Sunday, 29 June 2014

Voicing Discontent Continues

Hong Kong lawyers marched on Friday to protest against the white paper
The polls for the civic referendum closed about an hour ago and the minimum number of people who turned out to vote is estimated at 740,000 while a maximum of 799,000 voiced their opinion on public nomination.

To be honest it's disappointing it didn't hit 1 million, and around 740,000 is just over 10 percent of the population.

This number is worse than the worst election turnout in any democratic society.

Nevertheless we are glad people came out to vote and many had different reasons. In the first few days it was because of Beijing releasing the white paper and claiming that it had complete jurisdiction over Hong Kong. In its mind "one country, two systems" did not apply anymore.

Polls for the referendum closed at 10pm today (Sunday)
And then in the last few days people have come out to vote because of funding approval for the northeastern New Territories on Friday that was highly controversial.

It's interesting to see people's motivations to vote -- and if they don't they won't come out. Which perhaps is understandable because there is no culture of voting as a civil duty.

Nevertheless, on Friday lawyers voted with their feet with a silent march from the High Court to the Court of Final Appeal.

Organizers say a record number -- around 1,800 -- participated, wearing black. They were protesting Beijing's white paper because they believe it jeopardizes rule of law in Hong Kong.

Even one Court of Final Appeal non permanent judge Kemal Bokary lent his support, though he did not march.

One of those leading the march was Martin Lee Chu-ming, senior council on the barristers' list and founding chairman of the Democratic Party. "Lawyers are giving support to an independent judiciary which cannot speak for itself. Without it, human rights cannot be defended," he said.

Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun, outgoing law dean at the University of Hong Kong, who marched on Friday as well as in 1999 and 2005 said: "Fifteen years on, the legal profession still needs to take to the streets. This is a problem."

We will find out the results of the civic referendum in the next few days, but in the meantime many will be gearing up for the July 1 march in the afternoon.

This year people have many grievances against the government and so organizers are hopeful the turnout will be significant.

And if the government still refuses to accept its mistakes and listen to the people, Occupy Central will definitely happen...

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