Hundreds Arrested for Rehearsing Occupy Central Sit In
More than 500 people from student activist groups in
Hong Kong were arrested for rehearsing the sit in
for the Occupy Central protest at Chater Road.
People who were arrested say they faced inhumane treatment
by the police, who used excessive force.
Many Chinese mainlanders say they have felt moved
by the fight for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong.
They support the spirit of the Hong Kong
Federation of Students (HKFS):
“When injustice becomes fact, resistance becomes duty."
After millions of Hong Kongers took to the streets in a parade
on July 1, about 2,000 students and civilians held a rehearsal
for the Occupy Central, organized by the student activist
groups Scholarism and HKFS on the morning of July 2.
They ‘occupied’ Chater Road and surrounded the Chief
Executive Office, but were forcefully dispersed by the police.
By eight o’clock in the morning, a total of 511 people were
arrested, including legislators Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho
and Leung Yiu-chung.
The police used pressure point techniques
on those who were arrested.
Protesters were dragged away one by one, to the temporary
detention center, Wong Chuk Hang Police Academy.
Zhang Chengjue, former Hong Kong United Daily News
columnist: “I agree with the Occupy Central rehearsal.
They are very rational and very restrained.
Beijing’s claim that it will bring damage
and conflict to Hong Kong is not true.
Being subordinate to Beijing, the Hong Kong government
is acting in accordance with Beijing’s will.
So Hong Kong’s police will inevitably intervene in the protest."
HKFS standing committee member Leung Lai Kwok
told Hong Kong media that when police began to clear the scene,
they strangled protesters or shut their mouths,
and also demanded the media to leave.
She questioned why police deliberately blocked the news.
Legislator Helena Wong Pik-wan also said those
who were arrested said that they were given no food or water
during their detention, but some of the police were
eating chicken rice in front of them.
Hong Kong Wireless TV reported that around 129 people were
still in the process of bail pending application in the evening.
At least 20 people were accused of committing the crime of
“assisting unlawful assembly."
However, the HKFS had previously warned,
“People participating in the sit-in could face police arrest,
on the grounds of illegal gatherings."
On June 30, HKFS posted a statement,
titled the “July 1 Disobedience Statement."
It had said, “We are a group of students risking our future,
willing to bear the legal consequences.
We are not moonstruck. Rather, we believe that only when
we stand in the streets without fear of the regime, will we
usher in the real future and real self-dignity of Hong Kong."
It added: “When injustice becomes fact,
resistance becomes duty. “
Chen Yongmiao, Chinese constitutional scholar:
“I think the student movements in both Hong Kong and Taiwan
are very rational.
These young people pick up the responsibility of the revolution.
I think [their being] willing to assume legal responsibility
[for their actions] is a very big step forward for civil society."
Activist Ma Qiang says that he has felt moved by the peaceful
and rational actions by Hong Kong citizens to oppose tyranny.
He agrees with the slogan raised by the students:
When injustice becomes fact, they are obliged to resist.
Ma Qiang: “This remark is very correct.
Every citizen has the right to oppose.
In a sense, I think this duty was chosen not by the people,
but the Communist Party or the regime.
How will the Communist party face this peaceful, rational
and non-violent protest?
The complete rejection of the peaceful, rational and non-violent
behavior will eventually usher in revolution, violence
and the party being made to pay for its actions."
Ma Qiang says that Hong Kong has not really felt
the dictatorship, but the mainlanders have, and they have
completely lost hope in the Communist party.
Referring to the blaze of resistance from the petitioners,
demolished households, farmers, he says: “The motto of
‘obligation to resist’ is not just a theory,
but a realistic description of mainland China."
Interview & Edit/TianJin Post-Production/GeLei