November 24, 2014
It has been a good two months since the Umbrella Movement started in Hong Kong with its citizens fighting for true universal suffrage.
As a means of civil disobedience, the past two months’ occupation by Hong Kong citizens has not resulted in any concession from the Hong Kong Government and the Beijing authorities in terms of voters’ rights in nominating candidates in the 2017 Chief Executive election. However, it has built a much more solid foundation for the progress of democracy in Hong Kong. It has also won substantial support from the Chinese community and the international community around the world.
During the Umbrella Movement, the students and citizens of Hong Kong have won respect around the world for their civic responsibility, moral courage and rational nonviolent perseverance. Peace Initiative for Hong Kong pays tribute to them.
We note that with their initial achievements, the leaders of the Umbrella Movement are considering to adopt more diverse ways than mere occupation. This strategic adjustment will be beneficial to a continued mass movement fighting for true universal suffrage and promoting the overall sustainable democratic agenda of Hong Kong. We deeply understand and strongly support such an adjustment.
We also note that along with the strategic adjustment, the Hong Kong Government will clear the sites. We hereby call on the Chinese community and the international community to pay close attention to the developments in Hong Kong.
We firmly oppose to clearing protest cites with violence. Should any bloodshed occur, we should immediately condemn the Hong Kong Government and the Beijing authorities as well as responsible individuals, and make them pay dearly. The bottom line of Peace Initiative for Hong Kong is to avoid any bloodshed, which is also a global consensus.
We also firmly oppose to any future revenge on the participants of the movement. The Chinese community and the international community must immediately expose and condemn such revenge once it happens, and make responsible authorities and individuals pay the due price. We should keep in mind that revenges may not only target the leaders and by means of judicial punishment, but also target other groups in more hidden ways. The student leaders may be dismissed from school; teachers and government employees and those working for private businesses may lose their jobs. Businessmen may be punished economically, and journalists and celebrities may be attacked with stigma and violence. Homes of some pro-democracy people were searched; the petitioning students’ permits of visiting China were canceled. There will likely be many similar cases in the future.
We hereby urge the Hong Kong Government to prove its sincerity in having dialogues with its citizens, and to act differently from the Beijing authorities, whose arrogance and contempt for public opinions have been so blatant. The second round of public consultation on the 2017 political reform should be conducted in an open and transparent manner. Only by doing so can a compromising solution be reached for the crisis of political reform.