For We Are Like Olives

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Hong Kong Apostasy 

 

This latest chapter in our series devoted to the 2019 Hong Kong Protest Movement features a powerful declamation published under the collective name ‘A Group of Concerned Hong Kong Citizens’. It is written in the style of a 檄文 xí wén, which we translate as ‘philippic’, a statement of outrage or a denunciation. It is a passionate critique of the Hong Kong political establishment and its vested interests, whether they be local or on the Chinese Mainland. It is also a call to the People of Hong Kong to continue their struggle of resistance.

As a literary form, 檄文 xí wén takes its name from the 檄 , or wooden tally, on which a military order was inscribed. As the style developed, 檄文 xí wén came to mean a written denunciation of someone in a position of power. In the tradition, one of the most famous examples of a 檄文 xí wén is the unsparing condemnation of Wu Zetian (武則天, 624-205 CE), the self-proclaimed Tang-dynasty Empress Wu Zhao 武曌, composed by Luo Binwang (駱賓王, ?640-684 CE-), titled ‘Denunciation of Wu Zhao in Support of [the Rebel] Xu Jingye’ 為徐敬業討武曌檄. After a period of imprisonment Luo was exiled before joining an armed insurrection against the empress in which he perished.

Other well-known modern 檄文 xí wén, the titles of which often contain the formula 討 某某某 檄 (literally, ‘Declamation Condemning So-and-So’), include essays by the Qing statesman Zeng Guofan, the female revolutionary Qiu Jin, the founding leader of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen, and the reformer Liang Qichao:

  • 曾國藩,《討粵匪檄》
  • 佚名,《台灣人民抗戰檄文》
  • 龔春台,《中華民國軍起義檄文》
  • 秋瑾,《普告同胞檄稿》
  • 孫文,《中國革命軍大元帥檄》
  • 梁啓超,《中華民國討逆軍檄告天下》

The five bitter denunciations that Mao Zedong made of the United States in 1949, written in close collaboration with Hu Qiaomu and featured in White Paper, Red Menace (China Heritage, 17 January 2018), are touted by Communist propagandists as a model of modern-day 檄文 xí wén. 

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We previously likened And Teachers, Then? They Just Do Their Thing! (10 November 2018) by the Tsinghua professor and man of conscience Xu Zhangrun 許章潤 to a 檄文 xí wén. In some respects the following public condemnation even recalls the style of Xu Zhangrun in that it is entirely free of the cant, bombast and contumely of official Communist Party prose, or New China Newspeak 新華文體, which characterises all official and much popular discourse on Mainland China. It is also markedly different from the scabrous prose of Hu Xijin 胡錫進, along with his henchmen and women at Global Times《環球時報》, the epicentre of populist Fake News Journalism in the People’s Republic. (See Related Material below for details of the exchange between Hu Xijin and the political commentator Chip Tsao 陶傑 moderated by the celebrated journalist Nabela Qoser 利君雅. This ‘conversation’ 對談 was widely viewed on the Mainland.)

The authors of this Philippic have composed a powerful censure of the Carrie Cheng-Lam Nuet-ngor’s administration in a style that employs elements of Literary Chinese along with contemporary written prose. They speak of a ‘justified mass uprising against oppression’, ‘righteous protesters’, ‘beliefs’ and ‘values’. In so doing they express themselves in the pared down and elegant language of protest, one that belongs to a lineage of writings that, in its modern form, can be traced back to the nineteenth century and the late-Qing era, one that featured powerful denunciations of Beijing launched by revolutionary upstarts in Hong Kong like Sun Yat-sen. (For an essay on Sun Yat-sen, Chinese rebelliousness and the student strike of September 2019, see Chip Tsao, ‘The Bronze Statue of a Devil in Human Form’ 魔鬼銅像, 《蘋果日報》, 3 September 2019).

— Geremie R.Barmé
Editor, China Heritage
6 September 2019

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Related Material:

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Sun Yat-sen, the ‘Father of Modern China’ 國父 who led the 1911 Revolution to ‘restore light’ 光復 to China, as reimagined wearing the ‘full gear’ (hard hat; gas mask; goggles) of the 2019 Hong Kong Protest Movement

‘For we are like olives:

‘Only when we are crushed do we yield what is best in us.’

Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude (1976)

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Our Philippic Against
The Despoilers of Hong Kong

— as our city has been rent asunder
we have risen in righteous protest
our fear transformed into courage
armed solely with our beliefs

     討港賊檄:

城邦崩離
揭竿為義
化懼為勇
以信御戈

A Group of Concerned Hong Kong Citizens
一群香港公民

Translated and annotated by Geremie R. Barmé

 

 

In this year 2019 the People of Hong Kong have shown themselves no longer to cower in fear of tyranny. From early June, they have risen up as one to oppose the amended ‘Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill (2019)’. This mass movement has flourished throughout our territory as blossoms in a garden and to this day there is no evidence that its vigour is on the wane. It already has been christened in history as ‘The Anti Expatriation to China Movement’, ‘The Bauhinia Revolution’ and ‘The Summer of Freedom’. Today, we publish this our philippic, our denunciation of those who would steal our Hong Kong as as a statement of our unwavering determination.

二零一九年,香港人不畏強權,自六月初就《逃犯條例》修訂奮起反抗,運動遍地開花,至今未現疲態,史稱「反送中運動」「洋紫荊革命」「自由之夏」。今以檄文聲討港賊政權,一表決心。

We Hereby Declare that:

In the First Place:

Our City Has Been Rent Asunder
The Criminal Behaviour of the
Authorities Could Fill Volumes

甲、城邦崩離,
政權罄竹難書

In June, in blatant disregard for the widespread sentiments of The People, the power-holders pursued with obdurate insistence their ‘Fugitive Offenders Extradition Bill’. In the process they bombarded the people who opposed the introduction of this Bill with tear gas; furthermore, they turned hospitals that by all rights should be devoted to the care and succour of the wounded into virtual holding pens that enabled the police to carry out indiscriminately arrests.

In July, the Hong Kong Police then joined forces with street gang Triads thereby giving license to the flaunting of all legal norms the result of which being that our citizens were entrapped and pummelled. For a month thereafter, the hooligans acted with impunity remaining beyond the otherwise long arm of the law; not one of them was prosecuted.

In August, the Police Force employed a smokescreen of violence and initiated the deployment both of real fire arms and secret torture in pursuit of the government’s repressive policies. In the resulting mêlées, one person was blinded and many of those detained were refused legal counsel. The ongoing outrages could verily fill volumes.

六月,政權對民意視若無睹,修例一意孤行,以催淚彈轟炸人民,醫院淪為濫捕之地。七月,警方聯合鄉黑勢力,任由市民被公然圍毆,事後整月未有一人被控,遙逍法外。八月,警隊鳴放煙花炮仗、動用真槍私刑、射盲人民眼睛、拒絕律師接見,罄竹難書。

The Hong Kong government has exhausted its armoury of trickery; now it can but fall back on the tired tactics of moderate appeasement alternating with hardline repression. On one hand, it is making a grand show featuring oleaginous gestures — with outstretched arm it makes as if to offer the protesters an olive branch by ‘building platforms for equitable dialogue’ and by means of the appointment of specialist investigators. This is all done with the aim of inveigling as many opponents as possible into positions of surrender.

On the other hand, the authorities rely too on such things as veiled threats of martial law, of letting the Liberation Army off the leash, of cutting off electricity and water supplies. In pursuit of its aims it has pressured business corporations to kowtow and swear allegiance; to ensure compliance it has made an example of some by exacting revenge on any employees who have evinced independence of thought and action. The aviation industry was the first to feel the impact of this strategy, and interns working for legal firms, too, found themselves in danger of having their qualifications to practice the law rescinded merely for having exercised their legal right to express themselves freely. First Hong Kong Airport, then the Mass Transit Rail system, applied for official permission for the closure of facilities. The MTR has even supplied the police with the equivalent of ‘requisitioned military transportation’.

港府黔驢技窮,惟有軟硬兼施:一方面惺惺作態、伸出偽橄欖枝,籌組對話平台、委任專家調查,企圖勸降;另一方面,卻恐嚇戒嚴、出動解放軍、制水斷電,勒令企業表忠,殺一儆百,清算反對員工:航空業界首當其衝、見習律師因言險失執業資格、機場港鐵先後申請禁令,甚至為警方提供御用軍車。

In the unfolding atmosphere of economic sanctions and White Terror Hong Kong has, to all intents and purposes, been subjected to a silent yet deadly assault, a veritable ‘murder of the city’. Official gestures which are trumpeted as ‘reconciliation’ are nothing more than a sham: over the past three months the Police have arrested nearly one thousand people and many of them have suffered the most vile tortures and beatings; their bodies have been assaulted and their dignity violated. Throughout, the Five Great Appeals have been ignored by the authorities; they remain outstanding and demand a response.

