10 DANGEROUS MYTHS ABOUT THE HONG KONG PROTESTS
Source: HK students online
Myth 1: Business has ground to a halt. “I don’t think organizing something that shuts down business is positive for Hong Kong,” lamented John Slosar, multi-millionaire chairman of Swire.
Not true. More than 1,255,896 registered companies operate in Hong Kong. Only a handful have closed down. More new ones have opened than have closed.
Myth 2: “The Occupy Central protests are illegal,” thunders China official Li Yuanchao.
Not true. In free, economically growing societies, non-violent protests, even if they are disruptive, are a protected form of criticism. Only in controlled, repressed, communist or authoritarian states are peaceful demonstrators prosecuted.
Myth 3: “Beijing never gives way in response to public demonstrations in Hong Kong,” say Exco members.
Not true. Beijing has regularly responded positively to pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong, where the pro-Beijing elite said it was not possible. For example, Beijing shelved the security laws in 2005, widened the democratic element in the Legco reforms of 2010, and withdrew the pro-China education laws in 2012.
Myth 4: “The protesters are still out there blocking roads.”
Not true. After the first tear gas incident, there were more than 200,000 people on the streets, but typical figures today run from a few hundred to a few thousand. More than 98 per cent of protesters have taken their peaceful call for democracy to their homes and workplaces.
Myth 5: “The protesters are almost all young students.” – news reports.
Not true. At various times, in different gatherings, from 20 to 60 per cent of the demonstrators have been counted as adults, grandparents, school children and family groups.
Myth 6: “Beijing has not reacted to the Hong Kong demonstrations.”
Not true. China has been given a chance to re-live the Tiananmen Square demonstrations of June 1989, and has deliberately made the choice to not send in the troops, well-placed sources say. This is not a small thing.
Myth 7: The Hong Kong democracy movement has been left in a worse situation than before—Chugani, SCMP.
Not true. Supporters of the 68-year-old call for democracy in Hong Kong had fallen dramatically in numbers and in spirit before the protests started. The umbrella movement has given it an injection of energy big enough to change Hong Kong’s DNA.
Myth 8: A huge number of people have signed a petition against the protests—Oriental Daily
Not true. The recent signature campaign has been organized under banners with the message “support the police”. But all social groups in Hong Kong support the police and the rule of law, especially the protesters, who are calling for official, written promises to be observed.
Myth 9: “Foreign forces are to blame for Hong Kong’s protests.” CY Leung
Not true. Of the past 100 major demonstrations that have taken place under the auspices of authoritarian governments in the past 10 years, 100% have been blamed by leaders on “foreign forces”.
Myth 10: The disaster of the protests is that society in Hong Kong has been tragically polarized — SCMP.
Not true. The richest, freest, healthiest, happiest societies in the world have a system featuring a regular swing between two major parties or opinion groups. Economic historians say the recognition that the opposition is no less loyal than the ruling party is the key to a society’s future success.