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Depuis l’horrible massacre des étudiants de Tien An Men, tous les ans le peuple de Hong Kong manifeste massivement, plus ou moins massivement selon les années, mais toujours massivement, même cette année où cela se fit sous des tombereaux de pluie, un jour où l’alerte cyclonique était déclarée et où des dizaines de milliers de manifestants s’assemblèrent quand même. Cette année ils étaient deux cent mille.

Le phénomène est d’autant plus remarquable que le peuple de Hong Kong pratique à l’unanimité la religion du travail et que les manifestations pour quelque motif que ce soit sont loin d’y être fréquentes.

Mais depuis Tien An Men, et à travers le processus de rétrocession de la colonie britannique à la Chine communiste comme depuis celle-ci en 1997, tous les ans, le peuple de Hong Kong tient à manifester qu’il ne renoncera pas à ses droits démocratiques.

C’est une bataille autour du droit : s’il y a une légalité, la Basic Law – qui sert de mini-constitution et de marche à suivre pour zone administrative spéciale que Pékin ambitionne de régenter – doit s’appliquer. Et si celle-ci s’applique, des élections libres devraient prendre place en 2017, après vingt ans d’un régime semi-démocratique quasiment décalqué du régime colonial. De la démocratie en Chine…

Yan Jiaqi, éminente figure de la dissidence, ancien conseiller du premier ministre réformateur limogé à l’époque, Zhao Ziyang, et en exil depuis 1989 – auteur de plusieurs livres non-traduits en français –, a coutume de dire « que la démocratie est simple ». Il suffit de voter et d’élire ses dirigeants, c’est tout. Que dans un pays immense comme la Chine un régime fédéral s’impose ne rend pas la chose plus difficile. L’Inde n’est pas beaucoup moins peuplée et connait un régime démocratique continument depuis son indépendance en 1948.

Au contraire, Pékin voudrait refuser ce droit élémentaire y compris aux citoyens de Hong Kong, la plus grande dictature de l’histoire du monde n’étant pas près de s’amender, sa démocratisation étant toujours reportée aux calendes.

Mais à Hong Kong, l’esprit de la liberté est debout, et entend se défendre, y compris face au plus froid des monstres froids, y compris face à la barbarie toujours en vigueur depuis Mao.

Ci-dessous en anglais 10 questions-réponses sur ce qu’il faut savoir du mouvement actuel qui tente avec une détermination incroyable de faire plier Pékin, tout aussi déterminée à sauvegarder le principe d’autorité.

Comme en Syrie, il s’agit d’un choc frontal. Mais OCPL parie sur le fait que les communistes chinois ne peuvent se permettre là un deuxième Tien an Men.

Impressionnantes, les consignes données pour la manifestation – soit en fait pour l’organisation de l’occupation :

- en premier ligne, les « hard-core members », les plus déterminés. Ceux-là éviteront tout affrontement, mais se réservent manifestement de recourir à tous les moyens possibles de défense passive, puisqu’ils annoncent qu’ils renoncent même par avance à recourir aux services d’avocats après leur probable arrestation.

- en deuxième ligne, les manifestants se laisseront arrêter pacifiquement et entendent par contre recourir aux services d’avocats.

- et, en troisième ligne, il y aura la masse des manifestants, simplement debout, avec des fleurs, etc, en soutien aux manifestants de première et deuxième ligne. Les organisateurs espèrent que la puissance de cette troisième ligne soit « énorme ».

Exposant leur différences de point de vue, certains pensent que l’essentiel de cette manifestation consiste dans le rapport de force institué par le véritable blocage de la ville qu’ils provoqueront, toute la circulation de Hong Kong passant par ce quartier bien nommé Central. D’autres envisagent par contre qu’il ne s’agisse là que de se sacrifier pour éveiller la conscience publique…

C’est en fait la conscience mondiale qu’il s’agirait alors de réveiller – car à Hong Kong, le mouvement démocratique est plus puissant que jamais. A Pékin, malheureusement, les récentes initiatives vis à vis de Hong Kong semblent bien indiquer que le nouveau président Xi Jinping veuille incarner à son tour la tradition dictatoriale de sinistre mémoire.

Pourtant, que la démocratie est simple…

Paris s’éveille

10 Basic Facts about OCLP

1) Q. Beijing has made its final denial on « civil nomination » and "party nomination”. Would Occupy Central still be able to change this political reality ?

Beijing officials and the Pro-Beijing camp have recently expressed their « gloomy outlook » on civil nomination in order to narrow the scope of discussion to the formation of the nominating committee and the nomination process, as an attempt to dissuade the public from supporting nomination methods Beijing cannot completely control. Although civil nomination is not the only method that meets international standards on universal suffrage, it does align with Basic Law’s objective on the matter, keep the HKSAR’s political system design (separation of administrative and legislative elections) intact, and has also proved to be effective at the District Council and the Legislative Council. As such OCLP believes the government should adopt an open-minded attitude towards civil nomination. If the government thinks civil nomination is in violation of the Basic Law, they must provide detailed explanation to the public and submit an alternative nomination proposal that will also ensure equal rights of standing for the election. If the government just brutally denies civil nomination, Occupy Central would still fight for the desired process according to public deliberations and the outcome of the civil referendum (whether or not it includes civil nomination).