[Note: This was written before Carrie Lam-Cheng, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, officially announced on Wednesday 4 September that she was instructing the Secretary for Security, John Lee, to move a motion to withdraw 撤回 the Bill when the Legislature was again in session. The announcement included a promise that no further debate or vote related to the Bill would take place.]

面對經濟制裁、白色恐怖,香港正經歷一場無聲無色的屠城。所謂「和解」更是毫無誠意:三個月來,警方拘捕人數將近一千,被捕者受盡嚴刑拷打、幾喪人身尊嚴。然而五大訴求,港府仍置若罔聞、無一答應。

No one can forget that the student leaders who engaged the authorities in Dialogue during the Umbrella Movement five years ago were eventually all arraigned in court and jailed. That remains an object lesson for today. Yet now, again the government hopes to trade on its shopworn tactics; as a ploy it is nothing more than a delaying tactic, one that will allow them time to prepare how, when and where they will exact reprisals. The People of Hong Kong will not be trapped into such vacuous negotiations yet again; even less should they be deluded into thinking that they best ‘beat a retreat while the going is good’.

五年前雨傘運動,時與政府談判的學生領袖一一被控入獄,前車可鑒。政府今日故技重施,只是拖延時間、預備清算。香港人不會再次墮入談判陷阱,更不會被「見好就收」的表象迷惑。

As we enter the month of September our city has all but been rent asunder. The outrage of the People of Hong Kong cannot easily be assuaged. There is no choice but for us to continue what is an uprising of righteous protest; every skirmish serves only to strengthen our resolve.

九月將至,城邦既毀,港人憤慨難平,惟有揭竿為義,越戰越強。

***

In the Second Place:

We Have Risen in Righteous Protest and
We Resist Hereby Their Historical Dispensation

乙、揭竿為義,
逆抗歷史宿命

Rather than thinking of this Resistance Movement that challenges the all-powerful as being akin to something as futile as attempting to shatter a rock with an egg, the scenario that is now unfolding in our city should best be seen as a contest of wills and a righteous resistance of titanic proportions. The People of Hong Kong are unwilling to give in to a pre-determined dispensation [over which they had no say]. Their byword is: ‘Live not in Silence; Rage unto Death’.

[Note: The metaphor of the egg and the rock — 以卵擊石 — has been employed by a number of writers, including Lee Yee 李怡, when commenting on the David vs. Goliath nature of the 2019 Hong Kong Protests.

On 1 September, Lung Yingtai (龍應台, 1952-), the noted Taiwan-based essayist, cultural figure and former government minister of culture, published an essay on her Facebook page titled There is a Chicken Egg on the Ground in the Garden’ 花園的地上有一顆雞蛋, China Digital Times, 1 September 2019 (reprinted from Facebook), which was a meditation on the fragility of the situation.

On 4 September, in its trademark fashion the People’s Daily wrote a scathing rebuke to Lung’s thoughtful comments titled ‘How Come You Can Only See a Chicken’s Egg. Haven’t You Noticed All the Molotov Cocktails?’ 為何只見雞蛋不見燃燒彈?, 4 September 2019]

與其說這是一場以卵擊石的徒勞搏擊,不如說是義無反顧的意志對決。香港人不甘屈服於早已定好的宿命:寧鳴而死,不默而生。

In the twenty-two years since ‘The Return’ [of Hong Kong to Mainland Chinese control; even though there was no ‘return’ to speak of since Hong Kong had never been part of the People’s Republic; rather it was ceded to the government of the United Kingdom by the Manchu-Qing imperial court in the nineteenth century] in 1997, the People of Hong Kong have had to tolerate countless lies and deceptions in silence. Over previous years, our Civil Society was not fully alert to the facts of what was going on and what it portended. For their part, the Middle Classes and the Elites were focussed on self-enrichment at the expense of anything else; all the while the power-holders set about turning up the heat on us — the Frogs in Boiling Water [for more on this, see Canny Leung Chi-Shan 梁芷珊, ‘Like Water, Boiling Water’, 15 August 201] while they mounted a Potemkin-like farrago of peace and prosperity. Meanwhile, the Red Capitalism of the Mainland stealthily encroached upon us without rest; in the process [as the result of a decision made in Beijing on 31 August 2014] it eliminated our right to suffrage.

