Thursday, 28 August 2014

Occupy Central Starts Sunday

Follow Benny Tai's mantra this Sunday.... and the Sunday after that...
Occupy Central is going to kick off its civil disobedience campaign on Sunday, after Beijing officially lays down its framework for political reform.

So far China has decided that there will be two to three candidates, and they must get at least 50 percent support from the 1,200-member nominating committee in order to run for chief executive.

Isn't that what we basically have already? How is that considered political reform?

Some people blame the Occupy movement for pushing Beijing's buttons, scaring it with the prospect of mass chaos in Central.

In the meantime co-organizer Benny Tai Yiu-ting says the protests will be "continuous and long-term", in that they will be held weekly, and promises it will be peaceful and rational.

"If the campaign begins to lose control or violent acts occur, I will stand at the front of the crowd to stop them," the legal academic said.

Uh huh. Sounds very naive.

He also plans to shave his head as a symbol of sacrificing himself for the cause.

How is that a sacrifice?

"Civil disobedience campaigns require a continuous and long-term effort to arouse people's awareness of democracy," Tai says. "We don't expect an instant change after the Occupy movement, but we will begin with small sacrifices such as shaving my head. I believe change will come when the demands reach a critical point."

Will change really come?

The campaign has been completely vilified by the pro-Beijing/anti-Occupy Central camp, but Tai doesn't think Occupy Central has caused the Chinese government to change its mind, that it would have always come up with this current proposed result anyway.

It's hard to say whether that is true or not, but the threat of civil disobedience was meant to show Hong Kong people are not going to take this passively, that they want to have a choice of who will be the next chief executive, and the nomination of the candidates cannot be controlled by only 1,200 people in a city whose population is over 7 million.

What happens in Beijing on Sunday -- though it's pretty much sewn up -- will determine how many show up in Central. Will the momentum last? Depends if Beijing puts its foot in its mouth again...




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