Wednesday, 8 October 2014

New Revelations Fuel Occupy

Umbrella Man stands up for everyone in Admiralty
This afternoon the big news was Australian newspaper The Age publishing a report that if confirmed could have serious implications for Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

The article claims Leung received more than A$7 million ($6.1 million) in secret fees from a listed Australian engineering company in return for supporting its Asian business ambitions.

A cutesy but colourful poster urging Hong Kong to add oil
A secret contract apparently dates back to December 2, 2011, and two payments were made to Leung in 2012 and 2013 after he became Hong Kong's top leader.

Leung failed to disclose these payments when he assumed office, and when The Age contacted him, Leung said he didn't have to declare the money.

Tonight pan-democratic lawmakers are vowing to impeach Leung over accepting this money.

Already there is speculation if Chinese President Xi Jinping will use this report of alleged corruption as an excuse to sack Leung, and not because of his mishandling of the protesters. How can Xi, with his anti-corruption campaign, keep Leung on now?

Democracy and peace from the barrel of a gun
This evening I just happened to finish work on the border between Wan Chai and Admiralty and decided to stroll through the Occupy Admiralty site to see what was going on since Queensway was pretty much deserted.

It was great to see a few hundred people out, probably buoyed by this bombshell report. What I really came to see was "Umbrella Man", who arrived after I'd left on Sunday. He's not that tall, but he is rooted to the ground so to speak, so he is unwavering. He holds his yellow umbrella up proudly and defiantly.

There was some other art as well, a colourful banner featuring the yellow ribbon and two cartoon kids, and next to it a shot gun with a yellow ribbon coming out of it pulled by a dove.

The Democracy Wall is still my favourite place, people still adding even more messages on coloured square paper. I saw a few urban sketchers there, recording people writing things or taking pictures of the wall.

Sketching people at the Democracy Wall
Some of the protesters here are very prepared now -- they not only have erected tents, but also some have brought portable camping chairs and pup tents to sleep in. I understand one protester in Causeway Bay even bought a bed and placed it in the street. He's obviously there for the long term.

And there was also a hunger striker in Admiralty who has not eaten food for seven days. He admitted he didn't look skinny yet since it was only seven days, but he feels so strongly about supporting the students that this is his contribution. Definitely someone committed to the cause.

Who says the Umbrella Revolution is over?!

While the talks may start on Friday, there's still lots going on to keep the movement alive!

And may I add, while blocking the roads has been disruptive to a degree, it has been absolutely wonderful to walk the open streets with hardly any pollution, and other than people's voices, it's been quiet too.

A lone hunger striker explaining his cause to passersby
Some people have started bringing their bikes here -- is it possible to have no car Sundays or something even after this is over?

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