Lai immediately jumped out and denounced him as a "Chinese Communist mole" and banned his writing from appearing in all Next Media publications. The Hong Kong Journalists Association saw and heard nothing. By contrast, when a certain media commentator had his essay title changed at a pro-China newspaper, the HKJA immediately said that freedom of press is being suppressed. So is this a show of double standards? A case of goalpost moving?

The Jimmy Lai case showed that hypocrisy not only at the Hong Kong Journalists Association. The pro-democracy newspapers and the Jimmy Lai-funded pro-democracy political parties and politicians were equally silent All of these people are enemies of freedom of press in Hong Kong. As long as they get their way, Hong Kong is doomed.

- (Oriental Daily) June 11, 2017.

One week later, Sham Yee-lan was finally cornered by a reporter.

Sham: Have you filed a police report?

Reporter: Yes, yes.

Sham: Since you have filed a police report, I won't make any further comments. And so with respect to ... that is, if ... that is, I personally believe that using foul language against anybody is inappropriate behavior. So, if that one ... that is, if you have filed a police report, then I think the police will deal with it.

Reporter: So the statement will not be changed in any way? Will you add any words of condemnation?

Sham: We won't say anything. Okay? Thank you.

Reporter: Do you feel that the Hong Kong Journalists Association is a toothless tiger?

Sham: We won't respond to anything. I have finished talking. Okay? Thank you very much.

Reporter: Are you being selective?

[The police have merely set up a case file for investigation. The case has not entered into the judicial system. Therefore commenting on the case does not affect the non-existent court trial.]

- (Hong Kong Free Press) June 22, 2017. The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) has expressed “deep regret and disappointment” with incoming chief executive Carrie Lam’s decision to bar digital media outlets from attending her press conference on Wednesday.

- That is to say, the Hong Kong Journalists Association has no "deep regret and disappointment" with what Jimmy Lai did to the Oriental Daily reporter. When they feel it, they say it; when they don't feel it, they don't say it.

(SCMP) June 4, 2017.

A sea of candle light blanketed Victoria Park on Sunday night as tens of thousands of people converged there to mourn those killed in ­Beijing’s bloody military crackdown in Tiananmen Square 28 years ago, but in numbers that were the lowest for nine years.

Organisers said 110,000 ­people attended the event,the lowest turnout since 2008. Last year’s memorial drew 125,000 people. Police put the figure at 18,000 at the height of the event, down on their estimate of 21,800 last year.

Police put the figure at 18,000 at the height of the event, down on their estimate of 21,800 last year.

(Coconuts Hong Kong) June 1, 2017.

In recent years, an increasing number of people — especially university students — have dropped out of the annual candlelight vigil. This year, with anti-China sentiment growing amongst the city’s youths, all 10 universities in Hong Kong will be completely boycotting the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China’s vigil in Victoria Park.

Instead, June 4th-related forums will be held at the schools, including the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). Student union representatives told HK01 that they would not attend the vigil as they do not agree with the Alliance’s goal of building a democratic China.

The external affairs vice president of Hong Kong Baptist University’s (HKBU) student union, Kwan Wai-mak, said achieving the goal set by the Alliance is not Hongkongers’ responsibility. He also referred to the Tiananmen Square crackdown as “merely the neighboring country’s history”, HK01 reports.

A joint forum led by OUHK and Education University of Hong Kong will focus on Hong Kong’s present and future, instead of solely commemoration, said the president of Lingnan University’s Student Union.

Internet comments:

(Hong Kong Free Press) The Victoria Park Tiananmen vigil debate: Should you go, or stay at home? By Jason Y. Ng. June 4, 2017.

Today marks the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, known more delicately in this part of the world as the June 4th Incident. Members of the so-called ‘June 4th Generation’—people born in, or before, the 1980s who feel a deep connection with the thousands of student protesters murdered that summer—have always felt a sense of duty toward them: to vindicate their death, and until then, ensure that the younger generations do not forget what happened.

The second duty is what compels parents to take their children to the Victoria Park candlelight vigil year after year, come rain or shine. The annual sit-in, organised by the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, fills several football pitches and features impassioned speeches, songs and prayers. Just like marching down Hennessy Road on July 1st and sweeping grandpa’s grave on Ching Ming Festival, it is one of those things that people do out of habit and respect.

Since the Occupy Movement of 2014, every year in the lead-up to the massacre’s anniversary, university students will debate fiercely whether they should continue to partake into the Victoria Park memorial. Most of these discussions end in a decision to withdraw. Just today, the Chinese University Student Union issued a statement declaring the ‘end of the road for June 4th commemoration’. They argue that the annual ritual has become a ‘tick-the-box’ exercise: participants show up at the park, post a sad-faced selfie on Facebook and feel good about themselves for having ‘done something’ when all they have really achieved is group therapy. They also believe that the pan-democratic parties have turned these memorials into fundraising campaigns and political shows.

Some students have gone further then that. Social media and online forums are plastered with memes and status posts with the rhetorical question: ‘What the F does June 4th have to do with me?’ Their point is that Hong Kongers have nothing to gain from redressing the wrongs of the massacre, and to put less diplomatically, whatever happened in 1989 happened on the mainland to mainlanders and is therefore irrelevant to them and outside their agenda. Hong Kong people have enough on their plate fighting for greater autonomy and even independence from China. They won’t and can’t be bothered with what goes on north of the border.

Expectedly, these sentiments draw outrage and condemnation from older politicians, parents and teachers. The June 4th Generation pounced on the students, calling them sacrilegious and heartless. Likewise, the students hit back with their own name-calling, accusing the adults of being “Greater China plastic”—an epithet for those who talk incessantly about ending one-party rule in China without doing anything about it and who still believe that a better China will mean a better Hong Kong.

So who is right and who is wrong?

The best way to arbitrate the dispute is to go back to one of our earlier examples: sweeping grandpa’s grave on Ching Min Festival. Doing so will allow us to isolate the two issues at hand and deal with them separately.

The first issue concerns whether one should attend the Victoria Park memorial. Here, the students have a point. If they are not interested in speeches and prayers, then why force them? If your kids don’t want to travel to faraway Wo Hop Shek Public Cemetery and trek up the hills just to burn incense in front of grandpa’s grave, then leave them at home. Yelling at them for not respecting their ancestors will only backfire. For all you know, your children have their own ways of remembering grandpa that don’t involve posing a fire hazard in Fanling or benefiting greedy florists who jack up the price of chrysanthemums every Ching Ming. Mom and dad should just take a chill pill and get on with their trip without the kids. Both sides are better off.

The second issue, however, is altogether different—it is a question of ideology and basic human decency. Asking ‘what the F does June 4th have to do with me’ is no less morally repugnant than saying ‘I don’t care if the Holocaust happened’ or ‘the Paris terrorist attacks don’t matter to me’. Any liberal-minded person should take a stance against evil, murderous acts, whether you are Chinese, Hong Konger, French or Jewish. The isolationist approach to history and current events—the thinking that what happens elsewhere is irrelevant to me—is naïve and irresponsible. It is Donald Trump.

Worse, denying that Hong Kong is a part of China and that the city’s fate is intricately linked to that of the mainland is to think that the Earth is flat or to call global warming a hoax. The notion that Hong Kong can somehow have meaningful electoral reform and genuine democracy without a more politically open China is mind-boggling. Put more bluntly, university students and young politicians who talk night and day of achieving autonomy and independence without ever proposing a concrete plan or a viable path is simply another kind of ‘plastic’—the localist plastic.

So what I have to say is this: if you find the whole Ching Ming routine pointless and banal, all you have to do is stay home. You don’t need to say ‘who the F care about grandpa?’ just because the old man died before you were born.

- (SCMP) June 5, 2017.

More than 200 Hong Kong activists from localist groups and political parties staged a protest march through the city’s busy streets Sunday night after the end of the annual vigil marking the 28th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

They were marching from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to the central government’s liaison office, Beijing’s representative office in Hong Kong, located in Western district.

Leading the “post-vigil” march, which kicked off around 10.15pm, were Joshua Wong Chi-fung, secretary general of localist political party Demosisto; pan-democratic lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats and the party’s chairman, Avery Ng Man-yuen; and Fastbeat Tam Tak-chi of People Power. Members of the tertiary student group Student Fight For Democracy also joined.

The protesters planned at the liaison office to demand the release of political dissidents and human rights lawyers. As they marched, they chanted slogans such as “Vindicate the democratic movement of 1989!” and “It’s no crime to defend civil rights!” They also invoked individual dissidents by shouting “Release Liu Xiaobo now!” and “Stop Liu Xia’s house arrest now!”

March organisers did not apply for a police permit to stage the event, claiming it was their civil right to hold such a protest. But some march participants spilled onto Hennessy Road, blocking two lanes of the major thoroughfare in Causeway Bay and jamming traffic. Police eventually closed one of the lanes for the marchers.

By 11.30pm the march was still proceeding, with the head of the procession reaching Central. The event was largely peaceful, albeit noisy. After walking more than two hours from Victoria Park, the marchers arrived at the liaison office at about 12.25am Monday.

The group included 28 people who each lit a candle to remember the 28th anniversary of the crackdown. An activist read a speech stating “no room for reconciliation with Beijing” in apparent reference to a recent warning by state leader Zhang Dejiang that Hong Kong was not to confront the central government.

