Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hong Kong Filibusters: Wong Yuk-Man and Albert Chan of People's Power

Man Yung could dance for hours and hours non-stop if the music is good and there are still ladies willing to keep dancing with him.  In fact, he has said that it would be easy to kill him that way.  "Just put me in a dance hall with no windows, no clocks, great tandas and an endless supply of milongueras - I would dance and dance until I've lost all track of time.  I wouldn't stop dancing!  I wouldn't know that I have reached my limit - and I'll fall down dead, quite possibly the best way to die ever!"

Now, it's one thing to dance tango for hours and hours for your own pleasure at the risk of your health - it's quite another thing to make a speech for hours and hours at the risk of your health at the legislative council in order to block the passing of a tyrannical and anti-democratic bill.

That is what Wong Yuk-Man and Albert Chan of the People's Power party are doing in Hong Kong right this moment.  They have currently introduced 1306 amendments to such a bill - and started on their arduous filibuster in the Hong Kong legislature in order to prevent the passing of such a bill, and other bills lined up by the pro-Beijing legislature in the near future that would have the effect of limiting democracy, limiting freedom of speech and limiting freedom of the internet among other repressive measures. 

Two men (and one more, if you include Leung Kwok-Hung of the League of Social Democrats) against thirty-seven pro-Beijing (many hand picked by the government instead of democratically elected - those who were allegedly "democratically elected" had most of their votes bought or influenced by Beijing, part of the seeping corruption into Hong Kong that is part of the great Chinese Fairy Tale) legislative council members.  The People's Power have brought all their supporting texts - enough to fill a small mobile library - and thousands of hours of preparation to the battle.  All the pro-Beijingists have to do is show up and sit.  They don't even have to talk.  And yet several times since this filibuster started one week ago, they had to cancel the session because not enough of the pro-Beijingists showed up to meet quorum.

Oh what hardship!  Many of these farcical pro-Beijingists don't really show up more than two or three times a year to the legislative council meetings, and now Beijing has put its foot down and mandated that they must show up.  Beijing even drew up a schedule so that there would be sufficient numbers at every given time to meet quorum.  And yet the pro-Beijingists are wilting in the legislative assembly, many escape at every possible opportunity by sneaking out. Those who stay are caught reading the horse racing papers, putting on makeup, picking their nose, playing on their smartphones or even falling asleep.  Leung Kwok-Hung had to stop the meetings at one point.  "Is Mr. Wong Ting-Gong asleep, or is his life in danger?"  The pro-Beijingist was slumped motionless in his chair.  Someone get a doctor, it might be a medical emergency!  Oh, whoops, mistake - he woke up, snorting suddenly in the middle of a snore.  He was just taking a nap.

The pro-Beijingists are clowns and buffoons, but that doesn't mean the battle is any easier.  Wong Yuk-Man and Albert Chan take turns, but they are on their feet and speaking for hours - over ten hours a day (unless the session gets cancelled for lack of quorum).  They speak until their eyes are bleary, their voices hoarse.  They speak until they pass the limits of human endurance.

Two men against all the forces of darkness.  What keeps them going?  Their burning ideals, their hope for a better future for the people of Hong Kong.  They are fighting against Fear and Repression for the right to Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights.  Wong Yuk-Man and Albert Chan - you are Heroes!  We support you!


Report from Apple Newspaper about the People's Power filibuster

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Alberto Dassieu

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