Tuesday, 9 August 2016

[5 Aug 2016 Rally] Edward Tang: There is the time to defy, and there is the time to rally.

Edward Tang's Speech on Hong Kong National Party - “Defend for Democracy, Hong Kong Independence” Rally
Transcribed by Nick, Translated by Timothy and Judy, spoken by Edward Tang
[ The English translation is released under Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 ]
(Source: Undergrad, HKUSU Instant News)

Because I’m more of a writer than a speaker, so I am going to refer to my script.

Firstly, I would like to thank Hong Kong National Party for inviting me to speak today.

Today is a historical day, not because it’s another “darkest day for democracy in Hong Kong”, but because we have reached new heights. Just look at the words behind me: “Hong Kong Independence”. Today, localism and independentism have finally become political platforms, and even reasons for the election commission to bar candidates.

As mentioned earlier on Facebook, Ma Man-fai, the true father of Hong Kong independence, foresaw the future of Hong Kong almost 70 years ago. He saw a trend of independentism and self-determinism around the globe, so he became active in the political sphere, using all he had to promote Hong Kong independence. But everybody back then thought he was crazy. Gaining independence under British Rule? You wish. So, people later involved in the democratic movements over the years have long forgotten this person of significance.

But nowadays, we all know that Hong Kong independence is no longer a pipe dream, because 19 years since the handover, after tens of years of democratic movements, there has never been a bigger defeat than today! There has never been a worse state for the geographical constituency since the first election in 1991. Pan-democrats, whom we once trusted, couldn’t do anything about it (the disqualification of localist candidates), and would instead tell you “I’ll start righting this wrong after I win.” Some may even ridicule localists/independentists and tell you to “move over”. (referring to the incident where Pan-democrats held an emergency demonstration to protest against the disqualification of HK National Party’s Chan Ho-Tin. During the demonstration, one of the participants, Erica Yuen, told Chan to move over because he was blocking their path) How can we stand this any longer? Pan-democrats tell you they are here to fight for democracy, yet after three whole decades, we are going backwards. Are you telling me that the political screening we have today is their biggest contribution to the fight for democracy?

This time, the Electoral Affairs Commission became the SAR or even Chinese Communist Party’s minion, censoring localist candidates by their platforms, actions, words or even their thoughts, using accusations of “ulterior” motives to deprive them of their political rights for life. As the old saying goes: “Whatever the superior loves, his subordinates will be found to love exceedingly.” When the Communist Party wants to deprive its citizens of their rights, they would put on a show and pretend to put their political prisoners “to trial” - one was just sentenced to seven years in jail. Hong Kong however has taken this a step forward: They are able to sentence you to political death, barring you from running in elections ever again just because they believe you are politically “guilty”.

When it has come to this, what is left to be said? We Hongkongers should have dropped all fantasies about universal suffrage when the Communist Party announced its decision on 31/8. However, people continue to deceive themselves, hoping that the Communist Party would someday change their minds and at least give Hong Kong “Birdcage Democracy” (Democracy within Beijing’s boundaries), so that Hongkongers can eat, sleep, and live another day in peace. Therefore, even with events such as the 79-day Umbrella Revolution occupation, soon afterwards, people acted as if nothing has happened.

But localists never forgot. Never.

Lam Wing-kee, the Causeway Bay bookseller (who was kidnapped and kidnapped out of Hong Kong via smuggler boats by Communist Party officials), told Singaporean press: “Hong Kong Independence is realistic and feasible.” Although his political views may not align with those of localists or independentists, how did he reach this conclusion? Simple: The human race longs for freedom, and people who have been held captive, who have once lost their freedom, would recognize just how precious freedom is. Living in Hong Kong today, we face the potential loss of our freedom to assemble, our freedom to associate and even our freedom of speech. Basic Law has become nothing but scrap paper, and we never know when we would be captured and smuggled out of Hong Kong against our will. Our personal security is at risk. How is this any different from being in jail?

The Communist Party is using all tricks up its sleeve to bash localists, not just because they fear political separatism, but more importantly, Hong Kong independence is feasible. And because it is realistic, our actions are monitored even more rigorously than before. The government has been using the police and the law to intimidate us, trying to discourage and lead us astray from the path to freedom, but we are not afraid. Our beliefs are firm. We are ready to sacrifice for our beliefs and for Hong Kong, working towards what we have today.

