• jeremiahbull

Are the young being exploited or politicised? 年輕人被剝削或被政治化了嗎?

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

(Please scroll down for Chinese translation 繁体中文请往下滑).

Being arrested is a traumatic experience....More pictures below

I am looking over posters and post-it notes on the local Lennon Wall that acts as a kind of celebration of the pro-democracy social movement. Suddenly two kids come running towards me screaming fiercely. I see they’re armed with big black marker pens. They stop and stoop before me, bending down to slash thick black marks across the faces of Carrie Lam and Xi Jinping whose portraits are plastered all over the footpath. I’m astonished by just how staunch these youngsters are and look around, but don’t see any parents in sight.

Today I am more concerned than ever about how the government of Hong Kong fulfills its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child ratified in 1990. What childhood memories will the current generation take with them into adulthood? It’s clear that many young protesters have already shouldered a very heavy burden for the rest of us. News reports indicate that Police have arrested a lot of very young children, and there have been legal battles to reunite youngsters with their families. We can only wonder about the care juveniles receive whilst in detention.

Many citizens active in the Pro-democracy movement are motivated to push for a better Hong Kong, not only for personal reasons, but also to improve the lives of current and future generations of young people. Currently in Hong Kong this tends to translate mostly as being anti-government and anti-Communist Party.

Critics of the social movement claim it is wrong for school kids or older students to take part in protests, and that they do not fully understand the issues involved. On the other hand, some parents have been seen with their children at rallies, or walking with their children on protest marches. It’s clear that some young people have joined civil disobedience either without their parents’ knowledge or in defiance.

Perhaps some young people model themselves on young leaders like Demosisto’s Joshua Wong, active in the Umbrella Movement since 2014 and sent to prison for his activism? Others hear their parents and relatives talk politics, or are able to see and follow news and commentary in all kinds of media. Unlike in the neighbouring mainland China, information flows freely here, though there has been speculation about curbing that freedom. Whether young people are fully cognisant of what their involvement in protests means on a personal level is not always clear.

On Friday 4th of October, young people territory-wide received a political lesson courtesy of Chief Executive Carrie Lam: every school was asked to announce the government’s new face mask ban. It was a lesson about human rights and authority, about being told what you can and cannot do, and about how easily freedom can be taken away from us. In Hong Kong, where masks are widely used to combat the spread of respiratory illnesses in the densely populated city, even the students knew the mask ban law would inflame public anger!

It’s very wrong for the government to deal so ineffectively with the issues facing its people and to ignore the real concerns of the younger generation. Youth in Hong Kong are living the political lesson about what happens when government fails to act in the best interests of the people it is meant to serve. We are right to be concerned about the loss of personal freedoms in Hong Kong, as reported to the British Parliament last year. No one can be sure about how the unrest in Hong Kong will end, or about the long term effects on young people here, but the systemic failings of its governing model have been clearly exposed to the world.

Jeremiah B. and Pepe

VIDEO: Link posted 23 December, 2019 "No Joy this Christmas". A father interviewed about his son's involvement in HK protests. (English Subtitles)


今天,我比以往任何時候都更加關注香港政府如何履行其在1990年批准的「 聯合國兒童權利公約」(United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child) 所規定的義務。當代人將把什麼樣的童年記憶帶入成年期?顯然,許多年輕的抗議者已經為我們其他人承擔了沉重的負擔。新聞報導表明,許多年幼的孩子 被警察逮捕了,並進行了法律鬥爭,使年輕人可與家人 團聚。我們可想而知少年們在拘留期間 受到的照顧。

許多積極參加民主運動的公民不僅出於個人原因,而且為了改善今世後代的年輕人 的生活,而積極推動香港的發展。目前在香港,這往往會轉化為反政府和反共產黨。

社會運動的批評者聲稱,學童或大學生參加抗議活動 是錯誤的,他們沒有完全理解所涉及 的問題。另一方面,一些父母在集會上與孩子見面,或者在抗議遊行中與孩子同行。很明顯,有些年輕人在父母不知情或無視 的情況下加入了公民抗命。

也許有些年輕人效仿像Demosisto的黃之鋒這樣的年輕領袖,自2014年以來一直活躍在雨傘運動中,並因其行動而入?其他人則聽其父母和親戚談論政治,或者能夠在各種媒體 上看到和關注新聞和評論。與周圍的中國大陸不同,這裡的信息自由流動,儘管有關於限制自由的猜測。年輕人是否在個人層面上充分認識到他們參與抗議活動意味著什麼並不總是很清楚。

10月4日(星期五),行政長官林鄭月娥(Carrie Lam)向全港青少年提供了政治課:要求每所學校宣布政府新的口罩禁令 。這是關於人權和權威的課程,關於被告知您可以做和不能做的事情,以及如何輕易地將自由從我們手中奪走 的教訓。在人口稠密的城市,口罩被廣泛用來抵抗呼吸道疾病的蔓延,在香港,即使是學生,也知道口罩禁令會激起公眾的憤怒

政府如此無效率地處理其人民所面臨的問題,而忽視了年輕一代的真正擔憂是非常錯誤的。香港的年輕人正在經歷政治課,內容是當政府不為應服務的人民 的最大利益行事時會發生什麼。正如去年向英國議會 報告的那樣,我們對香港人身自由的喪失感到擔憂是正確的。沒有人能確定香港的動盪將如何結束,或對這裡的年輕人產生長期影響,但其執政模式的系統性失敗顯然已經暴露給全世界。

Jeremiah B. and Pepe

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