Now we have reached a point at which the covert collaboration between the Police and the Triads is both out in the open and shameless. The Police are actively engaged in targeting protesters while maintaining a studied silence and giving tacit permission to the street thugs to roam around slashing and stabbing people. Such criminal acts as these are thus condoned:

  • The violence at Yuen Long on the night of 21 July;
  • The events at North Point and Tsuen Wan on 5 August;
  • The stabbing at a Lennon Wall in a tunnel at Junk Bay [Tseung Kwan O] on 20 August

[Note: For details of the stabbing at Junk Bay, see here; and, for a list of protests that took place citywide during August, see here]

Assaults on protesters have become a daily occurrence. Personal safety can no longer be taken for granted; yet the guilty remain beyond the reach of the law. As the situation stands now, people in Hong Kong are no longer equal before the law.

九七回歸至今,香港人已啞忍了太多的謊言與欺詐。過去,公民社會尚未覺醒、中產貴族趨利避害,政權尚能溫水煮蛙、粉飾太平,一步步滲透紅色資本、取消選舉資格。但如今警黑合作越發猖狂,主動攻擊示威群眾、被動默許街頭斬殺,變相刑事免責:七二一元朗、八五北角荃灣、八二零將軍澳,對抗爭者的襲擊無日無之。人身安全不受保障,真正行兇的暴徒永遠逍遙法外,法律面前,不再平等。

It is unsupportable that a government reasons it necessary to assault its own citizens in order to maintain a grip on the reins of power. All decent people are outraged; the heavens themselves cry out in fury. The People of Hong Kong can no longer depend on legal bodies that themselves flout the very laws that they are duty bound to uphold; nor can they seek solace in a medical establishment that would mistreat those in its care; or have faith in a legal apparatus that blocks lawyers from offering counsel to their clients; let alone give themselves over to a mass transportation system whose stations are effectively demobilised without due cause for as much as ten days. On top of all of that, people can no longer even walk innocently around without being subjected to the constant and ubiquitous intrusion of surveillance cameras.

一個政權,竟然要透過攻擊自己的人民,方能苟延殘喘,實在人神共憤。香港人無法繼續依賴不執法的執法機關、虐待屢屢發生的醫療機構、拒絕律師接見的刑事系統、使人憑空消失十日的鐵路站,甚至無法在街上光明正大地行走,因為舉目所見之處,盡是監控人民的鏡頭網絡。

If these intolerable realities are to be accepted as our New Normal, what else will be forced on us? Under these circumstances any normal person would be right to think that they have no choice but to fight back. The Hong Kong Government has effectively ceased to function. To forestall the further deterioration of the situation and to save Hong Kong itself, we believe that we must take matters into our own hands.

  • We must organise our own civil security forces, for we can no longer rely on the Police;
  • We must crowd-fund underground emergency medical facilities, for the Hospitals can no longer be trusted;
  • We can have no confidence that written rules and regulations will be able to restrain the power-holders;
  • We must rely on independent journalists to report the facts so as to frustrate ongoing abuses of power [by the police and the authorities];
  • We must arrange voluntary motorcades, for we can no longer depend on a transportation system that has been compromised;
  • We must exact an eye for an eye; we must reject the AI Surveillance Towers set up to gather intelligence for the Totalitarians. Pluck out their eyes!

是可忍,孰不可忍?生而為人,在良知面前絕無不反抗的餘地。港府已徹底崩潰,要力挽既倒,只能自發救港:不靠警察,組織民間自衛;不靠醫院,統籌地下急救;不靠條文規限公權,依賴記者報導真相來防止濫權;不靠偷工減料的鐵路交通,自組義載團隊;不接受智能燈柱,將極權的眼睛一擊頃倒,真正以眼還眼。

All of these developments are proof, as if any more were needed, that the People of Hong Kong no longer have any responsibility to comply with the overlordship of this government, one that has condoned sustained assaults on its own people revealing thereby both a hooligan nature and a lawless heart.

The People have one choice, and one choice only: we demand inclusive satisfaction of All Five Great Appeals. To demand anything less would be a betrayal of our companions who have lost their lives; a betrayal of that male teacher and that female medical professional who have lost their sight; a betrayal of those students who have been stabbed; a betrayal of all the men and women, young and old, who have been subjected time and again to tear gas attacks.

We have risen up with righteousness as our cause. This is a battle for decency and justice; it will thus be recorded in the annals of history. For this reason, then, we must be willing to pay the price; in that determination our fear shall be transformed into courage.

