On June 12, 2019, Carrie Lam, her office, and the Legislative Council completely ignored public opinion and forcibly resumed the second reading of amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance in Defiance.
Hong Kong police bloodily suppressed the Admiralty protests with tear gas, rubber bullets and beanbags, calling the demonstrations a riot.
Later, the anti-extradition movement added a new demand: to establish an independent commission of inquiry to scrutinize police violence.
Who would have thought that Hongkongers could no longer hold June 12 (612) commemorative events three years later?
However, thousands of Hong Kongers scattered overseas have held various commemorative activities in major cities around the world, including rallies, art exhibitions, flea markets and seminars.
Some migrant scholars have also announced the creation of a civic education platform, hoping that the next generation can inherit Hong Kong’s genuine authentic history and universal values.
“Repower HK: Rebuilding Hong Kong Civil Society” is an event organized by a group of migrant media professionals. Unfortunately, the event had sparked controversy online, with people saying it wasn’t appropriate as a keepsake. It was held for two consecutive days at the Global Academy in Hayes, London, UK.
There were a total of seven workshops and around thirty flea market stands.
The seminar was attended by guests from UK, Taiwan, Canada, USA, Australia and Japan including Stephen Siu Yuek-yuen, Simon Xu Hui-shen, Victor NG Ming-tak, Anthony Tso , Tsang Chi-ho, Joe Tay, Victor Ho Liangmaon and Chris Wong Chun-yin.
Panel topics included: the rapid collapse of Hong Kong’s civil society, dissecting the causes of death and forecasting future directions, how new immigrants cope with life’s challenges and opportunities? Will the identity of Hong Kong people be forgotten? How can Hong Kong culture be inherited?
Seminars spark controversy
Some netizens criticized that the event turned the protests into a carnival. They also pointed out that June 12 is “Hong Kong Remembrance Day”, so it should have been an assembly or rally.
One of the seminar guests, Tsang Chi-ho, said in an interview with our reporter that he appreciated the different expectations people have of 612. However, he felt that the most crucial thing was to stop to point fingers.
Tsang expressed his gratitude that there are still many events organized by different camps to commemorate the protests. “Shouldn’t we recognize the efforts of the organizers, instead of being divided? I thought the seminars had a purpose. It brought together so many overseas Hong Kongers from all walks of life, which is the greatest comfort to Hong Kongers who experienced the 2019 movement.”
In another interview with our Epoch Times reporter, Rayman Chow Wai-hung, a former Kwai Ching district legislator, pointed out, “One of the goals is to explore what media professionals in Hong Kong can do abroad and how they can speak for Hong Kong. ”
Chow continued, “These kinds of events unite Hong Kongers. When we see each other, it soothes our impotence. Moreover, we can still show Hongkongers who stay in Hong Kong that they are never forgotten.
At around 3:00 p.m. on June 12, organizers halted all activities at the site. Master of Ceremonies Chow Wai-hung led the attendees to observe a minute of silence to express their condolences and thoughts for the injured, missing and siblings (siblings), who are still alive but imprisoned in because of the 2019 anti-extradition movement.
Events attract family participation
As for the thirty or so market stalls on site, they can generally be divided into two categories. The first category was the sale of goods and services, such as Hong Kong-style food, clothing and handicrafts with anti-extradition pattern prints, haircuts, massages, etc.
The second category was exhibits, such as employment recommendations, social welfare agency services, social movement design exhibits, books, Apple Daily articles, and presentations of Hong Kong history.
In response to criticism of the event from netizens, Chris, who owns a stall selling crafts, shared his thoughts.
“It’s a positive thing for Hong Kong people to commemorate 612 with diverse activities. Meetings, exhibitions, flea markets and seminars. I think flea markets and seminars are more appealing to families with children and older people, it creates a sense of community.
Katherine, a merchant who sells ceramic tableware, also thinks there are many ways to commemorate 612. This event focused on the seminar, not the flea market. Instead of treating the event as “a carnival”, those who attended the event still remember the whole movement and have 612 engraved in their hearts.
Anti-Brainwashing Educational Platforms
Three academics who moved to the UK in the past 2 years, Benson Wong Wai-Kwok, Hans Yeung Wing-yu, Chung Kim-wah, held an online press conference on June 12. They announced the creation of “Citizens of Our Time Learning Hub” (COOTL), to counter Hong Kong’s brainwashed education system through writing and videos.
They pointed out that Hong Kong had faced severe political oppression and diminished civil rights. One of the most serious is that the next generations will be brainwashed in Hong Kong.
They were also told about fears that history would be erased and that universal values would be devalued.
It has become intolerable for schools and teachers to perform their professional role under such pressure. It had caused an upheaval of the essential values in a civilized society.
Thus, the three musketeers Wong, Yeung, Chung, founded COOTL with other Hong Kong immigrants. The group wanted to preserve the truth for future generations, bringing together the power of dispersed Hong Kongers.
COOTL programs have two aspects.
First, the platform aims to provide parents, teachers and students in Hong Kong with learning materials outside the normal curriculum; faithfully preserving history and reflecting the societal environment as it occurred; to counter narrow views distorted by political propaganda.
Second, the scholars hope to provide Hong Kongers scattered abroad with a suitable platform to learn through self-reflection and in-depth exploration of the future of Hong Kong and Hong Kong people.
There are six categories on its website. The former is described as “focusing on preserving history and factually reflecting the current social situation”, as well as Hong Kong’s social development and the future of Hong Kongers.
The next two read as introducing a variety of cultural materials such as books, films, and music that highlight universal values, while employing fables to trigger societal reassessment, its absurdity as well as possibilities for coming. The column also mentioned the use of various themes. of characters to examine the cultural and fundamental values of Hong Kong.
Finally, the platform aims to provide teachers and students with general education courses.