Occupy Central: starting 31 August …

An attention grabbing headline today from Apple Daily about Occupy and what seems to be a definite date … details below in point 3:

1. The People’s Congress in Beijing is meeting and has basically killed off hopes for real electoral reform for 2017. Chief Executive candidates must receive support from at least half of the 1400-strong nominating committee, meaning that HK will have “one man one vote”, but you can only vote for those that Beijing has allowed.

2. The rhetoric from Beijing and pro-establishment side has been to tie in electoral reform with sovereignty and national security. For myself, I have always been worried about the escalation of police force used against civil disobedience, and this rhetoric is one of many examples in which Beijing is trying to lessen the political cost of using tanks and ammunition against Chinese citizens like in Tiananmen Square 1989, in my opinion.

3. On September 1, the deputy secretary of the People’s Congress Li Fei is scheduled to visit HK to “announce” Beijing’s decision. Protests and various actions are said to take place starting 31 August. Part of the difficulty of organizing is that the government has repeated branded Occupy as “breaking the law” (then allowing others to link breaking the law with violence, hence branding Occupy Central with Love and Peace as a violent movement), and communications in planning and organizing can be construed as encouraging others to break the law and hence subject to arrest. Hence actions are said to involve symbolic protests by the main individuals, with guerilla actions to follow.

4. Another example of the difficulty of organizing can be seen in today’s news that HK Post has declined to distribute Scholarism’s pamphlets.

5. The Student Union says that if the HK government does not make progress in response to the first two weeks of action, they will initiate students’ strike.

6. HK Police says 7000 police has been arranged to deal with Occupy. To counter the presumed guerilla nature of Occupy, the force is said to be made up of small units, and decision making and power to clear an area / arrest has been delegated down to the heads of these units. Aside from reports of HK police training for arresting protestors, there is also report of People’s Liberation Army training with tanks against what seems like line formations of protestors.

Apple Daily’s report today

People’s Liberation Army training to deal with Occupy?


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續《主場新聞》: 每個人其實都是一個傳播媒介

在 whatsapp 群組收到《主場新聞》暴斃的消息時,我在乘車,除了回覆一個「面青」的表情,不知該說甚麼。重複看了三次蔡東豪的聲明,確定那不是開玩笑,再極力想從中找出甚麼破綻,彷彿可以證明:沒理由,不會是這樣的。



脆弱的除了是個別網絡媒體的存亡,還有網民之間的連結互動。對於民間團體來說,臉書是個非常方便的工具,宣傳和動員能力相當強。兩三年前,李嘉誠入股臉書,同期不少民間團體和社運人的臉書帳戶無故發生各種問題,網民開始擔心臉書不可靠, 所以有一陣子,出現臉友跳槽Google+ 的熱潮,不過臉書至今熱鬧依然。


所以我在臉書問:終有一天,我們會連 Facebook 都不能用,需要一個獨立的 Facebook alternative。這一天離我們多遠?


1. 香港獨立媒體Hong Kong Inmedia
vjmedia2. 輔仁媒體 Vjmedia
post8523. 852郵報 Post 852
local-press4. 本土新聞 Local Press
pentoy5. 評台Pentoy

6. 熱血時報 Passion Times
socrec7. 社會紀錄頻道SocRec
USP8. 社媒 USP United Social Press
9. 草媒 Grass Media
10. 各社區的地區報:


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The End of Act 1: Report on the Public Consultation on Constitutional Development

Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration, released the report on the public consultation process on constitutional development on Tuesday, 15 July.

It is the final scene of “Act 1” in the sense that the report forms the basis of the Chief Executive’s (CE) submission to Beijing (also made today), which officially completes the first of five steps in constitutional amendment. The five-act play entails a process involving both Hong Kong and Beijing, ending with the implementation of electoral reform.

It is the exact nature of the reforms that is being struggled over. While the term “universal suffrage” is used across the political spectrum, the democratic nature (or otherwise) of the electoral process hinges on who has the power to approve candidates in the first place.

In an autocratic country that is China, there is currently overwhelming control from Beijing as to who are allowed to stand for CE (elected by a committee of 1200 people). In today’s reports, despite the general consensus for “one person one vote”, a similar group of elites is set to become the nominating committee for CE candidates.

This committee of 1200 comprises of members from the “four sectors”, i.e. elites from various economic, health, educational, religious and political sectors.

What Occupy Central and other civic voices have expressed, via over 700 000 votes cast during the June 22-29 unofficial referendum, is that the public should have a say in nominating CE candidates too. This is taken by the pro-establishment camp as a challenge to the authority of the nominating committee (and by proxy, a challenge to Beijing’s control).

While the report did not explicitly reject “public nomination” for CE candidates in 2017, it is marginalised as the request from “some” suggestions. It reiterated the requirement to be “patriotic” to China and Hong Kong, and that the power of the nominating committee cannot be weakened or bypassed.

The report purported that the “mainstream” opinion in Hong Kong is that the nominating committee should have no more than 1600 people, and that it should follow the “democratic” procedure whereby the minority should comply with the wishes of the majority.

In response to journalists querying the definition of “mainstream”, Raymond Tam (Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs) refused to “quantify” what constitutes mainstream opinion. An analysis (referenced below) reveals that of the 11 larger scale public opinion surveys cited in the report, only four were conducted by largely neutral organisations such as the Hong Kong University.

梁振英:人大決定凌駕國際標準 譚志源:無量化「主流意見」

「主流意見」如何煉成? 引用民建聯等建制派民調

I describe these reports as “Act 1” not only because of constitutional procedures, also because this is all just for show.

A useful context to bear in mind is that the North East development proposal was rammed through Legislative Council on June 27, despite receiving 50000 submissions from the public, only 7 of which supported the development plan.

