Friday, 3 June 2016

June 4 Time to Reflect on Us

A public service announcement to remember June 4 at Victoria Park
We're pleased there was a reminder this morning for people to remember what happened 27 years ago in Tiananmen Square.

On a giant long white banner, appropriately hung on Lion Rock had the Chinese characters: "Never Forget June 4. See you at Victoria Park". It was apparently unfurled there at 9.10am and promptly removed by firefighters by 10am.

What's wrong with leaving a banner like that there? Seems like a good old school public service announcement for everyone to see.

Beijing's White Paper was issued in June 2014
People who remember watching the events unfold on CNN are pretty adamant about commemorating the victims every year in Victoria Park with a candlelight vigil.

But those born in Hong Kong who were too young or not even born yet have no connection to this horrific incident and feel it's time to focus on democracy in Hong Kong and not in China, as they feel that's a lost cause, and also don't have a connection the with the mainland.

They are tired of kowtowing to Beijing and feel fighting for independence is the solution.

But they are not thinking rationally. Whether they like it or not, Hong Kong is legally a part of China as of 1997, and it's quite obvious Beijing is trying to drag the city (which is kicking and screaming) to be integrated into the mainland as quickly as possible.

However independence and remembering the victims of 1989 are two different things. Twenty-seven years ago the students were protesting government corruption and called for freedom of speech, freedom of the press and restoring workers' rights.

While they may have demanded democracy, they didn't know what it was at the time, an idealistic concept they saw in the West.

Protesters took over Admiralty on September 28, 2014
In Hong Kong, our bid for democracy ended in June 2014 when Beijing issued a  white paper reiterating it had full control over the city, and said we could vote for the chief executive, but only from the two or three candidates pre-approved by Beijing.

The anger that erupted in Hong Kong resulted in the 79-day Occupy protests, which many still look back on it wistfully, when thousands of people were united for the most part peacefully for a cause.

But many think Occupy was a failure, and hence the emergence of localist groups and their more radical and violent actions, thinking provocative acts and statements will get China's attention.

And now here we are at the 27th anniversary, more fractured than ever, with the Federation of Students withdrawing participation from the annual candlelight vigil.

Division in Hong Kong is exactly what Beijing wants, bickering among ourselves so that we are too distracted to see what's really going on.

We need to be united in our cause because Occupy really freaked Beijing out. To them it was mayhem; to us it was utopia.

Radicalism only gives Beijing reasons to further clamp down on us and is that what we really want?




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