Sunday, August 9, 2015

Co-Founder Benny Tai on Hong Kong's Occupy Central

To listen to the audio of his talk as podcast on KUCI Subversity Online, click here.

Hong Kong's Occupy Central co-founder came to University of California, Irvine last Spring Quarter to speak before a graduate political science seminar taught by Prof. Dorothy Solinger.

Benny Tai at UCI seminar.  Photos © Daniel C. Tsang 2015
In his 28 April 2015 talk, Hong Kong University Law School Prof. Benny Tai explained the birth of Occupy Central and what happened when the student activists took over and turned it into the Umbrella Movement or Revolution, occupying streets in Hong Kong for weeks.

He said he had been a student activist in his university days and thought the Occupy Central actions would end after a brief period.  Instead the students led the way.

He also indicated Occupy Central was not copying the anti-capitalist stance of Occupy Movements elsewhere.

Asked if he had received funds from the U.S. for Occupy Central he said No.

After dinner another department on campus treated a small group of academics to Peking Duck dinner at Capital Seafood in Irvine's Diamond Jamboree retail mall.

There he was asked how he identified himself.  His response:  Hong Konger first, then Chinese.
Polls (notably those conducted at HKU by Dr. Robert Chung Ting-Yiu),  indicate that a majority in Hong Kong have been identifying as Hong Kongers (香港人) rather than Chinese, similar to the situation in Taiwan where the majority identify as Taiwanese rather than Chinese.

Subversity Show host with Prof. Tai at dinner. 

Prof. Tai is still waiting to hear what his university will do over his acceptance of protests-related donations, which he turned over to HKU.  The then-dean of the Law School, Johannes Chan, who was supportive of the protests, is now on hold to become a top administrator at the University, after those who were Beijing-allied tried to block the move and criticized Prof. Tai as well.  HKU students recently took over a HKU Council meeting; the University administration is currently considering whether to bring charges against the student protesters.

For current news on the political situation in Hong Kong, click here:  Cantonese In-Media Hong Kong site | English site of the Real Hong Kong News.

-- Daniel C. Tsang.

1 comment:

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