Blocking government may be even more powerful than blocking roads. Refusal to pay taxes, delaying rent payments by tenants in public housing estates and filibustering in the Legislative Council, along with other such acts of noncooperation, could make governing more inconvenient. No government can govern effectively if the majority of its people are unwilling to cooperate.
Democratic virtues need to be cultivated throughout the city. More forums on democracy should be organized on the neighborhood level. Through home visits, younger Hong Kongers can meet face-to-face with elderly people living in public housing estates and explain to them the significance of genuine universal suffrage.
It’s also important for practitioners of civil disobedience to bear the legal consequences of breaking the law. This shows that they respect the system of law as a whole but want to expose the injustice of some of the laws.
Many young people have already been arrested for protesting. As the police have not taken any action to arrest the older leaders of Occupy Central with Love and Peace, which I co-founded, we turned ourselves in to the authorities earlier this week. We were not arrested, though the officials stated clearly that my case will be dealt with in strict accordance with the law.
Prosecution in open court would be another opportunity for us to explain to all Hong Kong people the goals and underlying reasons for the acts of civil disobedience we have committed.
But the most powerful weapon in winning democracy for Hong Kong is the people of the Umbrella Generation. Compared with the previous generations of Hong Kong democrats, the young people of today are more aggressive, flexible, creative and much tougher.
These young people grew up in a vastly different Hong Kong from that of their elders, who were raised with much less prosperity and security. For many older people, survival was a daily challenge. Having had that past, older generations prioritize economic security and social order, even though many have transcended the tougher times of their youth.
The younger generations, meanwhile, came of age when economic and physical security were no longer major concerns. Their values reflect this: They focus much more on self-expression, sustainability, fairness and justice.
The end of the occupation will not signal capitulation, especially not for young Hong Kongers, who have had a political awakening over the last several months. An undemocratic system and a lack of effective civic engagement by the government will not satisfy the demands of the Umbrella Generation. A more serious crisis will break out in the future if the source of the problem is not dealt with properly and adequately. And the next outbreak will be fiercer.
Even if the Hong Kong government can successfully force the end of the occupation, it will still have to face the demands of the Umbrella Generation in the years to come. Focusing only on how to clear the streets cannot resolve the deep-seated conflicts that led to the protests.
Протестующим в Гонконге советуют изменить тактику,
или никакого "продолжения" не выйдет...