Two recent South China Morning Post articles explain the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement’s philosophy and planned strategy in as much detail as most of us will probably want.
There are seven components, including non-violent action, civil disobedience, ‘citizen authorization after deliberation’, social awakening and public dispute resolution. This is about process: the theories of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and various Californian radicals-turned-academics converted into flowchart form. It starts off with the first of three deliberation days, in which activists will be joined by 100 randomly chosen members of the public to ‘set the agenda of the movement’. The 100 citizens will each be paid HK$100 travel expenses, so even the penniless single parents and semi-literate elderly of the Northwestern New Territories can take part.
It’s almost unbearably earnest, high-minded, liberal, Judeo-Christian and 1960s. Consider the potential for unintentional condescension and other social embarrassment should any Tin Shui Wai public housing dwellers make it to the gathering of intellectuals at Hong Kong University. Imagine the phone calls when the lucky 100 get their invitations: “You want me to give up a day’s cardboard-scavenging to do what?” “I haven’t set foot on Hong Kong Island since the 1970s.” “What kind of scam is this?”
Countering the idealism are pro-Beijing forces under orders to savagely attack Occupy Central as an unconstitutional and treacherous threat to city and nation. It is a ‘path to hell’ of chaos and dysfunction and a ‘wicked plot’ to oppose Beijing and mess up Hong Kong. Harmless moderates in pro-establishment circles – as we saw a few days ago with the HK General Chamber of Commerce – are expected to nod along sagely to this mouth-frothing. Anyone willing to ‘reach out’ and serve as a bridge across the divide can forget it. This is classic United Front tactics: freeze out the dissenters and make it clear that anyone not with us is against us. Scratch the stuff about harmony. ‘Let’s just chill out and get on’ is not an option.
The Hong Kong people are mostly nowhere to be seen. Not keeping their heads down – just somewhere between uninterested and mildly oblivious. Neither side in the struggle seems to care much about the public/middle-ground/silent majority’s hearts and minds. Whatever Occupy Central’s ongoing abstract deconstructionist conceptualization is about, it isn’t housing, prices or jobs. And the Cultural Revolutionary ranting and screeching is the same old high-decibel overacting as loyalists, functionaries and toadies vie to please the Beijing officials. The icing on that cake: something to declare the weekend open with in the form of commentator Lau Nai-keung descending gloriously into one of his classic bouts of end-times insanity…
The whole thing will be hijacked by the nutters like Long Hair and his storm troopers, leaving the nice academics confused and crestfallen. In all likelihood the United Front won’t have to do much.
Heads down but living in anger and indignation. The unexpected is always upon us. Never underestimate the wrath of the disenfranchised.
They are even rioting every night in Sweden now.
Personally I am looking forward to the Summer Of Love.Festival. No spliff however. I never tried it yet. Is it nice?
That third paragraph made me laugh like a drain
And just noticed you have ‘Browse to save’ links in your blog!! How long has this been going on?? Gasp…
None of you get it. Tick number one, the occupy movement are already living inside the space that exists within toadies’ heads. Hence a gift that keeps on giving. Tick 2, the fact that the occupy movement are outlining plans ad nauseum (and the subsequent reaction) means that they are getting their own rocks off to the point that the actual sit in itself will be disappointing once reality sinks in that climax has indeed occurred. To be frank, such gleeful discussion of the plans stops our budding actiivist class from having to ponder actual issues such as the quality of life in HK. They are enjoying their time as the PFJ.
Lau: if you don’t love China, either you don’t understand it or you hate it.
People’s Front of Judea
In fairness, old NK Lau is an entertaining reminder of the Cultural Revolution. .
People’s Front of Judea at a guess.
All these ivory-tower plans are virtually worthless, since there are bound to be unexpected developments, if only those provoked by the China chauvinists.
Hemlock, you could in fact have chosen more ridiculous claims by Mouth-Frother to pour cold water on:
that OCentral could bring Peking “to its knees”: it’s at least nice to know that he thinks “the” HK people (as you have it) are that powerful, and even encouraging to the OC movement
that the “vital interests” of the US are at stake;
or even that people can “not want to be Chinese”: perhaps there should be a form, provided by the Immigration Department?
A spliff is wonderful if it contains the right herb…the sit-in will not work because they can’t play protest songs…and they don’t smoke de herb.
Is Bella a chick or a tranny ?
Have a look at my photo and decide for yourself:
Does it never occur to Lau that it may be because Hong Kong people “understand the country and its history” very well that many of them don’t want to be part of it. Indeed, many older people arrived here to escape some of the worst episodes of China’s history.
Dr Private, You are clearly seeking a suitably stinging riposte to the invariable accusation by those desperate to salvage a lost argument, that “you don’t understand China”. But your idea is likely to be lost on the chauvinists and China-for-the-Chinese brigade — and on those who think that HK is not only poorer than the mainland, but a loser state.
A better idea might be to remind your interlocutors that most of the best writing about China is produced overseas — et pour cause.