Hong Kong Politics: The Umbrella Movement & Beyond

Originally, the question was “How do you feel about the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement,” but a lot has happened since then.

There was the Fishball Revolution during the Chinese New Year holiday, the rise of localist groups and (previously unheard of) pro-independence groups. Then there was the LegCo election that saw localist candidates capture seats and the subsequent controversy over improperly taken oaths and the resulting interepretation of the Basic Law by the NPCSC.

Therefore, let’s make this a more general discussion page for Hong Kong politics. What are you view of events during the last couple of years? What do you hope for?

(The picture at the top of the page is from my photoessay about the Umbrella Movement: https://longzijun.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/photo-essay-the-people-of-hong-kongs-pro-democracy-protests/)

To find out how some of school’s alumni felt at the beginning of the protests you can view this interview (Cantonese only) (Disclaimer: The interviewees were selected because of their interest and involvement in political issues so their views do not represent those of all alumni or of the school):

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18 Comments

  1. The purpose of Umbrella Revolution was trying hard to give the right of public to vote in 2017 Chief Executive election. However, although Hongkongers formed several marches and demonstrations, our right of voting the Chief Executive has never given. ‘Proposal of 831’ wasn’t a good proposal that the candidates should be nominated by only some groups of people in Hong Kong. I am disappointed with this proposal. I think if the candidates are nominated by several number of Hongkongers (more than ten thousand nominations are better), the Chief Executive will be affirmed by both Hongkongers and Mainland Chinese more easily. I am also disappointed that 28 LegCo members didn’t attended the meeting to vote about 2017 Chief Executive election with public voting. The meeting was failed, and the winning candidate won by only 777 votes in 2017. I think the Chief Executive who is elected by public will build our home strong, and will mainly receive the supports of Hongkongers. Democracy in the election and the government is very important in Hong Kong society, but the purpose of Umbrella Revolution has not been fulfilled until now. I hope for the allowance of voting of public in 2022 Chief Executive election, and I hope for the united, peaceful, democracy Hong Kong in the future.

  2. My parents brought me to attend umbrella movement in admiralty last year. I was stunned and saddened about the scene that I saw and made me deeply impressed by the passion of the students. There were lot of people who gathered and discussed the procedure of electing the chief executive of HKSAR in 2017 though I only knew very little. I hope government could adopted more opinion of different parties. Finally we wrote down our hope on civil wall. It was really an unforgettable experience.

  3. From my own perspective, I think it’s not right to say umbrella movement is totally wrong. On the contrary, the protests show that the government need to do some improvement work or something else to solve the problem.What I can see is that the students are just trying to fight for democracy. They show that teenagers are also concerned with the society and they express their opinion through concrete action. Some may say that it will cause inconvenience to others to others. However, is there anyway the protesters can express their view and arouse public attention? I think all Hongkongers should think of a question: Is democracy important?

  4. The Umbrella Movement had last for 79 days and I think it represents a new page of Hong Kong. It is really a struggle for democracy in Hong Kong and we have never been seen. In the past, Hong Kong people was always only protested for some public welfares and hope the government can give more rights to them. However, this ‘revolution’ break with tradition and I appreciate that the one who open the yellow umbrellas were some teenagers and students. I think they are very brave to do so and it shows that the students nowadays not only sit in the classrooms and listen to the teachers. They also care about the current affairs and the society development. Now they come out and fight for a democratic government and I think they are not wrong. They are just protesting what they want to have.

    However, I keep a neutral stance to the movement. Although they were fighting for something very important in a fair society, it was definitely an illegal assembly. This movement also affects the relationship between the protesters and the police, the citizens and the government. It also affects the ones who live nearby the occupied districts. There are some violence and arguments in the movement and I hope it can be more peaceful. The Umbrella Movement had finished but the heart which want to have democracy and peace havn’t and won’t stop. I hope the government and the citizens can maintain a better relationship in the future.

  5. The movement is ended right now. I sighed and was a little bit sad. During the umbrella revolution, the students and the public have discussed a lot and expressed their opinions of universal suffrage. It raises the public awareness of this issue. But it also cause a lot of social problems. For example, the police has been questioned to be abusing power. The shops damaged a lot from the protesting. They got huge loss.
    And the relationship between citizens and police is becoming worse and worse. Therefore, the movement brings good effect on democracy, but also causes harm to many people.

  6. There is no doubt that it is one of the most important even in Hong Kong in the past few years. It is a student movement and the students are fighting for true universal suffrage. Personally, I am very appreciate the student have courage to stand out for democracy. They all want Hong Kong to have a better future and want the Chinese Government to hear Hong Kong citizen’s voice. Although the student work very hard for that, the Government somehow still ignore their opinions and even try to arrest them.

    Actually I have been to the occupy district to support the students. I can feel that it is a peaceful activity. Some students sat on the floor and was reading books. Some was giving a small talk and others sat around him/her. Some are distribute water and yellow ribbon. Everything is rationality. I believe that if there are no police to irritate them, this movement is very safe and non violent.

    In another way, Chinese Government is not totally wrong. Because if they let Hong Kong to select a Chief Executive by ourselves, it will causes many other problems about China itself. Like Qingzang Gaoyuan, they may try to elect a own Government by themselves and China will split. Therefore two sides also have their own and right opinions. I hope they can talk together as soon as possible and solve the problem by a agreement of two sides.

  7. I am neutral to the umbrella movement. It both has pros and cons. It is good that Hong Kong people have a heart of freedom and protest with the least violence. It is why Hong Kong is unique from other countries and cities. On the another hand, it has a great effect to the general public. I think it is hard to find a balance between them.

  8. As a Hongkonker and a secondary school student ,i stupport the idea behind “Occupy Central” and the university class boycott ——fighting for true universal suffrage because I think Hong Kong need a credible and honest Chef Execuive to lead Hong Kong towords a better future tha Hong Kong citizens doon’t need to worry about the high rate of the housing prices, allocalion of schools,Daily Accessories,etc. Not just to have a fair Chef Executive,we also need a equitable government.As you see, most of the legislative members belong to CAB ( Pro-Beijing Camp) so do you think our government can really listen and accept our discontents in order to conider suitable policies for Hong Kong citizens whatever poor or rich.

    Also,I think NPCSC’s (National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s) decision regarding the election of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive in 2017 is only pays lip service to the public.The China government set a “frame” to the Chef Executive candidates that must by China Government .Therefore, the Opposistion can never be the Executive candidates and Hong Kong citizens are actually chosing the puppet of China Government.Can he /she help Hong Kong to change?It’s still questionble but one thing that Hong Kong People want to choose by universal suffrage is the best representitive ,best leader.Not the best puppet of China Govenment.

    Therefore,I do think the university class boycott and the following occupation of streets in Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mongkok were justified since they can raise Hong Kong people and global awareness of “Umbrella Movement”that it symbolizes the hope of demorcracy of Hong Kong People. Alejandro Jodorowski had said,”Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness.”What would Hong Kong be when it controlled by China Government without FREEDOMS and RIGHTS?Don you 
    want your decendent live in a better 
    environment? 
     
      On the other hand,I don't want this movement end up with violence and bloodshed.Hope that the protesters will leave safely and with DIGNITY.

  9. I think this movement represents the appeal of democracy in Hong Kong. I really appreciate the courage of the students who have stayed in the movement for more than one month. However, I think that it is not an appropriate way to express their opinion as the central government won’t change the decision about the political frameworks of selecting the Chief Executive in 2017. I sincerely hope that the student can protest in a way of lower profile because the umbrella movement has affected the traffic in some areas and has caused problems to some merchants. Moreover,the relationship between China and Hong Kong will become more tense because of the movement.

  10. The Umbrella Movement is a hot issue in Hong Kong now, student try to Occupy Central to fight for democracy. However, I do not agree with this movement. I think they can use the other way to fight for democracy since they destroy the life of the people nearby. Many shops there had closed as they didn’t have enough money to afford the high rent. It affected the economic development in Hong Kong. Besides, this movement also worsen the relationship between people. It is because people may have different stance on this issue, someone ‘unfriend’ their ‘friend’ on Facebook. Someone even argue with their family members. Therefore, I think we should stop this movement. Do not think superficially but to think deeper. Please ask yourself before doing anything: Can this movement really help or actually it is uesless?

