Public Eye

Two years on: Hong Kong’s Occupy but not so much love and peace

The 79-day protest movement has morphed into the Mong Kok riot, the independence movement and anyone but CY; anything but peaceful

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 September, 2016, 5:32pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 September, 2016, 7:41pm

Not that it matters, but today is the second anniversary of the start of Occupy Central with Love and Peace. Love and Peace? John Lennon would grimace in his grave. If you know of any love and peace parked somewhere in our politics, please Google me a map.

Political correctness requires us to accept that Occupy was an exemplary example of peaceful civil disobedience. Yes, it was mostly peaceful. But those unafraid of the truth know the 79-day uprising wasn’t exactly marked by flowers in your hair.

The images we saw were not of occupiers planting roses on the batons of policemen or flashing peace signs. Occupy images ingrained in our memory are of battles between the two sides: teargas, pepper spray, blocked traffic and attempts to break into the Legislative Council.

One side wore police riot gear, the other helmets, makeshift shields and body armour. Which side started the sporadic episodes of violence is open for interpretation but blaming the police alone is morally dishonest.

Love and peace do not belong in the same breath as Occupy, but the opposites of the two words certainly have a place in Occupy’s offshoots. Only those uncomfortable with the truth would fault you for using hate and violence to describe the Mong Kok riot. Occupy’s other offshoot – the independence movement – prides itself on the willingness to use violence to achieve its aim. Hate fuels the ABC – anyone but CY – campaign.

This particular offshoot most baffles me. It reshapes our entire politics into a bizarre entity of hate directed at one man. ABC didn’t exist when law professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting first conceived Occupy in 2013 to press for so-called true democracy.

Beijing countered with a restrictive August 31, 2014 reform framework that centred on screening chief executive candidates. Occupy was Hong Kong’s middle-finger response to Beijing. Will ABC – which is essentially shooting the messenger – nullify Beijing’s August 31 ruling which sparked Occupy?

ABC instigators say dumping Chief Executive Leung will at least heal the division in society. Sure, and the moon is made of green cheese. Leung is combative, but solely blaming him for our political polarisation is avoiding the truth.

Half of Hongkongers hate their communist masters, want so-called true democracy as a shield and want China to be a sovereign only in name. Beijing has responded to our middle finger with a fist. This stalemate is the real root of the political mess we are in.