HK celebrities support protests with a cost

Source: NYT (7/5/19)
For Hong Kong Celebrities, Supporting Protests Comes With a Cost
By Daniel VictorAmy Qin and Tiffany May

The singer Denise Ho outside the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong last month. She has been blacklisted in China since throwing her celebrity behind Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement five years ago.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — As Hong Kong’s protests evolve into a struggle against the grip of authoritarian China, one of the city’s biggest pop stars has emerged as an icon of defiance. She has spoken at rallies, handed out voter registration forms at marches and stood on the front lines with demonstrators, urging the riot police not to charge.

Denise Ho, a Cantopop singer, is just one of many high-profile figures in the decentralized protest movement, but among Hong Kong’s celebrities, she is a rare breed. Ms. Ho threw her stardom behind the city’s pro-democracy movement five years ago and has since been paying the price — being barred in the lucrative mainland Chinese market. Continue reading

HK protests show dangers of cashless society

Source: Reason (7/2/19)
Hong Kong Protests Show Dangers of a Cashless Society
Many digital payments can be tracked, potentially assisting an authoritarian crackdown.

It can be easy to take cash for granted, especially in a wealthy, developed economy. Those fortunate enough to live in a stable society usually suffer no lack of payment options. They are getting more advanced all the time, with financial technology (fintech) companies constantly developing new ways to quickly and cheaply make purchases and send money. It sometimes seems the days of old-fashioned cash, with its dormant physicality, are numbered.

Allowing cash to die would be a grave mistake. A cashless society is a surveillance society. The recent round of protests in Hong Kong highlights exactly what we have to lose. Continue reading

Why many in China oppose HK protests

Source: NYT (7/1/19)
Why Many in China Oppose Hong Kong’s Protests
By Li Yuan

A democracy rally in Hong Kong last week.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Cecilia Zhang is the sort of Chinese person who you might think would be sympathetic to the protesters in Hong Kong. She went to a prestigious American university, gets her news from foreign media and has no plan to move back to the mainland from Hong Kong, where she has worked in the financial industry for the past four years.

But she says she doesn’t understand why people in Hong Kong continue to take to the streets. In fact, she thinks they should go home.

After hours of protesting in Hong Kong, demonstrators broke into the Legislative Council chambers on Monday. They were later cleared out by riot police who charged the crowd and used tear gas. Continue reading

Protesters storm HK legislature

SCMP has produced a detailed timeline of events, with photos, of the July 1 round of protests in Hong Kong. It’s too long to post here in its entirety.–Kirk

Source: SCMP (7/1/19)
Protesters storm Hong Kong’s legislature after hours of mayhem

  • Demonstrators vandalise entrances to Hong Kong’s legislature causing unprecedented red alert
  • Separately, thousands gather in Victoria Park for July 1 march while city leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor pledges to reform government during ceremony to celebrate anniversary of return to Chinese sovereignty
Protesters storm in the legislature after hours of mayhem outside. Photo: Felix Wong

Protesters storm in the legislature after hours of mayhem outside. Photo: Felix Wong

Protesters have stormed into the Legislative Council, after hours of besieging the building, smashing glass doors and removing metal bars in a day of violence marking the 22nd anniversary of the city’s return to China.

Their actions were in stark contrast to peaceful rally of hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers dressed mostly in black who took part in the annual July 1 march, starting out from Victoria Park. The marchers ended their parade at a diverted venue at Chater Road in Central, as organisers agreed to avoid the scene of chaos near the government complex in Admiralty.

During muted indoor celebrations in the morning, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor promised to overhaul her administration’s governing style, starting with herself. . . . [continue]

Hard hats, face masks, and goggles

Source: SCMP (6/28/19)
Hard hats, face masks and goggles: the essential wear for Hong Kong extradition bill protesters that is back in fashion five years after Occupy movement

  • Demonstrators splash out on protective equipment again in boon for the city’s hardware shops
  • The safety gear is often handed out for free at impromptu stands at demonstrations

By Kanis Leung

Protesters wear their trademark yellow helmets as they gather outside police headquarters in Wan Chai on June 22. Photo: Edmond So

Protesters wear their trademark yellow helmets as they gather outside police headquarters in Wan Chai on June 22. Photo: Edmond So

Helmets, goggles and masks have re-emerged as essential equipment for those taking part in protests against the suspended extradition bill, with some items selling out after violent clashes returned to Hong Kong’s political centre this month.