Still, we currently do not have enough strength to start a revolution. Polls have reported a 15% to 17% support for Hong Kong independence, which is not a small number, but it must be understood that these people may not support radical means for the fight all at once. If we look at Taiwan’s Independence movement, they are 30 years ahead of us, whereas our stage has only been set today. We need some patience to do the following:

Firstly, education. By explaining and promoting independence concepts, we need to let the general public understand the importance of independence, and encourage them to care more for Hong Kong’s future. Secondly, set an example. When people question the benefits and feasibility of Hong Kong Independence, we must at least know how to respond. Most importantly, we must build strength in areas other than social activism. Public opinion cannot be moved in a flash.

The Occupy Central rally, held here two years ago, used more than a year to get enough people on board with the idea of street occupation. To push for the mammoth undertaking of independence, we need more time, manpower and resources. These we must accumulate bit by bit. Whether we run for elections, form associations, recruit talent, or even appear on media and battle the war of public opinion, we must fight for publicity; we must prepare ourselves for when the tides do turn.

This rally today might be advertised as “PRVP” (Peaceful, Rational, Violence-free, Profanity-free)1, no different from the ones held by left-wing activists. But here I’ll make it very clear: Their flavour of “activism” has never had a goal, a direction, or a plan. They make it look like it’s activism for the masses, activism that targets the regime, but in reality, they have always been elitists, refusing to trust the masses. Therefore, nothing happens after their demonstrations, and another day is gone.

We’re not like them; we have clear goals and complete plans. We are not doing this for applause, for the cameras or simply for venting. We are doing this to survive under Communist Party oppression, and to win this long battle. In the end, we will seize our sovereignty from the hands of the Chinese Communist Party!

At last, keep this in mind: There is the time to defy, and there is the time to rally. Thank you.


1. Hong Kong Columns (Translated) translate 和理非非 as PRNN - peaceful, rational, non-violent, non-swearing.

因為我本身呢就寫慣嘢,就唔係好識講嘢噉樣,所以就要睇稿啦。
噉首先第一件事,要多謝咗民族黨今日邀請我嚟呢到講返兩句噉樣。
今日,係非常之重要嘅日子,並唔係因為所謂香港民主最黑暗嘅一天,而係因為香港行到呢一步。你睇吓我身後呢四隻字:「香港獨立」。本土主義、獨立思潮到到今日,終於正正式式成為政治綱領,甚至成為選委員篩選立法會候選人嘅一個理由。
早前喺面書都講過,距離今日差唔多七十年前嘅港獨之父馬文輝,對於香港嘅前途,一早就有先見之明。佢睇到當時世界各地存在好多嘅獨立或者自決嘅思潮,於是就下定決心,積極噉樣參與政治,出錢出力去宣傳佢嘅港獨思想。但係當其時幾乎所有香港人都係當佢痴線嘅。喺英國治下搞港獨?你痴心妄想啦。結果香港經營咗咁多年嘅民主運動,幾乎忘記咗呢個曾經喺香港咁重要嘅人物存在。
但係到咗今時今日,大家都知道,港獨唔再係一個妄想,因為香港主權移交咗十九年,爭取民主運動行咗幾十年,從來都冇試過今日咁大嘅挫敗!行返去一九九一年第一次有立法局選舉之後,直選議席從來未試過咁惡劣嘅地步。我哋曾經相信過嘅泛民對呢件事不單止一啲嘢都做唔到,仲會同你講:「我選贏咗先同你攞返個公道啦。」有啲甚至會話俾你聽,對於港獨或者本土派冷嘲熱諷:「唔該借借!」噉試問我哋仲可以忍落去咩?泛民主派口口聲聲話俾你聽爭民主,爭咗三十幾年,家陣逆水行舟,難道你話俾我聽,今時今日嘅篩選就係佢哋爭民主最大嘅貢獻?
選委會今次充當特區政府甚至係中共嘅鷹犬爪牙,用政見、用言行,甚至係思想,審查我哋本土派嘅候選人,用無數嘅誅心之論剝奪本土派嘅政治權利終身。正所謂「上有好者,下必甚焉」,中共要剝奪公民嘅政治權利,至少都要做吓樣,去審判政治犯——啱啱就判咗個七年幾啦。但係香港今日唔再需要,一句莫須有,就可以判晒你哋所有人嘅政治死刑,終身都唔可以再參選。
去到呢一步大家仲有啲咩好講啊?早喺中共頒佈八三一決定嘅一日,我哋香港人就唔應該對所謂嘅真普選心存幻想。但係香港人仍然每日喺到呃緊自己,希望中共回心轉意,俾個鳥籠民主香港囉。大家食餐安樂茶飯,平平安安又一日咯。所以就算遮打革命七十九日嘅大型佔領,好快大家好似就冇咗件事嘞。

