Friday, June 5, 2020

A Defiant Hong Kong Remembers Tiananmen Square

The drama of Hong Kong's struggle for freedom has reached a new level of crisis.

The PartyState in Beijing has decided unilaterally to impose a new "Basic Security Law" on the people of Hong Kong. There may yet be more bureaucratic formalities, but ultimately this means that mainland "security forces" will be able to intervene directly in activities in Hong Kong that their Beijing CCP masters determine to be "seditious."

A Hong Kong protestor or opposition candidate or pro-democracy legislator or journalist or grandmother sitting on a park bench can now be arrested if their behavior proves inconvenient to the Communist Party. Hong Kong's distinctive system of internal governance has been effectively and openly breached.

How the PartyState will use this newly decreed power remains to be seen. It's likely that people will begin to be "disappeared."

Meanwhile, even though the PartyState pretends (at least) to have Coronavirus under control, the local Hong Kong authorities banned the annual Tiananmen Square memorial gathering. In mainland China, of course, it has always been illegal to commemorate (and dangerous even to mention) the Beijing pro-democracy student protests of 1989 and their murderous suppression by the Communist People's Liberation Army on the infamous night of June 4.

Hong Kong people, however, have gathered enormous crowds every year, as such demonstrations were legal under their distinctive government system. This domestic political autonomy was supposedly guaranteed for Hong Kong by the "one country, two systems" treaty that united them with China in 1997. 

But what would Hong Kong people do for June 4, 2020? What would they do in the face of a direct ban and the new "security law" that looms over them?

They came out by tens of thousands to this candlelight vigil at Victoria Park, as well as other places throughout the city. (Pictures credit: Apple Daily and Stand News.) Little was done to hinder them (for the moment). And like the "Umbrella Revolution" of 2014 and the one million and two million person protest marches in June of last year, Hong Kong people once again gave the whole world a lesson in "civil disobedience."

These images are compelling and unambiguous. These people came in great numbers and in peace to speak truth to power. With the big ugly gun of the world's largest dictatorship loaded and pointed at their head, they brought candles. They stood in solidarity with their unarmed brothers and sisters from 31 years ago, who were met by bullets and tanks.

They even stood with ample space between one another because they were practicing social distancing!

The PartyState may very well crush the freedom and even the lives of the Hong Kong people. But they will never win their hearts. They will never convince anyone with a conscience that officially-sanctioned-violence is actually "necessary public security." They will be crafty, they will be brutal, and it will probably look like they have won. They will inflict much suffering. But whatever they do, their conquest will never be legitimate. It will remain a crime.

And peaceful witness to the truth will ultimately prevail, because violence - no matter how powerful - is doomed to consume itself.