凡此種種,說明香港人沒有任何義務要繼續遵從這個政權,這個攻擊自己人民的違法流氓政權。要對得住逝去的同伴、盲眼的男教師與女救護、被斬受刑的學生、吃過無數催淚彈的老幼婦嬬,香港人的最基本選擇只有一個:五大訴求,缺一不可。

既然為義揭竿,打這場將載入史冊的正義之戰,就更須直面代價,化懼為勇。

***

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In the Third Place:

A Fear Transformed into Courage is as
A Call to Arms that Can Shatter the Iron House

丙、化懼為勇,
吶喊穿越鐵屋

In the process of opposing this political entity we have paid an undeniably heavy price. The mechanisms of the state have exacted their revenge on our fragile bodies; the atmosphere of White Terror has suffused all workplaces and professions. We would be deceiving both ourselves and others if we were to pretend we are fearless as we are ravaged by this merciless tempest. If we had no good reason to have confidence that we can achieve something meaningful, why then would we expose ourselves to all of this trolling and cyberbullying, to death threats and to the constant fear of knife attacks? Why would be persist, day after day, week after week, come hell or high water? We do so to ‘Restore Hong Kong, for this is The Revolution of Our Times’.

[Note: ‘A Call to Arms’ 吶喊 is the of title Lu Xun’s first collection of stories, published in 1922. For the preface, as translated by Gladys and Yang Xianyi in Selected Stories of Lu Hsun, Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1960, see here.

The ‘Iron House’ 鐵屋 also refers to Lu Xun’s preface, which contains the following passage:

‘Imagine an iron house without windows, absolutely indestructible, with many people fast asleep inside who will soon die of suffocation. But you know since they will die in their sleep, they will not feel the pain of death. Now if you cry aloud to wake a few of the lighter sleepers, making those unfortunate few suffer the agony of irrevocable death, do you think you are doing them a good turn?’

‘But if a few awake, you can’t say there is no hope of destroying the iron house.’]

與政權對抗,付出的代價真實而沉重:國家機器殘害血肉之軀,白色恐怖彌漫各行各業。風雨飄搖,要說全無半點畏懼,便是自欺欺人。為著一個沒有結果的因,為什麼要冒著被起底、被恐嚇甚至被斬的風險,每個星期風雨不改,光復香港、時代革命?

In the course of every individual struggle naturally there are moments when one’s faith wavers. But it we were to abandon our path now, ‘Our dead friends will not forgive us.’

[Note: This is a frequently quoted line from the 2015 documentary film Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom ‘Зима у вогні: Боротьба України за свободу’, which is about the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine from late 2013 to early 2014]

As the military forces [of the Chinese army] were arrayed on our border, that beacon of light — The Hong Kong Way — could still be seen through the darkness that threatened to envelop Lion’s Hill. As the stench of sulphur and the clouds of tear gas suffocated our city, those on the front line at Tsuen Wan put their lives on the line to continue the struggle for freedom. Of course, the fact of the matter is that we are now without fear; rather we are truly terrified, for we tremble at the thought that if this battle is lost the wounds being inflicted on Hong Kong will never heal.

[Note: Regarding ‘The Hong Kong Way’, see Lee Yee 李怡 et al, ‘Holding Hands in Hong Kong’, 26 August 2019]

信念動搖,是每個人必經的掙扎。但若就此放棄,「我們已死去的朋友,是不會原諒我們的」。兵臨城下,獅子山頂尚能黑暗中照出香港之路;硝煙處處,荃灣前線仍在用肉身捍衛自由。不是沒有恐懼,而是太恐懼了 — 恐懼此仗一敗,日後香港將滿目瘡痍。

It is devastating to think that a mammoth commercial entity like Cathay Pacific Airways [part of the Swire Group] could be brought to its knees and had no choice but to demonstrate its fealty to Beijing by dismissing employees who supported the protests. Yet, for all of that, they still only managed to win pusillanimous praise from Global Times which said of Cathay’s capitulation ‘we will see if they can withstand the test of time’. And then there is Hong Kong University, a world-renowned tertiary institution. Ever since the ‘Educational Tsar’ [Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, 李國章, 1945-] was made Chairman of the University Council [in 2016] and the Mainland-born Xiang Zhang [張翔, 1963-] was appointed vice-chancellor of the university [in December 2017] no fewer than four deputy vice-chancellors have been forced out.

Among those we remember here there are also the forerunners of our protests who are serving jail sentences right now, as well as all the young people who have been detained so far this year.