2) Q. OCLP emphasizes the political reform proposal must meet the international standards. What are these “International Standards” ? Who defines them ?

Article 39 of the Basic Law states that the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” (« ICCPR ») as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force. Article 25 of ICCPR sets out that elections shall be by universal and equal suffrage. Election rights should include the right to nominate, the right to be elected and the right to elect. The Covenant also states that the free expression of the will of the electors should be guaranteed. Therefore, to meet the international standards means not only one person one vote but also to ensure no unreasonable restrictions are set to deprive people of different genders, races, religions and political views of their rights to stand for election. A real universal suffrage must provide electors with real choices.

3) Q. Why does the OCLP movement decide to use referendum instead of lobbying the pan-democractic legislators to do a « de facto referendum » by collective resignation ?

The objective of holding a referendum is to foster a civil consensus which will serve to authorize the pan-democratic parties to negotiate with the government. Both electronic referendum and de facto referendum by collective resignation can serve this purpose. Electronic referendum is purely a non-government platform (run by the Public Opinion Programme, University of Hong Kong) which has absolute control over the topics and the timing. The disadvantages include the lack of resources, vulnerability to computer hacking, lower credibility, etc. On the other hand, de facto referendum enjoys better resources and credibility as it is held by the government. However, it has the disadvantages of limitation to a single topic, full control by the government on the timing of the by-election, the risk that the pan-democrats may lose the by-election, the pro-establishment camp may diverge the topic, etc. OCLP will take into account of all the above factors and work out the form of referendum with various political parties. None of these referendum methods will be ruled out.

4) Q. With the government apparently going to produce a « pre-screening » proposal for Chief Executive nomination, why has OCLP not taken place yet after being planned for more than a year ? When will OCLP actually happen ?

The OCLP movement has kicked off already. The whole process includes deliberations, referendum and, finally, civil disobedience (occupy Central). These are either work in progress or undergoing rehearsal. For OCLP to be justified, occupying Central has to be the last resort. In order to get the Hong Kong citizens to understand the movement, we have to prove that all available channels have been fully utilized.
In the event that the central authorities ignore the requests of the Hong Kong people, we will take necessary action. As the timetable of the official electoral reforms becomes more definite, the timetable of OCLP is getting clearer too. Now that the pro-establishment camp is just spreading news and views, everyone is still standing on the sideline. Once the official proposal turns out to be a bad one, please get ready for action !

5) Q. Will the « Occupy Central with Love and Peace » (« OCLP ») movement mess up Hong Kong ?

Actually it is CY Leung who has messed up Hong Kong and OCLP just strives to restore the long-term stability of the society. It has been widely said that Hong Kong has become unfamiliar to us because the government is not following rules any more - the request by Tung Chee Hwa for the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to reinterpret the Basic Law has hurt the final appeal status of the HKSAR ; the entanglement of Donald Tsang with the rich and powerful ; the way CY Leung handled free television licensing has disregarded the principles of fairness, openness and impartiality. The core issue is that a Chief Executive handpicked by the central authorities is not accountable to the people of Hong Kong. The central authorities has been highly involved, and even dominant, in HKSAR affairs in the last ten years. We thought Hong Kong people should be running Hong Kong with high degree of autonomy except in the areas of military and foreign affairs. In reality, however, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR has been actively intervening in the internal affairs, openly coordinating and lobbying in council elections at various levels, something which the CY Leung administration has taken for granted.

The OCLP movement strives for real universal suffrage and a government that is accountable to the people of Hong Kong, as well as safeguarding « One Country, Two Systems » and the core values of Hong Kong. OCLP aims to bring things back to order, rebuild the Hong Kong that we were familiar with, and enable our society to move on.

6) Q. Why does the OCLP movement not give a clear support to the « civil nomination » proposal ?

The OCLP deliberations allow in-depth discussions on various methods for electing the Chief Executive. A commonly accepted proposal will be voted via civil referendum in order to foster a strong consensus. The last Deliberation Day will be held on 6th May, followed by civil referendum on 22nd June, after which an electoral reform proposal for OCLP will be resulted. We expect all pan-democratic parties and civil organizations to strive their best for this proposal. If civil nomination is part of the proposal, OCLP will give its full and clear support. However, at this stage the OCLP initiators should maintain a neutral stance while respecting the deliberation and referendum processes.

7) Q. Can Hong Kong « acclimatize » to the western democracy model ?

Democratic election without pre-screening is a universal value that also fulfills the requirements of the Basic Law and has been proven effectual in many Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. In fact, universal suffrage has been introduced to District Council and Legislative Council elections for years and operated under civil nomination without any issues of acclimatization. Professor Larry Diamond at Stanford University, an authority on international democracy theory, pointed out that Hong Kong has long been ready for democracy given its economic developments and education level and therefore the so-called acclimatization problem is completely groundless.

