Love Democracy, Love Our Homeland
March Against the Cross-Border Driving Scheme
February 19, 2012
Land Justice League & Oppose Planning Imposed Upon Hong Kong Action Group
The most ridiculous things happen in Hong Kong: We can pull a candidate down from the Chief Executive election by parodic art and public outcry but has no say whether another candidate would be popped up again by those in power. To quote a line from a newspaper today, “Things have deteriorated to a point even peanut popping bystanders find too embarrassing to watch.” Although everyone here comes to participate in a march against the Cross-Border Driving Scheme, the first fact we want to declare with you is that “Hong Kong people want democracy! Down with Small Circle Election.”
As we all know, despite the Beijing government’s promise of the so-called “one country, two systems, a high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong after 1997, in actual practice, Beijing still wants a firm hold on the rules of the game, gradually eliminate the “two systems,” hoping that Hong Kong people will continue to remain obediently colonized economic animals, happy to play the peanut popping bystander to their own destinies. Hong Kong people have been denied our right to formulate, interpret and amend the Basic Law. We cannot determine our own political system, and it remains a mystery to us if and when the Legislative Council functional constituencies will finally be eliminated. Since 1997, Donald Tsang, Henry Tang, Stephen Lam and their likes have constantly and institutionally overridden our rights to determine our future by signing secret cross-border agreements on our behalf without our agreement. One sees public opinion as fleeting clouds, one is the king of unauthorized structures, the other we popularly call a human flesh MP3.
The tons of secret agreements signed in black-box by the Hong Kong and Chinese governments in the past ten years seriously damage Hong Kong’s degree of autonomy. The Cross-Border Driving Scheme is but one. Today, Ms Eva Cheng soft-sells Hong Kong people with a small carrot, giving a few Hong Kong people the privilege to drive north to China in the first phase of the Cross-Border Driving Scheme, saying that we can then slowly discuss about the next phase. This is a lie, because way before this the secret agreement on the Cross-Border Driving Scheme, the Hong Kong and Chinese governments have already signed many other secret agreements, committing Hong Kong to a frenzy of transport infrastructure building: the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Liantang new port and so on. In predicting the traffic flow of these new infrastructures, the SAR Government has always already assumed substantial relaxation of cross-border automotive flow as a given. Their conspiracy is to build “hardware” as fait accompli in order to force Hong Kong to give in on the software. This is a deceit to force us to give up the two systems and thus our autonomy in governance. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail forced Hong Kong people to accept the intrusion of Chinese law enforcement into Hong Kong through the “Two Checks In One Location” policy. Chinese border security and public law enforcement will have the right to operate in the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station in the future. With a number of new cross-border roads and bridges in line, the SAR Government will gradually force us to accept further erosion of our autonomy one by one. Allowing automotive cross-border driving is just one of the precedents. The frog will eventually be slow-cooked.
Our March Against the Cross-Border Driving Scheme has two purposes: to make Hong Kong people aware that the Hong Kong and Chinese governments have been systematically and recurrently signing black-box agreements behind our backs. We must take back our right to determine and authorize any agreements prior to their signing. We must take back our autonomy to govern our own city. All cross-border agreements must first go through proper public consultation in Hong Kong and garner the approval of a democratically elected Legislative Council before being signed into reality. Second, today’s March Against the Cross-Border Driving Scheme has the support and participation of twenty one non-governmental organizations, including environmental groups, cycling groups, the drivers’ union, urban planning groups, and religious groups. Their participation is very significant: “local” movements have often been questioned when we protest against anything having to do with Chinese government policy and wishes, what our alternative is for Hong Kong. These local groups stand tall together today to tell those in power what exactly we want for Hong Kong, what we envision Hong Kong to become. In fact the civil society has always been vocal about our visions and aspirations for Hong Kong. Those in power have just been deaf and blind.
- Bicycles and Pedestrians First: Oppose the Cross-Border Driving Scheme!
- Fresh Air First: Oppose the Cross-Border Driving Scheme!
- No Traffic Congestion: Oppose the Cross-Border Driving Scheme!
- Road Safety First: Oppose the Cross-Border Driving Scheme!!
Local social movements do not operate on hate, prejudice and discrimination against anyone. Civil society belongs to everyone. What we should condemn are the institutions and people in power who govern in secret behind our backs, who profit from secretive power play, who stifle our democracy through black box policies and deals. We hope to carry forward the spirit of the anti-high-speed rail movement: to take up the burden to fight for freedom, justice and full democracy, to protect our beloved homeland, and pledge to take up the cudgels for our next generation, to hand over to them a Hong Kong that is free, democratic and just.
Together we speak:
- Love the Environment, Love Our Homeland: Everyone Against the Cross-Border Driving Scheme!
- Love Democracy, Against Secret Agreements: Everyone Against the Cross-Border Driving Scheme!