The other marchers then passed by the liaison office entrance to conclude the march, with some throwing “hell money” – a traditional Chinese offering to ancestors that is often used by activists to condemn officials.

The march participants dispersed without incident at about 12.50am.

- This is the classical example of Leftist Retardism. Here are the most salient features:

(1) Egotism: They numbered just 200 persons, but they insist on walking on the car lane to impede vehicular traffic. They claim to be fighting for the people, but they clearly don't give a damn about what the people feel or need.

(2) Ineffectiveness: The demonstrators arrived at the China Liaison Office at 12.25am. Isn't anybody still working there at this hour?

(3) Showboating: Everybody knows that this demonstration will do nothing to vindicate the democratic movement of 1989 or release Liu Xiaobo. Why are they still addicted to doing this? Because it gets media exposure! Are there better ways to realize the stated goals? Possibly, but those ways don't get as much media exposure and therefore will not be explored.

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin.

Earlier a group of students from the Hong Kong Kong University Student Union were cleansing the Pillar of Shame at the Wong Haking Building as their first step in commemorating June 4th.

In the video, the twenty or so students were wiping the pillar inch by inch. They looked very awkward, because they are clearly not experienced in doing household chores. This is just a group of brainwashed Hong Kong kids cleansing a pillar that has nothing to do with them.

Hong Kong University Student Union president Wong Ching-tak told the reporters (verbatim): "In the past, people speak of patriotism when they commemorate June 4th. Chinese sentiments. But in this society, fewer and fewer people share these sentiments. So how should June 4th be regarded in the future, or what should be done on June 4th? The June 4th evening assembly of the Alliance still has very strong Chinese sentiments. But today in Hong Kong society, especially among young people, we don't have these Chinese sentiments anymore. When identity and emotions have changed so much, I think that we can feel very different about the June 4th massacre."

Frankly, I have no idea what he was saying? What did he want to say? If you don't have patriotic sentiments, then why commemorate June 4th?

We belong to the generation of June 4th 1989. In that year, I was a university student. We fell the same way as the young people on Tiananmen Square. Back then, the Hong Kong university donated money, and some even traveled north to offer support. A classmate of mine skipped his final exams because he wanted to bring tents and medicine to Beijing.

We opposed corruption because we wanted our beloved country to become better. Without patriotism, the June 4th incident in Beijing has not connection to the people of Hong Kong. When we saw the 9/11 terrorist attack on television, we said: "Oh, how terrible!" And then we continued to go to school/work the next day.

Hong Kong University Students Union president Wong Ching-tak said on behalf of the young people of Hong Kong: "We no longer have these Chinese sentiments." So why were you cleansing the Pillar of Shame? Since you have no feelings about the country or the dead, what are you mourning over?

Wong said: "I am not a Chinese, I am not a Chinese Hongkonger. I am simply a Hongkonger." Therefore they can't even accept the Alliance, whose full name is the Alliance of Hong Kong citizens to support patriotic democratic movements in China. Anything with "patriotism" is bad and "fifty-cent gang." Therefore they won't participate in the Alliance meeting. They will only hold a forum on university campus and maintain a moment of silence.

I wonder why the reporters did not ask: "If China is not your country, then why business is June 4th to you?"

June 4th arose out of patriotism 28 years ago. The memorial services were held for 28 years in a row out of patriotism. It was a patriotic democratic movement. As such, it is meaningless to someone who does not have a country. Since the Hong Kong University students are not Chinese, what do they care about Chinese issues? The Chinese can live or die, and you shouldn't not have to care or commemorate.

Since you are not Chinese, you should take our your identity card and cut it up. You should also give up your student subsidy which comes from the Treasury of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. You should get out of Hong Kong University, you should get out of Hong Kong, because the land that you are standing upon belongs to China which has nothing to do with you.

- (HKG Pao) By Chris Wat Wing-yin.

Lee Cheuk-yan said: "Twenty years ago, Tung Chee-hwa told us to put the baggage down. I never expect that today it would be the young people who tell us to put the baggage down or say that they won't carry the baggage ..."

As is well known, the consequence of setting up the Red Guard is to be brought down by the Red Guard using the same method. Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho and their ilk are now tasting the bitter fruits this June 4th.

For twenty-eight years, the June 4th march and the candlelight vigil had a slogan about passing the torch to the next generation. This year, we won't see this banner anymore because the torch has been extinguished during the political division of the dirty spoils.

On March 28, the June 4th march was attended by 450 people. The Victoria Park candlelight vigil is down to 18,000 persons. The student unions at Hong Kong University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology, Baptist University, City University, Polytechnic University, Lingnan University, Open University, Education University and Shu Yan University declared they won't attend any June 4th memorial activity organized by the Alliance to Support Patriotic Democratic Movements in China. Not only are they not coming, but they are viciously criticizing the activities.

Former CUHK Student Union president Chow Shu-fung said: "It is unrealistic to want the next generation to assume the duty to assume the memory of resistance of the preceding generation."

The CUHK Student Union said: "The Alliance's staid business-as-usual commemoration is using the people's moral feelings to gain political capital. Our Union does not agree ... As the times change, patriotism is completely eviscerated and replaced by Localism. For the new generation, June 4th has little or no meaning left. Localism is their enlightenment. The civic awakening of the Umbrella Movement and the valiant resistance of the Fishball Revolution are affecting the younger generation deeply."

Baptist University Student Union external affairs vice-president Mak Kwun-wai was even more striking: "It is not the responsibility of the people of Hong Kong to build democracy in China. The June 4th incident is the history of the neighboring country ..."

As the Hong Kong University Student Union, they have previously stated that they are not Chinese and they are not Hong Kong (China) either. So Chinese matters mean nothing to them.

The Red Guards scorn Lee Cheuk-yan and his ilk that the June 4th activity is just a bunch of people gathering around the fireplace to get warmth. Therefore they won't play anymore. But how can the candlelight vigil still claim 110,000 participants without any university students coming? Well, they are not gathering around the fireplace to gain warmth. They are gathering around the fireplace to race money.

On Great George Street, there were donation boxes lined up. The purpose of June 4th is to raise money.

Please understand that they are not there to take away your money. For them, the headcount is more important, because this annual activity is the best way to launder money in an untraceable manner.

For example, if some person wants to give $50 million to the pan-democrats. If only 1,000 people show up at this assembly, then each person must have to donate $50,000 on the average in order to reach the $50 million. Now that is impossible. So they need a bigger attendance figure. So if you say that 1 million people came, then it is possible that the average person gave $50 each.

Here are the number over the years:

Year Alliance figure Police figure
2004 82,000 48,000
2005 45,000 22,000
2006 44,000 19,000
2007 55,000 27,000
2008 48,000 15,700
2009 200,000 62,000
2010 150,000 113,000
2011 150,000 77,000
2012 180,000 85,000
2013 150,000 54,000
2014 180,000 99,500
2015 135,000 46,600
2016 125,000 21,800
2017 110,000 18,000

- Here is the scorecard (Oriental Daily, June 5, 2017)

Yesterday, the Alliance to Support Patriotic Democratic Movements in China received $1.4 million in donations, compared to $1.74 million last year.

The Civic Party took in $160,000, the Labour Party $38,000, the League of Social Democrats $188,000 and Lau Siu-lai's Democracy Classroom $80,000.

The Democratic Party donated every cent that they took in to the Alliance. The Civic Party and the Labour Party gave 10% of their intake to the Alliance. The other political parties did not indicate where their money is going.

- Here is the video of the true Star of the Evening: https://www.facebook.com/149918838878285/videos/163974880806014/

And here is our Star snuggling up to Lau Siu-lai:

(Hong Kong Free press) June 2, 2017.

At least five defendants facing prosecution in relation to last February’s Mong Kok clashes have said they were assaulted or threatened by police during interrogation. Ten defendants appeared before District Court Judge Kwok Wai-kin on Thursday. They were charged with rioting, criminal damage or assault in relation to the disorder in the early hours of February 9 last year.

At least five of them told the court that they intended to reject statements they gave during police questioning, on the basis that they were threatened or forced to say they took part in the protest.

Defendant Yep Chi-fung, 18, claimed that four police officers took him to a room in a police station and stripped him naked. He said he was told by the officers “you have the guts to take action but no guts to admit it,” as they punched him in his stomach and kicked his thighs when he denied being involved in the clashes, Apple Daily reported. He said he was eventually allowed to put on his clothes after he agreed to cooperate.

Defendant Lam Wing-wong, 22, said a police officer told him: “It is no big deal. Just admit it. If you are cooperative, you can pass some of the responsibility onto Yep.”

Another defendant Li Cheuk-hin, 20, said he was threatened during questioning. According to Li, an officer said in Cantonese: “You are definitely going to feel stuffed tonight.” Li’s lawyer said the phrase could be interpreted as “You are definitely going to be beaten up tonight.” Li said he was then beaten by police and forced to admit to “throwing bricks for fun.” He also claimed he was not told what charges he would face before being interviewed, HK01 reported. An officer allegedly told Li: “Don’t waste my time and make me get off work late,” and said to a colleague: “Pre-write a statement for him. Say [Li] was helping others pick up bricks. You will only be given probation at the most.”

