September 2006

Disney fever is gone

Last year a shop in Mongkok, the most populous shopping area of Hong Kong, was taken over by a new tenant, a Korean cosmetic company. It afforded a rental as high as HK$ 980,000, more than 50% higher than the previous one. Some believed that Hong Kong Disneyland would create an economic booming, particularly in retailing sector, by attracting a huge number of mainland Chinese tourists. However, less than one year later, it withdrew from Mongkok and terminated the leasehold.

Peace Village demolished for U.S military base

According to the report at Days in Daechuri, 22,000 riot police had demolished more than 60 houses at Daechuri and Doduri, Pyeongtaek, in order to clear the land for the future U.S. military base yesterday (13 of September).

Daechuri is a peace village built in Feburary 2005 by local villagers, churches, artists and peace activists, who oppose the expansion of U.S military base in Pyeongtaek. In the past one and a half year, they tried very hard to restore the peaceful life in Daechuri by ensuring the supply of water, electricity, renovating village houses and cultivating land.

Depose Bien campaign: political trajectories

2006-09-17 - oiwan
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City ghost has written two articles at inmediahk.net on the political background of the "depose Bien campaign". The first article is on the Taiwan democratic model, the second article is on the reponses and analyses from the social movement sectors. I have summarized the key points here:

Taiwan democratic model

This article is written to address the question whether Taiwan democratic model is a good or bad example for the Chinese society. Even though the depose Bien movement has made some breakthroughs, there are still challenges to be addressed:

Narrating Anti-War

2006-09-18 - coco

(This is a translation of an article written in early September by Dick, an editorial member of inmediahk.net, who initiated the anti-war protest in summer. Dick studied in Iran for a year and has recently travelled to Iran for a book project.)

In order to arouse Hong Kong public concern on the war in Middle East, I have written several articles and petitions (which are despised and considered as propaganda by many others) during these several weeks. Now Israel and Hezbollah have stopped fighting for several weeks. Hong Kong people did not even bother to care the killings during the fiercest battles. How less after the appearance of the nude spy-cam photos of Gillian Chung from pop group Twins? Still I will write. I will ask the following questions whenever I can breathe:

4 a.m conversation about U.N reform

2006-09-19 - oiwan

Rebecca encouraged me to participate in the Reuter upcoming event: a conversation on UN Reform with Ted Turner, I was hestitating because I have to stay till or wake up at 4 a.m. The underlying question is whether our opinion can make a difference when Mr. Annan's opinion on the Middle East War had been neglected by big countries.

Hacker Attack on Baidu.com

2006-09-20 - chong
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When the portal website of Baidu.com broke down recently, what reasons came into the mind of Liu Jianguo, Baidu.com's Chief Technology Officer?

Baidu.com, the biggest search engine in China, was attacked by hackers on September 12. The breakdown lasted for almost 30 minutes. Baidu claimed that the attack was pre-meditated and highly organized. Some speculated that it is related to its recent cutbacks in personnel and its litigation with former clients.

Police raid and forced shut down of the Korean Government Employee Union (KGEU)

2006-09-22 - oiwan
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Today (Sept 22), the Korean police launched a national wide attack on 8 office branches of Korean Government Employee Union (KGEU), over 70 union activists were arrested, many wounded. The KGEU has 140 offices across the nation. Tonight, there is a peaceful candle gathering at Gwangwhamun in Seoul to protest against police violence. The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs (MOGAHA) claimed that KGEU is an illegal union.

The KGEU president Mr. KWON Seung Bok started a hunger strike and sit-in protest in front of the central government building on September 12th.

"We have been carrying out just union activities but the government is forcibly closing offices just because we have not registered them," said Kwon to Korea Times on Sept 22. "We will continue to fight together other civil organizations and labor unions such as the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)."

It is time to abolish the ‘strike harsh’ crime fighting policy!

2006-09-22 - monwong
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If we do not look into the gross abuse of 'strike harsh' policy by the police force and rectify it within the justice system, there will be more unfortunate incidents of innocent people being wrongfully convicted of crimes that they did not commit.

By Zan Ai Zong

On September 9th, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 incident, a report in China Youth Daily exposed a horrific incident of police brutality: four students in Chaohu, Anhui Province were wrongfully (illegally) detained and tortured for a hundred days.

Taming the civil society

2006-09-23 - chong
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IMG_7132
While Taiwan and Thailand are undergoing political changes dramatically, everything seems to remain unchanged in Hong Kong. There is only one local news story attracts my attention: Some students of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) proposes to quit the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS). This does not look like a big deal. But the term "passive revolution" might be an appropriate idea to understand what's happening in Hong Kong.

HKFS has been the representative body for student unions at seven universities and colleges since the late 1950s. Over the past few decades, it had been very politicized. During 1980s-1990s, HKFS was active in democratic movement, particularly in the incidents of June Fourth and fighting for revision of the Basic Law. In recent years, it has become less active but is still seen as a part of the pan-democratic alliance.

Demand for Minimum Wage Rocks the Parliament House, New Worker’s Force Emerging

2006-09-25 - juliusschrodinger

On 21 September, more than a thousand five hundred workers from seven states in Malaysia held a three-hour demonstration at Parliament house. The kind of mobilization done by the Factory and Union Coalition of JERIT (Oppressed People’s Network) on a working day would put even political parties and the Trade Union Movement to shame.