In China, “democracy” is understood as procedures, or a set of power games that may be flirted with because America is putting on the pressure. In my eyes, there is no understanding in the Hong Kong or Beijing governments of democracy as a reflection of the popular will or as governance that tries to grant individuals their basic human rights within a plural society.

Back to reporting mode. For now, Occupy Central is following their timetable, entering into a “period of dialogue” with political parties, civic organisation, even pro-establishment organisations, reiterating the need for constitutional reform that offers “authentic choice” to citizens. Alliance for True Democracy (whose proposal won the “referendum” in June) will pursue civil disobedience only if Beijing decides on a reform framework that pre-selects CE candidates. The Federation of Students, Scholarism, and Civil Human Rights Front will pursue civil disobedience actions or occupation between the announcement from Beijing and the upcoming second round of public consultation. Student speakers said that if the announcement from Beijing is restrictive, they will announce a class boycott in September.

戴耀廷不滿政改報告 未到啟動佔中階段

鄭宇碩:若人大決定篩選 考慮佔中


I’m not journalist, but a mere blogger, so I’ll have my say: Hong Kong activists sure have a truck load of patience.

I’m surprised they hadn’t walked out on a bad play and gone and got some tomatoes.

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A week later: Arrests, reprecussions, reflections

From inside the police bus

Taken from inside the police bus, by a friend who got arrested on July 2

1. In today’s “City Forum” programme, it emerged that the Democratic Party will plan for occupying central as early as this month.[1] This timeline aims to put pressure on both HK government when it submits a proposal for electoral reform, and the reply (i.e. “permission”) from Beijing, around August/September, instead of waiting to hear the word handed down from Beijing first. Note that the “official” Occupy Central with Love and Peace, organised by two academics and a Baptist minister, proposes a longer timeline of awaiting Beijing’s reply, before going ahead with the actual occupy. The Democratic Party’s line of thought is thus closer to the Federation of Students and Scholarism, who went head with a “rehearsal” of occupy on the night of July 2. The discussion and call for unity among the pan-democrats’ camp continues.

2. There are now many pieces of text posted on the web, providing first hand accounts of those arrested on July 2, onlooking supporters, and even one or two from the police [2]. A few interesting points:

a) Not all, or even most, of the 511 protestors arrested were students. The group was a mix of students and concerned citizens from various walks of life, including people in their 80s. At least one came to HK from mainland China.

b) Among the 511 were plenty protestors who hadn’t done it before. One person reveals that he became concerned with politics as recently as the HKTV licensing debacle. They were certainly not the “same old faces who always make trouble for the police”.

c) There are reports of the use of force, and also reports of policemen and -women who treated protestors with understanding, usually secretive acknowledgement that they agree with or understand the protestors. An anonymous informant within the police force reveals that such views can only be harboured by individuals in silence. [3] Since July 2 there have been photos and videos released on the web showing the use of force from the police. But the overall consensus seems to be that both protestors and police conducted themselves with restraints that morning (I reiterate my observation that it was the presence of onlookers and the media that produced the restraint in the police.)

d) Discussion continues regarding how to confront or work with the police in future actions. Some propose more “soft power”, some warn against being tricked into sympathising with authority. To me it comes back to the old agency vs structure debate, and my feeling is that individual kindness and dissent will be swept away by the police’s structural position as a tool of a government, which is increasingly shedding its checks and balances. I agree with sentiments expressed a number of times that the use of force will escalate, and the police will probably command the space of future protests more forcefully (similar to the closing of the safer protest area outside of Legco on June 20 & 27), so that onlookers and actual protestors will find it harder to link up and provide support.

3. Recap of politically motivated charges and arrests made by the police:

a) Walk for Democracy, a series of 12-hour walks throughout the city each time by around 300 people, to promote the “referendum” in June 22-29. Whilst there was (what seems to be informal) invitation from the police at the time for help to maintain order for these events, this week (2 weeks after the event and after the referendum’s large turn out has proven to be a political problem), they were charged with illegal gathering.[4]

b) 5 organisers and workers for the annual July 1 protest march, this year joined by 510 000 citizens, were arrested and have their mobile phones confiscated, for violating conditions of the permit for the gathering. Their front vehicle was allegedly going too slowly. (Photos have emerged since of crowds in front of the vehicle, and a celebrity who worked at a stationary stall along the parade route spoke out confirming this.) One of the charges against the driver of the vehicle include the traffic law against keeping the ignition on if a vehicle is stationary for more than 3 minutes.[5]

4. The HK Journalists Association released their annual report on press freedom today, calling this the darkest year for press freedom in decades, and anticipating shrinking room for free reporting. Threats include physical assault, firings, advertisers’ boycott, rejection for licensing, and self-censorship. They announced establishing a Self-censorship Watch consisting of journalists, academics and lawyers, for journalists to lodge complaints about self-censorship.


[1] “Occupy Central ‘may take place as soon as next month’, says Organiser” (SCMP, 7/7/14)

[2] 「佔領遮打道」被捕者文集 “Collection of testimonies from the Occupy Chater Road” – The House News 4/7/14)

[3] 一個警察朋友2014年71之後的感想 – “A Police Friend’s Reflections after July 1, 2014” – HK Golden Bulletin Board

[4] 警方秋後算賬 書面警告「毅行爭普選」違法 – “Police ‘settle accounts in retrospect’ with Walk for Democracy protestors. (The House News, 3/7/14)

[5] “Organizers of July 1 Hong Kong Democracy Rally Arrested” (Wall Street Journal, 4/4/14)

[6] “DARKEST DAYS FOR PRESS FREEDOM IN HONG KONG” (6/7/14 – press release from HK Journalist association)

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International Press, please don’t flatten the issue

Re: The NY Times video

I really have problems with this type of international portrayal of the protest scene in Hong Kong:
“Hong Kong challenges Beijing.”
“Every July 1st, Hong Kong residents protest the British handover of the territory to China.”