Defendant Tang King-chung, 29, gave a similar account. He said he was scared and tired while in police custody, and was not informed of his charges. He said he was punched in the arm and was told by an officer: “Don’t dawdle and make me get off work late. Sign [the statement] quickly.” He said that when he denied having taken part in the protest, an officer said: “Have you not been beaten enough? If you give a good statement, you will at most get probation for throwing bricks.” An officer allegedly wrote in the statement that Tang took part in the protest, even though Tang insisted that he had not. When Tang protested, he said an officer told him: “Do you want to stay here and not be released on bail?” Tang said he felt compelled to stay silent.

Defendant Chung Chi-wah, 30, said his videotaped interrogation was conducted while he was under threat. He said an officer told him: “You were photographed throwing bricks. Don’t deny it.”

The trial, beginning Thursday, is expected to last 30 days.

On Thursday morning, defendant Mo Jia-tao, 18, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer. He denied three other charges of rioting and a charge of criminal damage.

Another defendant Ng Ting-kai, 25, pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of rioting. He denied an assault charge.

The remaining eight defendants denied their charges.

The ten defendants are: Mo Jia-tao, 18; Chung Chi-wah, 30; Anthony Ho Kam-sum, 37; Fok Ting-ho, 24; Chan Wo-cheung, 71; Tang King-chung, 29; Li Cheuk-hin, 20; Lam Wing-wong, 22; Yep Chi-fung, 18; and Ng Ting-kai, 25.

An eleventh defendant, Lee Sin-yi, 18, is being sought by the authorities after failing to appear in court.

(Facebook video) Defendants running away from the press after the court session. Also Oriental Daily.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 1, 2017.

An activist pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of assaulting police officers during last February’s Mong Kok clashes.

Mo Jia-tao, 18, was accused of throwing a bottle at a police officer in the early hours of February 9. The item missed the target and hit a barricade, while other officers stepped in to restrain Mo, the court heard. Mo was also charged with three counts of rioting and one count of criminal damage. He denied these charges.

Besides Mo, eight other defendants also denied their charges. Counsel for the remaining defendant, Ng Ting-kai, 25, said they would be discussing their client’s two charges with the prosecution on Thursday afternoon.

Counsel for defendant Tang King-chung, 29, requested that the prosecution summon the police officer who fired warning shots during the clashes. They wanted to examine whether the officer used excessive force in order to establish a case of self-defence, Hong Kong Economic Journal reported. Objecting to the request, the prosecution said the incident was irrelevant as Tang’s alleged offence took place at a different location and more than an hour after the shots were fired. Judge Kwok Wai-kin said he would hear arguments from both parties before ruling on the matter.

Though the case has been transferred to the District Court, the hearing was relocated to a bigger room at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts owing to the large number of defendants and the extensive use of video evidence. However, rules relating to the District Court remain applicable, including a maximum sentence of seven years in prison – compared to three years in magistracies. If convicted of rioting or criminal damage, the defendants face a maximum jail term of seven years.

(Hong Kong Free Press) June 2, 2017.

A defendant admitted on Friday one count of rioting in relation to a protest that took place in Mong Kok in the early hours of February 9 last year.

Ng Ting-kai, 25, requested bail after pleading guilty. His lawyer said Ng had been suffering from autism since he was young and the condition had worsened following the incident. Ng also showed symptoms of severe depression, the court heard.

District Court Judge Kwok Wai-kin approved the bail request, on the conditions that Ng is forbidden to leave the territory and must report to police once a week.

The court heard that Ng was filmed throwing bricks or other items thrice at police officers at around 4am on the night in question. Officers later arrested Ng and found flashlights, surgical masks and goggles in his bag.

The prosecution said four police officers were injured during the incident, Stand News reported. An officer’s middle finger was said to be fractured. She was given a 1.5 per cent permanent disability rating and 360 days of sick leave. Ng was also charged with one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The prosecution asked the court to withhold the charge until after the conclusion of the trial. Judge Kwok approved the request.

(Oriental Daily) June 2, 2017

The prosecution said that the case involves three incidents.

In incident #1, the police pushed from Nathan Road into Shan Tung Street and encountered a rain of bricks and other hard objects from the crowd. The police retreated back to Nathan Road and then to Nelson Street. Defendant #1, defendant #3 and defendant #4 were among those who chased and attacked the police.

In incident #2, the crowd attacked a police man on the northbound lanes of Nathan Road near Dundas Street. Defendant #1 and others threw bricks, garbage bins and other objects at the police van. There were four police officers inside the van. The van sustained more than $26,000 in property damage.

In incident #3, the police formed a police line at the intersection of Soy Street and the southbound lanes of Nathan Road. The crowd on Soy Street threw bricks at the police. Defendant #3 and defendant #7 were identified to be present based upon identifiable characteristics (a blue-white scarf and prior participation in the Shopping Revolution).

(Oriental Daily) June 5, 2017.

Police inspector Mok Hing-wing testified that he was a commander at the scene. At the time, there was a traffic accident with a taxi on Portland Street. A large number of people yelled at the traffic policemen handling the case. Afterwards, a large number of people took over Portland Street between Argyle Street and Shan Tung Street. Mok believed that the people were in an unlawful assembly. Among the crowd were masked men wearing the dark blue Hong Kong Indigenous hoodies.

At 1145pm, the police called on the people to step back onto the pedestrian sidewalk. The crowd got upset and started to throw glass bottles. There was a physical clash. The police set up a defensive semi-circle. At 130am, there was another clash. Some people held shields and a leader yelled: "Three, two, one. Charge!" and the crowd charged at the police line. The police applied pepper spray. The police pushed forward and the crowd threw bricks at them.

At around 2am, Mok learned that a police had fired two shots. Mok said that some people had occupied the southbound lanes on Nathan Road. The police set up a line at Argyle Street but failed to push the crowd back onto the pedestrian sidewalk. At 330am, the police set up a line at Dundas Street and prevented the crowd from heading towards the Yau Ma Ti district. At 410am, the police line advanced to Shan Tung Street. The crowd suddenly threw a large number of bricks at the police. Because the police only carried shields, they decided to move back for safety reasons. The crowd chased the police and threw bricks at them. Some police officers were injured. Mok was hit on the left shoulder by two bricks.

Senior Inspector Ng Sin-nong testified that the police turned into Shan Tung Street from the southbound lanes of Nathan Road at 350am. There were about 100 to 150 people on Sai Yeung Choi Street South. They threw bricks and other objects at the police. A number of police officers were injured. At the same time, people were tearing down the road signs and setting garbage on fire. People then threw bricks at the police officers who carried the small round shield, being careful to aim at the unprotected legs. At first only four to five people were doing so. When the tactic was successful, more people began to do so. The police were not able to hold the line, so they retreated to the southern lanes of Nathan Road. The crowd pursued them. The police retreated to Nelson Street. A policeman was down on the ground, apparently 'unconscious.'

(Oriental Daily) June 6, 2017.

Senior Inspector Ko Chung-ying testified that people on Shan Tung Street were throwing rocks and glass objects at the police line at 4am. Ko warned those people: "The rioters up there pay attention! Stop attacking the police!" But the crowd threw even more objects at the police. Many police officers were down with injuries. So the police line moved back towards the Nathan Road. The rioters followed and threw more bricks. Ko was hit multiple times on his body.

Female sergeant Hung Pui-si testified that she was at the police line at 4am on Shan Tung Street. As the police line moved back, a colleague was surrounded and knocked to the ground by rioters. Hung went up to help her colleague. While swinging her baton, she was hit on the right hand by a hard object. She was wearing a helmet at the time, and her helmet was hit by a hard object. Hung was pushed from behind and fell down on the ground. Hung and two other colleagues were taken across the Bank Centre. Hung said that one colleague was bleeding profusely from the mouth and appeared to be unconscious. Hung was bleeding in her right fingers. Later she was assessed to be 1.5% permanently disabled.

The news video shown in court showed that Hung was pushed by a man wearing a black hat. As Hung used an electronic pen to mark herself on the computer screen showing the video. She had to use her left hand to steer her right wrist to do so.

Here is a TVB video of the police under the rain of bricks. Look at 0:40 -- how does the man prepare a defense case? Temporary insanity?

(Oriental Daily) June 7, 2017.

Female sergeant Yu Ching-yee testified that at 4am on February 9, she and her colleague were patrolling along the northbound lanes of Nathan road. A man attacked her colleague. The colleague and two supporting plainclothes policemen subdued the individual. At the time, the crowd gathered on the southbound lanes began to throw rocks and bricks at her.

Senior Constable Chow Wai-kit testified that he saw police officers struggling with a man on the road. So she and another Senior Constable went up to push the man down on the ground and handcuffed him. About 50 rioters began to throw rocks and hard objects at them. Four to five uniformed police officers used round shields to protect them. Chow said that he felt that his life was at risk.

The arrested man took advantage of the attack to escape. A number of rioters came forward and knocked Chow on the ground. His right shoe fell off. Chow was dizzy for a few seconds before he picked up his shoe. Chow saw another Senior Constable being knocked down on the ground and assaulted by two persons, one wielding a foldable chair and another wielding a 5-foot pole. Chow brushed the two men aside to save his colleague. Chow lost his balance and fell down on the ground too. A reporter said: "Stop beating them. There may be deaths." Other policemen came over and the rioters retreated. During cross-examination, Chow was asked whether he retreated in disarray. Chow said: "Yes."

