'HK protest is a struggle against eroding freedoms' - RTHK
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'HK protest is a struggle against eroding freedoms'

2019-12-13 HKT 18:51
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  • 'HK protest is a struggle against eroding freedoms'
The current agitation against the Carrie Lam administration is not a protest against a bill or police actions, but a struggle by the people of Hong Kong against the gradual erosion of the city's freedom, a study carried out by a reputed pollster has found.

The study conducted by veteran pollster Robert Chung's Public Opinion Research Institute, involved a survey of more than 1,000 people between July and October, with the aim of finding out the causes and effects of the social unrest.

The final report said the months-long anti-extradition movement is not simply a movement of Hong Kong people protesting against a specific bill, the police force, the SAR or the mainland government – it’s a clash between liberalism and mainland-style paternalism.

The “public sentiment report” said at the heart of the movement is Hong Kong people’s fear of the gradual erosion of the city’s number one core value - freedom.

The people of Hong Kong “would fight to the very end to defend their freedoms”, it said.

The study said the Chief Executive clearly misunderstood the symbolic meaning of passing the extradition bill and people’s subsequent demands.

Chung said he thinks it's still uncertain whether the movement could morph into an anti-Beijing or anti-communist movement.

He said the government must not add fuel to the social unrest, such as introducing Article 23 national security laws, as some Beijing officials have been saying.

"If that really is to be pushed forward now, I think most Hong Kong people will feel that this is a Beijing-initiated action and I am quite sure they will react and revolt against it vigorously," he warned.

Anson Chan, a director of the Project Citizens Foundation which commissioned the study, said Beijing should address people's demands now.

"To accede to these wishes and demands is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it reflects that Beijing has taken on board community sentiments here," said Chan.

She said that is the only way the central government can win the hearts and minds of the people here, especially the young.