The international press has a tendency to want to paint a picture of big scary Communist China. No, sorry, actually many Hong Kong citizens are also very happy to return to China (or at the least, happy to be free from colonial rule); and if anything, I think that we are challenging ourselves more than we are challenging Beijing. The July 1 rally is an umbrella for the expression of discontent for the local government, it is not only a pro-democracy march, it can cover everything from workers’ rights to gay rights to asylum rights… basically any sort of change that people want to see in the territory, it is a chance for them to voice out, fund-raise and network. Obviously the lack of universal suffrage is a bottleneck for the lack of change for a lot of local issues, and that is something very much on the concern of many people of the rally. But very few Hong Kongers are challenging Beijing the way that, for example, Falun Gong are asking for the removal of the Chinese Community Party. And the few idiots I’ve seen waving around colonial HK flags are hecklers, they  turn up at local issue rallies with more interest in getting camera attention than true interest in the local issue at hand in the rally.

The second thing I don’t like about this portrayal is that it simplifies the things into a general swell of “let’s fight for freedom” emotion. It’s the narrative of a heroic battle lead by a group of young student(s) for change. No, part of the beauty of Hong Kong is the complexity of everyone trying to figure out their values and where they stand. So if there is something that you wish to do internationally to help, you can help share more images and words that attempt to encapsulate the multiplicity of what is happening. I’m ranting here because this sort of narrative is very damaging. It freaks Beijing out (and that really is the last thing we need, because military speaking, HK has no chance against the People’s Liberation Army); and it flattens the issue here locally at a time where we need people to be critical thinkers, not bleating sheep thinking that if CY Leung was removed or we get universal suffrage everything would be solved. No it won’t. Self-determination and true freedom is more complex than this.

New York Times: Hong Kong Challenges Beijing from New York Times

Since posting it on facebook, my friend Lily and I had an interesting discussion that I think is worth sharing. Among other things, we discuss if there is a dichotomy between the importance of ‘getting the news out there’ vs. ‘complex narratives’; and the value of someone to ‘stand up to be counted’ as a method of protest vs. other creative options, etc.

Lily: I respectfully disagree.

I am one of the people who shared this video. I don’t think Beijing gives a crap about what the New York Times says, to be honest. And I don’t think there’s a problem with talking up the role of Scholarism and students’ actions. Yes, July 1st has been a place for people speaking out for multiple issues – and to me, that’s precisely the problem. It became a carnival of people who walk around with not one common goal. “Walking for the sake of walking.”
This time, it was not the same. Most people could see what the White Bill did, and what the Northeast issues meant. I could count at least 16 to 18 friends of mine (HK residents) who agree with the message the video sent.
If Beijing sent in troops, at least they showed their cards. At least we are not being boiled slowly to death.
You are right – July 1st has not been about “protesting the Handover.” But that is a minor point. The point of the video, to me, is 800,000 people voted, and 800,000 votes ignored. Half a million people on the streets, half a million people ignored. Now they’re arresting students, 80-year-old men, that Amnesty International is even getting concerned and involved. These stuff needs to get out there. The international community needs to know that. It doesn’t matter that they are simplifying the message. If they just start talking about the beauty you mentioned, the message would be diluted.
Self-determination is important, but uniting a message, and uniting in action – is even more important. When Joshua Wong said that the strength is in numbers, he is correct. That’s basically our only weapon now.

Hofan: I don’t agree (and by the way, I think it’s ok not to agree).

I don’t agree that it doesn’t matter that messages are simplified as long as it gets out. I think that is a huge fallacy. Given the channels of social media, I think we have a lot more options than we used to do in allowing for the multiplicity of discourse. We don’t have to depend on mainstream media and their soundbytes. We can, if only we have the time and sincerity to find out and reach out, demand more complex narratives.

Yes, I agree that the July 1 rally was and is a hodge-podge of issues, which is why I don’t really believe in the July 1 rally. I didn’t even go this year. I keep thinking: there must be more creative ways, ways in which more individual voices were heard than these traditional rallies where it’s all about numbers. I think the 苦行 movement with the Choi Yuen Village/anti-high speed rail movement is a brilliant local example that challenged people really think and bring attention to the issue. [It was an example of an action that was simple enough for people to participate in and demanded a response from bystanders.]

I agree, I do think there was a huge sense of power and possibility for change this year that came from the participation of many people (we finally really a critical mass), and that’s very exciting. But for me the more exciting thing is how this movement is an invitation for each individual to confront something/understand more about him or herself. For us to examine: how far am I willing to stand up for a certain value? Or are there other things that I value as well (e.g., my responsibility to keep a stable job, which means I can’t get arrested); and if so, how do I negotiate this? What roles can I play to support what I believe or demonstrate concern for the people/community I love?

Yes, maybe many Hong Kong people shared this video and agreed with it and were proud of it (because it feels good to be part of a movement); but what I want to question is the depth of our understanding as to what “democracy” is, and what “freedom” really is. Do we really think that democracy is just the ability to elect someone to represent us? Do we think freedom is just to say whatever we want without prosecution? Yes these are basic rights and yes they are important, but we can go much further than that. We need to go so much further than that.

As for angering Beijing, that is personally a minor point for me (though perhaps it will not be if there is a military clampdown). I do think the portrayal of a Big Bad China by international papers to increase circulation is a cheap tactic, because it preys upon the fears of many people of a rising China, and that builds fences, not bridges.

Lily: I think it is an insult to assume that people who walked were not creative thinkers, who are sheeps who just follows.

It is not practical to even talk about “what democracy means” because we don’t even have the choice to talk about it. When you have a government that just makes up rules as it goes, it is time to go on the offense, and not sit back and be philosophers.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m an artist-musician, I believe in the power of creative protesting. I respect all the stuff you’ve been doing. And I am sure that in some ways it is helping with the issue. But the law has passed. Promises has been broken. We don’t have the luxury of time.

