I was able to get a hold of Lee Cheuk-Yan yesterday, as I imagine it probably will be one of the last public interviews that he was able to do before Thursday's trial. Here's what he said to me about the march at the center of this case in #HongKong:
"We are very honored to be with the people at the march and I want to remind the people that it was a big march and big rally that 1.7 million people responded to the call for a peaceful assembly in Victoria Park."
"What we have done is actually just helping people disperse, but helping people to disperse has now been charged as an illegal march.
No matter what outcome it is on Thursday, even if we are sentenced or jailed, we are very honored to be jailed for standing together with the people of Hong Kong in expressing our views and will for democracy and freedom."
"We will continue the fight because the five demands on August 18 2019 had not been met yet. We will continue the struggle.
Tomorrow, I think no matter what outcome it is, we will continue to stand firm. Having said that, I also need to say that even if we can have a verdict of acquittal on Thursday, I have another trial and some of the others have more trials coming up. "
"I have a trial on April 7 and another one on May 17, and the fourth trial is still waiting for a trial date. Even if I can be acquitted on Thursday, I don’t think I can be acquitted in the future.
No matter what outcome it is, we feel that we are honored to be with the people and to go to jail for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. We salute all the people who participate and take part in all the protest movements in 2019."
Lee talks about the strategy that #HongKong government has been using to stack several cases against certain high-profile opposition figures: "I would say it’s now a day of reckoning for the people in Hong Kong by the Chinese government.
It is a political retaliation for all the things that we have done back in 2019. I think they are taking a three-prong strategy, which are political prosecution as a way to silence the activists,...
... the national security law to create the chilling effect on people voicing out and thirdly, the election change that they imposed on Hong Kong with the direct election of legislators reduced from 50% to 22%, a very big regression."
"All the strategy is out there and I think for high-profile activists for many years, I think we have to tell the people in Hong Kong that maybe going to jail is part of the struggle and they can jail us, but they can’t jail our spirit.
I think it applies to all the people in Hong Kong that the spirit of fighting for democracy and freedom will still go on. I think it’s very important that we still stay active and optimistic about the future of Hong Kong even in difficult conditions."
"We need to do so by organizing around the civil society and strengthen the civil society so we can fight back in the future."
Lee also talked about the importance for #HongKong to hold onto its civil society: "We are getting very close to the system of China but not yet. I think it’s very important to emphasize the “not yet.”"
"We must hold on to the very narrow space that we have and not to give up. Although things are getting very difficult for the people in Hong Kong and it seems that both the legal system and political system are looking more like the ones in China,...
... I think we still have a very strong civil society and I think we need to hold onto that. I don’t know whether it will be completely wiped out just like how it is in China, but we hope it will not be like that.
We will still hold onto what we have and prepare for the next opportunity to reclaim what we want, which is democracy, freedom and Hong Kong."

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with William Yang

William Yang Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @WilliamYang120

1 Apr
Some sentimental words from Lee Cheuk Yan to the younger generation in #HongKong in our interview: "I think for the younger generation in Hong Kong, I would say that I’m really proud of them, because they all have showed the spirit in the fight during the protest movement.
I’m sad about the sacrifices that the younger generation has to pay for Hong Kong. I think what we also learned is that we all have to learn to pay the price. Thanks to the younger generation for showing us their courage and the defiant spirit."
"I think in the future, we should focus more on unity. Sometimes there may be differences in the strategies, but I think one thing very clear is that all the people in Hong Kong share the same fate and we share the same struggle."
Read 7 tweets
1 Apr
Breaking: A court in #HongKong has convicted nine pro-democracy figures over their participation in a pro-democracy rally in August 2019. 2 pleaded guilty and the other seven are convicted.
One of the convicted is Martin Lee, known by many as "the father of democracy" in #HongKong. Here's an interview I did with him a little bit before he announced that he would no longer take any more foreign media interviews prior to the passage of #NSL: dw.com/en/hong-kong-a…
Another one is former legislator and prominent barrister Margaret Ng and here's my interview with her just days before #HongKong's #NSL came into effect: williamyang-35700.medium.com/beijing-impose…
Read 6 tweets
1 Apr
Scoop from @wsjeva: #China's propaganda officials reportedly discussed how to pushback against international criticism on its policies in #Xinjiang and the possibility of pressuring foreign companies with biz interests in #China was raised. wsj.com/articles/chine…
"As officials discussed responding in a similar manner on Xinjiang, the topic of cotton came up, two of the people familiar with the matter said. The possibility of pressuring foreign companies with business interests in China to advance Beijing’s interests was also discussed."
"Some scholars present at the meeting argued that Beijing needed to loudly refute every false story or statement about Xinjiang, the people said. Other scholars and political advisers suggested China should respond reasonably ...
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
In light of the news of @BBCWorld correspondent forced to leave #China, I'm re-upping this interview that I did with @iandenisjohnson last year following the revelation that he was expelled from the country after spending years reporting from China. dw.com/en/ian-johnson…
"The biggest thing is there will be a lot less in-depth reporting on China. Now, there is a lot of spin, and a lot of people tweeting things and coming up with ways of analyzing things related to China."
"However, now there is less "boots-on-the-ground" investigative reporting that involves going out and actually talking to people. Without that, we lack facts in dealing with China."
Read 5 tweets
1 Apr
China said on Wednesday at the @UN Security Council that it rejects sanctions #Myanmar and calls for "democratic transition." newsus.cgtn.com/news/2021-04-0…
"We hope that all parties in Myanmar can keep calm, exercise restraint," adding that any attack on the people and businesses in Myanmar "is unacceptable," Ambassador Zhang Jun said.
On the other hand, @UN Special Envoy on #Myanmar told a session of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that “a bloodbath is imminent” because of the military’s intensified crackdown on anti-coup protesters. reuters.com/article/us-mya…
Read 9 tweets
31 Mar
A day after @WHO head @DrTedros said #China failed to provide some key data to the WHO experts for the #COVID19 origin probe, Chinese scientists called the accusation is “baseless.” reuters.com/article/worldN…
But Liang Wannian, who was co-leader of the joint study, told reporters that researchers from both sides had access to the same data throughout the investigation and that the assertions about lack of access were not accurate.
Responding to allegations that the expert panel did not have access to complete datasets and samples, Liang said no scientist ever had perfect information.
Read 7 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!