8) Q. If OCLP fails to bring to Hong Kong real universal suffrage, will the movement be considered a failure ?

The specific target of OCLP is to press for real universal suffrage in 2017. But we also value coordinating active citizens from various sectors, non-government organizations and pan-democratic political parties for deliberations and cooperation in the course of the movement. Even if the fight for real universal suffrage in 2017 does not succeed, a strengthened civil society will be beneficial to the long-term monitoring of the government and safeguarding the core values of Hong Kong, which is also an important value of the movement.

9) Q. Where have the funds raised by OCLP gone ?

From March last year to February this year, OCLP has raised a total of $5.3 million, in which $2.32 million was spent on holding Deliberation Days 1 and 2, the New Year Civil Referendum and a number of street booths, etc. The remainder will be spent on hiring a venue for Deliberation Day 3 and voting, production of propaganda materials, setting up street booths and the civil referendum on 22 June, etc. As the funds will be exhausted before 1 July, the team will continue to actively raise money for various areas. At the final stage of the political reform, it is very likely that a second referendum should be launched to gauge if the citizens accept the Government’s proposal. Occupy Central must raise more than 3 million to cover the costs.

10) Q. Should Occupy Central have to be resorted to, what are the concrete courses of action ?

The occupying action means participants taking to the roads in Central to block the traffic. When the police come for their arrest, the first ring of participants, i.e. the hard-core members, will not clash with the policemen and will not hire any lawyer to defend themselves when in court. The second ring of participants will not resist arrest either, but they may hire a defense lawyer.

The third ring of participants simply support the first and the second rings in a lawful manner, e.g. silent standing by the road, presentation of bouquets, etc. The power of this third ring can be enormous. To some people the most significant power of the movement is to paralyze the financial hub, while some believe that it is to awaken the public to the awareness of social inequality through self-sacrifice.

As a matter of fact, only when the citizens value their right to universal suffrage will they not mind their right to use the roads being infringed. Only when they understand that our civil rights have long been “occupied” by a small group of people—resulting in the idling, conflicts and decline of society—will they understand that to occupy Central is to “counter the occupation”. Therefore, Occupy Central is a movement of both disobedience and awakening.

[Source : Occupy Central with Love and Peace]

[Ci-dessous le processus de délibération pour la formulation des options présentées au référendum populaire, cette semaine, à partir du 22 juin 2014, et qui devrait se tenir jusqu’à la fin du mois – qui a déjà recueilli les suffrages de plus de 700 000 participants ce 24 juin :]

Constitutional Reform Deliberation Day

Discussion and Voting Arrangements

Dear Hong Kong citizens,

We have come to a critical moment in the democratic development in Hong Kong. Supporters of universal suffrage have been striving for years for an electoral system of the Chief Executive that meets international standards. Now it is the time for decision.

On 20 March, an academic conference involving experts in international constitutional law, human rights law, and electoral law was held at the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong. While the international standards on “universal and equal suffrage’ were articulated clearly, of utmost importance is to ensure that voters will have genuine choices. Among the various proposals on the Chief Executive electoral system, many can meet such standards.

Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) will be holding the “Constitutional Reform Deliberation Day” in five different districts of Hong Kong on 6 May 2014. All Hong Kong citizens are welcome. We are arranging 5 to 10 sessions, each accommodating approximately 500 participants. In each session, a neutral constitutional law expert will briefly introduce each of the Chief Executive electoral proposals that can meet international standards. Participants will then discuss in groups of 20 under the guidance of a facilitator and the assistance of a constitutional consultant (who may be a law student who has studied constitutional law, a probationary lawyer, or a practicing lawyer). After the deliberations, each participant who has signed the OCLP letter of intent can vote for ONE proposal that he or she prefers the most at the polling booths on the spot. The voting results will be announced later that evening.

The three proposals receiving the most support from the “Constitutional Reform Deliberation Day” will be offered to all Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above who will then select one among the three on the “Civil Referendum Day” on 22 June. The Chief Executive electoral proposal thus selected will be submitted to the HKSAR Government for consideration. If the proposal is not accepted by the Government, OCLP will, when necessary, carry out the acts of civil disobedience - Occupy Central - in order to fight for a genuine universal and equal suffrage that comply with international standards.

Application for the Deliberation Day for english speakers can be submitted via the following link (please read the related materials prior to the deliberation) :

http://goo.gl/KBRgBC

Date : 6th May 2014 (Tue, Public Holiday)

Time : 2:15pm - 6:15pm (Registration starts at 1:30pm)

Venue : North Point Methodist Church [11 Cheung Hong Street, Hong Kong]

We sincerely hope that Hong Kong citizens will respond to our call and participate in the “Constitutional Reform Deliberation Day”. Take the opportunity to express your opinion while listening to others. Exercise your democratic rights to select the three Chief Executive electoral proposals. Make choice for the future of our city while we still can.

OCLP Organizers

Chan Kin-man Benny Tai Chu Yiu-ming

[Source : Occupy Central with Love and Peace]