We probably will never agree with each other on this issue. But I appreciate the platform to talk about it.

Hofan: I don’t think that people who went to the rally are sheep. At least I hope not, given that most of my friends and family were there!

I do think democracy exists everywhere, not only in government, but in the way we run schools, run families, and make decisions in a group. I think it is a fallacy to think that democracy is defined by the ability to elect a chief executive or not. Democracy is a way of relating to people in group decisions, it shouldn’t just be a concept or a goal.

I honestly don’t think things are so black and white, and that’s what I am complaining about. I also don’t think that it’s wrong to feel proud to be part of a mass movement, and to be honest, I was very proud myself that so many people poured out on the streets, sat down to get arrested; and as you can see from my timeline I’m very interested in getting what we are doing out there to the world.

Oh one more thing. I think Joshua Wong and Scholarism are very articulate leaders, they have really stood out to lead and deserve a lot of praise. My complaint about the heroism narrative is not that the student leaders don’t deserve it, but how we can all challenge ourselves.

Where do you stand? Feel free to sound off in the comments below…

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The mindful protester (part 2): If and when things escalate

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed about how you might prepare yourself for a rally. This section is about what to do if the situation escalates. It discusses possible scenarios and how you can protect yourself or help the people around you. The material below is translated / excerpted primarily from a booklet called 行動者菜譜 , which is issued by autonomous 8a. When appropriate, we have also referred you to a comprehensive leaflet by the HK Civil Liberties Union, which outlines your legal rights as a protestor.

As we mentioned before, Hong Kong has had a tradition of relatively non-violent protests. However, the Civil Human Rights Front has noted since 2011 there has been an increase of “(i) political prosecution and abuse of power of arrest by the Police; (ii) the improper use of force by the police against demonstrators.” It is therefore in your own interest to inform yourself of the possibilities of force being used against you and your rights in this situation. (It’s worth reading their report to the UN Humans Rights committee in 2013)

July 1 rally 2012 - 嚴偉迅


5. Warning signals

In an escalating situation, the police will issue various warnings and signal their requests to the protestors. They will may do so verbally (over a loudspeaker) as well as visually (with grey, yellow and red flags). At this point you should decide how you wish to respond to this. Above all, remain calm.

6. What to do in the event of … pepper spray
Pepper spray is classified as a weapon in Hong Kong. It is a chemical compound that irritates the eyes and other parts of the body to cause tears, pain, and temporary blindness. They have been a common weapon used by the police against protesters in recent years, and comes in two types:

    • pepper-sprayRegular-sized – emits an orange-yellow sticky liquid, which the police aims at protesters’ faces in order to restrain and take away the ability for action.
    • Jumbo-sized – Police began using the large sized pepper spray on June 30, 2012 during Hu Jintao’s visit. It emits a cloud of pink or light-orange mist which sticks to clothing and skin. It covers a larger area and its effects last for a longer period of time. More insidious as it is harder to detect and therefore easier to come into contact with by mistake.
  • Effects of pepper-spray
    • The pain caused by the pepper spray cannot be immediately eradicated. The most important thing to get rid of pepper spray residue so that it no longer sticks to your skin, and no longer spreads to a larger area.
    • There will be a burning sensation, pain, swelling, with fierce reactions especially from the eyes, oral cavity, nasal cavity, esophagus and trachea.
    • Being sprayed in the face will usually lead to coughing, inability to open eyes, non-stop tearing.
    • Pepper spray will adhere to oil-based products such as sunscreen, insect repellent, hairspray and certain types of cosmetics. So if you think there is a risk of being pepper-sprayed, please refrain from using these items.
    • Avoid wearing contact lens. The pepper spray will stick to contact lens, and there is a chance they will melt.
  • What to do after being pepper-sprayed:
    • Do not inhale or swallow any of the pepper spray. It will cause an even greater reaction in the trachea and esophagus. Go to a safe area and ask for assistance in cleaning it off.
    • If wearing contact lenses, take them off immediately. Use clean water to rinse affected areas (making a hole in the cap of a water bottle helps create greater pressure). Tilt your head to the side and down to allow contaminated water to flow directly to the ground, and not to other areas of the body. Use cloth or towels to carefully wipe off pepper spray residual. Change into a new set of clothing if possible.

July 1 2011 - Cpak Ming

7. What to do in the event of … arrest
(“The Protestor’s Rights Handbook” by the HKCLU walks you through very clearly what to expect in terms of legal procedure in the event that you get arrested.)

During an arrest:

  • The police officer must tell you of the crime you are suspected of committing, as well as caution you of your right to remain silent. These are the lines we often hear on TV:“I, PCXXX, arrest you (your name) now. I have reason to believe that (place, time and date) you are suspected to be involved in (suspected crime e.g. assaulting police officer).You are not obliged to say anything unless you wish to do so but what you say may be put into writing and given in evidence.
  • If they are physically taking you away, completely relax your body so that you will not be accused of police officer assault. Do not fight back or attack the police.
  • Anything you say, even in a police van or waiting at the station, can become evidence. It is therefore within your interest not to start chatting with the police. You have the right to refuse to talk, answer questions, or sign any documents.

At the police station:
You will be issued a “Notice to Persons under Investigation by, or Detained in the Custody of, the Police” . You should read it carefully and exercise the rights listed below if necessary,

  1. Seek legal advice. You may request a list of lawyers from the police;
    (Here is a list of law firms that specialize in criminal law.)
  2. Inform your family and/or friends about your condition;
  3. Be released on bail;
  4. Request refreshments and/or medical attention if necessary. You have the right to ask for a pause in any proceedings to receive treatment, but beware that this may isolate you from fellow protestors.

