Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Continuing the CY Leung Chant

The scene tonight in Admiralty
This morning I woke up early and rushed to take the bus to Sheung Wan and from there to North Point to get my company shuttle bus.

There were still lots of people commuting to Sheung Wan from Western district, but it was much faster getting to the train than yesterday, though people leaving the MTR station were caught in a pretty big jam.

I made it to North Point with minutes to spare before our shuttle bus arrived and within half an hour we arrived to the office.

Many colleagues were dismayed to read on social media that crowds were thinning out in the protest sites, and I said it was crucial to have these areas occupied otherwise the police might take the streets back. However, by lunchtime more people started drifting back; some had gone home for much needed rest, food ad showers, others finishing work shifts and so on.

By late afternoon the crowds had swelled, particularly in Admiralty. It's interesting how the original plan was to occupy Central and yet Admiralty has become the flashpoint instead. Everyone's tactical plans, from Occupy Central organizers to the police had to be thrown out and redrawn for Admiralty.

Leung Chun-ying says Beijing will not back down...
In any event, the biggest news was in the morning when Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying gave a 15-minute speech insisting Beijing's decision was final and he would stay in office.

Now it is confirmed who is really calling the shots...

He said that if he stepped down now, then Hong Kong people would not be allowed to choose the next leader, as universal suffrage wouldn't be implemented until 2017.

But he offered no insight into how the government and police would deal with the protesters, if there would be any kind of dialogue with Occupy Central and student leaders, or if the political reform consultation process would be restarted.

He added that he expected the protests to "last for quite a long period of time".

"They have set up a lot of resource centres and even first aid points, so we know that Occupy Central... is not a matter of days, but it will last for a relatively long time," he says. "Its [impact] on the people's daily lives, their personal safety in the event of emergencies, the city's economic development, as well as the cost on international image will also grow bigger and bigger. I hope we can think about these issues," he said.

A yellow addition to Admiralty station
It was the Hong Kong government that created the terrible images of firing teargas at non-violent protesters. As for setting up first aid stations, that is a given, no? It shows young people are thinking of all kinds of issues, not just the protest. They are definitely one up on the government in considering everything that may be needed.

On universal suffrage, Leung insisted candidates had to be put forward by the nominating committee, saying Hong Kong must follow the Basic Law -- a well-worn phrase -- and that people need to think rationally and peacefully.

Everyone has thought this through -- it's not like the issue of universal suffrage just popped up in the last few days. We have been thinking about this for YEARS and are tired of Beijing constantly changing the goal posts.

That is why we are protesting! And if Leung doesn't understand that, then he doesn't understand his own people. Or perhaps he's just a robot following what Beijing is telling him what to say...

Needless to say the protesters were not impressed and continued their chants of "Leung Chun-ying step down!"

I've seen many people post pictures on social media of signs they have seen in the protest sites and they are so heartwarming to see. There are also many acts of kindness -- handing out bread and drinks, collecting garbage, and offering people to come to recharge their phones and such.

Many also admit they underestimated their own people and are so proud of them for being so brave and defiant, yet also polite and resourceful. The "Lion Rock Spirit" has not faded!

There were thunderstorms this evening just before 8pm and protesters just pulled out their umbrellas and stood in the rain. Obviously this was nothing compared to teargas.

Looking over Queensway in Admiralty
Speaking of which -- there are now stories in the media quoting police officers who wish not to be named, complaining they are being verbally abused wherever they go and it is mentally tough on them.

But as a friend pointed out -- that is nothing compared to having teargas and pepper spray hitting your face.

Nevertheless, some police officers and protesters have initiated dialogue and so there is less tension. However, some protesters warn not to be too friendly with them.

Meanwhile there are concerns the impromptu occupation of Mongkok may not all be legitimate, as not everyone there may have intentions of pushing for democracy, but perhaps stirring trouble.

Some worry there may be some black elements infiltrating the protesters and may use the protest to create an incident. Occupy Central's Chan Kin-man warned people to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.

There was also a lot of talk of the grey Mercedes that allegedly sped through the protest zone in Mongkok, causing people to try to scatter as fast as possible without being hit.

South Asians protesting too in Central
Thanks to the power of the internet, people were able to quickly track down the owner of the car and he was soon arrested. He claimed he did nothing wrong, and as a taxpayer he is entitled to drive the streets and didn't hit anyone... right...

Through more digging thanks to the internet, it was discovered he has entertainment links from decades ago and may have some triad connections...

In any event, after dinner tonight at PMQ, my friend and I wandered back to Central to see what was happening. The crowd was smaller than last night and very fluid, with people constantly coming and going.

At one point there was a loud chant with South Asians marching and carrying signs, shouting, "Leung Chun-ying step down!" in Cantonese. Who says Hong Kong isn't inclusive?


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