Police constable Yip Kin-kwun testified that he was in a police van heading up north on Nathan Road near Cheung Sha Street. About 120 people surrounded the van and attacked the vehicle with rubbish, rocks and bamboo poles. Yip said that the van was unable to drive away due to the obstacles on the street. Yip instructed the other police officers to put on their helmets. The two policemen sitting in the rear had to duck low to avoid being hit. The glass windows on the two sides of the van were broken, and people threw objects into the van. After 7 to 10 minutes, other police officers came and drove the crowd away. The four police officers in the van were not injured. But the police van was damaged, with broken headlines and windows.

Police constable Chung Yu-chi sat in the rear of that police van. He said: "I was very scared of being hit." He felt that his life was being threatened. The police car sustained more than $26,000 in property damage.

(Oriental Daily) June 8, 2017.

The eleventh defendant, 18-year-old female Lee Sin-yi, had not attended the trial so far. Today, the news was that she skipped bail and traveled to Taiwan to seek political asylum. The Taiwan Immigration Department confirmed today that Lee entered Taiwan in January this year, but her current whereabouts are unknown. According to Taiwan regulations, Hongkongers can stay at most 30 days. Therefore, Lee has exceeded her allowed time of stay.

According to a Hong Kong social activists, Lee went to Taiwan to seek help from the New Power Party. It is unknown whether she was successful. The New Power Party told our newspaper that they had nothing whatsoever to do with the flight of Lee Sin-yi. Furthermore, they want nothing to do with Hong Kong independence and they won't comment on anything related to the Mong Kok riot.

- (Wen Wei Po) June 10, 2017.

According to Youngspiration 'adivsor' Lam Ho-ki who is in Taiwan at the moment: "To various friends/enemies/passersby/spectators in Taiwan and Hong Kong, please do not share any information related to Lee Sin-yi ... According to what I know, Ms. Lee is hiding somewhere in a certain country. If the news gets magnified, the local government may expel Ms. Lee back to Hong Kong. Please do not discuss, do not speculate, do not find out, do not share. Just treat this person as if she does not exist."

According to a Discuss.com.hk summary of Internet information, "I believe that Ah Me (Youngspiration) took T (=Lee Sin-yi) to Taiwan to seek political asylum. However, Ah Me was totally unprepared, because there Ah Me did not check with the social activist groups beforehand, did not understand the conditions for political asylum and did not bring the needed documents. Although the newly released audio tape said that Lee Sin-yi, she is known to have asked friends about how to work as a prostitute. Therefore we in Hong Kong are worried about her current situation."

- This is supposed to be the photo of Lee Sin-yi being arrested.

Did the policemen remember to pick up the rocks on the ground as evidence?

- (Oriental Daily) June 12, 2017.

The New Power Party chairman Huang Kuo-chang confirmed today that Lee Sin-yee is in Taiwan and being looked after by human rights organizations. Huang said that after the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus is established, the New Power Party will push for the parliament to amend the Hong Kong-Macau Relations Act to provide political asylum for Hongkongers.

- This is even better news for Hong Kong than sending all the Mong Kok rioters to jail. It means that they will all skip bail and flee to Taiwan on fishing boats, and never ever come back to Hong Kong.

- Of course, they don't think that way. They believe that if and when Hong Kong achieves independence, their crimes will be pardoned immediately. So they will wait for that come, and they know that it will come.

(Oriental Daily) June 8, 2017.

Inspector Chan Wai-ki testified today that he was called to duty early in the morning of February 9. He was off duty at the time, and he went from his home to the scene without any special equipment. At the time, the police had set up a defensive line on Soy Street. At around 5am, more and more bricks were being thrown. So the line was pulled back more than 10 meters near the southbound lanes of Nathan Road. Chan said that "bricks were falling down like rain." At the time, Police Sergeant Wong Lok-on tried to arrest the first defendant Mo Jia-tao but failed. Chan went up to help. Chan said that suddenly the rioters threw more bricks because they saw the arrest. Chan said that he was hit at the left side on the back of his head and also above his left ear which caused bleeding. Another brick was aimed at his face, but he fended it off with his left hand. He called for help.

Chan said that many police officers were hit by bricks. Chan stood behind the line and observed three masked young men about 3 meters away throwing bricks from the left. A 60-something-year-old man (not masked) threw a brick from the right. Chan issued warning at them. The four continued to throw bricks. Chan decided to counterattack and charged to arrest the brick throwers. The three men on left turned and ran down Sai Yeung Choi Street South. The older man on the right also turned around and run. But he was slower and Chan grabbed his left hand. Chan and two police officers subdued the older man and dragged him back behind the police line. The defence does not dispute that the individual is the sixth defendant, 71-year-old Chan Wo-cheung.

Chan said that he saw Police Sergeant Wong On-lok lying down on the ground with his face covered in blood and seemingly unconscious. Chan kept calling Wong to keep him awake. At the time, the scene was becoming calmer. Chan said that if Wong was hit again, he may suffer ever more serious injuries and die. Wong was taken to the hospital. Chan was also taken to the hospital, where the doctor applied 4 stitches to a 2mm wound on the back of his head. He also suffered bone fractures in the middle finger and ring finger of his left hand. Later on, Chan was assessed with a 1% permanent disability.

During the cross-examination, Chan said that the sixth defendant ran at "tortoise speed" which allowed Chan to catch up. The defence said that the sixth defendant merely came out of the tunnel to walk towards Sai Yeung Choi Street South and was stopped at the tunnel exit. Chan emphasized that he saw the sixth defendant threw bricks.

Videos of the attack on the police van: The Epoch Times, YouTube

(Oriental Daily) June 9, 2017.

Police sergeant Lin Kin-kwok testified that he subdued defendant #6 Chan Wo-keung along with police inspector Chan Wai-ki. From the news video, Lin identified defendant #6 as wearing a hat. But the defendant was not wearing a hat when subdued. Lin does not know why, but he insisted that he recognized the defendant very clearly because he had thrown rocks multiple times at the police.

Police constable Pang Tak-ching testified that he was at the police line on Soy Street early morning of February 9th. Six or seven persons were standing in front of a rock-throwing crowd. One of the persons was 60 to 70 years old, wearing yellow shoes and not masked. The man threw a rock at Pang, who used his shield to block the rock. Pang picked up the rock, which was triangular in shape and about 12mm long. Today the rock was presented in court as evidence. Later on, inspector Chan Wai-ki and another police officer subdued the 60-to-70-year-old man and Pang took over as the arresting officer. Pang said that he recognized the man as the one who threw the rock at him, because of his face and clothes. Under cross-examination, Pang said that more than 100 rocks must have been thrown at him. So why did Pang pick up the rock throw at him? Pang said that defendant #6 was close to him and therefore he had a good chance to make an arrest eventually.

(Oriental Daily) June 12, 2017.

Police constable Lai Kim-hung testified that he and his colleagues went to the resident of defendant #4 Anthony Ho Kam-sum at 6am on February 26, 2017 to arrest. At the time, defendant #4 said: "Yes, I was in Mong Kok." The police took Ho back to the Wong Tai Sin Police Station, and noted down what defendant #4 said.

On videotape #1, defendant #4 said that he and a female friend went down to Mong Kok on the night of February 8th. There were itinerant vendors. A riot was taking place, with "a lot of people, a lot of noise, something was burning." The police also showed defendant #4 the post cards and wrist bands found in his apartment. These objects have the words "I want genuine universal suffrage" on them.

Defendant #4 said that he requested to call Legislative Councilor Leung Kwok-hung to procure a lawyer, but the police said that they were unable to reach Leung.

In videotape #2, defendant #4 said that he paid no attention to the conflict between the vendors and the police. Defendant #4 said that he had no contact with the police and did not charge the police line. When defendant #4 got home, he learned from the news that there was a riot in Mong Kok.

During the video interview, the police showed relevant recordings of the Mong Kok riot. They said that they had reason to believe that defendant #4 was a man present on Shan Tung Street throwing bricks at the police. Defendant #4 disagreed.

(Wen Wei Po) June 13, 2017.

Hong Kong Police Organized Crime Unit detective Lai Kim-hung testified that 17 days after the Mong Kok riot, he went to the residence of defendant #4 Anthony Ho Kam-sum in Diamond Hill district (Kowloon) to make the arrest. Under caution, Ho said: "Yes, I was in Mong Kok." The police found an Octopus card and a mobile phone at the residence. Defendant #4 was taken back to the Wong Tai Sin Police Station to have his statement taken down. Since no lawyer was present, the statement was not signed.

In videotape #1, Ho said that he wanted to call Legislative Councilor Leung Kwok-hung to procure a lawyer. The police agreed to stop the interview. Lai said that he called Leung Kwok-hung in the presence of defendant #4, but nobody picked up the phone on the other end. Defendant #4 asked to contact lawyer Yeung Hok-min, who said that he won't represent Ho.

Defendant #4 agreed to have his statement taken down on his own. He said that he was down in Mong Kok with a female friend to get something to eat. He found out that there were a lot of people and a lot of noise, but he had no idea what was happening. Later he learned from the unlicensed vendors that there was a clash between the police and the unlicensed vendors. Defendant #4 insisted that he did not charge the police line and he had not physical contact with the uniformed police officers.