The very fabric of our city and our territory has been rent asunder. Do not think for a moment that the continued encroachments upon our lives would cease even if everyone in Hong Kong were to raise their arms in surrender tomorrow. We all know that those who give up the fight before the end place themselves entirely at the mercy of their opponents. Xinjiang did not fight back and now the streets of its cities bristle with surveillance cameras. Tibet long ago surrendered and its Living Buddha tulkus སྤྲུལ་སྐུ are but puppets of Beijing.

龐大如國泰,敗陣後只能解僱員工表忠,換來《環時》一句「有待時間的檢驗」。成名如港大,自沙皇入委、張翔主政,一年內四個副校長出走。還有此刻身在囹圄的先行者、已被捕的年輕人。城邦既毀,這些事情卻不會因為香港人投降而停止。仗至一半的降兵,生殺大權只落在對方的一念之仁。新疆不戰,滿街裝天眼;西藏投降,活佛變傀儡。

The only thing that will help us overcome our fear is if we are emboldened by the courage whose font lies in the knowledge that we are ‘ones who keep pursuing what we know is impossible’. Fear does, without doubt, make us prevaricate, shed tears, lose hope; but it is courage that lifts us up and we are thus raised up because we care about this place, for this place is Hong Kong and we, the People of Hong Kong, care deeply for it.

[Note: ‘Ones who keep pursuing what we know is impossible’ 知其不可為而為之, a famous line from the Confucian Analects. The relevant passage in Chapter 14 of The Analects reads in Simon Leys’s translation as:

Zilu stayed for the night at Stone Gate. The gatekeeper said: ‘Where are you from?’ Zilu said: ‘I am from Confucius’s household.’ — ‘Oh, is that the one who keeps pursuing what he knows is impossible?’

子路宿於石門。晨門曰:奚自。子路曰:自孔氏。曰:是知其不可而為之者與。

—《論語・憲問第十四》

The Tsinghua university professor Xu Zhangrun, celebrated for his outspoken criticisms of the arrant nature of the Xi Jinping era (2012-), also uses this passage from The Analects when articulating his defiant stance.]

惟一能戰勝恐懼的,是知其不可為而為之的勇氣。恐懼或許會讓人質疑、落淚、失望;但勇氣使人振作,振作是因為在乎這片土地,在乎這片土地上的香港人。

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One Withdrawal and its Four Necessary Consequences

The reason we cannot give in now is that the Five Great Appeals are not merely isolated issues, they are mutually bound up with each other.

If the authorities will still refuse to acknowledge that the Extradition Bill was a bad law and that the way it was handled exemplified brute autocracy, then the withdrawal of the Bill [announced by Carrie Lam-Cheng on the 4th of September 2019] is little more than a delaying tactic being used to buy the authorities some time. This withdrawal does not mean that this Bill, or something like it, will not be proposed in the future.

If the authorities now admit that the Extradition Bill was a mistake — a bad bill pursued by a heavy handed administration — then it follows that those who opposed it were right to do so and that they are, in fact, upstanding individuals. Their self-protective behaviour, even when it veered towards violence, was focussed on the autocratic behaviour of a government attempting to impose ill-considered legislation and, as such, it did not constitute ‘rioting’; it also follows that the individual protesters were not ‘rioters’. Therefore, it is only right and proper that, given the withdrawal of the bill, those arrested should now be released from custody, or spared being arraigned on charges.

If the authorities now admit that the Extradition Bill was a mistake, then an independent commission of inquiry is an essential next step. An objective and fact-based investigation into the non-stop police-on-citizen clashes, the violence involving Triad gangs and the conspiratorial nature of police-Triad links is necessary if we are to have any hope in restoring meaningful social order.

The question of whether bad legislation formulated along the lines of the now discredited Extradition Bill might be introduced in the future, require us to confront, as we have before, the problem of how to prevent bad laws proposed by a high-handed government. How could the original Extradition Bill be formulated and all but passed via rushed legislation in the first place? The answer lies in the fact that the Chief Executive of Hong Kong is not an office elected on the basis of universal sufferance. Similarly, the legislature itself is the product of a deeply flawed election/ selection administrative arrangement.

Therefore, it is obvious that to avoid similar crises in the future it is incumbent for the authorities to abide by the stipulations outlined in the ‘Hong Kong Basic Law’ that bestow upon the people of Hong Kong legitimate ways and means to elect those who govern over them on the basis of universal suffrage.

If this is denied, the autocratic behaviour of the power-holders will remain unchecked and other sinister pieces of legislation will inevitably be tabled.

