Occupy Central

Protest will anger Beijing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 April, 2013, 4:01am

I wholeheartedly support your editorial ("Bridging the yawning divide", March 29) about the Let Love and Peace Occupy Central movement.

I consider that Dr Benny Tai Yiu-ting has got things wrong in his strategy to try to bring about universal suffrage to elect the next chief executive in 2017.

His proposed tactic, of threatening the government and Beijing by bringing out thousands of people onto the streets if the universal suffrage proposal by the government is not ideal, will not work and will only serve to harden the attitude of Beijing.

This tactic is likely to be counterproductive and is analogous to a little boy threatening his parents that he will sit down in the road and scream if they don't buy him an ice cream. Most parents would not give in to the naughty boy and would possibly punish him too, by denying him ice cream for a while.

Similarly, the chief executive and Beijing are unlikely to give in to threats and may well decide to punish the people of Hong Kong too, by postponing universal suffrage or introducing a form that is much less than ideal.

Dr Tai should have thought through his strategy a little more thoroughly and kept his final tactic, Occupy Central, under wraps, only putting it into effect at short notice if all else failed.

Then it might have had a chance of succeeding, as did the anti-Basic Law Article 23 protest of 2003. But it is too late now, as Beijing knows what is proposed and has probably already come up with a plan to counter this.

Hong Kong has shot itself in the foot. How, then, can we get back on track?

The newly founded Alliance for True Democracy is probably our only hope, provided that the various participants work together and behave in a mature and responsible manner.

They must now draw up their own agreed proposals for universal suffrage as soon as possible and be prepared to discuss them with the pro-establishment political parties and the government, as well as discussing any other proposals put forward by these parties and the government. And this must be done face to face and with goodwill.

As your editorial puts it in its final paragraph: "Confrontation can now not be an option; there is too much at stake" and "Disruptive protests are not an option". I couldn't agree more.

John Shannon, Mid-Levels