After reading it, the officer will ask you to sign on the notice and give you a copy. The police may also:

  • Conduct a search on you. They will issue you a form and inform you why they are searching you and what they are searching for. You will be searched only by officers of the same sex.
  • Record what you say and do during the scene on a notebook and ask you to sign it
  • Interview you and require you to sign a record of this interview (you have a right to remain silent if you wish)

The police will take you to the magnistrate for mention. They are allowed to detain you for a maximum of 48 hours without permission from the court.
When leaving the police station:

  • If you are injured in any way, see a lawyer as soon as possible to have a witness.
  • Go to a private clinic to check your injuries if you were beaten by the police.
  • Keep a record of everything that has happened, including images and videos.
  • Do not upload images and videos on the web. Save them in a separate drive, mark the dates and times clearly. Ask your friends to refrain from posting, or take down from facebook, any sort of photographic evidence that may be incriminating to you.
  • Do not let the police enter your house unless they have a warrant. Even if they have a warrant, make them read it first. You have no obligation to open the door for a policeman without a warrant, nor  return their phone call or report to a police station to be arrested, unless they see you in person in the street and arrest you.
  • File complaints to the ‘Complaints Against Police Reporting Centre’ if necessary. Here is the website and e-form:

That’s it, folks. Please, stay safe and look out for each other.

This article was translated and compiled by Hofan Chau and Janice Im.
If you haven’t already, check out The Mindful Protestor (Part 1), which discusses how you can prepare for a rally.



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The mindful protester (part 1): Preparing for all occasions

As a normal participant in a large scaled rally, things should be relatively safe. After all, Hong Kong has hosted the July 1st rally annually for over 10 years, and for the most part, these rallies have been peaceful and nonviolent. However, as there is an element of the unknown, there is no harm in being alert. The following can be useful references and reminders, to help you make judgments and respond appropriately to the situation at hand. It will also help you be aware of your rights as an protestor in Hong Kong.

July 1 rally, 2011 (Cpak Ming)

The material below is translated / excerpted primarily from a booklet called 行動者菜譜 , which is issued by autonomous 8a. When appropriate, we have also referred you to a comprehensive leaflet by the HK Civil Liberties Union, which outlines your legal rights as a protestor. We have broken this article into three parts:

Part 1: How to prepare (what to bring or wear)
Part 2: What to do if the situation escalates (stampede, pepper spray, arrest, etc)

1. Participating in mass action

  • Beside its symbolic significance, mass actions such as a protest rally can also be a chance to meet people who are likely to be concerned with the same issues as you, or who may even take the same stance as you. Like-minded people can come together as companions during mass actions, or take initiative in organising. Bonds between people provide resistance against oppression.
  • Stay close to the people next to you in a rally, so that there is help in any situation. Do not let yourself become isolated from the crowd.
  • In the face of overwhelming force and resources from the powers that be, we can only resist by linking together as a force bigger than oneself. You may not know the people around you personally or hold the exact same beliefs, but you are facing the same situation. When making judgments and decisions for actions, consider the effect on the whole group. For example, “If I do this, what will the others around me do?”
  • Participants in mass action are not isolated individuals, nor do they need a specific leader. The whole group needs to communicate with and take care of one another. Only then can a crowd become a force to be reckoned with.


national education-嚴偉迅

2. Before going to the rally

What to wear:

  • Wear comfortable footwear, preferably shoes that protect your toes. You don’t want to be stepped on in a scuffle, and you want shoes and clothing that will allow you to run to safety if necessary.
  • If you think you might get into a situation where you might get pepper-sprayed, avoid wearing contact lens. Consider wearing clothing that covers your skin

What to bring:

  • Mobile phone: to contact family and friends in situations of danger or arrest. Charge your phone batteries. Back up your phone list data, in case of confiscation of your phone.
  • Cameras can be used to record the protest. Records may also be evidence in the event of your or someone else’s arrest.
  • Water: to prevent heat stroke under hot weather; to clean up wounds in case you or people around you get injured or pepper sprayed.
  • Pen and paper is useful for note-taking — for example, recording down a number of a police officer in question. A book to occupy you in case of arrest and confiscation of your mobile phone.
  • Be aware that the HK Police has arrested protesters in recent weeks for being in possession of a stationery knife, spray paint can, and gloves. While they had not made searches on every individual, consider what objects you leave in your bag out of habit that may be considered sensitive material. See the section in the HKCLU site on “When being stopped, searched and arrested in a public area

What to do:

  • Find a buddy who will be there for you and bail you out and/or contact a lawyer for you if you do get arrested. Let him/her know your full name. If they can be ready to take video evidence of your actions (in case of legal dispute), even better. Write their phone number down and keep it somewhere safe, and memorize that phone number.

July 1, 2012 - 嚴偉迅

3. At the protest rally

  • Become familiar with your surroundings. Notice the ways out.
  • Note the atmosphere of the crowd. Observe, communicate, use your judgment and trust your gut instinct.
  • Enjoy yourself. Take care of those around you. Rallies are wonderful opportunities to meet like-minded people and old friends.
  • Be creative in your protest. Bring along musical instruments, banners, dress-up!

July 1 2011 - cpak (mayson)

(Part 2 will address what you can do if the situation escalates, and what to do in situations of pepper spray, stampede or arrest.)


