Australia: Rally and Performance Against Article 23 Held in Sydney (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On Sunday morning, June 29, 2003, a public rally of a number of groups sponsored by the Global Coalition Against Article 23 Legislation Australia Chapter, was held in front of the Chinese Consulate and Chinatown in Sydney to support Hong Kong people and oppose Article 23 legislation. They also held a press conference and a grand parade from the Chinese Consulate to Chinatown. They offered a live performance featuring the great impact upon Hong Kong people of all professions after the enactment of Article 23 legislation, attracting many people passing by to stop and watch. The simple and vivid performance enabled the audience to realize the harmful consequences Article 23 legislation would bring to the Hong Kong people.
|A press conference in front of the Chinese Consulate in Sydney||áA play depicting the disasters to be brought to people of all professions after the enactment of Article 23 legislation||A parade in Chinatown|
People representing different groups gave speeches respectively. The speakers included Mr. Qin Jin, Director of Democratic China Front Headquarters, Mr. Fang Yuan, President of Chinese Labor Party, Mr. Zhang Xiaogang, PhD candidate of New South Wales University, spokesperson of the Global Coalition Against Article 23 legislation Australia Chapter, Mr. Li Qing, PhD candidate of New South Wales University, member of Chinese Studies Association, and Mr. John Dellar, volunteer spokesperson for Falun Gong.
Australia Democratic Party Federal Member Aden Ridgeway sent a letter to support the rally against Article 23 legislation. He said in his letter, "Some MPs and human rights organizations in Australia have unanimously agreed that Article 23 is actually a violation of Hong Kong's basic human rights. I've appealed to Australia's Foreign Minister Downer in hopes that he would request the Hong Kong government to stop the legislation of Article 23 and adopt a more effective way to curb the extension of terrorism. I thank you for participating in the activities in opposing Article 23, and wish the activity a great success."
Mr. Qin Jin said in his speech that as we are all likely to go to Hong Kong to visit friends and relatives, the legislation of Article 23 has impacted our free entry of Hong Kong in future. Article 23 actually targets mainly political groups and also Falun Gong. We have become more and more clear that the 'One Country, Two Systems' is merely a slogan called out to have Hong Kong revert to Chinese rule. Remaining unchanged in 50 years has actually changed within five days. Hong Kong is more and more like Mainland. 'One Country, Two Systems' is a failure.
Mr. Qin continued that the US showed concern for Article 23 and the House of Representatives approved by a 426-1 margin a resolution that calls on the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to withdraw their proposal implementing Article 23 of the Basic Law. As a Western democratic country, it is reasonable that the US criticizes the human rights problem in other countries. The international trend is human rights above sovereignty.
Mr. Fang Yuan said that he represented the Chinese Labor Party to join the rally to express their protest against Article 23 legislation. He said that six years ago when Hong Kong was returned to China, we worried that Hong Kong might follow Chinese-style. Our worry becomes true now. Hong Kong is indeed following the Mainland style. Just like SARS that was resulted from natural and man-made disaster, Article 23 is typically a man-made disaster. It is resulted from oppressing public opinions and speech, and introducing Mainland way of rule to Hong Kong. The man-made disaster may bring more tragic consequence to human beings than any kind of disease. Article 23 will bring Hong Kong a more severe disaster than SARS.
He continued that Article 23 is not strange to the ordinary people in Mainland. They have been long living under Article 23. For Hong Kong people who have been living with democracy and freedom for 99 years, Article 23 is a very heavy shackle. So both Chinese people and Hong Kong people should step forward to oppose Article 23.
Mr. Zhang Xiaogang said in his speech that when Article 23 was under consideration, the Mainland tried all means to control Hong Kong. 'One Country, Two Systems' is simply empty talk. People who used to live in the Mainland or are familiar with it know that since the Communist Party seized the power, it launched numerous movements, the common phenomenon in these movements is: You can be charged at will if the authorities are not satisfied with you or do not like you, all evidence can be fabricated. Hong Kong had a set of legal system before its return to China, effective enough to avoid such things taking place. Article 23 damages Hong Kong's legal system, it can charge anyone with treason if the person in Hong Kong has dissenting opinions or dissatisfied with the Central Government or local government. It can also sentence the person to prison or fundamentally proscribe a group. When the malevolent law is imposed on the Hong Kong people, they should depend on themselves to safeguard their rights and appeal for it.