Episode 72: The Bleeding Bauhinia — A Conversation with Wilson Leung

In this episode, we chat with Wilson Leung, who is a founding member of the Progressive Lawyers Group 法政匯思 — a group of Hong Kong lawyers dedicated to promoting rule of law, democracy, human rights, freedom and justice — about the recent extradition bill protests in Hong Kong.

How China Can Pacify Its Ungovernable City

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”.

法政匯思出席芝加哥反送中集會 (Progressive Lawyers Group at Chicago Anti-extradition Rally)

法政匯思前召集人蔡騏於芝加哥參與反送中集會。(Progressive Lawyers Group's Ex-convenor Craig Choy attended an anti-extradition rally in Chicago in support of the protests in Hong Kong).

Why the Hong Kong Extradition Bill Matters to You

In this video (in English), Progressive Lawyers Group member Vicki Lui explains to you why Hong Kong Government's proposed extradition bill matters to you - whether you are from Hong Kong, an expat residing in Hong Kong or a visitor transitting in Hong Kong

Hong Kong government tries to make an example of a small opposition party

A tiny and previously little-known political party with no presence in the legislature would have languished on the fringes of Hong Kong’s political sphere were it not for attempts by the city’s government to crush the group.

Now, the Hong Kong National Party finds itself in the limelight, raised to an unaccustomed level of prominence in a dispute that is fast becoming a test for the city’s autonomy.

Hong Kong Radical Is Test Case in China’s Bid to Limit Speech

Earlier this month, Hong Kong’s government threatened to ban Chan’s pro-independence National Party, a move unprecedented since the city’s return to Chinese rule in 1997. Andy Chan talked about China's plan to limit speech.

Petition slams ‘abuse’ of freedom of association

More than 60 groups signed a petition criticizing the government's abuse of freedom of association by proposing to ban the Hong Kong National Party.

Assistant Societies Officer Rebecca Lam Hiu-tung, who is also assistant police commissioner, had recommended that Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu prohibit the pro-independence party from continuing to operate.

Groups call for demonstration over govt’s planned HKNP ban

Multiple civic groups and student unions expressed strong concerns over the government’s proposed ban on the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), saying the planned clampdown amounts to curbing free speech and other constitutional rights. 

A demonstration has been called for Saturday to voice the feelings of various groups that are opposed to the administration’s plans, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

就劉曉波先生逝世一週年之聲明 (Statement on the 1st Anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s Passing)

今天是劉曉波先生逝世一週年的忌日。法政匯思與世界各地一起,緬懷劉曉波先生在倡導中國自由和民主中作出的無畏和無私的犧牲 (Today is the 1st Anniversary of Mr. Liu Xiao Bo's passing. The Progressive Lawyers Group stands united with the rest of the world in remembrance of his fearless and selfless sacrifices made for advocating freedom and democracy in China).

Does Hong Kong’s annual July 1 democracy march violate the law? An analysis and rebuttal

July 1 – the day which marks Hong Kong’s handover to China. July 1 – the day known for its celebratory fireworks display, but more importantly, for its symbolic annual march.

In the two decades since the establishment of the Special Administrative Region, the march has become synonymous with political discontent, serving as a platform for the public and pro-democracy activists to lobby for genuine democracy and universal suffrage. In 2003, 500,000 demonstrators joined the march, forcing the government into an embarrassing climb-down on its proposed national security law.

七一遊行 (Annual Pro-democracy July 1 March)

自2015年成立以來,法政匯思積極參與過共三次由民間人權陣線組織的七一遊行。

本週日我們的成員將再次參與遊行和在灣仔軒尼詩道344號昌業大廈對出位置(近天樂里)擺設街站。(The Progressive Lawyers Group has taken an active part in each of the 3 annual July 1 marches organised by the Civil Human Rights Front since it was established in 2015.

It will again do so this Sunday. Our members will be marching in force and setting up a street stall near Cheong Ip Building, 344 Hennessy Road, Wanchai (near Tin Lok Lane).)

Lawfare Waged by the Hong Kong Government Is Crushing the Hopes of Democrats

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.

Judiciary in the dock: jailing of student activists opens door to debate

As he curled his spindly legs around the metal bars, the sight of the bespectacled teenager with his floppy mop of hair valiantly trying to scale the three-metre-high barrier, along with fellow ­student leader Alex Chow Yong-kang, galvanised others into ­action.

Another youth leader, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, then on stage at the demonstration, called on the others to join in the storming of the forecourt that they had dubbed “Civic Square”. They wanted to “reclaim” the space that had been the site of previous protests, they declared.

Beijing’s ‘lawfare’ against dissent in Hong Kong unites fractious opposition

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

The Long Arm of China’s Law Is Coming Down Heavy on Hong Kong

(Foreign Policy) As Hong Kong prepared to mark the 20th anniversary of its handover to Chinese sovereignty, the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party sent instructions to supporters planning to attend a rally: bring masks both for anonymity and as protection against tear gas, encrypt your electronic devices, and carry a telephone number for legal assistance in case of arrest. The spur for this was the Hong Kong authorities’ prohibition of the rally on the grounds that it violated the territory’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, which has been in effect since 1997 when Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty. The group had issued this precautionary list with the intention of defying the ban, but it backed down after police threatened the organizer with detention for illegal assembly, despite the fact that he was the sole attendee.

China’s Growing Intolerance for Dissent will Come at a High Price

(The Guardian) On Thursday evening, Chinese dissident and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo died from liver cancer in a Shenyang Hospital. Liu was, as the Western press sharply pointed out, the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in custody since Carl von Ossietzky did in Nazi Germany in 1938. Supporters the world over mourned the death of a man who lived and died a hero. The only crime he ever committed was penning a proposal that maps out a bloodless path for his country to democratise.

HK20: Why Hong Kong’s July 1 democracy march isn’t ‘just another protest’

It was less than a month ago when citizens wrestled with the dilemma of whether to take part in the Tiananmen candlelight vigil at Victoria Park.

Naysayers argued that the annual ritual, in its 28th iteration this year, had devolved into a night of sing-along and group therapy, as well as a thinly-veiled excuse for political parties to hit up participants for money. Those arguments had traction, especially among the youth, and many chose to stay home on June 4. The turnout was the lowest in years.

Are July 1 marches still relevant?

When more high-profile protests such as the Umbrella Movement failed to bring real changes to our political system, what should we realistically aim to achieve through the July 1 marches? When the proliferation of new media allows us to express our political sentiments and views more easily, are protests or marches still relevant? When society is filled with diverse voices, is it still possible to deliver clear and strong messages through rallies?

The July 1 march has its unique and symbolic meaning to us. However, if we want to keep on fighting, what is the way forward?

July 1: A day to celebrate?

"So on July 1, no matter what “cause” is at the top of each person’s priority list, Hong Kongers will continue to march, and in doing so, celebrate the birth of the Hong Kong SAR and the continued forging of a stronger identity. Let us march on with confidence and pride that the birth of the Hong Kong SAR gave us the chance to take responsibility for own future."

The Lies of the “Ministry of Truth”: How the Mainland wipes away memories of June 4

As an immigrant under Hong Kong’s “Mainland Talent and Professionals” scheme (內地人才計劃), on the day I obtained Hong Kong permanent residency, I felt as though I could breathe more easily.

Unless you have lived in the place I grew up and received most of my education – the Mainland – you will not appreciate the immense sense of relief I felt “escaping” from a country plagued with lies.