  • 行動者菜譜 by autonomous 8a
  • The Protestor’s Handbook by the HKCLU. Also can be downloaded here in pdf
  • Photos in order of appearance are:
    – July 1 rally, 2011 (Cpak Ming)
    – National Education rally, December 2012 (嚴偉迅)
    – July 1 rally, 2012 (嚴偉迅)
    – July 1 rally, 2011 (Cpak Ming)



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去遊行示威, 知多少少有關自己的權利又不防。 在這收集了一些也許可以幫助大家的資料和連結。請大家小心, 出入平安。


1. 八樓自治出版的《行動者菜譜》


(click here / scroll down to bottom to preview)





2. HKCLU 出的《遊行人士權利手冊

HKCLU 的手冊解釋在香港示威你具有的法律權利 。它比較詳細地描述被捕時應發生的法律程序,

HKCLLU 出的 《遊行人士權利手冊》
下載 pdf

3. The Mindful Protestor: A Protest Guide for Hong Kong

讀英文的朋友可以閱讀好友 Janice 與我編輯以上的資料為兩頁:

Part 1: Preparing for all occasions

Part 1: Preparing for all occasions

Part 2: If and when things escalate

Part 2: If and when things escalate

4. 學聯為《七一公民抗命,留守遮打道!》出的行動守則:

行動守則 p1 &4

行動守則 p1 &4

行動守則 p2 &3

行動守則 p2 &3





1. 本次行動乃公民抗命行動,主要有兩個目標:

甲、 主動犯法被政權拘捕,向大眾彰顯政權不義、爭取真普選的決心
乙、 堵塞道路至七月二日早上八時,顯示這種抗爭手法,有阻礙社會日常秩序,迫使政權回應的能力

2. 本次行動的基本原則為:

甲、 任何情況,保持鎮定克制,團結一致,守望相助
乙、 不主動衝擊警方防線,不攜帶武器,不報復警方行為
丙、 被捕時不反抗,不會因為其他被捕人士而與警方衝突

3. 每個人自己都需要先想清楚自己的底線,是否可以面對被警方拘捕,及以後的保釋和控罪,絕不能抱僥倖心態!

4. 避免引起和介入衝突:

甲、 不要理會反示威的群眾,如有需要,大會糾察會將其請離場。
乙、 見附近有人被打,勿激動,勿加入扭打,而是要拿起手機拍低情況,作為日後證據。

5. 警方有可能施放胡椒噴霧。胡椒噴霧注意事項:

甲、 勿使用蚊怕水、藥油等油性溶劑,以免噴霧附在身上
乙、 警方施放胡椒噴霧時垂下頭,避免被射中耳及鼻部
丙、 切勿吸入或吞下噴霧
丁、 可用少量清水倒在被噴霧沾上處,然後用紙抹走;勿用大量清水沖洗,以免噴劑溶解,流往其他部位

6. 如大會判斷警方正在或極可能使用過量暴力清場,傷害參與者,大會將立即宣佈行動結束。

7. 在行動期間及結束後,皆不宜單獨行動,以免增加被捕風險。


1. 請及早向大會提供你的中文全名、身份證號碼、聯絡電話,我們將會有律師團隊提供協助。
2. 被抬上車時,大叫自己中文全名,以便大會法律小組安排律師。
3. 被捕後會沒收電話:

甲、 先將通訊錄備份,以免電話被用作證物而長時間沒收
乙、 用紙筆抄低緊急聯絡人電話
丙、 被捕前退出有敏感資訊的社交群組、從社交網站登出

4. 被捕時:

甲、 保持鎮定,詢問被捕理由,繼續高喊口號,不要反抗,以免變成襲警
乙、 如有警方使用過份武力,切勿反擊,應高喊該警員肩上編號

5. 在警署內,注意:

甲、 可要求得到水、食物和毛氈
乙、 可要求打電話出外面,聯絡家人、朋友或者律師
丙、 落口供時,警員會告訴你:「依家唔係事必要你講,但係你講嘅嘢都會用紙用筆記低,成為呈堂證供,你明唔明白?」,並向警察說「明白,但係我無嘢講」,之後不用回答其他問題,也不要與警員閒聊
丁、 請閱讀清楚口供紙內容再簽名,可要求修改,並拿取副本
戊、 如警方通知有律師想與你見面,必須告訴警方:「我需要見律師!」
己、 落口供後影相及印手指摸,隨後可保釋離開(留意日後報到日期)
庚、 請預先帶定保釋金($100-500),若身上錢不夠,可要求減低金額或致電親友。
辛、 若警方不批准保釋,應再要求見律師(若不批准見律師,要記住時間地點)。

6. 在法庭上,注意:

甲、 若有可能被扣留至直接上法庭過堂,會在裁判官面前選擇「認罪」或「不認罪」
乙、 如無清楚控罪及具體細節,放膽向裁判官要求押後,容許徵詢法律意見
丙、 如裁判官不批准押後,即時回答「不認罪」(日後可再認罪,不會有負面影響)


1. 照片及證據
甲、 不要隨便將含有衝突場面的相片或影片公開,以免成為警方拘捕證據。
乙、 把拍到的片段和照片用獨立的記憶體儲存好,標好日子、時間等識認,以便有需要時可以翻查、指證。
丙、 把事發經過寫下記錄好

2. 事後拘捕



智能電話內有完整的聯絡人名單,有你長期的通訊紀錄,wtsapp, fb對話,已登入的各個網上戶口,一旦你的智能電話被人有意識地入侵和盜用,將對你個人以及你身邊的朋友造成不可預測的巨大遺害。
















行動者 難民稻子



Posted in In a Nutshell, Protestor's Handbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s the fuss about the North East New Territories Development Plan?

photo by Rebeka Tam

The North East New Territories Development Plan is a controversial proposal put forth by the government to demolish a series of villages in Kwu Tung North and Fanling North to make way for new development areas (NDAs). This plan, they claim, will provide much needed housing for HK’s growing population.

We’ve noticed that the debate in the English press (e.g., the South China Morning Post) has a tendency to simplify the conflict to “unhappy villagers vs. development of new towns”, but the issue is a little more complex than this. As a result, we’ve pulled together and translated material from many of the sources so our English-speaking friends can have a more comprehensive picture as to why there have been so many objections to this plan:

1. Is There Even a Need for a Plan of this Scale?

Claims of population growth are exaggerated
The government report claims that the need for housing comes from the expected population growth of 1.4 million people in the upcoming 30 years. [1] Given that HK’s birth rates are in decline, and that the population census has a track record of overestimating its numbers[2], the actual need for housing may be less than projected.

