This week: more on Hong Kong's national security law; some important developments in Hong Kong politics; reflections on the June 4th anniversary, including related nourishment & consolation; and the usual mandatory dose of self-promotion.
Now that China’s virus crisis has calmed — and the rest of the world is distracted by the pandemic — Beijing’s newcomers in Hong Kong are trying to stop the likely return of last year’s protests, which evolved from resistance to an extradition bill to a citywide anti-government movement.
Hong Kong police deployed water cannons for the first time Sunday in a show of force as pro-democracy protests turned violent following nearly two weeks of relative calm.
Progressive Lawyers Group member Antony Dapiran (in his personal capacity) shared his views on how China can pacify Hong Kong: “popular protests will keep recurring until Beijing meets the city’s long-suppressed aspirations for greater democracy”.
What do the protests mean for the future of Hong Kong? And what do they say about Hong Kong’s relationship with the mainland? —The Editors
“It is the fundamental reason people are protesting in the first place,” said Antony Dapiran, who wrote a book on protest culture in Hong Kong. “They don’t trust Beijing, they don’t trust their authorities and the legal system, and they don’t like the blurring of lines between Beijing and Hong Kong.”
Again, as in 2014, today’s protesters were primarily youths, clad in black t-shirts and chanting “Cit Wui!” (“Withdraw!”). Drawing on their experience from the Umbrella Movement, protesters quickly equipped themselves with protective gear – face masks, goggles, hard-hats – in anticipation of police batons, capsicum spray, or even tear gas and rubber bullets. Police formed three-deep defensive lines equipped with riot shields, truncheons and guns. By mid-morning, protester supply stations – well-stocked with water, foodstuffs, first-aid supplies and other necessities – were already springing up.
Law is being used to silence the democracy movement in Hong Kong.
One in three pro-democracy legislators has been prosecuted by the government since the Umbrella Movement of 2014. More than 100 democracy activists and protestors have been prosecuted. The secretary of justice has constantly sought to maximize sentencing, slapping years of jail time on young students and digging up obscure, outdated charges – designed for 19th century Britain, not 21st century Hong Kong – to increase the time that pro-democracy figures spend in jail.
In one of the largest protests since 2014's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, 22,000 protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday. The immediate catalyst for their protest was the jailing last week of three Umbrella Movement protest leaders. Joshua Wong, the international face of Hong Kong's democracy movement, together with his fellow student leaders Alex … Continue reading Beijing’s ‘lawfare’ against dissent in Hong Kong unites fractious opposition
原為律師的Antony Dapiran在1994年由澳洲來港，他對香港歷史的興趣由抗爭而起，在雨傘運動期間撰寫報道，後追溯香港的抗爭歷史，寫下《City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong》。他最後選擇脫下律師袍，從文學角度繼續書寫。
(CNN) China's President has traditionally visited Hong Kong only once every five years, swearing in the Chief Executive for a new five year term and then hastily making an exit before the traditional July 1 protest march.
For all the bluster about Beijing tightening its control over Hong Kong, President Xi Jinping's visit for the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule was no exception.
(ChinaFile) Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong on Thursday to mark the 20th anniversary of the July 1, 1997 return of the territory to China from the United Kingdom. Since the handover, many Hong Kongers have chafed under Beijing’s rule—tensions that culminated with the Umbrella Revolution in late 2014, when tens of thousands of citizens called for a more participatory form of government for their semi-autonomous territory of roughly 7.5 million people. What’s next for Beijing’s relationship with Hong Kong, and for the policy of “One Country, Two Systems”? Progressive Lawyers Group members Alvin Cheung and Antony Dapiran contributed to this conversation.
(The Australian Financial Review) Mornings in Hong Kong are like in no other city. For a city that heaves with a seemingly incessant energy, the start of every day presents a pause. Commuters have not yet flooded the subway system, the shopping malls are not yet open, the roads largely empty of traffic.
A delivery boy weaves his shaky bicycle across the tram lines, a basket of vegetables hanging off the handlebars. Elderly enthusiasts brandishing aluminium broad swords practise tai chi in a park. Down a side street, a taxi driver with a bucket and cloth scrubs down his gleaming red cab. Men linger with their newspapers over cups of tea and a breakfast of dim sum. Out on the harbour, a lone sampan crosses the sun-dappled water.
In a city in hyper-aware of time – of dates, and countdowns, and anniversaries – at this time of day, time itself seems to dissolve.
(The Australian) Antony Dapiran is an Australian lawyer working in Hong Kong whose new book to be published by Penguin next month is titled City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong.
He says: “In a city whose population identifies itself — at least vis a vis its sovereign, the PRC — by reference to the rights and freedoms it enjoys which the rest of China’s population does not, protest is an embodiment of that identity, embracing as it does the freedoms of speech, expression and assembly.”
He says the authorities’ tolerance — or not — of such protests serves as a barometer of the health of the unique “one country, two systems” formula.
HKFP recently spoke to four authors from a series of soon-to-be-published English titles reflecting on the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer of sovereignty to China. Among the writers featured in the Penguin series is Financial Times correspondent Ben Bland, who attempts to decipher the identity of Hong Kong’s post-handover generation, and lawyer Antony Dapiran, who puts the city’s protest culture into historical and social perspective.