Prosecution of 2014 Hong Kong Protests Leaders
Let Us Shine a Ray of Hope for the Hong Kong Freedom Revolution
Key points in this article:
- Possible prosecution of nine Hong Kong activists
- Among them are activists we have previously interviewed
- International public opinion and support can mean a for Hong Kong’s activists
It is expected that nine leading activists involved in the Hong Kong protests of 2014 will be prosecuted for public obstruction and other such offenses. The Liberty Magazine holds that this is not unrelated to the rise of pro-China Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam, and has been warning of China’s increasing advancement into Hong Kong.
Activists and Their Passion for Democratization
In the August 2016 issue of The Liberty Magazine, “The Umbrella Revolution Is Still Alive: Interviews in Hong Kong”, we interviewed several activists who are on the prosecution list, including Benny Tai. I went to Hong Kong to hear their voices directly.
Mr. Tai initiated the civil disobedience campaign “Occupy Central with Love and Peace”, and is a professor of law at The University of Hong Kong. In the interview, Mr. Tai spoke of passion to change Mainland China through Hong Kong:
“We accept law students from Mainland China and influence them through education. These students learn that democracy means to realize your life ambitions. In contrast, the Chinese government and pro-Beijing people enforce the high authority’s ambitions on the people. It is clear to the students which one is better.”
Ever since the Umbrella Revolution of 2014, China has seen the appearance of pro-democracy Congressmen and the people’s sentiment has gradually shifted towards the desire for freedom. But at the same time, ideology restrictions have become stronger also: the Causeway Bay Bookstore disappearance incidents and dismissal of anti-China Congressmen, to name a few. The bookstore incident began when they published books that criticized President Xi Jinping.
We cannot sit idly by and watch as the people of Hong Kong are stripped of their freedom.
The president of a pro-democracy media company, Yeung Wai Hong, is another activist we interviewed.
“You are doing us a great service by reporting on our situation to the outside world. I think eventually, the opinion of the world will make a difference here. But this is a battle we have to fight ourselves and eventually it will have be carried on by the young people.”
A Freedom Revolution Is Happening Now
Hong Kong’s fight is not a violent one; it is the fight for the ‘establishment of freedom’: something vital to attaining happiness in this world.
Mr. Tai said in his interview that the 2014 protests were not just a product of a dissatisfied public, but were something that happened because of the passion for their ideals and a high sense of awareness. He also told us that when confronted with a difficult situation, a miracle would often open a new path for them, and he felt like a greater power was protecting them.
As they said, support from the international community gives them power in their demand for democracy. Having heard their voices directly, I truly feel that our encouragement gives them hope. I pray for their safety and the realization of the ideals they fight for.