2021 年 5 月 18 日,吳文遠進入區域法院前舉勝利手勢。

【10.1 集結案】吳文遠:希望民主制度能成為橋樑 彌合社會鴻溝

【編按:壹傳媒創辦人黎智英、李卓人及何俊仁等 10 名民主派人士,被指前年 10 月 1 日組織及明知而參與未經批准集結等罪。各被告早前認罪,法官胡雅文今(24 日)在區域法院聽取求情。被告之一的社民連吳文遠呈上陳情信,指自己一直希望民主制度能成為橋樑彌合社會鴻溝,他為了追求全體香港人的權利而違反了法律,已準備面對法院的判決,並榮幸能與同案幾位被告同行。陳詞中文譯本及英文全文轉載如下。】

法官閣下:

從小我父母便教我要有同理心,要關顧社會上相對不幸的人。儘管在早年職業生涯上取得不俗成就,但我從來沒有意欲將追求個人財富視為人生目標。

當我在國外生活了多年後回到香港定居時,我為這個我自豪地稱之為家的城市,存在如此嚴重的社會不平等而感到困惑和擔憂。令我震驚的是,社會如何漠視對窮人和少數族裔的歧視。既有的社會結構,有時甚至會鼓勵這種歧視繼續發生。同時,我們也無法一如其它地方,享有基本的民主權利和自由。

這些都是我參與社會運動以至參與政治的動機。我希望盡己所能,為被忽視的弱勢階層鼓與呼,替不能為自己發聲的人說話。

與許多人相比,我很幸運能夠接受良好教育,並擁有一定程度上的財務自由和社會地位。我們很幸運,能夠過上舒適生活,並有自由選擇我們的道路。我選擇為社會平等而奮鬥。其實這個法庭上許多人都差不多,我們都喜歡香港,這個稱為家的地方。或許我們在生活中選擇了不同的角色,但目標都是相同:為他人服務。

可悲的是,我擔心我們已經逐漸成為社會制度中的例外。當下許多香港人根本沒有那些機會,包括貧困長者,欠缺向上流動機會、被邊緣化的年輕人,還有犧牲所有時間但只能為家庭僅僅維持基本生活的工人。這些人再努力,生活中的選擇仍然局限於維持生計。對他們來說,「選擇」是負擔不起的奢侈品,更不用說如何決定自己的命運。

在生活壓力下,我們的視野通常很難超越自身的社交圈子,更難的是對陌生人展現同理心。兩極化的政治分歧產生越來越多裂痕,令我們有時候無法互相理解、和而不同,亦不願意試圖尋求某種程度的妥協。

我一直希望,一個較民主的制度能夠成為一道橋樑,彌合上述社會鴻溝,或者至少容讓我們選擇怎樣共同生活。

2019 年的動盪,為整個社會帶來了沉重的打擊。無論政治立場如何,我敢肯定這個法庭上有許多人,都為此而傷心欲絕。整座城市都被不信任、仇恨和恐懼所淹沒。今天固然不是討論這個問題的合適地方,但我希望法庭能夠理解,僅靠司法機構並不能解決已經根深蒂固的社會政治鴻溝。

我們需要集體力量、勇氣、誠實和同理心來修補我們的家。看看幾位同案被告,他們在服務社會方面有著非凡的紀錄。比起囚禁在監獄,我相信他們能夠對社會作出更大貢獻。

為了追求全體香港人的權利,我的確違反了法律,並且已準備面對法院的判決。令人敬重的幾位同案被告,畢生捍衛法治,為民主而戰,為無聲者發聲,我十分榮幸能夠與他們並肩同行。

我相信終有一天,籠罩我們城市的烏雲將會消散,光明將會重臨,愛和同理心將會戰勝歸來。

吳文遠
2021 年 5 月 24 日


Avery Ng Man Yuen’s Statement

Your Honour,

I was brought up by my parents to value the importance of empathy, to care and to feel for others in our community less fortunate. Although I enjoyed great success early in my career, I never had a desire to pursue personal wealth in the more traditional sense.

When I settled back in Hong Kong after years of living abroad, I was baffled and disturbed by how severe the social inequality existed in a city I am proud to call my home. I was struck at how discrimination against the poor and the minorities far too often goes ignored or can even at times is encouraged by the established social structure; and how we cannot have the basic democratic rights and freedoms that other places enjoy.

These were my motivations to join social activism and enter into politics. I chose to spend my energy to speak for the underprivileged, the disenchanted and often ignored segments of society. To offer a voice for those who could not speak for themselves.

Compared to many, I am privileged to have a great education and a certain level of financial freedom and social standing. We are fortunate enough to be able to lead comfortable lives and have the freedom to choose the path that we take. I chose to fight for social equality. Many of those in this court are not that much different. We all love Hong Kong, the place we call home. We chose our different roles in life but with the same aim: to serve others.

Sadly, I fear that many of us are increasingly the exception to the rule. Today far too many Hong Kong people do not have that chance, whether that is our elderly who live in poverty, marginalized youth with few opportunities for social mobility, or workers who give up all their time slaving away to provide the bare minimum for their families. These people all struggle to make ends meet with very limited options in life. “Choice” for them is a luxury that they cannot afford. Let alone having the gratification of being able to dictate their own destiny.

I recognise, with the pressures of life, it is often difficult for people to see beyond their own social bubble. It is harder still to acquire empathy for strangers. Polarized political division increasingly has driven a wedge between people, making it sometimes impossible for people to understand and empathise with one another, to disagree agreeably, and attempt to find some level of compromise.

It has always been my hope that a more democratic system could be the bridge that heals this social divide or at the very least allow us to choose how we can live together in our home.

I’m certain that none of us in this court wanted to see the turmoil in 2019, which has seen our whole society suffer regardless of political preference. Distrust, hatred, and fear has engulfed Hong Kong. Today is certainly not the right forum for this immense topic. However, I hope the court can understand that the Judiciary alone cannot resolve the deep-rooted socio-political divide which exist.

It will take our collective strength, courage, honesty, and empathy to mend our home. Looking at my fellow defendants with their extraordinary history in serving this society, I believe they can do far greater good among us in society than being locked in prison.

In pursuit of the rights of all Hong Kong people, I have broken the law. I am prepared to face the court’s judgement. I am proud to be in the company of my esteemed fellows who have spent their lives championing the rule of law, fighting for the democracy and voicing for the voiceless.

I believe the storm-clouds that currently reside over our home will one day lift, and make way for a bright and clear day. I believe love and empathy will eventually prevail.

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