Declaration of the HKUSU on the Tian’anmen Massacre

Declaration of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union on the Tian’anmen Massacre
Patriotism only ends in hardship and panic, 

We repent to misdeeds to cling on to our lives
Translated and written by Hong Kong University Students' Union
Original: https://www.facebook.com/hkusupage/photos/a.512349045490265.1073741833.509449175780252/1080739061984591/?type=3 

(Content provided by HKUSU)

Twenty-seven years ago, China underwent a change in the midst of spring and summer, looking forward to the emergence of democracy and freedom. In contrary, the striking democratic movement ended only in suppression and bloodshed. Countless citizens and students deceased under the state apparatus. Those who were latterly reprised and put in jail or tortured were also hard to number. Starting the student movement in the name of patriotism, students would have never imagined their country to have been taken over by communist evil who harmed people for their own doing. Lies written in black and white can never disguise the bloody truth. Even though Hongkongers live in a slightly freer place, we, with conscience and justice, have never forgotten this history of 1989. Unfortunately, on the opposite shore of the river, the Chinese seem to have long been blinded by the dictators’ fine words and actions, drowning in the nouveau-riche Chinese dream. There is no one who combats the regime’s atrocity, except very few rights defence protesters. In retrospect twenty-seven years later, the Tian’anmen Massacre marked the last chance for the Chinese Communist to improve itself, which it had missed. After the Massacre, China bid her final goodbye to democracy. Human rights was ruined amid the heyday of the party authoritarian. While the authority expanded infinitely, corruption and collusion were out of limit. As the respectable culture was undermined, society reached a point of no return.

The Tian’anmen Massacre is not only a turning point for China, but also a watershed in Hongkongers building of sense of identity. On one hand, it destroys our fantasy towards China’s Reform and Opening Up, sparking the Hongkonger’s subjective consciousness; on the other, it, paradoxically, muddles up the destiny of Hongkongers and Chinese, knocking the subjective consciousness back down. Over the years, the Victoria Park vigil and patriotism have been chained up to be an inseparable pair of twins. Today, revisiting the historical meaning of the Massacre is to tell everyone that it is more important to recognise the pursuit for freedom and democracy, than the absurdity in patriotism. As we debate over freedom and democracy, they must lead us to a new subjectivity, which is exactly the self-determination that youngsters are now chanting for. As we have realised the truth of China being nothing but a party state, ‘patriotism’ and pursuit of democracy and freedom actually contradict one another fundamentally. ‘Building a democratic China’ shall thus not be included in Hong Kong political agenda. Commemoration based on patriotism shall also be put to an end. Similar to anywhere in the world, Chinese democracy should be fought for by no other but their own people. Hongkongers have no reason to take up such forced duty, let alone ‘building a democratic China’ from afar at such a cost in order to protect ourselves. Denial of the responsibility of ‘Hongkongers building a democratic China’ never means an end to interaction between civil societies of the two nations. Just like the interaction between citizens of Hong Kong and Taiwan, of course Hong Kong can share our experience with Chinese suppressed by the Communist. But the aim of such action must not be based on a non-existent ‘duty’.

The fourth of June should never be only about wailing and whining amid candlelight once every year. While some political parties and politicians keep on proclaiming their ideal to end the one-party dictatorship, they are yet bounded by the ‘Patriotic incantation of Golden Hoop’ day in, day out. They fear and worship the Communist regime. They do whatever it takes to meet officials from Peking, never even challenging a bit of the Communist legitimacy on our sovereignty. Hong Kong is always bothered by only one political problem. It is the cost that we can take. In face of the first Future of Hong Kong discussion, most Hongkongers and even politicians had failed to learn the lesson from the Massacre, lacking the imagination towards Hong Kong subjectivity, let alone the courage to take charge of our homeland. Together with the sugar-coated poison of ‘Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong, High degree of autonomy’, Hong Kong democratisation was only delayed. Unfortunately, there is never ‘what if’ in history, but only lessons. We may not be able to alter our past, but we still have a say in our future. We shall never make the same mistake twice.

On every 4th June since today, while mourning the deceased in the Massacre from afar, we pay our silent tribute to Hong Kong, a place which has long been betrayed, pledging our strong will for self-determination towards the future after 2047. Some may argue that the Chinese Imperialism shall only make Chinese factors ubiquitous and Hong Kong can never remain uninfluenced at this small piece of land. The new generation upholding Hongkongers’ self-determination is never an attempt to deceive, but to do something that is known to be unlikely to succeed. As a result of the Communist encroachment, revolt in self-determination and independence movement in Hong Kong begin. We are more than well-informed of the realistic considerations and limitation than anyone who only douses us with cold water. Yet, it is more than clear that: for democracy, we must stand and fight, but never kneel and beg. Democracy is always a process of self-empowerment and self-realisation. We therefore must turn our sense of identity into our weapon in protests. We must struggle against the regime and seek for the most political rights for ourselves, and our next generation.

Only a few years may have gone by, but the localist ideology which was once a farce in most people’s mind has already entered the major political agenda. Indeed no one can be sure that such localist ideology can usher Hongkongers into salvation. But at this fork of our age, one way is towards the deep blue sea, and the other is towards the bloody red hell. For this we make a clear decision: we may navigate to the uncharted, but we never mix with the evils. In the meantime, we must shout at the dictators that they must pay the cost if they wish for our compliance. Hong Kong, we must protect it with our lives. 

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