26 August 2019
Political commentators Johnny Lau (top insert) and Ching Cheong say the current social atmosphere is similar to that before the 1967 riots in Hong Kong. Photos: HKEJ
Political commentators Johnny Lau (top insert) and Ching Cheong say the current social atmosphere is similar to that before the 1967 riots in Hong Kong. Photos: HKEJ

Current social weather likened to events leading to 1967 riots

Political commentators Johnny Lau and Ching Cheong compare the current social atmosphere in Hong Kong to the one just before the 1967 leftist riots.

The Alliance for Peace and Democracy is using organizations to accomplish the political task of the authorities. The society is being torn apart, and authorities are aggravating the situation by playing on the people’s sentiments, Apple Daily reported on Monday, citing Lau.

Ching said the development of the anti-Occupy Central movement is very similar to the events that led to the 1967 riots. It is organized by the masses and will get the official endorsement of the authorities when it reaches a certain stage of development.

The “masses” are different from “citizens”. The former is about collective will, while the latter is about free will and personal rights, Ching added.

The two political analysts also noted that the manner by which anti-Occupy Central organizers mobilize supporters is similar to the tactics used by the Communist Party, an opinion echoed by Occupy Central organizer Chan Kin-man.

Chan said the same mobilization tactic is often seen in other communist regimes such as North Korea and Czech Republic when it was still under communist rule.

He said the anti-Occupy Central organizers are forcing everyone to make their position known in the campaign, just like the tactic used in the Cultural Revolution, according to a separate report by Ming Pao Daily.

Beijing’s Liaison Office asked mainland students in Hong Kong to endorse the anti-Occupy Central movement, while senior management in mainland-owned companies in the city distributed forms to subordinates for them to sign and affirm their support for the campaign, Chan said.

Although one couldn’t say the students and company workers were forced to lend their support to the movement, it was an approach that involved the officers exerting their influence over their subordinates, he said. When an institution joins a political campaign, those who refuse to join would naturally feel pressure, he added.

Chan said he was aware that some public opinion surveys show about 20 percent of the residents support Occupy Central, while half of them are opposed to the civil disobedience movement.

“I understand that many people are worried that society could be messed up because of Occupy Central, so I think we should respect people who oppose Occupy Central, and we did nothing to disrupt their campaign in the past month,” he said.

Chan also said he was not affected by the more than a million signatures collected by the Alliance for Peace and Democracy. No matter how many signatures they had, the result would not debunk the stand of the 800,000 people who cast their votes in favor of public nomination for candidates to the 2017 chief executive election, he said.

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