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A Statement from Initiatives for China on the “Fishball Incident” on Chinese New Year’s Day in Hong Kong

It is reported that on February 9, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Leung Chun-ying called the Mong Kok incident on Chinese New Year’s Day (February 8) a riot.  The media has pointed out that this was the first time since the 1997 handover that the Hong Kong government has used Article 19 of “Public Order Ordinance” to label a clash as a riot. But activists for local democracy regard the incident as the “Fish-ball Revolution”.
Although the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities have deliberately exaggerated the incident as a riot, this conflict started with the local younger generation supporting street food venders and the traditional night markets at Mong Kok Temple Street.  Hong Kong police fired into the air, which escalated the conflict.  Just as some Chinese netizens have commented, the Hong Kong Police Department has become more and more like the mainland China’s Urban Management and Public Security Officers.  We are concerned that rule of law in Hong Kong is being eroded by power abuses, and the Hong Kong government more and more is becoming like the brutal Chinese communists.  It is the unilateral governance model that pushed the peace-loving civilized Hong Kong citizens from the collective “peaceful occupation of Central” movement to intense small-scaled street protests.


As of the morning of February 10, the Hong Kong police had arrested 64 citizens on charges of unlawful assembly, assaulting police officers, resisting arrests, obstructing police officers, possessing weapons, and disorderly conducts in public venues.


The arrests of activists in the “peaceful occupation of Central” as a means of non-violent civil disobedience, the bookstore incident at Causeway Bay, and now the Mong Kok conflict as a landmark event, all mark the systemic fall of Hong Kong.


Facing the current situation in Hong Kong, we cannot help but be concerned and on alert.  Once a civilized city, why has Hong Kong now been labeled a “riotous” city?  Once a city with the rule of law, why does its government routinely resort to violence?  Once a free city, why has it become so difficult for the street merchants?  In today’s Hong Kong, civilization is regressing, and freedom is being eroded.  If we do not stick to freedom, democracy and rule of law, the fear of Hong Kong becoming another mainland China will be a reality.


Natural justice and social justice are not in conflict; the principle of equality and the principle of difference are not a contradiction.  To comply with the universal values of human rights is the main trend in today’s world.  Citizen Power is gravely concerned about the current situation, because of our faith and persistence in freedom, democracy, the rule of law.
We hope that the Hong Kong authorities will adopt a multilateral framework of long-term governance to solve the current problems with political wisdom, rather than use force to suppress the expressions of its citizens.  Simple issues will only become complicated with the mentality of China’s stability maintenance in societal governance.  Political issues should be handled through political channels.  Only by so doing can the Hong Kong government withstand the test of universal values, and the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong citizens be guaranteed.
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