但係本土派從來都冇忘記過呢啲事情;從來都冇。

記得銅鑼灣書店嘅林榮基先生喺接受新加坡傳媒訪問嘅時候主動對記者講:「香港獨立係切實可行嘅。」雖然林先生嘅政見未必同本土獨派相似,但係點解佢會得出呢個結論呢?原因好簡單:人從來都係嚮往自由、自主,尤其係經歷被囚禁、失去自由嘅人,更加知道自由嘅可貴。當下嘅香港,我哋面臨住嘅係集會自由、結社自由,連言論自由都要禁制,《基本法》就係廢紙,我哋唔知幾時俾人哋捉去洗頭艇,人身安全都係問題。喺中共治下,人人自危。噉我哋同坐監其實有幾大分別呢?

中共之所以要千方百計打擊本土派,固然係因為政治上面嘅恐懼分離主義,但係更加重要嘅係,香港獨立,切實可行。而亦都係因為切實可行,我哋一舉一動更加受到控制、監視。政府用警察、用法律去威嚇我哋,試圖令我哋爭取自由嘅路越行越遠。但係我哋唔驚,我哋信念堅定,敢於為香港、為理想獻身,不斷噉努力,行到今時今日呢一步。

雖然係噉,我哋暫時都仲未累積到足夠嘅力量去發起革命。要知道依家坊間唔同嘅民調數字話俾我哋聽,支持香港獨立嘅人有百分之十五到十七,為數都唔少,但係要知道呢班人未必一下子就支持勇武抗爭,用激烈嘅反抗去爭取獨立。我哋睇返台灣嘅建國運動,行咗三十幾年,但係香港今日先至有個大會、有個大台,啱啱起步。我哋係需要啲耐性去做以下嘅事。

首先,係要教育群眾,慢慢透過講解、宣傳,感染佢哋,認識香港獨立嘅重要性,更加關心香港嘅命運同埋前途。同時我哋自己要做一個好嘅榜樣,喺人哋問到、質疑到香港獨立係咪咁好啊、係咪不可行嘅時候,我哋至少要識得點樣去回應。而更加重要嘅係,除咗喺社運之外,我哋係要建立實力;要知道民氣並唔係一時三刻可以累積得到。

喺兩年前同樣喺呢到嘅和平佔中集會,其實都要花咗成年幾嘅時間先至累積到街頭佔領嘅概念嘅。我哋要全面實現獨立,係更加複雜嘅工程,需要更加多嘅時間、人力同埋物力去做。而呢啲資源,我哋係要不斷噉去累積。無論係參選議會、籌組組識、吸納人材,甚至係傳媒報道、打輿論戰,我哋要喺各個範疇爭取我哋嘅發言權,儲到足夠嘅力量,喺足夠嘅變故之前,時刻做好準備。

所以今日嘅集會大家話係和理非啦,同左翼社運人士好似冇分別噉樣。但係喺到我清楚話俾你聽,佢哋嘅社運,從來都係冇目標、冇方向、冇好好噉計劃去實現。講就話針對政權、群眾運動,但係做其實就菁英心態,從來都唔信任群眾,所以大家每次都做完就算,返屋企瞓覺。

但係我哋唔同。我哋嘅目標明確,計劃周詳,為嘅並唔係少少掌聲,唔係鏡頭,唔係一時嘅宣洩,而係點樣喺中共壓迫底下生存,長期作戰,打贏呢場仗。我哋最後要喺中共手上面奪取返我哋嘅主權!

最後,要記住就係:勇武有時,集氣有時。多謝各位。

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