Contributed by Jose Mario de Vega
IN DEFENSE OF THE STUDENT PROTESTERS: Carrie Lam’s Mask Ban, the Repudiation of the Hong Kong Court and the continuous necessity of the People’s Struggle
On Monday, while the police are trying to dislodge several hundred hard-core protesters who had occupied the Hong Kong Polytechnic University since last week, a Hong Kong Court “found that the government’s controversial mask ban is unconstitutional.” Said ruling indeed, delivered “a fresh legal blow to an administration that is struggling to contain increasingly violent protest.”
On behalf of humanity and the international community, let me commend the said Court on their utterly just, judicious and fair judgment.
Immediately after the rendition of the Hong Kong’s High Court ruling, China states that in legal matters it is their central government’s “court” that will reign supreme. I wonder what kind of “court” is that? Further, is that statement of China — not a violation of the framework of the so-called “One country, two systems”?
Corollary to this is the question that: can the Chinese court impose its will upon the Hong Kong courts way before 2047?
If so, is that not a grave violation of the Sino-British Agreement?
Personally, I dislike the tenor coming from Beijing. It feels like they are treating the Hong Kong people merely as a colony and not as a special administrative entity. Now, more than ever I perfectly understand the rage, the anger and the fury of the Hong Kong people, especially the young generation and their utter distrust of China and its so-called “communist” party.
According to the report of the Japan Times, “Police swoop in as Hong Kong protesters try to flee besieged campus”, November 18, 2019:
“The High Court ruling came in response to a challenge filed by the city’s opposition lawmakers. Chief Executive Carrie Lam imposed the ban last month by invoking colonial-era emergency powers for the first time in more than a half century.”
Needless to state, I fully concur with the ruling of the Court specifically on that portion wherein the judges said that the measure “exceeds what is reasonably necessary to achieve the aim of law enforcement, investigation and prosecution of violent protesters even in the prevailing turbulent circumstances in Hong Kong, and that it fails to strike a reasonable balance between the societal benefits promoted and the inroads made into the protected rights.”
Said ruling of the Court is not only a sharp rebuke to the government of Hong Kong, but undeniably a strong slap to the face of the so-called Chief Executive (and if I may say, a dig and a challenge to China).
The Court through this momentous ruling is siding to the right of the citizens than the whims and caprice of the government. Said judgement also is an incontestable reiteration of the judges to the whole world that though there is a danger to the life of the so-called “one country to system format, the same is still alive and well in Hong Kong by virtue of that judicial decision.
Finally, the ruling of the Court is symbolic and crucial. Symbolic by virtue of that fact that said decision were rendered and delivered on Monday which is the day when the police are attacking the Polytechnic school. The significance is that, the bloody police can no longer charged the “rioters” and the “radical” protesters of violating that so-called mask ban because it is now declared unconstitutional. Though, the government manifested that they intend to appeal; I heavily doubt what kind of “arguments”, are they going to use to change the minds of the judges.
Said decision of the Court is also crucial because it came at a time when for the first time, those People’s Liberation Army (PLA) stationed in Hong Kong came out last week of their barracks to participate in a clean-up operation.
In my view, the Court is telling them, so as the whole world that in Hong Kong the rights of the citizens, civil and political are far more superior that the government, the police and/or the military.
I fully concur with Mr. Alvin Yeung, an opposition lawmaker when he said that: “the government should fully respect the decision…”
Nonetheless, the people despite this legal victory must continue with the struggle and the entire international community of nations must unite, stand as one and join the brave and valiant Hong Kong people in their just and noble cause in fighting their government and its backer, Chinazi!
The People’s Movement of Hong Kong
A comrade by the name of JT wrote in his Facebook account on November 20th the following observation with the title: “WHAT’S NEXT”. Here’s what he wrote:
“The youth of HK violated their own ‘protest philosophy’ of “Blossom everywhere” and Bruce Lee’s dictum “Be like water” when they holed up in the universities for more than a week. Their seizure of the universities led to positional warfare from the very successful hit and run schemes all over the metropolis the past six months. From its onset, positional warfare will work to the advantage of the regular security forces.
“The HK police need not to flush them out with offensive weapons such as tear gas and rubber bullets. All they needed to do was to await the dwindling of resources and shrinking of morale. The history of warfare from the feudal period up to the First World War is filled with painful lessons for warfare theoreticians
“In their desperation, as they readily admit to, which led to the shrinking of mobilizable forces, allies and sympathizers the world over now begs the questions, what’s next and what went wrong?
“I can only comment on the outcome but will need to suspend judgement on their motivations and the interplay of the active political forces in HK and the foreign powers and their covert agencies that influenced its outcome.
“Probably the only prescription for the radicalized youth of HK is to go back to theorizing and ponder on the decisions collectively acted upon.”
Though I substantially agree with some of his view, let me state that I vehemently disagree with some of his contention.
On the allegation that the comrade student protesters “violated” their own philosophy of “to blossom everywhere” and follow the advice of Bruce Lee’s “be like water” — in my contrary view is a misplaced one, if not a completely myopic contention!
Let me explain. The struggle of the Hong Kong people against their puppet government under the dictatorship of China is not merely the obligation of the students and the young.
The struggle and fight in Hong Kong is a popular, indeed a people’s struggle for self-determination.
If I may remind the comrade, I invite him to go back to the month of June in order for him to remember that back then a million of the citizens of Hong Kong comes out to demonstrate and protest. Not content with that, they even doubled that number, still on the same month.
On the “issue” of the students’ being trapped
It is well-recorded that while the student protesters while trapped inside the Hong Kong Polytechnic and the police were besieging them, the people of Hong Kong tried their best to help and extend all the possible assistance to those brave and valiant student protesters.
The workers in the financial district regularly conducted their lunch time protest. Parents, ordinary citizens and other sectors of Hong Kong society launched sympathy strikes and rallies near the said school just to break the line of the police and to reach those who are besiege.
It is a People’s Struggle
The point that I am driving at is that, the students, the workers, parents and all sectors of Hong Kong society is coming together to do their part and give their share for the continuation of the Struggle.
I fully concur with one of the student protester still inside the said Polytechnic school, the fierce battle there in the bridge and the surrounding premises of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is not “the last battle”. Undeniably, the fight has only begun.
The comrade is asking, what’s next?
The answer is that, thousands of our courageous student protesters escaped at the said university with the help of ordinary citizens and it is reported that a 100 or so of the most “radical and hard-core” student protesters are still inside the said school straggling, struggling, fighting and continuing the Struggle.
Hence to answer that utterly impertinent and undeniably idiotic question, what’s next? Damn you, damn it: what’s next is to go to the next battlefield, the next war-zone.
To quote, again, another student protester; still inside the said Polytechnic University: “it is better to die than to surrender.” See, ‘We would rather die than surrender’: last radicals in PolyU, South China Morning Post, November 20th by Jeffie Lam and Chris Lau.
Lastly, let me remind that alleged comrade and to bring to the attention of the world, here’s what one of the student protester wrote on the wall of the said university:
“CCP will infiltrate your government.
“Chinese enterprises interferes your political stance.
“China will harvest your homes like Xinjiang
“BE AWARE OR BE NEXT!”
Hence, the struggle continues….
Long Live the Student Protesters of Hong Kong!
Long Live the Brave and Valiant People of Hong Kong!
Down with Chinazi!!!
Jose Mario De Vega
Department of Philosophy and Humanities
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines