Lewis Loud: It’s Time to Change: It’s Not “Occupy Central”, It’s Occupy
Many have been using the terms “Occupy Central” and “OC” to describe the current protests in Hong Kong, and have labelled the “goons” at the protests as “Anti-OC individuals”. I understand that “Occupy Central” has undergone years of “discussions” and all mainstream media use the standardised term when referring to this people’s self-started movement. However, this “habit” has to be changed.
Words have great power, and the choice of word in this case has important consequences. If we fail to realise the fact that the current protest is not Occupy Central (a movement that was initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Chan Kin-man and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming), but a movement started by the people, the movement could simply become a trophy for the “professional activists that practice capitulation”. We have to change! We have to change Hong Kong and step up our game to fight for democracy. The first step is to stop calling the movement “Occupy Central”, and following or, worse, glorifying the “professional activists that practice capitulation”.
There are numerous new names which have arisen* for this movement, for example “Occupy Hong Kong”, “Umbrella Revolution”, “Hong Kong Spring”, “Phoenix Revolution”, etc – but not “Occupy Central”. However, because “Occupy Central” has been widely reported in the newspapers, including Ming Pao and Apple Daily, the term is imprinted in many people’s minds. “Occupy Central” offers Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man the power to lead this movement, as they have been labeled as the “conveners of Occupy Central with Love and Peace”.
“Occupy Central” is projected as the ultimate power behind the movement: a host of the professional activists and politicians. In fact, a combination of the lack of action of “Occupy Central”, the students’ success with their class boycott and the people’s self-initiated occupation of Admiralty drove others to occupy Mong Kok, Admiralty, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay. Benny Tai took the opportunity to announce the launch of Occupy Central during the students’ movement, but instead of occupying Central he led his supporters to join the self-initiated occupation of Admiralty. Due to the loss of support from the people (evidenced by the number of people leaving the occupation zone and only staying or returning after Legislative Council member Leung Kwok-hung [better known as Long Hair] begged the people on his knees to join the people’s movement), “Occupy Central” became de facto an empty notion, and Occupy Central with Love and Peace was forced to join the people to support the movement instead of leading any movement.
By preserving the name “Occupy Central”, its power to control and lead the people’s movement is also preserved. Therefore, we continue to see Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) and Scholarism being, to a certain degree, controlled by “Occupy Central” and the “pan–democrats”. If it had not been for occupiers in Mong Kok safeguarding the frontline despite the violence and attacks, the people at Admiralty could have been dispersed by the “organisers” of the movement.
The above explains why the term “Occupy Central” has to be ditched. In reality, Central continues to conduct business as usual which is once again, a proof of the non-existence of Occupy Central. All the media, especially those in Hong Kong, continue to report on “Occupy Central” – a movement which never happened – which confuses people, if not misleads them. Benny Tai and the pan-democrats are the ones who want to end the occupy movement the most – they want it to end much more than the governments in Hong Kong and China. That’s why Tai and the pan-democrats have mobilised their “volunteers” and organised stewards to persuade people to leave protest sites outside Admiralty so that once they regain control of the movement, they could easily disperse the people.
Numerous news headlines in Apple Daily, known to the Western world as a pro-democracy newspaper, promote the danger in Mong Kok and continue to label the movement “Occupy Central” which is a kind of propaganda to centralise the people’s movement. The people in Mong Kok are brave and have proven themselves by passively resisting China’s minions and mob attacks without resolving to violence.
The Pro-democracy camp siding with the US government use the term “Occupy Central” because it might offer the ultimate control to the three leaders of Occupy Central with Love and Peace. Pro-China media use the term “Occupy Central” because China has always been planning to tackle “Occupy Central”. However, they had never expected the people’s resilience to obeying orders issued by the OC leaders. The “middlemen” between all parties have probably struck a deal on how to handle “Occupy Central” and how to conclude it, but they never dreamt of the people taking individual responsibility for the situation, making it impossible to disperse.
People have woken up from their decades-long political apathy. They judge the situation themselves, and refuse to obey orders issued by “Occupy Central” and the pan-democrats. They refuse to give in even when the “authoritative pro-democracy” figures call repeatedly for retreat. The people are monitoring the student leaders on the steps they take. Hong Kong has long been a proxy for the power struggle between China and America, and a pawn that is used by the US to control China. However, the situation has changed. These super governments can no longer suppress Hongkongers: Their desire for self-governance, democracy and justice prevails.
Hongkongers have no responsibility to clean up the political mess these two mega governments have created. Hongkongers should stand fast and resist any temptations thrown out by these two governments and their minions, and take back the rights and freedoms that belong to us.
*Benny Tai announced the launch of Occupy Central early on the morning of 28/September after protesters had occupied two roads in Admiralty: Many protesters then decided to leave as they did not want to participate in OC but were there to support the students’ movement. Later on, Having lost the support of the people, Occupy Central with Love and Peace announced that they would support the students’ movement and protesters rejoined the students’ movement which soon became a pan-Hong Kong people’s movement.