  11. I think the student protestors have deviated their original purpose. They first claimed they would peacefully occupy Central, which is the CBD of Hong Kong, but later the movement has spread out to Mong Kok and Causeway Bay. Mong Kok has become a dangerous spot causing the greatest tension to the locality. It has also regularly been the flashpoint for conflicts between protestors and police. Moreover, the movement has lasted for almost two months. Hong Kong people’s passion to the movement has decreased. Instead,they are feeling abominable to the movement which affects their daily lives.

    Actually, I think the movement has successfully aroused international concern and it should be stopped by now. Law and order must be maintained in any case. I think it’s time for road clearance. The injunction orders are setting the stage for police to act at any time to reopen roads that are currently blocked. I am not opposed to universal suffrage, but I strongly believe we should ensure that violence is avoided.

  12. I think “Occupy Central” is reasonable and it is good to fight for democracy. However, I don’t agree with the movement. The Umbrella Revolution is useless indeed. No matter how long the movement lasts for, the government won’t change their decision about the election of chief executive. The bad impacts are also a big problem. If the movement continues, the traffic will be affected and the economic development will be slow down. It will also reduce the number of tourists in Hong Kong. On the other hand, many argument will break out between the affected citizens and the students. It may cause injuries. In conclusion, we should think of another way to express our feelings and opinion. We should fight for universal suffrage in a peaceful way which won’t affect the normal lives of Hong Kong people, but not Occupy Central.

  13. I think this “Umbrella Movement” is really a big issue of Hong Kong now. To me, I agree that Hong Kong people should fight for our democracy. I am quite impress that Hong Kong students can continue the movement for such a long time. However, I think this movement is quite useless because I don’t think the China Govenment will change their decision because of this movement. Also, the protesters are blocking the road in Central, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay. This affects the traffic and the life of people who live near the place where people protests. Therefore, no matter how we want to have the “real” democracy, we have to think of the costs of this movement.

  14. The students in this movement want to get a more fair way to elect the chief executive.I think the movement is meaningful because it is the first time that the students standing in the front to tell the government their thought.However,I think that Occupying Central is not a very good way to tell their thought to the government since the movement is affecting the whole society including the normal people and also the economic development of Hong Kong.Nevertheless,I think no matter you agree or disagree the movement,one thing that everyone want to ask:Is the movement really useful ?

  15. The students are contributing to the democracy of the future. Nevertheless, the civil disobedience has brought about the negative impacts to the economic development. We should balance the public interests and our appeal.

  16. Democracy is very important to us, as the communist government in Beijing ignores human rights and decides everything due to “national security”. The situation will be getting worse and worse if we cannot choose our own government which can represent Hong Kong people, and have an useless government like CY Leung’s. If we do not come out and express our opinions today, will we still have the right to do so three or four decades later?

  17. I do understand what the students are thinking about and their thoughts. However, I don’t agree with them. I think that although they have taken many actions and protested for many times to attract the government to hear their thoughts, I think that the actions they have been taken are useless. Since I think that changing politics is a long period movement, it won’t change in one week,etc. Also, they have blocked the main roads in central district,etc and occupied Central, Mong Kwok, Causeway Bay for at least 40 days. I think it is really disturbing. Since it causes many problems such as traffic jams and inconvenient for people who walk pass those districts and those people who work there. Many taxi drivers earn less money than they earned before the movement started. They almost lost 50% of their income. Furthermore, the shops around or near those areas are almost all closed because of the traffic problems and people won’t go there to shop so they can’t sell anything so they don’t have any income.They can’t have their normal daily lives, their family may not have enough money to buy food and daily supplies. Their life turns harder. To conclude, it is good that those students have their own idea about their discontent, however, they seriously affect many people and causes many problems so i don’t support the ‘umbrella revolution’.

  18. I can understand why the protesters are doing the “Umbrella Movement”, However, I do not agree with them. Firstly, the government cannot do anything they want. If the government do as told, the protesters will come out again once there is something they don’t agree with. Secondly, this protest affects many’s livings. The shops near the protest areas are all empty. The shop keepers cannot earn money but they really need the money to pay the rent of their apartments, buy food, and other daily supplies. Thirdly, this movement affects the reputation of Hong Kong. These are the reasons why I don’t support the “Umbrella Movement”.

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