09/10/2014, 00.00
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Card. Zen: With Occupy Central we may have provoked the Emperor’s ire

by card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiun
The democratic movement is not a threat to the Territory’s survival. Beijing’s "three slaps in the face" of the local population. "When the imperialists attack, they only do damage, but when it is our fellow Chinese who want to enslave us, then our heart is wounded. There is no other option for those who do not want to be enslaved except resistance". The reflections of the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Some people say to us: "You think you scare the central government with the threat posed by Occupy Central?' The more threats you make, the more the central government will refuse to make concessions. You have got what you deserve!" . In a news report from Shandong province, I read that a father kicked and soundly slapped his daughter three times for refusing to go to school on the first day of the academic year. We too, the citizens of Hong Kong, have received three sound slaps in the past few days.

Beijing has decided (its first slap) that the only Commission which shall have the authority to nominate candidates for the upcoming election of the Chief Executive will be composed according to the rules of the Electoral Commission; the second slap comes from the fact that an absolute majority will be needed to elect the political leader; the third slap is that there will be only two or three candidates for the vote.

Should we now react like that little girl from Shandong: rub our face swollen red by the slaps, swallow the tears and, all scared, follow our father into school?

Some people think that we even got off lightly: for a similar crime, a crime of Lèse-majesté, instead we deserve to die under a hail of bullets from People's Liberation Army! If we had begged on our knees, would we not have already been granted the grace of a real general election? But were those young people in Tiananmen Square not been brought to their knees in front of the building of the National Assembly? What good did that do?

A totalitarian government cannot understand democracy, that is, the concept that the people are the their own master. They are the lord and masters here, actually the Emperor. Nazis, fascists and communists are all the same! In a democratic regime, the rulers are the servants, and when they do not do the job - and instead of seeking the common good, pursue their own interests - the people are not required to look for kind words to express their discontent. Indeed, when popular discontent is at breaking point they are permitted to cry out: it is only a sign of desperation. In those cries, leaders who are not despots but fathers hear the voice of those who are crying.

It was only when we were faced with the rejection of a rational dialogue that we came out on the streets for those "walks", went to vote in the "referendum" and sweat for eight hours on the sultry streets of the city, on July 1. Are these threats? No they are pleas! But expressed with dignity. In comparison, those  "petitions" and "patriotic marches", manipulated and mercenary were ridiculous , things that only happen in fascist countries.

The government claims it does not fear Occupy Central. We do not doubt it: why should they be afraid? Occupy Central will not cause major damage and the government has all the means necessary to keep it under control. Rather it is we who should be afraid. Once the we begin the act of civil disobedience will be in a completely passive position, because it is a peaceful movement motivated by love!

We have every reason to fear that maybe we'll end up paying a higher price than what we expect. I want to encourage all those who are planning to take part in the action "not to be afraid of fear". For our fellow citizens, for our compatriots, let us set out courageously on this road of no return!

One thing that the Communists and their accomplices are not afraid to do, and which instead they should, is wounding our hearts. The attack of the imperialist forces leads only to material damage, but when it is our fellow Chinese who want to enslave us forever, then our heart is wounded. We cannot resign ourselves to be slaves, what other choice do we then have but to resist?


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