Recently, a few members of the US Congress have nominated Joshua Wong, Alex Chow, and Nathan Law, the three so-called “student leaders” of the 2014 Umbrella Revolution for the Nobel Peace Prize. The pro-China establishment at the Legislative Council were upset as expected, lambasting that the public blockades during the 2014 Umbrella Revolution had been “violently” obstructing the economy and other Hong Kongers from going on with their lives, even though the only clashes that actually occurred were between Hong Kong localists and the pro-China lackeys who attacked them, such as the Hong Kong Police, the so-called “blue-ribbons” (i.e. lay people who sided with China), and triad gangsters. The news of the Nobel Peace Prize nomination, however, had left some Hong Kong localists bewildered, as Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow not only did not do anything of notable contribution during the Umbrella Revolution, but had actually pulled the rug out from under the active protesters at the time.
The Nobel Peace Prize nomination extolled the trio for the roles they supposedly played during the Umbrella Revolution, as the US congressmen claimed that Wong, Chow and Law bought about the continuing assurance of freedom and rights for Hong Kongers. It is completely laughable that they are awarded this praise by members of the US Congress, as Hong Kong has been experiencing continuous downfall ever since the Umbrella Revolution ended in failure in early 2015. Since 2016, Hong Kong has experienced a complete breakdown in judicial independence, the rule of law, and the right and freedom of assembly, as the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration were completely ignored or selectively employed to suit China’s whims.
Moreover, the book “Failure of the Umbrella Revolution” published by Passion Times in 2016 has clearly outlined what roles the trio actually played during the massive political movement in 2014. Instead of “leading” the occupation of Hong Kong’s streets, Wong, Chow and Law were instrumental in allowing the Umbrella Revolution to lose momentum and faded into nothing – after they hijacked the spontaneous uprising by the Hong Kong public, claimed it as their own and declared their “leadership” over the movement.
While the sit-in that predated the 2014 Umbrella Revolution did result from the unlawful arrest of Joshua Wong after he tried to force his way into the Civic Square at the Central Government Complex, protesters showed up of their own accord rather than responding to the trio’s urging or “leadership”. When Hong Kongers – both adults and youth – were facing off with the cops, Joshua was “recuperating” inside the Legislative Council Building and was seen eating cup noodles. When protesters tried to crash the October 1st flag raising ceremony (which commemorated the “birth” of Communist China), Wong and his crew blocked protesters from doing so as they were fearful of “angering China”. When protesters were having their eyes pepper-sprayed and their heads bashed in during the clash with cops on Lung Wo Road, Alex Chow deserted those valiant Hong Kongers by denying them logistic support, reinforcement and manpower, such as failing to replenish protesters’ protective gear. After the protesters were ambushed by Hong Kong Police at Lung Wo Road, Alex Chow said that he cut off the “blood supply” to protesters in order to prove that escalation of protest would invariably lead to failure. As for Nathan Law, he was part of the group that criticized those Hong Kongers that were angry at the leadership of the Hong Kong Federation of Students for their contribution to the breakdown of the Umbrella Revolution. When calls were made for the student unions of the respective universities to withdraw their membership from the Federation, the advocates were labelled by Law’s group as “China’s minions” trying to disempower the student body.
Why is there such a difference between how localists see the Umbrella Revolution and how the international community at large sees it? Why would these members of the US Congress praise three people for advancing the democratic cause in Hong Kong, when it is precisely them that had led to its demise, and the subsequent defeat and forced retreat of Hong Kong localists against the Chinese tyranny?
During the February 2nd, 2018 episode of the show “Political Passion” on Passion Times, the show hosts correctly pointed out that the media often can only capture one moment and one perspective at any one time. It has been said that “history is written by the victors”, probably because the “victors” are the ones that can gain access to media coverage. Since reporters can only seek the prominent figures of an event for information, the way an event is portrayed inevitably will reflect the view of those prominent figures. While there had been no declared “victors” on the pro-democracy side during the 2014 Umbrella Revolution, the pan-democrats and more prominent “student leaders” such as Joshua Wong have been on the international media’s radar long before that. On the other hand, the Hong Kong localists had always kept a rather low profile as they were not as keen on chasing the limelight as the former loves to do. Therefore, how the international community makes sense of what happens in Hong Kong has been largely dictated by people such as Joshua Wong, who often portray themselves as world-saving heroes while downplaying, if not discrediting outright, their political competitors such as the Hong Kong localist factions.
Nevertheless, the Nobel Prize nomination of Wong, Chow and Law is a lesson to Hong Kong localists as it highlights the fact that we sorely need more news coverage in order for our cause to reach the international stage. At a time when mainstream media, whether pro-China or pro-“pan-democrats”, actively ignore or deliberate omit our side of the story and what we advocate for, we need to establish our own platform to broadcast our views and discourse, so that people in the free world can understand what’s truly going on, and our future generations can access accurate records of history.
Passion Times is such a platform, but it is not enough. We need those of us who are multilingual to translate what we know or propose into other languages. We need everyone to disseminate our information and ideas, whether on social media platforms or by word-of-mouth. Finally, we need those who are financially blessed to provide for the logistics needed to sustain these platforms’ operations.
No man is an island; the power is yours.
（Photo Source：Henry Mühlpfordt｜CC BY SA 3.0）