July 1 March Organizer Releases Statement About Violence in Hong Kong Parliament

By Frank Fang

Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), an umbrella organization that is the organizer of the march on July 1, has issued a statement on its Facebook page in response to the violence used by young protesters at the Legislative Council (LegCo) yesterday.

The statement titled “Family Letter, To Advance and Retreat Together” urged Hong Kongers to stand on the side of “eggs” if they have to choose between “eggs and the high wall.”

The phrase “eggs and the high wall” is part of a speech given by internationally acclaimed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, when he traveled to Jerusalem to claim a literary award in 2009, according to The Guardian.

“Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg,” Murakami stated at the time, according to Israweli newspaper Haaretz. “Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will decide.”

Eggs and walls are metaphors for power versus weakness, such as bombs and tanks versus unarmed civilians.

In 2014, while accepting a literary prize in Germany, Murakami spoke about “walls” as a barrier to support Hong Kong protesters taking part in the Umbrella Movement.

Inspired by Murakami’s “eggs and the high wall,” protesters in 2014 set up an artwork to show their determination to have universal suffrage.

On July 1, over half a million people marched from Victoria Park to Central, demanding the local government withdraw a controversial extradition bill. The peaceful march has since between overshadowed by a group of young protesters who stormed and vandalized the city’s Legislative Council (LegCo) after illegally breaking into the building by shattering glass doors with a metal trolley and poles.

HK Government
Police stand outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 2, 2019. (VIVEK PRAKASH/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters did not empty LegCo’s premises until around 12:30 a.m. local time on July 2. Police then fired multiple rounds of tear gas to disperse crowds outside of the building.

“Even though we do not want to see people take certain actions under a totalitarian rule, we absolutely understand the choice made by those protesters [at LegCo]. Last night, a group of students put aside their personal safety and gave their best shot. In fact, these protesters simply took one extra courageous step than all of us,” the statement said.

CHRF called on people not to blame these protesters or choose sides, since everyone is “in the same boat.”

CHRF, which already organized two major marches in June drawing millions of participants, stated that it has been thinking about taking “upgraded actions,” but has not come to any conclusion in the face of a Hong Kong government that remains “arrogant.”

At around 4 a.m. local time on July 2, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam held a press conference, condemning protesters’ actions for storming LegCo and breaking the law. Lam stated that she would communicate with young people and lawmakers.

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, speaks during a news conference in Hong Kong on July 2, 2019. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi Dick, writing on his Facebook page at around 10 p.m. local time on July 1, said that Lam had refused to meet with lawmakers from the pan-democratic camp for an urgent meeting.

Prior to Chu’s statement, CHRF and 24 lawmakers from the pan-democratic camp issued an emergency joint statement.

“Pan-democratic legislators have requested to meet with Lam today to seek a solution in this political crisis. But the request of dialogue has been rejected by Lam. We cannot be angrier at her rejection to the request, which proves her ‘willingness to listen’ to be the ugliest political lie,” the joint statement stated.

The statement reiterated CHRF’s five longstanding demands, including complete withdrawal of the extradition bill and Lam’s resignation.

Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan, writing in his Facebook page after the conclusion of Lam’s press conference, said that Lam is also responsible for the violence at LegCo. He said that her response over the past month has “added fuel to the fire” instead of “cooling down the public sentiment [about the bill].”

Wan questioned why Lam had the time in the early hours of July 2 to call a press conference, but said earlier on July 1 that she did not have time to meet with pan-democratic lawmakers as tensions were building outside LegCo.

Similar to CHRF’s demands, Wan said that the extradition bill must be withdrawn from debate and voting by the pro-Beijing majority legislative council and Lam must step down.

Anson Chan, the city’s former Chief Secretary, also told local media on July 2 that Lam and her team shouldered some responsibility for the violence on July 1.

“It is a culmination of several years of injustice: a legislative council that is not performing its function, a government that listens only to the pro-Beijing party and ignores the rest of Hong Kong people, and Hong Kong youngsters, particularly following the 79-day siege in [the] 2014 umbrella and achieving absolutely nothing, feeling an increasing sense of anger, futility, and frustration,” she said. “The government needs to address this.”

From The Epoch Times