On June 12, tens of thousands of protesters surrounded the government’s legislature in Admiralty to block the passage of the controversial legal changes, which would have allowed the transfer of fugitives to mainland China and other jurisdictions with which Hong Kong has no extradition deal. Continue reading

Chan Kin-man and the spirit of dissent in HK

Source: Dissent Magazine (6/18/19)
Chan Kin-man and the Spirit of Dissent in Hong Kong
Chan was given a sixteen-month sentence in April for his role in the pro-democracy protests that began in 2014. While he remains imprisoned, his successors have taken to the streets.
By Jeffrey Wasserstrom

Chan Kin-man in 2017 (Flickr/inmediahk)

On this long and distant road, sometimes I feel that the road ahead is boundless and obscured, and sometimes the light is very dim. What can I do in this dark night? All we can do is look at the stars. –Chan Kin-man, November 14, 2018

The best panel I attended at the 2015 Association for Asian Studies meeting in Chicago was on dissent. Chan Kin-man, a sociology professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), was a fitting person to include in the session, which featured a mix of activists, journalists, and academics. He was one of the three main organizers of Occupy Central with Peace and Love, a nonviolent civil disobedience campaign that morphed into the Umbrella Movement when Joshua Wong and other student activists in their late teens and early twenties began to take leading roles in the struggle. Continue reading

A letter to my son

Source: Cha Journal (6/16/19)
[“A Letter to My Son” will be included in the “Tiananmen Thirty Years On” feature of the June 2019 issue of Cha.]
Dear Meatball,

Sorry I haven’t written in so long. Although, for you reading this, it’s probably just moving from one email to the next. In about four days, you will have been in our lives now for 6 months. It’s really been a wonderful and happy time for us both. Mom’s maternity leave ends on Friday, so we won’t all be at home all day with you anymore. But it was really nice while it lasted. Of course we will spend the rest of our lives together as a family, but these six months being with you nearly every moment has been really special and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Right now, it’s 3 am and I’m sitting on a footbridge that connects the Hong Kong legislative council building to an office building. It offers a great vantage for the protests that are starting and will continue over the next few days against an impending extradition bill that would allow the mainland Chinese government courts to compel the HK courts to send people in Hong Kong to China to be prosecuted. Of course, it doesn’t sound like a really big deal on the surface, but it would allow courts in China (which are not transparent and do not follow a clear rule of law) to persecute people here for political reasons. So for example, if one day you are in Hong Kong and decide to exercise your right to express your political opinions, a court in China could come up with a reason (valid or not) to have you tried there, and the HK government would then be expected to deliver you to that court. This type of agreement erodes the autonomy of Hong Kong, which is supposed to be a completely separate political system until 2047. Continue reading

2 million protest in HK

Source: SupChina (6/18/19)
Two million Hong Kongers march on the streets

Photo credit: Anthony Wallace / AFP


For the third time in a week, enormous numbers of people in Hong Kong took to the streets on June 16 to demand government accountability to their voices and the permanent cancellation of a controversial extradition bill.

  • As many as TWO MILLION attended, organizers said. Given the way people spilled out onto and filled multiple parallel streets (last week’s protests were mostly confined to one thoroughfare), the number seems reasonable.
  • That makes this the largest protest in Hong Kong history, and a stunningly large demonstration by percentage of population: About 25 percent of the city protested on one day — Hong Kong has 7.5 million residents.
  • The extradition bill that the people feared would fracture Hong Kong’s independent judiciary and give Beijing the ability to scoop up dissidents in the city has been shelved, for now. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥 Lín Zhèng Yuè’é), has given a public apology. But the protesters have clear and specific further demands, for example:
  • “Withdraw the extradition bill. Carrie Lam step down. Drop all political prosecutions!” is what Joshua Wong (黃之鋒 Huáng Zhīfēng), the famous student protester, tweeted as he left prison the day after the protests. (Wong is one of several leaders of the 2014 Occupy protests to be sent to jail for “unlawful assembly” back in 2017.)