The proportion of public housing in the overall plan is miniscule
Despite the government’s insistence that the development plan is for public housing, the proportion of public housing has been purposefully kept down to a ratio of 60% private housing, 40% subsidised/public housing. [3]

This means in terms of actual land-area use, only 36 hectares (6% of the overall area) will be used for public or subsidised housing.[4]

2. At what cost?

Displaced Villagers
Over 8,400 people will be displaced in the two areas, Fanling North and Kwu Tong North.[5] Most of these are non-indigenous villagers with no land rights. These farmers will lose their livelihoods along with the farmland.

Displaced elderly people
Over a thousand people in Shek Chai Leng Elderly village will be have to be moved in two stages but a new place will only be rebuilt in 2023. In 2018 during the Stage I of demolishing the elderly will have to suffer much noise pollution and other interferences. Outside the elderly village, there are also thousands of elderly people in other villages that are not taken care of in this plan.[6]

A quarter of HK’s farmland destroyed
Local farms also serve the purpose of education and allowing locals to relate to nature. Furthermore, Hong Kong’s lack of self-sufficiency for providing it’s only fresh vegetables is a security risk (currently only 1.9% of our veg comes from local farmers). If Hong Kong is to be a sustainable city it needs to have a vision of how to integrate farmland into its development planning.[7]

3. Who really stands to gain from this?

SCMP graphic from the article "New World, Henderson Land to be major winners"

SCMP graphic from the article “New World, Henderson Land to be major winners”

Real Estate Hegemony
The four major property developers (Henderson Land, New World, Sun Hung Kai, Cheung Kong) have bought up, at a low price, much of the private farmland that is due to be developed in the NE New Territories Development Plan. Of the 60% private housing that will be built, most are designated as low-density luxury apartments, which can be sold at a premium. Dozens of additional hectares will also be built into shopping malls and retail outlets, which only the developers will benefit from.[8]

Government officials with a conflict of interest
Development Minister Paul Chan, was discovered in July 2013 to have family members who owned 18,000 square feet of farmland in Kwu Tong North. They stood to gain around over $12.4 million under this development plan. [9]

The chairperson of the Finance Committee, Ng Leung Sing, is a non-executive director of the telecoms firm SmartTone — a subsidiary of Sun Hung Kai Properties, which stands to gain from the development. His behavior as a chairperson during the Finance Committee clearly revealed his pro-establishment biases (see below). [10] Other councilors with a conflict of interest within the Finance Committee include James Tien, who has ties to New World Development Company Limited; Lau Wong Fat and Abraham Razack.[11]

4. What alternatives are there?

“Double South “Plan – Using the Golf course and Brownlands
Some NGOs and environmental groups have proposed an alternative “Double South” Plan, which would involve developing part of the 170 hectare HK Golf Club in Kwu Tung South and 200 hectares of brownlands (storage areas and carparks) in Yuen Long South. This alternative plan would result in no villager displacement, and would make good use of brownlands that are currently abandoned instead of active agricultural soil. It would also cut the project cost by a third, of up to $30 billion. [12]

Using existing government land
In June 2012 the Development Bureau announced that it had 4,000 hectares of unused government land, of which 580 hectares has been zoned for high density residential development. This would supersede the 90 hectares of residential area that the NE New Territories Development Plan would be able to provide. [13]

5. Miscarriage of Democratic Procedure

Protestors write 500,000 times the words "Against" to represent the number of ignored dissenting signatures received in the public consultation stage. Photo by Hin-yan Wong / Hofan Chau

Protestors write 500,000 times the words “Against” to represent the number of ignored dissenting signatures received in the public consultation stage. Photo by Hin-yan Wong / Hofan Chau

Disregard of public consultation
Over two public consultations, the Town Planning Board has received a total of 50,000 letters of opposition to the NE New Territories Development Plan, and only 7 letters of support. However, the public voices of dissent have not been taken into account in government deliberations. [14]

Inability of Legco to Represent Public Interest
Because only half of HK’s legislative council is directly elected from geographical constituencies [15], when it comes to issues where it’s establishment vs. popular support, the pan-democrats simply do not have enough votes to sway the motion. As a result, they often resort to filibuster tactics as their only recourse to attempt to be heard.

Even though town planners have yet to vet the NE New Territories Development Plan, the government had already put in a funding request for HK $340 million for initial engineering works. [16] The Legislative Council’s Finance Committee discussed the application for seven sessions, to mounting public disapproval, until the evening of 27 June, 2014, when the funding was approved. That evening, five thousand protesters congregated outside the Central Government Offices. [17]
The circumstances under which it was approved was highly controversial, as Ng Leung Sing rushed a vote while the pan-democrats were away from their seats standing in protest. The pan-democrats say they will seek legal discourse to contest the vote.[18]

Because the government is currently dominated by members who represent special interest groups, there is much frustration within the local population. This is part of what is fueling calls for universal suffrage.


Compiled by : Janice Im & Hofan Chau


This is a video showing images from the sixth gathering outside Legco (June 13th). It was controversial because at one point it looked like the motion was going to pass, and the protestors got a metal barrier and broke a doorway on Legco. 30 people were arrested. Those few seconds of the protestors’s action was looped over and over on television. However, this video is perhaps a more balanced set of images to the gathering I experienced that day.

On some level, this movement has seen an escalation of the types of civic disobedience both within the council chamber, and outside the council chamber. When I have time I will write up a bit more about this, because I think how this protest fits in the wider context of HK’s protest movement is worth commenting on. But for now, here’s us in standing meditation protesting….

