Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Atsuna: I'm Yellow Ribbon, But Disagree w/ Throwing Bricks?

I'm Yellow Ribbon, But Disagree With Throwing Bricks?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/02-10-2016/28665/ 

Dirty cops want to ruin your lives, by shooting on the first day of Lunar New Year. In Umbrella Revolution protesters defended themselves with umbrellas from pepperspray, and this time in Mong Kok, they used bricks to fight back. When the Umbrella Revolution ended, the social movement entered into moments of silence, but this time, there are new momentums. But from what we have seen on Facebook, quite many repeated this: "I dislike the cops, but blah blah blah..."

Hongkongers love Taiwan, and envy they have Ko Wen-je as their Taipei mayor, or the right to vote for the president, but few Hongkongers remember how these achievements came. Hongkongers are much worse than the Taiwanese, who has decades of protests history. In the face of China's invasion, Hong Kong cannot afford to waste a single second. Perhaps "genetic mutation" is needed. So within few years, protesters have evolved -- from the ceremonial procedures in July 1st Demonstration and Tian'anmen Massacre Vigil, to wearing helmets, eye masks and surgical masks in Umbrella Revolution, to hurling bottles and bricks in 2016. The change might be too fast, and some people might not be able to follow.

The fact is, China has no taboo [or, doesn't give a damn - translator's note] for Hong Kong. High Speed Rail (XRL), Internet Article 23 (Copyright Amendment Bill) and many other cases showed that the government wants to force the passing of each and every project they want. Some people know that Hong Kong sinks much faster than they would have imagined, but when they see bricks and fire, they got  "eyesore" because of their pacifist thoughts -- or "PRNN" (being peaceful, rational, non-violent and non-swearing). They wanted to cut ties and condemn such acts much severe than the Blue Ribbons.

I am in a Whatsapp group, and those members are mostly mild pan-democrats. One day they talked about why the government is so shameless, and I said, "The Umbrella Revolution is the Pandora's Box. Amid such a big unrest, the bottomline of pan-democrats are "condemning breaking glasses"? Seriously if I were 689, I will be as wilful as I can, as there will be no consequences."

Xu Zhiyuan, a Chinese writer, in the prelude of his book The Totalitarian Temptation, said: "The struggle against the totalitarianism needs sufficient intellectual and mental preparation. Shallow resistance can hardly be effective."

Some Hongkongers have not realised that China is not another British colonial government. Even if so, the social reform including education and medical issues were because of the 1967 riot conspired by Chinese communists. We are now facing a shameless regime without regard to people's lives. Is it innocent to think one can have "sweets" without any costs?

The colonial government was spoiling, in a sense that they gave people good lives and democracy, and fed them with love and peace.  Martin Luther King once said, "True peace is not merely the absence of tension. it's the presence of justice".

Afraid of conflicts, body contact or so is but normal. Under China's "colonial rule", dirty cops can hit your head at the back without notice and charge you "assaulting police officer". With TVB's sided reporting and high costs of resistance, it is understandable not to go to the front line. But justice and democracy are hard fought, and youngsters of Hong Kong sacrifice their tear and sweat, career and reputation to fight for the interests of Hong Kong, but is it reasonable to point fingers at them by saying "crossed the line", "too violent" or "ruining the rule of law in Hong Kong"?

Lu Xun, a contemporary Chinese writer, once said "Demanding harshly the gentlemen (junzi) and conniving petty people (xiaoren) might be seen as a 'smart move', but actually helps the petty people to do evil." If you said "I am not speaking for the cops", but "nagged about the weaker side", you are but an "accomplice of the killer", in Lu Xun's words.

Some people in the hindsight said CY Leung went abroad every Lunar New Year, but not this year, so this must be his honey trap. If you are there in Mong Kok, when you see the cops have gone wild by pepperspraying people and beating the head of a protester, or even putting fingers on the gun trigger to scare off people, you would react. Even if CY is to light up this fire, he will continue such suppression if there is no reaction. What would you do then? I know history is about random occurrence. Who knows Qing would crack that way in 1911? Who knew the Berlin Wall would fall that way in 1989? Some people might think "everything is under control", but to be honest, who knows the ending?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, thanks for sharing. So, I'm getting this vibe a lot from the protest movement. The idea that "non violence" equals "passive" protest. Not quite sure where that comes from. I think this protest movement could benefit from some critical study of successful political protests and a broader perspective of the history of political protest. There is a difference between civil disobedience and "passivity." You can take direct action without instituting violence. What's worse is, violence alienates everyone and in the end only serves a very narrow purpose. The cops on the street are still Hongkongers. Who knows, in few more years they will also be mainland cops, but for the time being we guess they're also Hongkongers who have same vested interest in this city as the rest of the residents. The Hong Kong police are not the target, they're just the tool of the communist government. If anything, the Hong Kong police have to be enlisted to fight together with the protest movement instead of being alienated. Besides, whether protester or cop, I don't have any political allegiance to any group of people assaulting a single individual. Whether that person is a protester, a criminal, a cop, mob justice is not justice. There's no excuse for dozens of protesters targeting single police officers and attacking them, no matter what they did. That has nothing to do with "protest" anymore. This sort of violence seems very impulsive and ill-conceived, almost instinctual. Is that the solid foundation for legitimate protest? Legitimate protest has a strong moral foundation, it's not mob rule. You're resorting to the same tactics as the government you oppose, what's the basis of your legitimacy? Your superior morality? Apparently not.

    This is a necessary discussion to have going forward, it the discussion would be better suited if more voices were heard and more viewpoints considered.

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