我們不能收貨是因為五項訴求並非每項孤立,而是環環相扣。如果不承認送中條例是暴政是惡法,那麼它的撤回就只是緩兵之計,撤回不等於不會再推。如果承認送中條例是錯,是暴政惡法,那麼反對它的人就是正義之士,即使在反暴政中使用了暴力,也等同反強暴中自衞傷人一樣,絕非暴徒,反抗也非暴動。對被捕人士理應釋放,或免予起訴。而獨立調查對於連串的警民衝突、黑幫施虐、警黑勾結,就絕對是恢復社會秩序的必要手段。至於為甚麽會有送中條例的推出?怎樣防止再有這樣的暴政惡法?為甚麽可以在立會強行通過?就跟特首非普選產生、立法會的選舉殘缺有關,重新啟動真普選以完成《基本法》賦予香港人的政治權利,就是應有之義。否則,暴政不能止,惡法會重來。

from Lee Yee 李怡, ‘How Can We All Bring This to an End?’
我們怎麼收貨?, 《蘋果日報》, 2019年9月6日

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And, In the Fourth Place:

Armed Solely with Our Beliefs
We Will Fight to the Last Person

丁、以信御戈,
戰至最後一人

As the movement has progressed over these weeks and months it is an inevitable reality that some Hong Kong People have become worn down or wearied by this forever battle. Truly, it is too much for us to bear alone the entire burden of the times. We are but normal people, and it weighs upon us heavily.

If, then, it is the case that in a spate of debilitation you chose to take a back seat, then we can only hope that we may still see evidence of your passion and traces of your hopes on the Lennon Walls.

If you chose to migrate to foreign parts, then we can only hope that you will carry some part of Hong Kong with you and continue to spread our message of resilience in some way. It matters not if that only takes the form of a Cantonese dish made in the Hong Kong style; the singing of a Canto-pop song; a scurrilous local joke or perhaps just a certain belief that comes from here.

If, however, you give up entirely, then let us assure you that the People of Hong Kong will carry on the battle on your behalf regardless. That is because we, the People of Hong Kong, each and every one of us, know we deserve a life of freedom and dignity.

運動曠日持久,一些香港人或已筋疲力竭,無心戀戰。這整個時代的重量,確實不應由普通人來承擔。如果要退守後場,希望連儂牆仍能見到你的心力與蹤跡。如果要移民,希望你能將香港的一部分延續到新的土壤播種,可能是一道菜、一首歌、一個笑話,或者一份信念。如果你真的放棄,香港人亦會為你繼續戰鬥下去。因為每一個香港人,都值得自由正直地生活。

If, however, you have but one iota of resilience left in you, we beseech you then to stand with us still on this, the front line of the battle that has been joined, the battle of Freedom versus Totalitarianism.

但如果你一息尚存,請在這場自由與極權戰爭的最前線繼續留守。

We say this because, no matter what, the People of Hong Kong will persist. True, we have no arms with which to join this fight; all we have is the belief in the rightness of our cause. That belief will carry us even when our backs are to the wall in the final confrontation.

It is the courage of our beliefs that makes even the power-holders hesitate fearfully, to quake with doubt, vacillate and fall upon themselves bickering.

The courage of our beliefs forges in us a confident unity that is the envy of our allies; it is something, too, that shames our enemies.

Only:

  1. When the Extradition Bill has been completely withdrawn;
  2. When the accusation that protesters are guilty of rioting has been dropped;
  3. When our righteous warriors have all been released;
  4. When an independent commission has been set up to investigate police brutality; and,
  5. When we have all gained the right of dual universal suffrage

Then, and only then, will the People of Hong Kong be free to take off their face masks and greet each other openly. Then, and only then, will we all be able to look each other in the eye without our protective goggles. Then, and only then, will we be able to see the burning fire of determination in our gaze. Then, and only then, may we finally be able to shed tears of joy in celebration.

因為香港人將繼續下去。沒有其他武器,只有信念,能夠背水一戰。信念終將會令當權者畏懼、顫抖、動搖、分裂。信念使我們團結,令盟友讚嘆、敵人汗顏,直到撤回惡法、收回暴動、釋放義士、獨立調查、雙真普選,直到香港人終能脫下口罩相見,直視彼此眼罩背後堅定的眼神,喜極而泣。

In the novel Too Loud a Solitude, the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal quotes a line from the Talmud:

‘For we are like olives: only when we are crushed do we yield what is best in us.’