Lai played a video posted by SocREC in which a man with dyed blonde hair, no eyeglasses and white t-shirt was throwing bricks at the police from King Wah Centre, Nathan Road, Mong Kok. The man looked back at the camera afterwards. This man matched defendant #4 in appearance, hair color and hairstyle. Defendant #4 denied that he was the man.

In videotape #2, Ho told the police that he forgot whether he picked up any object at the scene. He denied that he charged at the police fine. The police asked him about the gloves and other objects found at his residence. Ho denied that he used those objects that day in Mong Kok. He said that he wore gloves only while he play sports.

Four more videos were shown. There was a man with dyed blonde hair, wearing a bluetooth earpiece, dressed in white clothing and holding a brick. Lai pointed out that this individual as defendant #4.

(SocRec YouTube video) Skip to 10:00 and look for the man with dyed blonde hair and long-sleeve white shirt. How conspicuous can he get?

(Oriental Daily) June 15, 2017.

Police constable Cheung Chun-yan testified that he was patrolling with colleagues on the night of February 10 and observed defendant #5 and four other persons acting in a suspicious manner. The police examined the mobile phone of defendant #5 and found numerous photos and two videos about the Mong Kok riot. These items were taken between 2am and 7am on February 9. The police also found Whatsapp message in which defendant #5 said that he was in Mong Kok through text, photos and audio recordings. The mobile phone also has Facebook content containing the same type of materials.

When police asked defendant #5 where these materials came from. Defendant #5 told the police that he went to Mong Kok at 2am on February 9 and saw a large number of masked men throwing bricks and setting off fires. He photographed these people and shared the photos with his friends.

Two videos were played in court. In the first video, the police and a group of people were standing in the road and a voice was heard yelling: "Fuck you ... do you dare to fire a shot?" In the second video, a man yelled excitedly at the police: "All the police should die" and a police officer replied calmly: "Same to you."

(Oriental Daily) June 16, 2017.

Police constable Cheung Chun-yan testified that the mobile phone of defendant #5 Fok Ting-ho contained audio messages such as: "I am in Mong Kok. There are a lot of people here. A lot of police. Get people to come out. It is fun and exciting."

Police constable Lee Cheuk-keung testified that police constable Cheung Chun-yan interrogated defendant #5 and then Lee made the arrest. Under caution, defendant #5 said: "I was in Mong Kok that day." At the police station, Lee searched defendant #5 and found a laser pen.

In the afternoon, some of the audio recordings in defendant #5's mobile phone were played in court. There were messages such as: "Play with fire ... you too can come out here ... MK", "Everybody can fucking together ...  you have no idea how much fun this is" and "Get some rocks .. What the fuck for? To fucking throw at the police."

Defendant #5 Fok Ting-ho.

(Oriental Daily) June 19, 2017.

During cross-examination, the defense said that all three statements of defendant #5 taken by police constable Lee Cheuk-keung were inaccurate. Of these, the second and third statements were creatively written by Lee who told defendant #5 to sign. Specifically, in the third statement, "Nobody directed me to do so. I saw other people having so much fun throwing stuff, so I did it too" and "I did not hit any policeman ... I don't remember how long between the two times that I threw bricks." In the second statement, "I thought that it was fun and so I picked up the bricks on the ground to throw at the police. I did not dig out the bricks."

During the taking of the statements, the defense alleged tht Lee told defendant #5 loudly: "You were arrested obviously because you did something. Should I get some colleagues to give you a welcome?" The defense said that Lee persuaded the defendant #5 to admit: "Admit it! This is a trivial matter. At the most, you will be prosecuted for unlawful gathering." Lee denied that he did any of this.

Police state chief Ho Cheung-tim testified in the afternoon. He said that he went on vacation between February 3 and 10. He was called back to duty at 6pm on February 11. The defense said that Ho was already working down at the Mong Kok Police Station at 1am on February 11. While there, he told defendant #5: "You better admit to everything, so that I won't get my colleagues to give you a welocme." Ho denied that he said do.

(Oriental Daily) June 20, 2017.

Police constable Yuan Wing-fung testified today that about the police line at Shan Tung Street was broken by a charge of 60 to 70 demonstrators down the southbound lanes of Nathan Road. About 20 to 30 demonstrators threw bricks, fire extinguishers and iron bars at the police officers near 619 Nathan Road. And then the demonstrators scattered and fled.

On February 16, Yuan saw a TVB news video titled: "Some people used bricks to attack the police; Ambrose Lee said that this was a beastly act." At seconds 19-21 of this video, a man wearing a green jacket and blue jeans picked up a brick behind the group who were attacking police officers at 619 Nathan Road. At seconds 58-59, this man was seen running down Shan Tung Street in the direction of Nathan Road. Yuan said that he saw the same individual on the morning of February 9 running with the crowd towards Nathan Road.

Yuan said that the man was someone that he had frequently seen during the Shopping Revolution demonstrations. Between October 2015 and February 2016, he had seen this man 6 to 7 times, observing him 1 to 2 minutes each time. Yuan said that the man was short and skinny, and Yuan can clearly remember him.

Yuan told his supervisor that he had made this identification. Yuan and other police officers then went down to Mong Kok to locate the man. Finally, they came across the man on Sai Yeung Choi Street South. At the time, the man wore a green jacket. Yuan asked the man: "Where were you on the early morning of February 9th?" The man said: "I know that I went too far that night." Yuan arrested the man and issued the caution. Under caution, the man said: "I only did what others did. Please give me a chance." The defence does not contest that the man arrested by Yuan was defendant #3 Chung Chi-wah.

(Oriental Daily) June 21, 2017.

Police constable Yuan Wing-fung read out the statement from 29-year-old cleaner Chung Chi-wah. Chung admitted that he threw bricks at the police but believed that he missed hitting anyone. Yuan testified that Chung was "shorter and skinnier" than most people and was wearing identifiable clothing, and that was why Yuan recognized Chung in the television news video.

(Oriental Daily) June 22, 2017.

Police superintendent Chan Wai-ki testified today that he was injured by a brick thrown at him. However, his medical report indicated that his left hand was injured on the way falling down. Today the prosecution summoned Princess Margaret Hospital doctor Tse Choi-fung to testify as a medical expert. Tse said that the medical records indicated that Chan's left hand was injured as he fell down on the ground. The information came from Chan himself. Tse said that Chan's injury is consistent with falling down, but he is not 100% certain.

Internet comments:

- (Local Press) June 8, 2017.

At this time, many participants in the Mong Kok incident have been sentenced to jail. Ray Wong said that Hong Kong society should not ignore the background to criticize these demonstrators. People need to understand the needs of these young people and the oppression of the people wrought by the authorities. If the Chinese and Hong Kong Communists had not ignored the quest for universal values such as freedom, democracy and human rights by the people of Hong Kong, the people would not have chosen to defend their dignity in such a manner. The demonstrators were not looking after their personal interests; they were working for the interest of the Hong Kong Nation. All the jailed martyrs are martyrs who sacrifice themselves for the greater good. They have the will to take responsibility and therefore they are political prisoners who are being oppressed by the authorities in the name of the Law.

So far, I have been following the trials of several dozens of these so-called 'martyrs'. Every single one of them adopted the defense that it was a case of mistaken identity because they were not there, or they did not do what the police said even if they were there, or their actions were misunderstood even if they were recorded on video, or they didn't mean what they said after being cautioned, etc. Not a single one of them said anything like: "Yes, I threw bricks at the police because I was fighting for freedom, democracy, human rights and the right of unlicensed fishball vendors to sell their food anytime anywhere that they want." Not a single one of them. I guess I will wait for Ray Wong's trial to see whether he will do so. My bet is that he will seek political asylum in Taiwan and stiff his mother on the $200,000 personal bond.  His rationale will be that he has much more to contribute to the War of Independence of Hong Kong from the outside in Taiwan than from inside Stanley Prison in Hong Kong.

- Martin Luther: "I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen."

- Defendant #5  Fok Ting-ho said things as recorded on his mobile phone such as:

"I am in Mong Kok. There are a lot of people here. A lot of police. Get people to come out. It is fun and exciting."

"Play with fire ... you too can come out here ... MK"

"Everybody can fucking together ...  you have no idea how much fun this is"

"Get some rocks .. What the fuck for? To fucking throw at the police."

He did not say:

"We must defend the right of small vendors to set up shop in Mong Kok on New Year's Day because this is the Hong Kong tradition."

"We must defend our freedoms of speech and assembly here in Mong Kok, even though the police are shooting demonstrators."

"There is strength in numbers. All pro-democracy activists should come down to Mong Kok to defend freedom, democracy and human rights."

"I have no fear of being arrested and shot at, because I know that my cause is righteous."

So how do you justify giving political asylum to Fok Ting-ho?

Five men accused of carrying glass bottles and throwing bricks and stones at police during last year’s Mong Kok riot denied charges of rioting on Friday. The District Court is expected to hear testimony from three senior officers who claimed to have witnessed three of the men throwing bricks, before they chased and arrested them. The two youngest defendants allegedly appear in police footage carrying glass bottles at the front line.

The case centred on clashes between police and 100 protesters – most of them wearing face masks – at the junction of Soy Street and Fa Yuen Street at about 6.45am on February 9, where the two groups were separated by burning objects.

Assistant director of public prosecutions Derek Lai Kim-wah said some people were seen waving objects like sticks, while others used bricks to hit railings.