守護東北默站@@銅鑼灣 - photo by 輔仁媒體

守護東北默站@@銅鑼灣 – photo by 輔仁媒體

[1] Government Press Release
[2] What Will Happen to the New Territories? (HK Magazine)

note: Although now a bit dated, this is one of the few articles in English that goes into quite a bit of depth on this issue. It’s a great primer. The other source worth checking out is a video by RTHK (The Pulse) Broadcast in 2012, it is now a year old but it’s a great entry point to getting an overview of the issue.

[3] Government Already Knew Who Landowners Were, Accommodates Conflicts of Interest” 政府早知業權誰屬 配合規劃設門檻 東北「港人包」看清利益分佈 (Apple Daily)
[4] ibid.
[5] The Three Areas of North East NT: Special Edition on Objections to the proposal (inmedia)

note: The figures as to how many people will be affected seems to differ from source to source; there are claims that it will affect a 1,000 households or up to 20,000 villagers. In the end we settled for this source as it gives numbers that are broken down into the three affected village areas (Fanling North over 3,900; Kwu Tong North over 4,500; Ta Kwu Leng/Ping Che area over 1,500). However, since Ta Kwu Leng/Ping Che has been taken out of the plan, we arrived at the number of over 8,400 people affected.

[6] “10 reasons for asking the government to withdraw the NE New Territories Development Plan” 要求政府立即撤回新界東北發展計劃的十個理由 (inmedia)
[7] Kaikai Cho from Mapopo Community Farm (personal conversation)
[8] “To protect the NE is not to be anti-development. It’s to steer us away from bad development.” 保東北,不是反發展,而是要扭轉惡劣的發展方向  (inmedia)
[9] Hard-selling the NE Plan, Paul Chan Stores Land for Personal Gain 硬銷東北 陳茂波囤地自肥 (Apple Daily)
[10] “10 reasons for asking the government to withdraw the NE New Territories Development Plan” : 要求政府立即撤回新界東北發展計劃的十個理由 (inmedia)
[11] ibid
[12] “‘Double South Plan” to ease conflict over the NE New Territories Development Plan”:「雙南方案」緩解新界東北衝突 (inmedia.hk)
[13] 破解陳茂波——新界東北「愚人包」 (inmedia.hk)
[14] 抗議東北前期工程撥款 市民手寫5萬「反對」 (The House News)
[15] History of the Legislature (Legco webpage)
[16] Protestors storm Legco over North-eastern New Territory Plan (SCMP)
[17] Chaos as initial funding for new towns in New Territories approved by Legco panel (SCMP)
[18] ibid.

photo credit: Rebeka Tam

Posted in In a Nutshell, 新界東北 North East New Territories | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

新界東北發展 FAQ

有親友問我近日「反對新界東北發展計劃」是什麼一回事,所以在這裡收集了一些基本資料, 例如網上的懶人包、十個理由等等. 一次過可以看到 / share 出比人…

1. 基礎邏輯的片段: 新界東北發展發生咩事

video by: solun Wong.




1. 不能解決香港房屋問題


2. 毀人家園

3. 長者冇屋住


4. 違反程序公義


5. 原址換地,利益輸送

6. 犧牲本土農業和鄉郊生態

7. 創造就業成疑

8. 無視民意反對

9. 1200億大白象,可以花得更有意義

10. 城市規劃要更民主





村人懶人包 vs 政府常人包



Photo: by Tai Ngai Lung



1. 國家規劃 vs 由下而上民主規劃


2. 危機四伏的金融地產 vs 健康務實的多元經濟




3. 投機取巧的大資本 vs 敬業樂業小市民


10年前開始,領匯已經將各個本土社區換血;高鐵大白象也將菜園村一帶剷平;市區重建也是一樣將本土社區連根拔起。現在市區裡,連自力更新的小販也被趕盡殺絕。難道這些真正敬業樂業的小市民,要被剝奪了發展、工作、選擇生活方式的可能? 現在魔爪更申向新界東北!


4. 拆2萬人屋企 vs 拆富豪的高爾夫球場


我也希望解決住屋的問題,而新界的棕土,又或政府的閒置官地亦已足夠解決住屋需要,為何偏偏要用新界東北三村? 當然因為是地產商在當地囤地已久!高爾夫球場留給富豪用!

5. 石屎森林 vs 城鄉共生



6. 不要讓天水圍悲情城市,在新界東北重現!



天水圍根本是政府有計劃地進行的規劃暴力,將香港人推向財團的虎口。新界東北的發展也可能同出一轍。政府文件已表明,該區人口17萬,但只會有約3 萬的就業職位。即估計超過6成的勞動人口均要跨區返工。同樣,東北的社區發展極有可能因為四大地產商壟斷而難以發展。如果今次東北計劃倉促通過,那麼受害 的又是香港小市民!

7. 撤回計劃,重新民主規劃,扭轉香港的發展方向

政府在5萬份反對意見書,只有7份支持下,仍強行申請撥款,這絕不是以人為本的民主規劃。我們要求撤回政府計劃,是希望讓那些敬業樂業的小市民可以 發展,希望發展健康多元的經濟,改善無權無錢者的生活,而不是一種由國家意志推動,崇尚投機取巧的金融地產泡沫經濟。反東北計劃,其實是守衛本土、保護香 港而已。




這條片剪得好好. 比較準確地敘述我在 6.13 現場看到的情況. 新聞報導的衝突畫面當然有發生,但只是一小部分.


前天 (6.19) 在銅鑼灣 / 旺角默站. 「東南西北 手護我地 默站寸土 落地生根」:

守護東北默站@旺角東站 - photo by 輔仁媒體

守護東北默站@旺角東站 – photo by 輔仁媒體

昨天 (6.20) 在立法會外面:

徹回 新界東北發展計劃

photo by Rebeka Tam.



Posted in In a Nutshell, 新界東北 North East New Territories | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment