Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Hong Kong: erasing history, demolition of Star ferry and Queen's pier

The protest against the demolition of Star Ferry has been going on for four days. After the violent crack down by the police, protesters are now launching hunger strike.

In December 14, at the eve of the Ferry's 49 years old birthday, the demonstrators organized a peaceful candle night. When they moved to the front gate of the construction site, the police surrounded dozen of them with iron bar and arrested 11 of them under minor charges within the Police force ordinance, such as “obstructing public officers”.

A latest statement has been released at inmediahk.net to protest against the police action in repressing peaceful demonstration and demand the SAR government to drop all the charges:

首先,政府聲稱這是十年前做的決定,聲稱諮詢過古物古蹟辦事處,然而,昨日已被傳媒體揭發,古物古蹟辦事處的報告在數年前已提醒政府,清拆天星碼頭誓必引起市民不滿,帶來社會矛盾。然而政府卻一意孤行,將建繞道、建商廈等財團利益放在首要地位,隱暪古物古蹟辦事處的報告,充分表現其假諮詢的本質。

First of all, the government claims that it is a decision made ten years ago and it has already consulted the department dealing with historical preservation. However, the media found out that the report by the historical preservation department had reminded the government that the demolition of Star Ferry would cause public discontent and conflicts. The government insisted on its decision in building the central highway and commercial building, prioritizing the interest of corporation and hided up the report of the historical preservation department. It shows that the consultation is faking in nature.

我們這個行動,實在是民主參與規劃的一個方式。於12月13日,警方欺騙示威者,謂立會討論期間絕不行動,期後又於立會討論期間清場,更拒捕一人。昨日, 12月14日,又包圍十三人,六小時不准上廁所,迫得示威者唯有在封鎖線裡用遮蓋物如廁時,更以攝錄機強行拍下示威者如廁,嚴重侵犯示威者私隱。

Our action is a way to engage with democratic participation in city planning. On 13 December, the police had cheated the protesters saying that they wouldn't take action during the Legislative Council debate. In the end they arrested a protester and cleared the construction areas during the Legislative Council negotiation. Yesterday (14 December), the police detained 13 people, did not allow them to go to toilet for 6 hours, the protesters were forced to go to toilet on the site, in front of the police camera! It is a serious offence against human rights and privacy.

The protesters’ demands are:

1) 拆卸工程馬上停工;

2) 孫明楊馬上與關注的團體及市民會面,商討既可發展,又可保留天星碼頭的另類規劃方案,在此期間,拆卸工程須停工;

3) 馬上釋放被捕人士,撤銷所有控罪;

4) 洗去在12月15日凌晨強行攝下示威者如廁的錄影帶;

5) 採取切實可行方式,向市民開放所有與未來規劃有關之文件,設法讓不同教育程度的市民皆可以容易獲得資訊及參與討論;

6) 停止官商勾結的發展,尊重歷史及文化。

1. stop the demolition of the Star Ferry
2. The head of Planning and Lands Department, Michael Suen Ming-yeung to meet the concern groups to discuss about alternative planning proposal that can accommodate development and preservation of the Star Ferry. Within the negotiation period, the construction should be suspended.
3. drop all charges and release all the protesters.
4. delete the video tap that contains the shot of protesters going to toilet
5. the future city planning should be opened to citizens, so that all citizens with different background can get access to the information and participate in the discussion.
6. stop the government and corporate collusion model in development, respect history and culture.

Citizens are using the comments section of the latest citizen reports to update each others on the situation:

解手起衝突

警方一直表示可以放走包圍的示威者, 但要抄其中一人的身份證(亦有說是起訴/拘捕其中一人), 示威者堅拒。被圍的示威者要求警察行開。

2:30左右內圍有示威者要求放行上廁所, 警方不許, 該示威者無奈要在眾人面前解手, 而警方的攝影機亦不停地影著(!!!), 這使內外圍的示威者均極度憤怒。外圍示威者企圖衝過防線與內圍的示威者會合, 成功搶去兩三個鐵欄, 但始終無法衝過防線。

– 林輝 fred 於 December 15, 2006 02:46 AM

Toilet conflicts

The police said that they could let go of the detainee but had to copy one of the protester's ID number (some said it was for future charge / arrest), protesters refused and demanded the police to let them go.

Around 2:30am, a protester demanded to go to toilet, police refused to let go, the protester had to piss in front of everyone against his will. And the police camera kept video taping the whole process (!!!), it made supporting protesters from outside the detained circle very angry. They tried to break the blockade and joined the detainees, took away three iron bars, but failed to get through.

– fred at December 15, 2006 02:46 AM

干諾道中

警車輾過一示威者,當有人通知警員叫停車,警車再行前少許才停下.並繼續前進,該人士仍躺在路上及身上有車胎痕.

– gutfei 於 December 15, 2006 03:31 AM

Connaught Road Middle

The police van ran over a protester, protesters reported to the police to stop the van, but the van did not stop immediately. When the protester was pull out, the van continued to drive on, the protester was still lying on the road and there are tie marks in his body.

– gutfei at December 15, 2006 03:31 AM

至於受傷的示威者姓李,已送往瑪麗醫院,照了X光,要留院,但不知道情況是否嚴重。醫生不肯說。我沒有看到李先生受傷時的情況,但聽到一些示威者說看見他不知如何滾進了警車底,然後有一個警察衝進車底拉他出來。我陪李先生去了醫院,等候時有警車送了幾個警察來,其中一個右面臉上有一大個黑印,不知是撞瘀了還是污迹,他跟同僚說擦不掉,又告訴同僚說看見有人滾進了車底,便立即衝進車底拉他出來。我問他那人是否男的,他說是。我猜是李先生。我便跟這位警察道謝,多謝他救了這位示威者的性命。我問他李先生是否有給警車輾過,他說沒有。

我很多謝這位警察,希望他也沒有大碍。我只希望警方高層和政府反省,他們為甚麼要這樣置前線警員和示威人士的生命不顧?為甚麼政府不可以暫停拆卸舊天星碼頭,讓全香港市民一起來公開討論是否應拆卸?政府急甚麼?

– ahchoii 於 December 15, 2006 06:35 AM

The Wounded protester's surname is Lee, he had been sent to the Mary Hospital, had X-ray. Need to stay but didn't know how serious his condition was. The doctor refused to say anything. I did not see the exact situation when Mr. Lee was injuried, but I heard from other protesters that he rolled under the police van suddenly, and then another policeman went under the van to pull him out. I went with Mr. Lee to the hospital, when i was waiting, a police van also sent some police, one of them had a dark mark on his right face, I didn't know whether it was bruise or stain. He told his colleague that the dark mark could not be wiped out, and said he saw someone rolled under the van and he pulled him out immediately. I asked whether the protester he rescued was a guy. He said yes. I guessed he was talking about Mr. Lee. I said thank you to this police for saving the protester's life. I asked Mr. Lee whether he had actually been run over by the van, he answered no.

I am really thankful to this policeman and hope that he is alright. I only hope that the high ranking police officers and government officials could really reflect on what they have been doing, why they have to risk the life of frontline police and protester? Why can't they just postpone the demolition of Star Ferry and let all Hong Kong citizens discuss the whole issue? What's the rush?

One bean wrote about the cultural and political background of this demolition of Star ferry and Queen’s pier, the latter is the most significant symbolic site of British colonial history in Hong Kong.

皇后碼頭一直是港英殖民時代總督就職和離任的地方。1975年英女皇伊利沙伯二世訪港,是在皇后碼頭登岸,而九七回歸,末代港督彭定康也是在那裏離開。

The Queen’s pier had been a place for the colonial governor to take up or leave his position during the British colonial period. In 1975, when Queen Elizabeth II visited Hong Kong, she anchored in the Queen’s pier. In 1997 when the last governor Patten left, he also departed from the pier.

去掉殖民年代的座標,不是去殖,只是去歷史而已。

Taking away signpost from the colonial era is not de-colonization, it is simply de-historicalization.


The protesters are launching hunger strike today
, here is part of their hunger strike statement:

1966年4月4日,青年蘇守忠在中環天星碼頭站立,進行絕食抗議;當年他身後的鐘樓行將被殘殺的時候,我們亦絕食了。

諷刺的是,蘇守忠當年對抗的是外來殖民政權,我們今天抵抗的,竟然是號稱「港人治港」,自詡「以民為本」的特區政府。

有人說,我們太遲了,我們說,反對的聲音從來沒有間斷,專家及民間另類方案早已完備,政府聽不進去;我們身體力行走上街頭示威抗議,我們用身體阻擋過推土機,我們用身體衝破過警察的防線。可是,天星的清拆沒有停止,反而是加速!我們只好以身體再作一次抗爭。

In April 4, 1966, a youth So Sao Chung stood in front of Central Star ferry and started his hunger strike; the clock tower at his back, at this moment is being destroyed, and we start our hunger strike.

Ironically, So was fighting against the colonial power at that time, while today we are fighting this so called “Hong Kong people self-governing” and “people oriented” SAR government.

Some people said that we are too late for our struggle, we answered, the protest against demolition has been going on for long. We have the professional alternative plan, but the government refused to listen; our bodies are protecting in the street, we use our bodies to stop the construction machine, we use our bodies to break the police line. However, the demolition hasn't been stopped, and is even speeding up! We can only use our bodies once more to continue the protest.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.