(Editor: Citizens Radio has been sued by Hong Kong government as an “illegal-licensed ” radio station. The writer of this article has been a volunteer at the illegal citizen radio and helped broadcasting the June 4 candle night vigil for the past 5 years. This year, the writer found that Hong Kong not only has “One Country Two System”, but also has “One Frequency Three Channels”. The Citizens Radio was intervened by some “third-party forces” during vigil. Writer worried this might be instructed by the Chinese government as one of the channel is a mainland one. The article recorded what happened in that evening.)
“As before, I was a helper of Citizens Radio during June 4 Anniversary. Citizens Radio aims at the opening of airwaves and has insisted for 5 years. This year, many web-radios formed a web-radio union and broadcasted the event with us lively.
Blindfolded for 22 years, it is time to lift the shroud of pseudo-democracy.
22 years ago, in December 1988, the public consultation of the draft for Basic Law came to an end. It was a historical moment of political awakening for Hong Kong citizens. Indifferent to the 60,000+ proposals submitted by Hong Kong people (see note), Beijing was adamant on adopting the conservative package going against popular opinion at that time. This decision triggered two historic social actions: burning of the Basic Law draft and initiation of a hunger strike in protest. This was a critical moment for Hong Kong citizens to safeguard the ideals of “Self-Governance, High degree of Autonomy”, to tear away the façade of delusions and deceptions. The criticism received by the conservative package then: “An undemocratic beginning; taking leaden steps along the way; but with no end in sight” is unfortunately still applicable to the current political reform package. This statement has foreshadowed our painful struggle for democracy over the past 22 years.
Translator's note: The following article is written by Beida Professor Hu Yong in Southern Metropolis Daily 2010-06-01.
Abstract: China's emerging media market analyst Sage Brennan said, "With the popularity of blog and online game, it is easy to overlook the fact that the BBS network is the real active centre of China’s internet culture. For various reasons, BBS network continues to grow with increasing dynamic. Many network companies, University campus, and even a large number individuals, have already established their BBS community. "
(Editor Note: The excerpt below is from an article published in inmediahk.net (in Chinese) about the struggle for free speech space in Macau. On the one hand, professional media worker are calling for reform of the mainstream media, such as the Teledifusao de Macau S.A (TDM) - a Public broadcast service funded 100% by the Macau government but with no public accountability. In fact, the mainstream media, TV as well as newspapers, in Macau have suffered from serious self-censorship because of government funding and "harmonious political environment. The call for reform is an attempt to increase public accountability in conventional media. However, the writer of this article is not confident about the reform, as the Macau government continues to impose stricter control over the old and new media. The most recent move is the government's plan to amend the "Publishing Law" and the "Audio-Visual Broadcasting Act". Many believe that the government's move is to impose censorship on the Internet, the most influential public sphere in Macau.)
*Liu Shih-Diing and Lou Lai-Chu Ivy have just published an article titled "The Internet as Macau's Alternative Public Sphere." in Mass Communication Research(Issue no. 102, January, 2010, p. 253-293). What follows is a summary. For the full version, please go here.
Liu and Lou highlight the importance of the resistant or alternative meanings generated in the Internet in Macau, a city in which the mainstream media and political institutions fail to help people to voice out and monitor the government. Hence, the Internet becomes a field formed by contesting discourses in which the people engage in the struggle for discursive power and resistant spaces. Since the handover in 1999, the Internet has played an important role in engaging people in political and social controversies. However, according to the authors' observation, the public sphere enabled by the Internet in Macau is still a "weak" one without substantial power to initiate social reform.
What could we learn from Google's withdrawal in China? Evan Williams, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, had an idea. "We are partially blocked in China and other places and we were in Iran as well," he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about." Moreover, Williams mentioned that Twitter is now developing technology to prevent government censorship. In fact, Twitter runs across multiple mediums including the Internet and mobile devices, as well as modify the Hosts file, use Tweeter tool to set up their own Twitter API and use Dabr and other third-party sites and softwares, secure their advantage over a singular website to avoid government censorship.
After global petition to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), it released a public letter to explain the fact and situation. It explained that it conducted a public tender to find a managing team for the Media Center in 2009, instead of appointing MediACT as the operator. However, considering MediACT's 7 years of experience and 300-pages planning document, some critics still questioned the fairness of the procedure. The formal response from MediACT is yet to be seen. But some independent people already raise some issues and questions. For example, why is a new management team able to oust MediACT who had been running the center for 7 years.
The public letter by KOFIC is shown as below:
The campaign against the proliferation of pornography on mobile devices as outlined by the MIIT official document has entered the second stage in early 2010. According toXinhuanet's report in mid Jan, Mobile China Shanghai branch will start suspending a mobile phone's SMS function if they find the number distribute “vulgar”, “pornographic” and other illegal content. Mobile China Beijing also claimed that they would suspend a mobile phone's SMS function if they find a mobile number distributing "vulgar" and illegal content in a massive scale. Apart from Mobile China, the second largest telecom China Unicom also set up similar filter system.
The monitoring of mobile SMS has not only invaded citizen' private life but also set up an infrastructure to crack down social mobilization via mobile phone. In the past few years, mobile phone SMS has played a significant role in a number of mass incidents, such as the Xiamen anti-PX demonstration in 2007, the anti-maglev train strolls in Shanghai in 2009 and the recent protest against the Trash-to-energy incineration plant in Panyu.
This letter is written by Yoko Akimoto from ATTAC Japan and circulated through the e-mail list of Asia-social-movement.
I guess people in this ML is interested in the result of the general election in Japan yesterday. Here's my observation of it as a part of Japanese social movements.
The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won the general election by a landslide Sunday, ousting from the top position of power the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) which has controlled the country since 1955 and been a strong ally of the US. This is really a reflection of people's voices calling for a drastic change or switch of power.
Author/Poon Ka Wai
Recently, I have been concerned with the news about some civic organizations repressed by the authority. What is involved is the China government's restricting the registration of civic organizations and receiving foreign sponsorship. I have some knowledge about the mainland churches who have been pushed by the government to "register". Both civic organization and churche are a part of "civil society". Here I would like share my views regarding these problems.