Delivery workers Chris Yung Tsz-hin, 18, and Law Ho-yin, 20, and worker Lin Yun-faat, 25, were jointly charged with one count of riot as prosecutors observed they were often seen together on the front line. Leo Chan Siu-kwan, 47, who is unemployed, and travel agent Sung Kwan-wo, 27, each face a separate count of the same charge.

All pleaded not guilty.

Judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che noted that the case rested on three questions: whether there was an unlawful assembly or a riot at the time; whether the defendants were present; and whether they participated.

Prosecutors will summon 15 witnesses. The court heard all five men were arrested in Mong Kok that morning on charges of unlawful assembly and assaulting police. But three of them deny having been at the alleged crime scene, while another defendant demanded prosecutors prove the scene amounted to a riot.

Opening his case, prosecutor Lai took the court through a bundle of stills from police footage to show all five had been present. “At the centre of the photo were [Yung and Law],” he said as he flipped through the album. “We invite the court to compare whether the two men in the photos were the ones sitting in the dock now.”

Videos played in court showed police issued repeated warnings for protesters to disperse. On another occasion, protesters were seen hurling objects at police before turning to run, prompting officers to rush forward.

Inspector Wang Lam testified that some of the objects hit his colleagues’ shields. “We had to avoid the flames and flying objects when we advanced,” he recalled. “I was hit three times, on my left forearm, chest and left thigh.”

(Silentmajority.hk) May 12, 2017.

Yesterday the third defendant 47-year-old unemployed man Leo Chan Siu-kwan was late by 10 minutes. Frankie Yiu Fun-che asked Chan's Senior Counsel Randy Shek about it. Shek said that the defendant was held up by traffic problems. The judge said that the case involves several defendants, so that the trial gets held up if one of them is late. If the defendant should be late again, his bail will be revoked in order to guarantee that he will be in court on time in the future.

(Wen Wei Po) May 12, 2017.

In the opening statement, the prosecutor said that there were about 100 persons gathered at the intersection of Fa Yuen Street and Soy Street at the time. Most of these people wore surgical masks and held glass bottles and bricks in their hands. There was a pile of garbage on flames which generated a lot of smoke.

Among the five defendants, defendant #1 Yung Tsz-hin and defendant #2 Law Ho-yin stood in the front, holding glass bottles in hand, while defendant #5 Lin Yun-fat held a brick-like object in this hand.

At 710am, the police took action to disperse the crowd. Defendant #5 Lin Yun-fat threw a brick at the police. Senior inspector Li Ka-chim saw it, gave chase and made the arrest. Other police officers saw defendant #3 Chan Shiu-kwan and defendant #4 Sung Kwan-wo threw bricks at them and then fled. The officers subdued and arrested them.

The prosecution showed videos that lasted about 50 minutes, including the videos taken by the police and another video downloaded from the Internet. Chan Siu-kwan and Sung Kwan-wo cannot be seen on the videos, so their case will be based upon the testimonies of the police officers. In these videos, the police repeatedly told the crowd to disperse to no effect.

There was one video in which the man believed to be defendant #4 Sung Kwan-wo being arrested with blood streaming down his face. The police arrested him for throwing rocks at their colleagues. The man believed to be defendant #3 Chan Siu-kwan yelled "I am open and fair. Film me!"

(Oriental Daily) May 15, 2017.

Inspector Wong Lam was cross-examined today. He said that he saw citizens filming alongside the persons in the gathering. Periodically some persons in the gathering also filmed. The Senior Counsel said that when the police dispersed the crowd, there were persons who threw objects as well as persons who were merely filming. Wong said that he couldn't see who was who.

Senior Police Officer Lee Yiu-hung testified that he was on duty at 5am in Mong Kok. He manned the police line near the Bank of China office on Nathan Road. Some rioters threw rocks at the police and set off fires in the streets. Lee and his colleagues used shields to protect themselves and issued verbal warnings. More police reinforcements arrived. Lee and his colleagues pushed the police line to Soy Street near Tung Choi Street. At 8am, Lee and his colleagues intercepted five suspects. Lee arrested defendant #1 Yung Tsz-hin. On Yung's mobile phone, Lee found photos of the unlawful gathering and arson.

Under cross-examination, Lee said that defendant #1 showed him the mobile phone. Lee saw one or two photos showing an unlawful riot. However, Lee does not know whether defendant #1 took those photos or someone else forwarded them. The Senior Counsel for defendant #1 said that defendant #1 told the police that "I just finished eating and I want to take a bus/minibus" and he walked down this street "because there was no other streets opened." Lee said that defendant #1 said that he wanted to find transportation and there was no other way to go, but Lee said that there was no mention of having just eaten.

Another senior police officer Chik Kin-fai said that he manned a police line at Soy Street and Tung Choi Street. Five men looking frightened came at them and tried to sidestep the police line. Chik went up to stop and check them. Defendant #2 told Chik: "Earlier I and my friend were watching people throw rocks and set off fires." Defendant #2 showed two video clips and some photos. One video showed a taxi being destroyed and the other showed several individuals destroying a road sign.

Sergeant Chiu Cheuk-wai testified that at around 7am, he took part to break apart the crowd. Chiu and his colleagues charged from the intersection of Soy Street and Tung Choi Street down Soy Street. People threw bricks and glass bottles at them. Chiu saw defendant #3 wearing black cap and grey-colored checkered jacket,  throwing a brick in the direction of a police officer to the right of Chiu and then fleeing into Sai Yee Street. However, defendant #3 was tripped by another person. So Chiu went up to subdue defendant #3. At the time, defendant #3 said: "I have nothing to do with this. I only came here to watch." The defendant's lawyer said that when the  brick-throwing man turned into Sai Yee Street, he would have been out of Chiu's line-of-sight. Chiu disagreed. He said that there was a low concrete curb with a bamboo screen on top at the corner and his line-of-sight was never obstructed.

(Oriental Daily) May 16, 2017.

Sergeant Chan Pak-kan testified that he was on the police line at the intersection of Soy Street and Tung Choi Street at around 7am. At the time, 80 to 100 persons were gathered at Fa Yuen Street about 30 to 40 meters away. There was a damaged taxi plus burning fires between the two groups. Some people cursed the police as "Evil Police."

Chan said that he saw defendant #4 Sung Kwun-wo standing on a railing. Sung wore a green jacket, blue jeans, had short hair which was "Gel'd very high." Sung cursed the police: "May the whole families of the Evil Police die!" Then Sung got off the railing and threw a brick at the police. He missed. Chan pointed at Sung and told him not to throw any bricks.

Police officers charged to disperse the crowd. Chan followed them. At the intersection of Sai Yee Street and Soy Street, Sung was subdued by several police officers. He broke free at one point, ran a few steps and was quickly subdued again. Chan went up to offer assistance. At first, Sung was face down on the ground. Then he sat up with blood streaming down his face. Chan believed that Sung was injured in the back of his head. Chan arrested Sung.

On cross-examination, Chan said that the testimony of Chan (namely, shouting "May the whole families of the Evil Police die", Sung throwing a brick when the police advanced and Chan telling Sung not to throw bricks) was not supported by the videos taken by the police. Chan admitted that the videos did not show these details, but he denied that he lied.

The defense said that Chan's notebook, the oral statement and the court testimony contained discrepancies. Chan corrected and said: Before the police pushed forward to disperse the crowd, defendant #4 did throw a brick once. Afterwards defendant #4 was seen carrying a brick in his hand, but Chan did not see him throw it. After the police advanced, the defendant #4 threw another brick.

The defense said that defendant #4 was beaten by 6 to 7 police officers while being subdued. Chan said that his vision angle allowed to see only one police officer hit defendant #4 once. Chan is not sure how many police officers took part.

(Oriental Daily) May 17, 2017.

Senior inspector Lee Ka-chun testified that he was on the police line at Soy Street/Tung Choi Street at 7am. The police charged at the crowd at the intersection of Soy Street and Fa Yuen Street. He observed defendant #5 in red clothes throwing a brick at  him, so he gave chase and caught defendant #5 after 30 meters or so. He pushed defendant #5 on the ground, and asked another police officer to take custody of the arrestee while he himself moved forward to disperse the crow.

(Oriental Daily) May 18, 2017.

Sergeant Cheng Ming-fung testified today that on the morning of February 5, defendant #5 Lin Yun-fat was subdued by Senior Inspector Lee Ka-chun and arrested by Cheng Ming-fung. Under caution, defendant #4 said: "I came here after 4am. I saw other people throwing rocks. So I followed." Cheng took defendant #5  onto the bus to the Sau Mo Ping Police Station. While waiting to meet the officer on duty, Cheng took a written statement for defendant #5.

The defence said that after defendant #5 was subdued, he was punched and kicked by many police officers for 2 to 3 minutes. When defendant #5 got on the bus, he saw defendant #4 Sung Kwan-wo being hit in the face. Cheng allegedly yelled at defendant #5 and others: "This is none of your business!" Cheung told Lin to lower his head and not look at others. At the police station, Cheng told Lin that his charge won't be serious, so if Lin admits to brick throwing, he will be quickly bailed out. Cheng denied that he said so.

(Oriental Daily) May 26, 2017.

Today, the court ruled that the evidence exists against the five defendants. The defendants can decided whether to testify themselves on May 29.

(Oriental Daily) May 29, 2017.

