Categories
archives 2019 protests

Open letter to protesters in Hong Kong’s prisons

We heard of efforts to send you Christmas cards and decided to take this opportunity to send you this short letter of support and solidarity.

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 2.11.45 PM
On the walls of Beirut, in solidarity with protesters in Iraq and Hong Kong. Photo by Joey Ayoub (creative commons)

Dear friends,

We heard of efforts to send you Christmas cards and decided to take this opportunity to send you this short letter of support and solidarity. We know of your effort in the ongoing opposition to the extradition bill and/or your role in the 2016 Fishball Revolution and salute you for it.

The perseverance of protesters in Hong Kong is helping to open up a global space that was soon joined, or preceded, by protests in Chile, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Bolivia, Ecuador, Haiti, France, Albania, Russia, Togo, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Mauritania, South Africa, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Serbia, Armenia, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Georgia as well as the ongoing attempts by activists in Libya, Yemen and Syria/Rojava to reclaim countries being brutally repressed by state and non-state forces, local and foreign.

More recently, the protests in Hong Kong have been inspiring protesters the world over, and we believe that this will only continue to grow in 2020. Just as governments are learning from one another on the various methods available to crush revolts, so too should we be learning from one another to counter these tactics in a spirit of mutual aid and solidarity. The high level of self-organisation shown by protesters in Hong Kong has regularly left us speechless.

We are telling you this as a reminder of your importance in this world. We’ve been following as best we could since Occupy Central in 2011/2012. We know that you are facing incredible odds. We know what the Chinese Communist Party is capable of. We know of its suppression of workers’ movements on the mainland, and we know of its repression of the Uyghur and Hui peoples in Xinjiang/East Turkestan and of Tibetans in Tibet.

We call on the authorities to release you immediately and unconditionally.

With this in mind we wish you good luck, and repeat our sincere wishes that you achieve your much-deserved freedom from authoritarianism.

In solidarity,

Your supporters in the Middle East and North Africa.


Lettre ouverte aux manifestants emprisonnés de Hong Kong

(traduite par un groupe de militants)

Chers amis,

Nous avons entendu parler de la campagne pour vous faire parvenir des cartes de vœux pour les fêtes de Noël et avons décidé de profiter de l’occasion pour vous envoyer cette courte lettre de soutien et en solidarité. Nous sommes au courant de vos efforts dans l’opposition actuelle au projet de loi sur l’extradition et/ou de votre rôle dans la “Révolution des boulettes de poison”1 de 2016 , et nous vous saluons pour cela.

La persévérance des manifestant⋅e⋅s à Hong Kong contribue à ouvrir un espace mondial qui a été rapidement rejoint ou précédé par des manifestations au Chili, Liban, Irak, Iran, Algérie, Bolivie, Équateur, Haïti, France, Albanie, Russie, Togo, Turquie, Égypte, Soudan, Mauritanie, Afrique du Sud, Éthiopie, Ukraine, Serbie, Arménie, Burkina Faso, Colombie, Géorgie, ainsi que par les tentatives en cours de militants en Libye, au Yémen et en Syrie/Rojava pour récupérer des pays brutalement réprimés par les forces étatiques et non étatiques, locales et étrangères.

Plus récemment, les manifestations à Hong Kong ont inspiré les contestataires du monde entier, et nous pensons qu’elles ne feront que s’accroître en 2020. Tout comme les gouvernements apprennent les uns des autres sur les diverses méthodes disponibles pour écraser les révoltes, nous devrions aussi apprendre les uns des autres pour contrer ces tactiques dans un esprit d’entraide et de solidarité. Le haut niveau d’auto-organisation dont font preuve les manifestant⋅e⋅s à Hong Kong nous laisse régulièrement sans voix.

Nous disons cela pour vous rappeler l’importance qui est la votre dans ce monde. Nous suivons la situation du mieux que nous avons pu depuis le mouvement Occupy Central de 2011/2012. Nous savons que vous courez des risques incroyables. Nous savons de quoi le Parti communiste chinois est capable. Nous savons aussi que ce régime réprime les mouvements ouvriers sur le continent, et qu’il réprime aussi les Ouïghours et les Hui du Xinjiang/Turkestan oriental et les Tibétains du Tibet.

Nous demandons aux autorités de vous libérer immédiatement et sans conditions.

