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  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 3:16pm
Occupy Central
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POLITICS

Migrants to Canada support Occupy plan

Hongkongers in Toronto say they are prepared to join civil disobedience movement after seeing democracy in action in their adopted home

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 3:03am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 3:03am
 

Hong Kong migrants who have lived in Canada for as long as 25 years may return to take part in the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement if the planned blockade of the city's business heart goes ahead next year.

This follows the civil-disobedience campaign's first overseas "deliberation day" in Toronto last month at which about 60 former Hong Kong residents shared their views on the city's fight for universal suffrage. Campaign organisers are also seeking support from overseas Hongkongers in other cities, including London.

"I will come back [for Occupy Central]," said Annie Fong, who moved to Canada a quarter of a century ago. "It is not for me but for Hong Kong - a place for which I have profound feelings."

The housewife-turned-activist added: "Having enjoyed the precious Canadian democratic system for so many years, I think I should support [Hong Kong's] universal suffrage fight."

A support group has been set up by Hong Kong migrants in Toronto to back the civil disobedience plan, which Occupy Central organisers say they will enact if the government fails to come up with acceptable electoral reforms, and members hope to gather overseas Hongkongers to press for true universal suffrage.

The possibility that candidates in the first chief executive election under universal suffrage in 2017 could be screened to ensure they are acceptable to Beijing has caught the attention of the overseas campaigners.

Eric Li, who has lived in Canada for 34 years, said such a mechanism would be viewed as unacceptable in a democratic country like his adopted home.

"People can join the race as long as they pay a nomination filing fee of C$200 [HK$1,460]. There is no restriction," he said. "I just don't understand why [Beijing and the Hong Kong government] have to impose screening. They have to believe that Hongkongers have the wisdom and ability to choose a chief executive via one-man, one-vote."

Mannie Lin, a key member of the support group, said they planned to promote Occupy Central in other Canadian and American cities and hoped Hong Kong migrants around the world would set up similar groups.

"We want to raise the awareness of overseas Hongkongers on the city's political reform battle," said Lin, who recently visited Hong Kong to meet Occupy Central founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting. He added that mainland Chinese residents of Toronto had also shown interest.

Tai said that he was "really touched" that Hong Kong migrants still cared about the city.

Tai, an associate professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, said the "Toronto model" had set a good example for overseas Hongkongers to support the movement. He said he was in touch with Hong Kong students in London and hoped more Hongkongers outside the city would join the movement's third deliberation day early next year.

 

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minetteyam@hotmail.com
These people who have moved away from HK for so many years, I want to ask you " How much do you understand our present society?" You have contributed zero to Hong Kong for at least the past 2 decades so what gives you the right to stick your nose in our affairs now? Canadian democracy stays within Canada, this is Hong Kong, part of PRC, we locals will work out our political differences peacefully.
Carparklee
In addition to that, these people had zero tax contribution to the SAR for so many years....
johnh
Most of the Hong Kong migrants to Canada have roots in Hong Kong going back several generations. They're far more local Hong Kong than you are.
Carparklee
These people had castes their votes by foot. If you would like talking about roots, human beings are supposed to share the same one root. how about that? As said, give up the foreign passports first if these people are this deeply involved or concerned about Hong Kong. Don't be hypocrites, please....
johnh
@Carparklee
There are millions of Chinese from Hong Kong, Taiwan, & China who hold foreign passports and are deeply affected by the events here. You're barking up the wrong tree.
Carparklee
Those who chose to give up Hong Kong as their homes years ago are now very sad and feeling regretted since Hong Kong did not "die" as they had predicted or been "hoping" for. They feel ashamed for their miscalculation on Hong Kong's still being vibrant, alive and prosperous as of today. They now plan to join this so-called OC campaign since they still want to continue to deceive themselves that Hong Kong had already turmed to a "bad" place that help proving their long time decision was a insightful one. Poor these old, sad and pathetic retired people. They lost their golden chances in the golden years in Hong Kong years ago and want to come back to ruin the good time now and future to be enjoyed by their successors who took up their places during the Hong Kong brain drain period. What a kind of hypocrites and shameless people they are, this bunch of Canadian Hongees.
lighthouse1971
I think you must be paid by Beijing to spread these deceiving arguments. Your whole argument rests upon a flawed assumption (one that Beijing wants us to believe), and that's the idea that fighting for proper democracy will "ruin the good time now". On the contrary, Hong Kong needs all the support we can get from all who care so that we can become an even better place through democracy and self determination. This is the best way to avoid becoming a dwindling provincial backwater under the thumb of Beijing. You deceive yourself if you think the govt of China has Hong Kong's best interests in mind. They have much bigger problems to think about, and maintaining Hong Kong's prosperity is not high priority. Your "golden years" will prove to be a "golden memory".
Carparklee
Are you suggesting that maintaining a successful Hong Kong is not in the agenda of Beijing? To ruin Hong Kong or to turn Hong Kong into a failure would serve Beijing or our whole country any good? Interesting thought of you to have artificially put Hong Kong's interest against the National interest for granted.
lighthouse1971
I didn't say they were setting our with a plan to ruin Hong Kong. But why would they bother? Hong King is a pimple on the face of China.
lighthouse1971
How will they ruin it? Are you paid by Beijing?

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