Defendant #3 Chan Siu-kwan testified on his own behalf. He said that he has not been working in recent years because he has to take care of children. Chan explained that he was influenced by Benny Tai's Occupy Central with Love and Peace. Occasionally he takes pictures at incidents related to social activism. He said that he takes videos in order to help those who are falsely accused by the police.

At around 2am on February 2, he went to film in Mong Kok. At around 7am, he was at the intersection of Fa Yuen Street and Soy Street. He was ready to leave to go home to take care of the children when his wife goes to work. But his wife told him that she didn't have to go to work. Therefore Chan stayed on. At 712am, the police pushed forward. Chan ran towards Sai Yee Street. After 20 to 30 meters, he was pushed down on the ground the police, hit several times on his right leg and arrested.

Chan said that he took 18 video segments that day. He emphasized that he did not throw any bricks. His lawyer said that Chan was a "fly on the wall".

(Oriental Daily) June 6, 2017.

The prosecution said that there is no evidence that the first two defendants engaged in violence, but they were holding glass bottles in their hands. The other three defendants threw bricks. The prosecution said that even if the court is unsure whether the defendants #3 and #4 threw bricks, the charge of unlawful assembly should be considered instead.

The defence said that there is no conclusive evidence that the defendants #1 and #2 are the two men in the screen captures. The defence said that there is a convenience store in the screen captures, and it is an everyday occurrence for people to hold glass bottles in front of convenience stores. Defendant #2 may have left the scene already before the police took action.

The lawyer for the defendant #4 said that the police testimonies are inconsistent with the video. Furthermore the proposal for the alternate charge of unlawful assembly was brought up for the first time today, and it should be rejected in consideration of procedural justice.

The lawyer for the defendant #3 said that presence at the scene does not equate participation, which requires a common purpose as well as the use of force. Defendant #3 was said to be there only to film as an observer. During his testimony, defendant #3 said that he did not chant "Evil Police" that day, but he may just do so in future after being falsely charged this time.

(Oriental Daily) June 7, 2017.

Summation continued today. The second defendant Law Ho-yin was late by 10 minutes. His lawyer explained that he felt uncomfortable when he got up this morning, took medicine and rested. The judge confiscated half of his $1,000 bail.

The lawyer for the fifth defendant Lin Yun-fat said that the prosecution must prove that the defendant and the other participants share the same purpose. The television videos showed that a policeman fired twice into the air and then pointed his gun at the demonstrators. Therefore the court should consider whether the defendants were merely defending themselves. The judge pointed out that the two shots were fired at 1am on Argyle Street whereas the defendants were arrested at 7am on Soy Street/Sai Yee Street, so the time and location are sufficiently different. The defence said that the police first told the demonstrators to leave peacefully then they sent out the Special Tactical Unit a minute later to arrest people. Therefore the judge should consider whether the defendant was defending himself as opposed to participating in a riot.

Internet comments:

- Here is the on.cc video that was submitted into evidence. A screen capture from that video shows some people holding glass bottles in their hands.

- Here are some photos from the on.cc news report. Was there an unlawful gathering or not? Was there a riot or not? What do your lying eyes tell you?

- The argument is not to deny that there was a riot somewhere sometime that night. The argument is whether there was a riot at the precise moment when the defendant was arrested. A short while before that, glass bottles were raining on the police and fires were ablaze in Fa Yuen Street. There was a riot. Then came a short lull. The police organized, charged and arrested certain individuals. Was there a riot anymore?

- (Oriental Daily) Sergeant Chiu Cheuk-wai testified that at around 7am, he took part to break apart the crowd. Chiu and his colleagues charged from the intersection of Soy Street and Tung Choi Street down Soy Street. People threw bricks and glass bottles at them. Chiu saw defendant #3 wearing black cap and grey-colored checkered jacket,  throwing a brick in the direction of a police officer to the right of Chiu and then fleeing into Sai Yee Street. However, defendant #3 was tripped by another person. So Chiu went up to subdue defendant #3. At the time, defendant #3 said: "I have nothing to do with this. I only came here to watch." The defendant's lawyer said that when the  brick-throwing man turned into Sai Yee Street, he would have been out of Chiu's line-of-sight. Chiu disagreed. He said that there was a low concrete curb with a bamboo screen on top at the corner and his line-of-sight was never obstructed.

- Unclear? let Google Map help you. You are running down Soy Street chasing after a suspect 30 meters ahead. The suspect reaches the cross street Sai Yee Street and turns left. Do you lose line-of-sight of him?

(SCMP) May 11, 2017.

Hong Kong’s annual pro-democracy march on July 1 may be unable to start at Victoria Park because a pro-Beijing group celebrating the 20th anniversary of the city’s return to China has been given priority.

Au Nok-hin, convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, queried the decision by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which is responsible for allocating the venue.

The front applied for use of the six football pitches at the Causeway Park as it has done since 2004.

“A department member of staff called us yesterday telling us that they would allocate the football pitches to another group based on an internal guideline, which said if two groups applied for using the same venue at the same time, consideration would be based on the ‘nature of the organisation’,” Au said on Wednesday. The department had yet to approve the use of the lawn, which would accommodate a much smaller crowd.

It is widely understood that President Xi Jinping will be in Hong Kong that day to mark the anniversary.

“Is the government trying to shut out opposing voices when the state leader is in town? Is it only allowing celebrations but no demonstration? I don’t rule out political factors are in play,” Au said.

The group given use of the park’s six football pitches is the Hong Kong Celebrations Association, which is composed of 40 pro-Beijing groups, including business chambers and the Federation of Trade Unions. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Zhang Xiaoming, director of Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, are the honorary ­patrons.

The front has used pitches at the park, which can accommodate tens of thousands of people, as the starting point for marches since 2004.

The pro-democracy marches, which have been held since the 1997 handover, became increasingly significant in 2003 after drawing 500,000 protesters against the introduction of a ­national security law and in the wake of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The front submitted its application for renting the pitches on the earliest possible date, three months in advance in April. However the department said the association submitted its ­application to hold a science expo on March 15, before that of the front.

Au said the pro-Beijing association had always leased the pitches in the morning, and the front occupied the area for the march in the afternoon. Now the association has applied to occupy it in the afternoon too – obviously they planned to kick us out,” Au said.

Tam Yiu-chung, honorary president of the association, said it was reasonable to grant the ­venue to his group because it was “representative”. “The march can always go elsewhere,” he said.

A police insider said the leisure department had sought security advice from the force about the application and there had been no objections. A police spokesman said: “Police earlier received a department’s request for comments regarding an organisation’s plan to hold activities at Victoria Park on July 1. Police have already replied to the department.”

(Hong Kong Free Press) May 11, 2017.

The organisers of Hong Kong’s annual July 1 democracy rally have questioned the government’s explanation that the protest’s starting venue – Causeway Bay’s Victoria Park – has already been promised to a pro-Beijing group.

The Civil Human Rights Front announced on Wednesday afternoon that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) rejected its application because the Hong Kong Celebrations Association – a charity – has “priority consideration.”

Responding to HKFP’s enquiries, an LCSD spokesperson told HKFP that it accepted the Association’s request in accordance with its published guidelines, since the Association is a registered charity and the Front is not. The department received an application from the Association on March 15 to hold a science and technology exhibition named “Innovation Drives the Achievement of Dreams” from late June to early July at Victoria Park’s six football pitches. 

The spokesperson said the exhibition is part of a series of events celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China. She added that the Front applied for use of the six football pitches, the central lawn and the bandstand under the organisation Ap Lei Chau Community Trade Union on April 3 – but neither the Front nor the Union are registered charities. “If the union chooses to stage an activity at the central lawn and bandstand areas of Victoria Park, the department will reconsider its request,” she said. “[The department] will take into account factors such as the flow of people, traffic and public order, and consult other government departments for their opinions.”

At a press conference on Thursday, Front convener Au Nok-hin agreed that charities have priority over regular organisations, but questioned whether the activities described by the LCSD would be related to charity at all.

“The purpose of the Association’s activity this time is clear: it’s to celebrate the handover,” said Au. “How is celebrating the handover related to charity? Is it donating any money to disadvantaged communities? We don’t see that at the moment.”

“The nature of the activity is an innovation and technology exhibition. How is innovation and technology exhibition related to charity?” he asked. “There is no way [the Front] can use a registered charity to organise the July 1 rally, because charities cannot organise political rallies.”

Au also questioned why the Association was allowed to apply as early as March 15, when the Front was prevented from doing so until April. “We told the LCSD before our New Year’s rally that we wanted to apply for July 1, but officials told us not to talk about it so soon, as the LCSD does not consider applications over three months beforehand.”

He asked the LCSD to clarify its claim that the Association had booked the Victoria Park football courts in late June. “When we speak about a ‘late’ period in a month, we usually mean after the 20th day. So when you say the LCSD received an application on March 15 for an event on [June] 20, then this will not have fallen within the three-month timeframe for application.”

As the park has been the rally’s traditional stating point for many years, Au said there could be “factors of uncertainty” if people went there and discovered it was holding an exhibition. “We don’t want to add all this trouble to the police and the public,” he said. “We don’t have a clear Plan B.”

Au said the Front applied for the use of Victoria Park’s central lawn and bandstand areas again on Wednesday. He said he would also reach out to the Association to try and coordinate their activities together.

Internet comments:

- (Wen Wei Po) May 12, 2017.