C’est dans cet état d’esprit que nous vous souhaitons bonne chance et réitérons nos vœux les plus sincères de pouvoir arracher à l’autoritarisme une liberté que vous méritez tant.

Par solidarité,

Vos soutiens au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord.

[1]  La “Révolution des boulettes” de poisson est une manifestation qui a eu lieu à Hong Kong, dans le quartier de Mong Kok, en février 2016. Organisée initialement pour défendre le maintien des marchands ambulants dans les rues, la manifestation se transforme en émeute contre les autorités de Hong Kong et de Pékin. Trois activistes de Hong Kong, dont Edward Leung, on été condamnés à de lourdes peine pour avoir organisé cette émeute (NdT).

中東及北非的支持者給香港抗爭者的信

親愛的朋友們

我們得知坊間發起送聖誕卡給你們的行動,決定藉此機會向你們送上這封簡短的書函以表支持和與你們同行的意志。我們知道你們在現正持續的反送中條例運動所付出的努力及/或於2016年魚蛋革命中的角色,並為此向你們致敬。

香港抗爭者的堅毅開拓出一個國際空間。 很快的, 先行於或由以下多國的示威後繼: 智利, 黎巴嫩, 伊拉克, 伊朗, 阿爾及利亞, 玻利維亞, 厄瓜多爾, 海地, 法國, 阿爾巴利亞, 俄羅斯, 多哥, 土耳其, 埃及, 蘇丹, 毛里塔里亞, 南非, 埃塞俄比亞, 烏克蘭, 塞爾維亞, 亞美尼亞, 布基納法索, 哥倫比亞, 格魯吉亞及利比亞、也門和敘利亞/羅賈瓦的抗爭者面對本土及外來、官方及非官方各方勢力的殘暴抑壓, 亦仍持續抗爭, 嘗試光復他們的國家。

近來, 香港的抗爭啟發了世界各地的抗爭者, 我們相信這個情況會於2020年持續下去。 正如各政府互相學習如何用不同的方法去鎮壓革命, 我們亦應該以互助及團結的精神去互相學習如何對抗這些手段。 香港抗爭者的高度自我組織能力常常令我們佩服無言。

我們向你們訴說上述種種, 是想提醒你們對世界的重要性。我們自2011/2012佔中運動開始緊隨關注, 知道你們面對的無盡的逆境。我們知道中國共產黨的能耐,知道他們在內地壓制勞工運動, 以及對新疆/東突厥斯坦的維吾爾族、東干族及西藏藏人的欺壓。

我們要求有關方面立即無條件釋放你們。

我們謹此祝你們好運, 並再一次衷心祝願你們能在極權主義下得到你們應享的自由。

願我們團結一致

你們於中東及北非的支持者上

 

 

Lebanese and Hongkongers are sharing protest tactics

 

The following are two conversations that happened on Reddit between protesters from Hong Kong and Lebanon. I first heard about them from the Lebanese journalist Timour Azhari (follow him on Twitter) who appeared on a great episode of the Beirut Banyan podcast on the ongoing protests.


I am re-posting the thread in a readable format. For the original two threads, please click here and here.

Needless to say, the two threads can still be updated with new responses, so do head on over there as well.


First conversation, posted on r/HongKong and then re-posted on r/Lebanon:

u/sluff2:

Hi from Lebanon!

I’ve been on this sub for a few months now and want you to know that you have all my support.

Police in lebanon are getting very violent with protesters and I’m here to ask you to please share with me protest tactics that you guys used against police.

They are attacking us mostly with tear gas, water tanks, rubber bullets, and physical aggression. Rubber bullets made many wounded just last night. The protests now clearly look like they need guerilla warfare tactics.

If you have any infographics,tutorials, websites, etc… They would be of the greatest help.

加油!


Answers:

 

PROTECTION

Umbrellas can block rubber bullets and beanbag rounds. Bring lots, because they will be destroyed when they get hit.

Plastic wrap around your exposed skin works well against pepper spray.

A 3M respirator works quite well against tear gas. I personally use the 60928K cartridge. I’ve heard that other P100 cartridges work well too. Good goggles stop your eyes from making tears.

PROTEST METHODS

Don’t stay in one place for too long. Protest there, do what you need to do, then move to another place before the police can catch you. Be one step ahead of the police. Last time we stayed in one place, it ended up being a disaster.

