As political education comes to Hong Kong’s schools, students and citizens say “No!”
On August 30, in front of the central government complex in Hong Kong, two young men and a girl started a three-day hunger strike that should have ended on September 2. Instead, their strike turned into a rally. In those three days more than a dozen students, parents, and citizens joined the hunger strike, while tens of thousands of others are now enraged and protesting. There are tents, marquees, banners, flags, and posters in front of the government center. People are singing, shouting slogans, and having discussions. The mass movement is peaceful, joyful, and passionate, but the citizens of Hong Kong have realized that they are not powerless and that they do not want to be a silent majority. The Hong Kong Federation of Students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have also organized a student strike for September 11 and more than one hundred organizations from ten other universities have declared that they will join the strike on that day.
“Be a good citizen in times of darkness” is the slogan for this third wave of protests in Hong Kong, evoked by the dissemination of a booklet called The China Model. The booklet was produced by the National Education Services Centre with the recommendation that all public schools use it in civics education. Most Hong Kong citizens believe that this signals the start of “brainwash” education. In the 34-page booklet, the CCP’s one-party system is praised and described as progressive, selfless, and a party of solidarity; while democratic multiparty systems, such as the United States, are full of intrigue, fights between factions, and signal disaster for the people.
“We just couldn’t let this happen. Since Hong Kong’s hand-over to China in 1997, freedom of expression and freedom of research in the university have been deteriorating. Now they’re stretching the hand to the primary and middle school,” said Patrick Poon, secretary general of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, on July 25. The people in Hong Kong are used to being called “economic animals, ” but rapid changes in the inextricable and complex relationship the region has with China have woken them up. The yearly commemoration of the June 4 massacre was impressive and moving. This year it was said that 180,000 people participated in the memorial vigil, although the authority’s count is much lower at only 85,000. A week later, on June 10, around 25,000 people spontaneously went to the street to protest the alleged murder of the Tiananmen veteran Li Wangyang, who died last year in a hospital in Shaoyang, Hu’nan Province.
This July 1 was the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s hand-over from Great Britain to China. On the same day, when Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive and Beijing-obedient politician, assumed office, 400,000 people gathered to oppose his accession. Their opposition is based on fears that Leung will hold his loyalty to Beijing above the will and benefits of Hong Kong’s people. A man who said that it was better to give the Nobel Peace prize to Deng Xiaoping than Liu Xiaobo is just not to be trusted.
Updated on September 7, 2020
The protest wave never stops. It started in April 2019, the Hong Kong people were protesting the extradition law preventing the transfers of Hong Kong fugitives to China. It soon developed to a large scale of mass pro democracy movement, which lasted almost a year till the COVID-19 broke out. In the continuing protests, there were hundreds of thousand people on the street, sometimes even over a million. Since July 1, 2020, Beijing imposed the “national security law” on Hong Kong, it triggered another wave of protest. The Carrie Lam- government announced the legislative council election which should be on September 6, 2020, is postponed for one year because of the concern of a new outbreak of the coronavirus. Yesterday hundreds of protesters took to the street, they were confronted with police, pepper pellets were used to answer them. Around 300 people were arrested.
First published at Sampsoniaway.org on September 12, 2012