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這場仍對我們認知的香港生存關鍵的抗爭 絕不能被定義為憤怒、暴力與流氓行為

2019/11/18 — 10:12

(編按:博客 Evan 在本篇指,雖然憤怒與暴力是可理解的,但不可能再縱容。所謂「核爆都唔割」的盲撐原則必須立即審視,並要求示威者與政權雙方對暴力負責。這是特別重要的,因為抗爭的理由依然存在,政府的反應突顯出香港人對管治、未來與身份的憂慮是合理的。)

Evan writes that whilst anger and violence is understandable, it can no longer be condoned. The principle of blind solidarity must urgently be reviewed, and accountability demanded of both sides. This is especially important as the reasons to protest remain, with the government’s reaction having highlighted that concerns over Hong Kong’s governance, future and identity are justified.

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Anger, violence and hooliganism must not define a protest movement that remains critical to the survival of the Hong Kong we know.

There are many good reasons for people to protest in Hong Kong. The limits of Hong Kong’s supposed autonomy are evidence in the powerlessness of the government to respond effectively to the worsening situation. That our national government can demand patriotism from the legal sector is a greater threat to the foundation of the rule of law than what happens on the street. The term rule according to law, and not rule of law, is already being used in relation to Hong Kong. The very idea of journalism as we had once understood it is now being savaged. Journalists, first-aiders and others who find themselves in a position to refute through first-hand experience the state narrative are subject to accusations of being anti-China actors. Reuters, the BBC, the Financial Times, CNN and the New York Time are, we are increasingly hearing, no better than the CGTN, Global Times and China Daily. Rumours, once confined to the lunatic fringe, are now being peddled as self-evident truth.

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There is every reason for people to be angry. This is fundamentally not the Hong Kong that was meant to be safeguarded by the Basic Law, and guaranteed by both Beijing and London under and internationally registered treaty. The protests have, as many had feared, acted as a catalyst for what had been a slow erosion. When order on the streets is restored, as it inevitably will, the facade of One Country, Two Systems, which is very much in Beijing’s interest to maintain, will conceal an even more rotten core. 2047 has become meaningless.

People are right to be angry. Many people, on all sides, today carry deep wounds. To various degrees everyones lives have, at very least, been unreasonably inconvenienced. And anger has fuelled anger. Lines have become further entrenched, and the middle ground dangerously hollow.

This situation, let us remind ourselves, was not how it started. The protests that began in June were peaceful. The police response, arguably excessive in the context, was not brutal. But, as we saw in 2014, a narrative was immediate spun that was black and white. Where once the Hong Kong government had played the moderating role between competing camps, between nationalists and communists, between black and white, the government of the HKSAR has proven either unable of not empower to do. Once divisions were played down. Today divisions are played up — a fall always a push. Rumours, once below the dignity of Hong Kong officials, are routinely applied to support an official narrative decided in Beijing.

In June and July the protest was not a riot. It was not violent. The demands were not unreasonable. An amnesty for those on both sides caught up in Beijing’s standard rhetoric to divide, demonise and then destroy, was not unreasonable. Far from endangering rule of law, an amnesty at a time when trust was fast collapsing in our core institutions would have strengthen it.

Instead, a government emaciated by Beijing and a police force, arrogant, hyper-sensitive and devoid of both political awareness and leadership, first created an enemy and then backed people into a corner. At the start of the summer many people who know Hong Kong, including many in the police, could still talk of Hong Kong students as uniquely peaceful, innocent and patient. They are not any of these things today.

The events of the last week amounted to a serious escalation. For me a line has been crossed. The protest movement has been hijacked by hooliganism. It would likely be accurate to describe some of what has taken place as rioting, but I will not term is as such, the government having politicised the word when it was uncalled for, and thereby invalidating the term from neutral application. Appeals to a noble cause does not excuse unacceptable behaviour. It has been a collective mistake by a very small minority of people who support the movement. It is not representative of a protest but of the deep physical and emotional hurt carried by so many people in Hong Kong today. Like many, I understand the pain and commitment, and I do sympathise, but I do not condone your actions.

Hong Kong is being reduced to a state of anarchy by a small minority of radical protestors. Blinded by hatred, and offered no room for either hope nor salvation, their actions are neither reasonable nor acceptable. Everyone should be held accountable for their actions. Everyone who incites violence — which, I must stress, is quite different either expressing support for or justifying violence, or inciting people to protest — should be held to account. This includes those in the Hong Kong police and within the community to incite violence against protestors. The act, not the politics, is the crime.

Accountability must also be demanded of the Hong Kong government for their abject failure in to understand, then acknowledge and manage the crisis that has engulfed our home. Those who have peddled blind obedience to either side should hold their conscience to account. If the government is truly as powerless as it seems — and has privately claimed — then I appeal to the dignity of ministers to resign and force political change. Surely the current situation is untenable.

Now is the time for both the police and the protest movement to sacrifice solidarity for the sake of common sense, and condemn individual acts that are an affront to civilised society. What remains of our political leadership on all sides needs must retake the centre ground, or risk leaving Hong Kong with the unpalatable choice between the twin fears of anarchy and oppression.

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