HKFS Declaration for Students’ Strike
The HKFS Declaration for Students’ Strike –
【Seize our Future! In Solidarity We Strike to Open New Possibilities】
A city’s death is mostly attributed to its citizen’s apathy; the end of an era is marked by the abandonment by its people. It is only possible to change the fate of a place, when its people resist with dogged determination. We have seen our city trampled by the Chinese government: [In one declaration,] 720 thousand souls were insulted for their proclamation. Our future and prosperity have been appropriated through collusion between the Chinese government and tycoons, to be divided amongst themselves. We ask, must this be the future – the future of this city in which we have lived for decades? Standing on the brink between change and danger, each Hong Konger must ask him/herself: Is there anyone who could decide our future in our stead? Are C. Y.’s 689 votes the only votes that count? At this stage, if a legitimate democratic system is denied, Hong Kong’s people will have to, however unreasonably, live under colonist governance and authoritarian ruling of the party-state-capitalists bloc.
Today, students across different universities and tertiary education institutes lead the stand against this tyranny and the so-called fate. We call for civil disobedience by boycotting classes, aiming to awake the sleeping souls in the city. As university students, we share the responsibility to live up to the expectations of society, guarding our precious social values. This is the time, when we should rise against tyranny. This is the moment, when we should step outside our classrooms, participate in social movements, strive for a twist of the currently gloomy future of Hong Kong. Strike, because we refuse to be ignorant; Strike, is our first step to fight back. Strike, is the new synergy of people’s power. Strike, is the beginning of inviting Hong Kong people to reflect on our destiny. Strike, is the call from youth to the older generation to unite and resist. We will never compromise, because we vow to reclaim our future and determine our destiny!
Today, students across different universities and tertiary education institutes lead the stand against this tyranny. We do so to waken those still asleep, that they may hark that our city’s death-knell is already ringing. As university students, should we stay in our classroom – that sheltered garden –, we would be neglecting our civic duties and shirking our social responsibilities. As such, students must temporarily leave the classroom and throw ourselves into social activism, to turn Hong Kong from its current inauspicious path. To strike, is to refuse to watch apathetically. To strike, is the first step in resisting oppression. To strike, is to create a new opportunity for synergy. To strike, is to push each Hong Konger to rethink their own “fate”. To strike, is the youth’s challenge to their preceding generations to hark to the call to resist. We defiantly refuse to accept this state of matters – because we swear to retake our future, our future of self-governing democracy.
【Condemn that Violence! The NPCSC Does Not Ever Represent Me】
On 31st August, the Beijing government set a highly selective threshold to the Chief Executive election in the name of fulfilling universal suffrage. It is indeed imperialism with Chinese characteristics and an fake election under authoritarian rule. 170 deputies in the National Peoples’ Congress have brutally denied 800 thousands Hong Kong people’s call for a real democratic election as reflected in the civil referendum. In order to consolidate its arbitrariness, the Beijing government will not let any other person to waiver the power of the nominating committee, 1200 members of the privileged class, to pre-select all candidates. This is the first time in the past 30 years that Hong Kong people have demonstrated to the government so clearly our desire for self-determination. And shockingly, the government is insolent enough to simply ignore the people’s voices. In other words, the nominating committee, which is to a great extent controlled by the capitalists locally and from the mainland,will continue to turn a deaf ear to all kinds of rights and welfare we legitimately called for! Whoever is not cooperative with the Beijing government and capitalists will be kicked out.
On 31st August, the Beijing government set a highly selective threshold for the Chief Executive election to implement universal suffrage in name only. Indeed, what they planned to force through was little more than a dictatorial “democracy”. On the day, 170 or so so-called “representatives” of various parts of China practiced violence. Misusing their administrative author, they brutally annulled the result of a civil referendum of nearly 800,000 Hong Kongers. For 30 years, there has not been such a clear demonstration of Hong Kongers’ desire for democratic governance. In order to consolidate its hold on arbitrary governance, the Beijing government will not let any other person to interfere with the selection of candidates, delegating this right to the nominating committee of 1200 members. So doing, Beijing has removed the right for Hong Kongers to determine their future, and handed it to a committee of Beijing loyalists and tycoons with vested commercial and political interests. They have ignored our call for the right to a Chief Executive who is representative of Hong Kong’s interests at large. Those who do not align with the tycoons or Beijing’s interests would be excluded from Hong Kong!