Civil Human Rights Front convener Au Nok-hin said that they have been able to procure the Victoria Park soccer fields as the starting point of their demonstration marches over the years. Thus the rejection of their application this time is unprecedented. He questioned whether the decision was based upon "political considerations" of not wanting citizens to protest against the government. He said: "Only the government officials are allowed to celebrate the handover, but the citizens are not allowed to march."

As long as the Civil Human Rights Front stay within the law, nobody is going to stop them from demonstrating or marching. But the Civil Human Rights Front cannot force the government or other organizations to reserve Victoria Park for their own exclusive use. In this case, the Civil Human Rights Front made procedural mistakes (both in terms of the timing of the application and the identity of the applicant). But they blame the government and others for having nefarious purposes.

Actually, why must the Civil Human Rights Front march start off from Victoria Park? Why can't it be Kowloon Park? Tin Shui Wai? Is Victoria Park their exclusive domain? Is the true slogan: "Only the Civil Human Rights Front can march, but nobody else can celebrate the handover"?

The reason why the Civil Human Rights Front seemed so upset is that they want to hype up the July 1st march. At the present time, people are sick of the political fights. Everybody knows that it will be hard to mobilize supporters to come out to march. So instead of reporting five times the number of participants, they might have to report ten times as many. They are using the Victoria Park venue issue to generate the sense of tragedy and mobilize their supporters.

- Demosisto Facebook

First time since the transfer of sovereignty
July 1st march not permitted to assemble in Victoria Park
This year I will definitely march!

- In his press conference, Civil Human Rights Front convener Au Nok-hin said that Chief Executive elect Carrie Lam has been talking about a Great Reconciliation on one hand, but she is not letting the Civil Human Rights Front using Victoria Park on the other hand. Therefore Carrie Lam is insincere about the Great Reconciliation.

- Eh, first of all, this supposes that the Chief Executive-elect is already interceding with the Leisure and Cultural Services over the permission to use a sports facility. If so, Carrie Lam must be a very busy beaver with a million things to micro-manage when in fact none of these government departments are reporting to her as yet.

- If Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam intercedes now and asks Chief Executive CY Leung and the Hong Kong Celebrations Association to let the Civil Human Rights Front use the Victoria Park soccer fields on the afternoon of July 1st, do you think that the Great Reconciliation will be even an inch close? The nature of the July 1st march is an anti-government demonstration march. Why would Carrie Lam be interested in assisting these people to inflame hate against her incoming administration?

- Why does Au Nok-hin talk as if the Civil Human Rights Front has presumptive rights on the use of a public sports facility? Over the years, the Civil Human Rights Front talk about fighting for democracy, justice and human rights. But it seems that they behave more like a hegemon that everybody else has to bow to.

- Democracy? Cheng Yiu-tong pointed out that more people want to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover than march against Carrie Lam. Justice? Please read the guidelines of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department on booking sports/recreational facilities. Human rights? All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others.

- (Leisure and Cultural Services Department) Guide to the booking procedure for use of non-fee charging recreation and sports facilities.

Three-month in advance

Recreation and sports facilities may be reserved three months in advance for championships, leagues, and training events promoted or organized in order of priority by –

(a) Community Tai Chi Clubs under the LCSD Community Tai Chi Club Scheme at their regular training/practice venues and time.

(b) Subvented non-governmental organisations registered with Social Welfare Department and charitable organisations registered with the Inland Revenue Department.

(c) Affiliated clubs of National Sports Associations, registered with Certificate of Incorporation under the Companies Ordinance; or Certificate of Registration of a Society under the Societies Ordinance.

(d) Government departments (including trading fund departments), public/statutory bodies organising departmental/public functions.

(e) Bona fide associations and corporations (including government staff clubs/unions) and offices of District Council members, may also apply for use of recreation and sports facilities. To qualify as bona fide associations and corporations, applicants should be registered with Certificate of Incorporation under the Companies Ordinance; or Certificate of Registration of a Society under the Societies Ordinance.

Bookings shall be made three months in advance (e.g. bookings for sessions in May 2015 should reach the booking office between 1 to 31 January 2015).

- The Hong Kong Celebrations Association is in priority category (b) as a charitable organisation registered with the Inland Revenue Department. The Civil Human Rights Front filed under the Ap Lei Chau Community Trade Union which is in priority (e) as a bona fide association with a Certificate of Registration of a Society under the Societies Ordinance. (b) has higher priority than (e).

If you upset the priority system and take (e) over (b), then you are destroying rule-of-law.

- How would you choose? The Hong Kong Celebrations Association or the Ap Lei Chau Community Trade Union?

The only thing that Ap Lei Chau is famous for is Leung Chung-hang's claim that "republic of China" is pronounced as "re-fucking of Chee-na" in Ap Lei Chau.

- "Bookings shall be made three months in advance (e.g. bookings for sessions in May 2015 should reach the booking office between 1 to 31 January 2015)." That means bookings for July 1 2017 should reach the booking office between 1 and 31 March 2017. The Civil Human Rights Front submitted their application on April 3 2017. That is to say, they were late.

- (Hong Kong Free Press) Au also questioned why the Association was allowed to apply as early as March 15, when the Front was prevented from doing so until April. “We told the LCSD before our New Year’s rally that we wanted to apply for July 1, but officials told us not to talk about it so soon, as the LCSD does not consider applications over three months beforehand.”

The Front was not prevented from applying until July. They were told in January to apply three months beforehand. Unfortunately, the guy can't even count three months.

The Guide said:

Bookings for May 2015 should be made in January 2015

Let me walk you through to July 1st 2017:

Bookings for May 2017 should be made in January 2017
Bookings for June 2017 should be made in February 2017
Bookings for July 2017 should made in March 2017

I think that this question is too easy even for the Primary 3 Basic Competency Assessment (BCA) test. But Au Nok-hin and the rest of the Civil Human Rights Front leaders think that the answer is April 2017.

- Au Nok-hin knows very well that there is no possible judicial review. The Guide by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department clearly states the timing and the priority scheme.

They could have filed their application on March 1, but it would be harder to move up the priority list. Subvented non-government organisations and charitable organisations cannot engage in political activities.

- Why did they use the Ap Lei Chau Community Union to apply? Because Au Nok-hin is a member of that organization and a Southern District Councilor, and he wants to give the organization as well as himself a boost. Yes, it is known as nepotism.

- Here is the weirdest part: Au Nok-hin started off with questioning what kind of charitable organization the Hong Kong Celebrations Association is. Once he realized that he does not have a Plan B for the July 1st march, he proposed that the Hong Kong Celebrations Association yield the soccer fields to the Civil Human Rights Front on July 1st as a gesture of Love and Peace. Bwaaaahhhhh!

- You said that they were Dark and Evil before, so how are they going to find Love and Peace in their hearts? Beyond their essential nature, you have just slapped them a minute ago and now you want them to make you happy? An apology and some nice words would be in order first.

- (Ming Pao) Civil Human Rights Front convener Au Nok-hin said that if the Hong Kong Celebrations Association refuse to let them use Victoria Park, their march will have starting points that "bloom like flowers everywhere", including East Point Road, Great George Street and the Central Library.

- Au Nok-hin also urged participants not to clash with other persons. This is saying the opposite -- he wants clashes to show that denying the Civil Human Rights Front has bad consequences, so they will get Victoria Park next year.

- (Sing Tao Daily) May 13, 2017. Hong Kong Celebrations Association executive chairman Cheng Yiu-tong refused to lend space to the Civil Human Rights Front, saying that there could be fights between the two groups. Au Nok-hin re-emphasized that they are not using force to use Victoria Park because the Civil Human Rights Front does not have exclusive rights there. They are presently negotiating with the police to use multiple starting points in Causeway Bay. As for Cheng Yiu-tong saying that the science/technology expo of the Hong Kong Celebrations Association includes exhibits of Chinese space technology and performances by robots, Au Nok-hin said that it is sad that the exhibitors are being used as political pawns.

- I believe that the use of the facilities should be awarded to whoever ranks higher on the priority list and applies on time. The Hong Kong Celebrations Association ranks higher on the priority list and applied on time. The Civil Human Rights Front ranked lower on the priority list and applied late. If the Leisure and Cultural Services Department awarded the use of the soccer fields to the Civil Human Rights Front, it would be a clear political decision in which they contravened all the rules and procedures that they announced beforehand.

- The Civil Human Rights Front is asking the Hong Kong Celebrations Association to lend them parts of the soccer fields for their July 1st march. Suppose Au Nok-hin rents a Leisure and Cultural Services badminton court for 60 minutes next Tuesday, but some guy comes along and said that they want to use half of the court. Why? Because FREEDOM DEMOCRACY HUMAN RIGHTS JUSTICE UNIVERSAL VALUES. Would Au Nok-hin agree?

- Au Nok-hin felt that it was a political decision to let the Hong Kong Celebrations Association use the soccer fields. The supposition is that the Civil Human Rights Front has always used the Victoria Park soccer fields on July 1st afternoons and therefore any other decision must be political. But what if they were to hold the Homeless World Cup in Victoria Park? Will the Civil Human Rights Front still insist that this was a political decision? Will these homeless people be called political henchmen?

More at Occupy Central Part 8

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Occupy Central Part 7 (601-700)

Occupy Central Part 8 (701-)

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