Continue reading

Protest forces public apology

Source: SCMP (6/17/19)
‘Nearly 2 million’ people take to streets, forcing public apology from Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam as suspension of controversial extradition bill fails to appease protesters

  • Centre of city brought to a complete standstill as the masses march to chastise Lam for refusing to withdraw bill or apologise when first asked to
  • Six hours after protesters transform Central, Wan Chai and Admiralty into a sea of black, public apology comes in the form of government statement

By SCMP Reporters

Hongkongers of every age, profession and background, from every corner of the city, march in a massive show of solidarity and defiance. Photo: Sam Tsang

Hongkongers of every age, profession and background, from every corner of the city, march in a massive show of solidarity and defiance. Photo: Sam Tsang

Nearly 2 million protesters flooded the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, organisers claimed, delivering a stunning repudiation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s governance and forcing a public apology out of the city’s leader over her campaign to bulldoze a controversial extradition bill through the legislature.

A day after Lam suspended her push for the bill, expecting it to defuse a crisis that has seen violent clashes between mostly young protesters and police, the centre of Hong Kong was brought to a complete standstill as the masses marched to chastise her for refusing to withdraw the bill or apologise when first asked to, and declaring that nothing short of her resignation would satisfy them now. Continue reading

Shen Haobo ‘Hong Kong’

Shen Haobo

for thirty years
every single year
spring days waning
cicadas come calling
that one day
people there
come out in the streets
light candles for us
observe our memory
for us
they do not forget

the only city on earth

Translated by Martin Winter, 6/15/19

“I don’t dare to share this poem in my WeChat groups. Unfortunately, most people in mainland China have no idea at all what happens abroad. They don’t know anything. Least of all that Hong Kong is a very special city with a great heart full of love and freedom. And for us Chinese people, that single one city on earth is slowly disappearing.”–Translated by MW, 6/15/19 Continue reading

HK suspends extradition bill

Source: NYT (6/15/19)
Hong Kong’s Leader, Yielding to Protests, Suspends Extradition Bill
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, on Saturday expressed “sorrow and regret” for having failed to convince the public that an extradition bill was needed.
By Keith Bradsher and Alexandra Stevenson

CreditHector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HONG KONG — Backing down after days of huge street protests, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said on Saturday that she would indefinitely suspend a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China.

It was a remarkable reversal for Mrs. Lam, the leader installed by Beijing in 2017, who had vowed to ensure the bill’s approval and tried to get it passed on an unusually short timetable, even as hundreds of thousands demonstrated against it this past week.

But she made it clear that the bill was being delayed, not withdrawn outright, as protesters have demanded. Continue reading

Livestreaming from HK (1,2)

This one is working now:

Four live-streaming channels at this link. it may not be working now but should resume tomorrow.

Chun Chun Ting <>


You can see at Now TV:

Some photos today:反對修例!金鐘集會現場實況/ss-AACKD2v?li=BBqiGU7#image=2

The police were brutal today, and they will be evermore so.

Ng Kwok Kwan Kenny <>

HK on edge

Source: NYT (6/12/19)
Hong Kong Protest Updates: Leader Condemns Violence as City Remains on Edge
By the NYT

Demonstrators, protesting a contentious extradition bill, threw bricks, bottles and umbrellas at riot police guarding the city’s Legislative Council. The police responded with tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. Hong Kong’s chief executive called the protest an “organized riot,” and compared the demonstrators to spoiled children.

Demonstrators were met with gas, pepper spray and batons as they attempted to storm Hong Kong’s Legislative Council on Wednesday. CreditCredit: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

Tear gas deployed after protesters succeed in delaying legislature’s debate.

Riot police turned downtown Hong Kong into a tear-gas covered battlefield as they pushed back against protesters who tried to storm Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. The protesters, angry at an extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial, hurled bricks, bottles and umbrellas as they clashed with the police, as the demonstrations intensified on Wednesday afternoon. Continue reading