There may be some people that support your cause but don’t support violence. Ensure that these two groups never stop supporting each other. If there is squabbles inside the movement, it’s easy for the government to snatch a victory. That’s what happened to us in 2014.

Don’t have a small group of people that are the boss of the protests. If the government arrests these people, your movement will be killed instantly. Instead, do everything by yourself with no centralised leadership. Make your own decisions. Organise your own protests. Don’t give the government a target.

Good luck, and Godspeed!

 

Okay so get 3M respirator model 60923 to prevent tear gas

And get goggles to protect eyes from tear gas, you can upgrade to ballistic goggles just in case u get shot by rubber bullets

Umbrellas!

Try to think of what is important to the goverment and threaten it in creative ways. We knew HK is an important global logistics centre hence there was an “airport month”, and we realized many interest groups involve businessmen so we are developing the “yellow economic circle”.

When I was protesting, I was taught how to disarm a gun. Didn’t use it but it may be helpful later on.


This is the second conversation, posted on r/HongKong.

u/JustAredditUser69:

So i’m lebanese and we have protests happening here, but the problem is that people are returning to their normal daily life, even tho our goals were not reached, we still need alot of time, i admire you,you are heroes that are fighting for freedom and here in lebanon we are fighting for our rights! But how do we make people regain intrest in the revolution here, it’s mostly northern lebanese people that are spending hours of their time to get to the capital city to protest, and guess what? no one from Beirut (our capital city) is protesting, either everyone goes to protest or just fuck the protest, it can only go one way or another, because our politicians are some very hard headed fucks, and to just ditch the revolution while we were making some progress is just absurd, but i want your advice, how do we encourage the people to protest? Thank you for reading and all of you HongKong protestors are goddam heroes 🇭🇰🤝🇱🇧

 

Hi, thank you for supporting the Hong Kong protestors. The problem you raised is actually a really tough one. If we are talking about ways of demonstration, there could be a lot of discussion and sharing. But among encouraging someone to change, someone to join the protest is really difficult, as you also feel that. Hong Kong actually some people are back to the normal life too. The suggestion I can made are: 1) use the internet more to encourage more people. Using simple info graphics, try to link how corrupted government can affect their daily life, also tell the world to know about you guys; 2) merge protest with daily life, like in Hong Kong we are doing something like the “yellow economic circle”, that is the protestors will go to support and spend money on those shops which has show support to the protestors, and boycott those shops that support the government. The shops are in all range, from restaurant to grocery. It should be also an easier step for people to do it in daily life, and can group up those people. Encouraging people are not easy, especially those who has given up. Stay strong!

Dude, you guys have accomplished more in Lebanon in a few months than we have in HK. Our incompetent and corrupt leadership is still here, and mismanaging the whole flu outbreak.

I also have a lot of respect for your people, having moved from what looked like a religion lead protest in 2005 to what is truly a grassroot movement now, where you realise that your elite / leadership class has been fucking you for years.

They change the figurehead and his people, but nothing actually changes.

You realize it’s not a problem with the “guy in charge”, but a systematic problem with how the entire country is setup / governed.

To change such a large, fundamental problem with society, will need people who are giving solutions to what needs to be changed. And it needs to be one of you, or else the narrative will be taken by the religious elite (again).

You guys are the heros. We don’t have a high unemployment, our electricity and water is uninterrupted and clean, our only natural disasters are heavy storms which are treated as a free holiday by people. Our police hasn’t killed anybody (yet).

Your people need to realize that to return to daily life means to give up this opportunity for change.

You need a leader with an answer, but he’s gonna get assassinated. So you need to spread an answer to the systematic problem without a clear leader.

Unfortunately, there’s no maps where you are going. There are very few successful situations where fundamental changes to the society are implemented through revolution. The corrupt elite always end up fucking everybody.

 

Be careful about when/where violent tactics are used. In Hong Kong, the vast majority of protesters are non-violent and leave at the first sign of clashes (millions can come out to peaceful marches but only about 7,000 defended Chinese University during the siege). If every single protest involves massive vandalism and police clashes, the peaceful camp will have a hard time participating. But if they know certain protests will remain peaceful and the valiant protesters are ready to defend them from police brutality, they’ll be willing to come out.

Also make it convenient – a few thousand gathering at lunch near where they work or turning festivals that people would attend anyway into protests.

One reply on “Open letter to protesters in Hong Kong’s prisons”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.