At this rate, Hong Kong is doomed to remain to be one of the cities in the world with the most ridiculously wide wealth gap. Millions of our people would live under the poverty line, and the enactment of universal retirement security or standard working hours policies would be nowhere in sight. The insatiable MTR Co. Ltd. would increase the transport fee every single year. The North-eastern New Territories would become the financial plaything of mainland and local speculators., while Hong Kongers others have to spend the rest of their lives waiting for a vacancy in public housing estates. Media like the HKTV would never get a license to run a TV channel that does not say everything in favour of the government. The brainwashing national education would return to turn our children into ignorant patriots. Violent crack-downs on the mass media such as the attack on Mingpao’s editor Kevin Lau Chun-to would happen repeatedly. The government would forcefully legislate Article 23 on national security so as to keep us silent and obedient. Mainland tourists which are beyond our city’s population capacity would flood into Hong Kong. The costs of living would continue to surge, while the labour protection and welfare policies would never be implemented to give us a decent life. Once an authoritarian election method passes, the HKSAR government would only speak for Beijing and the capitalists, but who will speak for us? In reneging on abolishing the Functional Constituencies while keeping the Nominating Committee’s 4 special functional constituency sectors, it is clear to see the interests of the tycoons and the Chinese government. This February, in the civil referendum of students, the 15,000 students have clearly stated that the element of civil nomination cannot be missing; that the nominating committee members must be chosen by direct elections. In view of Beijing’s extremely hegemonic proposal, we cannot stand down, and must rather stand in defense of Hong Kong.
【End your fantasy! “Democratic handover” is a sham. 】
Thirty years ago, a group of university students proposed that a democratic system should be the prerequisite for handover. It was hoped that through the democratic return of Hong Kong, both Chinese and Hong Kong societies could be reformed democratically – abolishing capitalistic collusion between the Government and tycoons and end colonial rule. However, after 1989 June 4th massacre, the Beijing Government set a very conservative framework of the Basic Law. She left the public little space to comment and kept the British colonial election system, benefit in the tycoons and in effect, recolonized Hong Kong for the second time. At the same time, pioneers who proposed the democratic handover failed to challenge the hegemonic and colonialist rule. Instead, they gave up on engaging in issues in China and focused solely on Hong Kong, which led to today’s deadlock of mutual misunderstanding.. Even the “democratic handover” initiative miserably fails, Hong Kong-based democratic movement must carry on, challenging capitalistic exploitation and colonial rule in all walks of life and all aspects of civil society. In a long run, engaging ourselves to Chinese affairs is the antidote to build solidarity within Hong Kong and between HK-China. Only in this way can we understand our strengths and weaknesses, so as to emancipate ourselves from the control of the Beijing Government and its capitalist cronies and truly freely decide Hong Kong’s future.
【Vote down! The political reform package or Hong Kong’s future?】
Here we call for your support — we must vote down any insincere proposal that is neither democratic nor just. We must vote it down to guard our city, to veto any injustice and to open up possibilities for our future. When the Beijing government broke all its promises regarding the promises of One Country Two System, Self-Governance and a High Degree of Autonomy, it has lost all credibility. Hong Kong people have no choice but to resist in all walks of life. Non-cooperation movement is the only way to resist against the abuse of power, and to overcome the apathy of Hong Kong people. The prospects of the current and our next generations are now in our hands. We shall thank the work of our predecessors, but not to fail their expectations! We pledge to guard our city, to resist till the last minute; and never give up. At this critical time, Hong Kong people must make a choice — we must vote down the political reform package, and protect the future of Hong Kong.
We call for a strong stance of students and the community against ridicule. We call for your action to guard our city. We demand the Beijing and HKSAR government,
1) To confirm Civil Nomination as one of the Nominating methods of the Chief Executive Election in 2017
2) To reform the Legislative Council and abolish all Functional Constituencies seats
3) To apologize to the Hong Kong people and withdraw the Decision on Issues Relating to the Selection of the Chief Executive of the HKSAR by Universal Suffrage and on the Method for Forming the Legislative Council of the HKSAR in the Year 2016
4) The related officials, namely Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen shall resign.
Hope rests with the people ; change starts with struggle! We, the people, have a dream, a dream of dignity and for a better future, a future which honors the efforts of our past generations, a future give to our present generation and to leave for our future generations. Resist and fight, for it is our future that we are holding on to!
The Hong Kong Federation of Students
10 September 2014