Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) announced a one-week strike will officially take place on Sept. 22. It is in protest of the political reform in Hong Kong issued by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC). The next move after the protest, is contingent upon the response from Beijing and HK Government. Will the Communist regime back off as they face the strong voices of strike and Occupy Central? How will civil disobedience shake the iron-handed politics?
According to University of Hong Kong’s Students’ Union (HKUSU) president Yvonne Leung, participants will include 20 colleges and universities. Strike organizer HKFS pursues four requests: to establish civil nomination; to promise universal suffrage of Legislative Council in 2016; resignation of chief executive and political reform trio; and NPCSC’s apology to the people of Hong Kong.
HKFS chairperson Alex Chow: “Simply put, the whole concept is to get out of campus and to get into the community. There’ll be a general assembly for the first day at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This is the consensus from other institutions too, forming a general assembly on campus before going into society.
That’s the decision of the strike committee.”
Alex Zhou concludes, HKFS will determine, according to the situation, when to get out into the community in places such as the civic plaza or Tamar Park, for a large rally. It will then become an activity of the entirety Hong Kong, not just the students.
Alex Zhou: “The social significance of the student organized strike, is that the new generation is not satisfied with the resolution of the NPCSC.
The strike is telling society that it can no longer be ignored. It is also a clear warning to the Government. We demand civil nomination to reform the Council. If it fails, the entire movement is bound to engage in more non-cooperative movements and civil disobedience.”
In a Sept. 8 press conference by Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD), the pro-government anti-Occupy Central organization, created a “report hotline” established to encourage the public to report on organizers of the strike and Occupy Central. The APD claimed the anti-strike was meant to prevent students from being victimized and taken advantage of.
Alex Zhou responded, different voices in the community are completely normal, but the strike activities should not be discredited or slandered.
Alex Zhou: “In fact, the point is not to discredit the students by saying the strike was the outcome of manipulation, lack of independence, and a political tool or bargaining chip. It is ok to say, the students’ duty is to learn, we’ll tell you that we actually learn more in the community than on campus. By simply learning on campus, is not sufficient to reform the society, if the higher education is to nourish the students so that they will feed back to the community.”
The strike is about to start, and the Occupy Central also seems imperative.
Will the regime give in faced with these activities reflecting the strong opinion of Hong Kong people?
Commentator Wen Zhao: “There is no way for the CCP to give in. Hong Kong needs a disobedience campaign that is persistent and more extensive. It is not realistic to expect one demonstration will receive any response in a short time. The CCP did not yield a bit after 500,000 people took the street and 700,000 signed the petition.”
The strike is like an arm of the youth gathered by the Hong Kong students.
How will this arm shake the hurdles set up by the NPCSC regarding the chief executive candidates?
Wen Zhao: “The student movement itself should be facing people. What Hong Kong needs is the entire enlightenment of the nation. Only when people recognize the importance of their democratic rights will they then get mobilized. Then the civil disobedience campaign will gain its actual power to paralyze the government, which will lose its control at the grassroots of society.
Then there’s pressure for the government to change.”
Although the regime could solely insist on its decision, the students are not alone. Scholarism formed by the secondary school students, have organized multiple citizen classes and prepared a high schoolers’ strike in two months.
The Agence France-Presse reported the US National Security Adviser Susan Rice arrives in Beijing on Sept. 7. She is expected to restate Washington’s support for democracy in Hong Kong. In addition, the British Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee continue to investigate the current situation in Hong Kong, as well as publicize the three letters from Beijing opposing the British investigation.