赫拉巴爾在《過於喧囂的孤獨》中引用猶太教法典的詞句:「我們有如橄欖,唯有被粉碎時,才釋放出我們的精華。」

[Note:

‘Command the Israelites to bring you clear olive oil, crushed for the light, so that the lamp may always burn.’

וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן זַיִת זָךְ כָּתִית לַמָּאוֹר
לְהַעֲלֹת נֵר תָּמִיד׃

Exodus 27: 20

‘The Talmud says we Jews only yield our best, like olives, when we are crushed.’

from Gustav Janouch, Conversations with Kafka
trans. Goronwy Rees , 2nd ed., 2012
]

The whims of History have chosen Hong Kong; and, thereby, the People of Hong Kong have been confronted with this test, the most demanding of all.

  • Our Laser Pointer Revolution will continue at Tsim Sha Tsui;
  • Our Shadowy Presence will still darken the water-filled barriers at Admiralty [where the seat of the Hong Kong government is located]; and,
  • The streets of Yuen Long will forever be a rallying point for those who resist the threats of the street gangs.

Listen, for every night at 10:00pm you will hear that rousing chant repeated:

‘Restore Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times’

Safeguard Our Hong Kong; Fight to the Last Person!

[Note: see Lee Yee 李怡, ‘Restoring Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times’China Heritage, 6 August 2019]

歷史選中了香港,現在就是對香港人考驗最嚴峻的時刻。尖沙咀將繼續上演雷射革命;金鐘水馬前會繼續黑影幢幢;元朗大馬路永遠是對抗鄉黑的集結處。每晚十點的「光復香港,時代革命」會一直一直叫下去。

守護香港,戰至最後一人。

A Group of Concerned Hong Kong Citizens
30 August 2019

二零一九年八月三十日
一群香港公民

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Online Comments from The Stand News:

Kwok Shing Chan

Law should be changed to arrest and take monetary compensation from this promoter of unlawful, anti-social and violent acts as well as the indulgent news company owners and editors.

Kai Ming Tin

Just Fuck Off! Rule of Law, you say? You have the gall to talk about the rule of law after they way the authorities dealt with the events of 21 July [when mobsters attacked people indiscriminately at the Yuen Long MTR station]?
Hong Kong people have had an absolute gut full of all your Leftie bullshit.
If we Hong Kong People were really set on rioting I can assure you that 100,000 of us could have uprooted your lousy government, let alone the two million people who have protested in the streets. And we would have been done with such vile and heartless political pigmies like you!
Rising up for the sake of justice and calling others to join you [as discussed in the essay above] — isn’t that what your Communist Party claims to have done? Are you telling me that you’re actually a counter-revolutionary?
Hong Kong People are the true revolutionaries, red revolutionaries; it’s a revolution in which the proletariat is battling the capitalists and the hegemonic rule of their political elites!
All I can say is ‘Fuck Your Mother’s Cunt’: Today, the Chinese Communist Party stands in direct opposition to the proletariat. The People have you in their sights!

屌你老母啦。法治?721咁樣處理,你同我講法治?
唔係香港人飽受左膠毒害?
如果香港人真係暴動? 唔好話二百萬人,十萬人都已經鏟除你個政權,重有你呢班狼心狗肺既附倭人。
揭杆起義就係偉大祖國共產黨既立國之本。你係唔係反革命?
香港人就係革命都係紅色革命,係無產階級對抗資本主義既得利益霸權既革命!!
你老母閪中國共產黨今天企係無產階級既對立面,人民就要討伐你!!

Mak Hf

The non-stop resistance helps outsiders appreciate a reality — this is not about dealing with those who have dared to question things; it’s about dealing with those who created all the questions in the first place. When we are all engaged in the same thing, success will be ours.

要不斷抗爭,讓旁觀者瞭解到不能解決提出問題的人,只能解決製造問題的人。當全民都做同一件事,我們已經成功。

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Source:

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Portrait of a Patriot: ‘To be able to denounce America is a real source of pleasure. However, once they’ve worked through the whole list, slagging off Walmart, McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, iPhone, Google as well as Ford one after another, suddenly they realise all of that bile has left them feeling thirsty. So they reach for a can of Coca-Cola, turn on their Apple computer and relax while watching the latest NBA season on the Internet. Though they have no real ideals and can’t think for themselves, somehow they believe that theirs is a Great China Dream. They have no wealth to speak of and they definitely don’t have the vote, yet somehow they are convinced that they are the true Masters of China. These are China’s Patrio-Nasties.’ — by Zong Xiaokai, January 2018