During the weekend, Hong Kong In-Media organized an off-line salon on “Noise amidst of the Politics of Harmony – bloggers who eat river crabs”. [和諧政治中的雜音--吃河蟹的博客們] (The Chinese pronunciation of river crab is similar to Harmony.) We have invited Beifeng from Guangzhou and Roland Soong for sharing their experiences in the Chinese blogosphere. Beifeng applied mobile SMS to report on the Xiamen Anti PX demonstration. Roland is a most awesome translator of Chinese internet discussion and a major news source for foreign reporters.
Beifeng has a most systematic account of the censorship of traditional media and internet media. As the traditional media has a strong control in the editorial room, some of the news, such as mass incidents or social unrest would be banned from publishing, whereas in the internet BBS and blog, censorship only happens when the news or information sources have been published and taken effect in the public. Usually a nationwide censorship would only take place 2 to 3 days after the publication of the first post; netizens can use the time gap to disseminate information as wide as possible. The tactic is to write the story without spelling out the political implications and to wait for the politics to reveal itself in the dissemination process.
Recently, a labour activist has been assaulted and injured seriously in Shenzhen. The incident happened after the labour group has been successively smashed by local gangs. A number of Hong Kong organizations jointly held a press conference in the weekend and expressed their concern and anger towards the violent incident. They condemned the illegal acts of violence planned by a certain vested interested groups against the national policy on labour rights and protection.
10 days ago (Oct 14, 2007), a mother took her two children's lives by throwing them out of the window and killed herself by jumping from the public housing high-rise. Almost every year, similar family strategy happened in Tin Shui Wai, a new town at the northwestern end of New Territories. Now the town is called “the town of sorrow”.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party was unexpectedly defeated in July 29's Upper House election. Chris from GVO posted a question on whether the result of the election is a groundswell of support for the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), or was it simply a long-overdue rejection of “business as usual”? And there are some bloggers comments, some are rather skeptical.
Have been reporting about the Queen’s Pier preservation campaign but seldom put my own voices in my highly subjective and bias citizen reports. Tonight, I am going to camp at Queen’s Pier and wait for the police and construction workers to clear the site -- as it is the government planned D-day. Want to write down my reasons here before I leave for the pier.
First of all, I should thank you all for backing me up for this Obscene Articles Tribunal court case; some of you I have never met face to face, but have developed some attachment by reading your blogs on a daily base. As you have set up a Free Oiwan Lam! Facebook page for me, I owe all of you a proper self-introduction and case briefing.
The preservation campaign at the Queen's Pier has already become a miracle in Hong Kong history. The activists have occupied the Queen's Pier for more than two months to fight for in situ preservation, and the whole campaign has lasted for 7 months since last December. For a pessimistic and materialistic society like Hong Kong, the campaign is really incredible and hard to imagine. Last night, on the big day of 10th anniversary of reunification, it set another record in creating a mass civil disobedient act.
Well... as some of you may have known, one of the article that i wrote for inmediahk.net has been classified as Class II indecent articles by the Obscene Articles Tribunal. The maximum penalty is HK$400,000 and 12 months in jail.
Translator note: Hong Kong In-Media and inmediahk.net has jointly published a newsletter Defend freedom without compromise for commemorating 10th anniversary of Hong Kong-China Reunification. The newsletter is composed of a series of articles on freedom of speech, assembly, expression, and academic freedom. It layouts the history of local social movement and the need to carry on the de-colonization of the system and people's mindset. Below is a translation of the special issue's foreword.
Editor notes: Yesterday, a ritualistic demonstration took place at the Queen's pier to show people's determination in preserving the pier via civil disobedient act.
Around thirty participants, with crown on their heads, drank wine together and cried the following slogans:
1. The government officials have forced the people to resist
2. We will fight with determination (direct translation would be "We will fight till we die")
3. Preservation for Queen's Pier
4. Please give us a hand (or we still need your hand)