The Umbrella Movement – Day 7

It must end today, warned the Hong Kong government. Today marks the 7th Day of the Umbrella Revolution Movement. It is more appropriate to call this a “movement” than irresponsibly sensationalise it as a revolution, said my good friend. It has been a very dramatic week. From a peaceful protest, the first tear gas against unarmed students erupted into this large scale of civil disobedience. Social harmony was eroded when the pro-Beijing and triads arrived. Overnight, the city witnessed many episodes of petty violence. The Hong Kong Police was criticised again for its slow response to the violent attacks against the unarmed students. And many pointed fingers towards the police for orchestrating these violence.

There have been many discussions and advises about the outcome of this movement given by political experts and observers circulated on the internet. Many took sides with the students but urged for a more realistic demand. Every one knows Beijing will not give in for the sake of China’s social peace. To give in to Hong Kong would sparked off unrest in other troubled lands like Tibet and Xinjiang and possibly Taiwan. Sitting and occupying the streets will not move Beijing or get rid of the current Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Instead, it is going to divide Hong Kong and put China in a very bad position. If this continues for another one week, I am afraid the students will lose their public support and more external forces will implicate the current social-balance. Already, there are many evil propagators online trying to fuel this into a more dangerous protest. No surprise, some syndicates will do anything to disrupt China – even at the expense of misusing an international city like Hong Kong.

This is going to be a long battle and the students should know they cannot achieve the impossible by sitting on the streets for another week or month. Political reform is a long road and the best way to change things may be from the inside. It is disturbing to let Hong Kong youth of this generation to shoulder all these. What the students need to do is to conserve their energy, withdraw with dignity and plot another strategy to engage with the government. This occupation has already sent a strong signal to Beijing that Hong Kong youth are passionate and serious about their voting rights. Now, the important steps are to stay free/alive (and not detained), win all Hong Kong people to continue the fight on another effective platform. (See live feed by Apple Daily TV below)

Beijing leaders should recognise the world is changing and they must take the initiative to hold talk with the students and compromise for a win-win outcome. Beijing shouldn’t be afraid of negotiating with her Hong Kong people. CY Leung should gracefully take the exit as he is partially to blame for the escalation of this crisis. If he is capable enough to unite and win Hong Kongers’ heart, Hong Kong won’t be in this state today. That’s the problem with Hong Kong – it lacks of a credible Hong Kong Leader to succeed CY Leung – one who is popular, fair and tough enough to meet eye to eye with Beijing. In fact, there is none! The succession planning of Hong Kong’s future leaders is apathy. The opposition parties behave like thugs and overly-emotionally-unstable individuals. The influential tycoons who are respected by both sides aren’t interested to be embroiled into this political mess and chose to do nothing. I don’t see another suitable male leader clearing this mess. Hong Kong needs a compassionate and hardliner female leader like Margaret Thatcher to bring balance to the table. Someone who is willing to listen, make swift decision and has the balls to handle Beijing. Perhaps number 2, Anson Chan can fit this role.

The only good news is more roads have opened up since Friday. The students gave up many key occupied areas to give way to the community and congregated at Admiralty. For me, it was a refreshing 10km to and fro the demonstration sites. I took a 2-hour walk from Central to Causeway Bay yesterday afternoon. It was such a different sight. The main streets around Lippo Center and Bank of China were so quiet and empty. Less than 10 students stationed at the barricades. Business around Wanchai and Causeway Bay was badly affected. I visited Wanchai Computer Center, there were hardly more than 30 shoppers!

Just before the police arrive to reclaim and cleans up the streets, I went to capture some of remaining “street voices” marked by the demonstrators. A good historic mementoes for tomorrow’s generations. And I sincerely pray for Hong Kong’s unity and sanity.

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