Determining Our Own Fate, Saying No to More Political Prisoners - Demosistō’s Statement Regarding the Sentencing of the Occupy 9
The West Kowloon District Court sentenced the nine leaders of the Occupy Central movement with up to 16 months in prison. We acknowledge the sentencing with heavy hearts, and our condolences go out to the leaders and their close ones.
The sentencing is not only a matter of nine people. The globally recognised 79-day movement was the combined effort of all participants. The charges shouldered by the nine leaders were not only for the sake of their own civil disobedience, but also for every single person who went to the streets to fight for democracy in 2014.
Evidently, if one is to trace back to the cause of the Umbrella Movement, then it would undeniably be the Chinese Government’s move to block Hong Kong’s road to democracy, and the Hong Kong government’s mobilisation of the police and subsequent utilisation of tear gas against unarmed citizens. The Court will not be able to convict these true culprits of nuisance and incitement, but as Eason Chan - one of the defendants and former representative of the HKFS - noted, “The only people who get to judge this movement and to judge us, is each and every one of us.”
We are approaching the fifth anniversary of the Umbrella Movement, and we are still far from achieving true democracy and autonomy. The government intends to forcefully amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, it is obvious that this administration is intentionally ruining Hong Kong’s rule of law and level of autonomy.
We encourage Hong Kong citizens to bear in mind political prisoners who have contributed to our fight for democracy, and to carry on the spirit of the Umbrella Movement - fighting against authoritarianism and determining the fate of our own city.
For history to declare our innocence, we must step forward to change history. Let us meet again in the streets on 28th April to oppose the changes to the extradition law, so that Hong Kong would not have another political prisoner.
24th April 2019