It is the best of time, it is the worst of time.

In the darkest days of Hong Kong democracy, when everything seems hopeless, the HKSAR-developer conglomerate dominating all state affairs with no checks or balances, backed by the totalitarian and all powerful communist party of China,
when the youth find no future,
when the establishment, with the legislature, executive and mass media in their hands, and the judiciary threatened, do everything they can to silent dissent,

there is a new light: through optical fibres,
citizens communicate directly to legislators in manners, urgency and audacity yet unseen;
legislators talk directly and unfiltered to the camera of the people;
questions in the streets become questions in the chamber;
decisions and actions in the chamber are instantly discussed by the citizen.

Hong Kong has broken new grounds in and given new meanings to Representative Democracy.

See also
黃毓民議員就議事規則第28(A)條作出的個人解釋: 為義受壓迫的人有福了!

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牛仔生出來被人劏,為咗自由就要學飛

木頭車上被綁起嘅
有隻牛仔無救等緊死
佢上高有隻飛燕
暢快遨遊天空

合唱:
粟米田上風係咁笑
出盡力勁笑
笑呀笑足成日
重笑到仲夏半夜
Dona, dona, dona,…

隻牛仔輕輕喊
「問風,你笑乜?」
點解我唔可以好似隻燕
點解我要做隻牛仔

牛仔生出來好快就被劏
無希望無得救
好似燕咁有翼嘅
而唔會被奴役
(source: wikipedia)
———
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Donna

Translation by Secunda

On a wagon bound and helpless
Lies a calf, who is doomed to die.
High above him flies a swallow
Soaring gaily through the sky.

Chorus:
The wind laughs in the cornfield
Laughs with all his might
Laughs and laughs the whole day through
An half way through the night
Dona, dona, dona…

Now the calf is softly crying
“Tell me wind, why do you laugh?”
Why can’t I fly like the swallow
Why did I have to be a calf,

Chorus

Calves are born and soon are slaughtered
With no hope of being saved.
Only those with wing like swallow
Will not ever be enslaved.

Chorus

Translation by Kevess & Schwartz

On a wagon bound for market
There’s a calf with a mournful eye.
High above him there’s a swallow
Winging swiftly through the sky.

Chorus:
How the winds are laughing
They laugh with all their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And half the summer’s night.
Dona, dona, dona…

“Stop complaining,” said the farmer,
“Who told you a calf to be?
Why don’t you have wings to fly with
Like the swallow so proud and free?”

Chorus

Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
Never knowing the reason why.
But whoever treasures freedom,
Like the swallow has learned to fly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CYquNWnFZc

Original Yiddish

אױפֿן פֿורל ליגט דאָס קעלבל,
ליגט געבונדן מיט אַ שטריק.
הױך אין הימל פֿליט דאָס שװעלבל,
פֿרײט זיך, דרײט זיך הינט נאָך צריק.

כאָר:
לאַכט דער װינט אין קאָרן,
לאַכט און לאַכט און לאַכט,
לאַכט ער אָפּ אַ טאָג אַ גאַנצן
מיט אַ האַלבע נאַכט.
דאָנאַ, דאָנאַ, דאָנאַ, …

שרײַט דאָס קעלבל, זאָגט דער פּױער:
װער זשע הײסט דיר זײַן אַ קאַלב?
װאָלסט געקענט דאָך זײַן אַ פֿױגל,
װאָלסט געקענט דאָך זײַן אַ שװאַלב.

כאָר

בלינדע קעלבער טוט מען בינדן
און מען שלעפּט זײ און מען שעכט,
װער ס’האָט פֿליגל, פֿליט אַרױפֿצו,
איז בײַ קײנעם ניט קײן קנעכט.

כאָר

Yiddish transliteration

Oyfn furl ligt dos kelbl,
Ligt gebundn mit a shtrik.
Hoykh in himl flit dos shvelbl,
Freyt zikh, dreyt zikh hin un tsrik.

Chorus:
Lakht der vint in korn,
Lakht un lakht un lakht,
Lakht er op a tog a gantsn
Mit a halber nakht.
Dona, dona, dona, …

Shrayt dos kelbl, zogt der poyer:
Ver zhe heyst dikh zayn a kalb?
Volst gekent dokh zayn a foygl,
Volst gekent dokh zayn a shvalb.

Chorus

Bidne kelber tut men bindn
Un men shlept zey un men shekht,
Ver s’hot fligl, flit aroyftsu,
Iz bay keynem nit keyn knekht.

Chorus

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_zh-CNCN349CN350&tbo=1&newwindow=1&output=search&q=cn4iran&tbs=rltm:1

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/27/updates-on-protests-and-clashes-in-iran/

http://www.astreetjournalist.com/2009/12/26/live-report-of-people-protests-in-iran-on-ashura/

http://twitpic.com/vgblw

http://twitter.com/IranElectioN

http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23iranelection

http://twitter.com/ikeoo/iranelection

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/12/the-camera-is-mightier.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/opinion/28iht-edharrison.html

http://twitter.com/mousavi1388

https://docs.google.com/View?id=dc9z863m_53fhq4hvfx

Male caller to BBC Persian:
It was about 1:30 in the afternoon. We were at the corner of Roudaki and Azadi streets. There was a huge crowd and the special guard was attacking us from all sides. They showed no mercy. Old, young, man, woman… they beat everyone without holding back. A few of us were left behind and the security forces converged on them and started hitting them with such savagery. My friend was among those protesters and we couldn’t do anything to help. He was beaten to a pulp and we couldn’t take him anywhere. We were afraid to take him to a hospital. We called private clinics and they refused to treat our friend. We had to bring him to our home. At normal hospitals, they arrest anyone who may have been injured during protests. (voice is breaking) We don’t know what to do. We think that our friend may have become blind. Security forces are all over the place. The sound of motorcycles has new meaning for us. They entered people’s homes and arrested protesters who were taking shelter there. The people have become radicalized, both their slogans and the way they stand up to the security forces now. I don’t think the people will surrender.

http://twitpic.com/vgqy1

http://tehranlive.org/2009/12/27/war-in-tehran-streets-on-ashura-day/

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/12/27/iran.protests/index.html

and his wife and journalists from the west are not allowed to hear it

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8427576.stm

「憲法保證了的東西,從來都不會自動落實,在專制國家裡如此,在號稱民主社會裡,亦何嘗不然。」
– 練乙錚: 千回歸萬回歸 司法獨立不能回歸 - 信報時事評論頭條, 21-7-2008

http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/iam-bluelance/article?mid=172

See also:
練乙錚 on hong kong economic journal:
http://www.hkej.com/template/dnews/jsp/dnews_search_results.jsp?typeSearch=author&txtSearch=%E7%B7%B4%E4%B9%99%E9%8C%9A

易卜生:羅斯莫莊園,
呂健忠譯

孔誥烽《由變相公投量化出來的民意力量》
刊於明報論壇版 2009-12-14
– reposted from chan tai man’s blog

現在無論民主黨意向如何,變相公投已是勢在必行。公投還未開始,所引發的民主運動中老中青三代的激烈辯論,已是20多年來罕見。在這場爭論中,我們可以學習到什麼?

有民主派領袖在被公投支持者咄咄逼人時在報章發表鴻文,闡述反對公投的情與理,當中五四式理想主義情懷之澎湃,教人動容。不過有人無情地將這千萬肺腑之言,撮寫成只剩「對話」兩個字,我倒是十分同意的。

民主派在回歸後爭取民主的方略,好像就只有哀求對話這一招。哀求者,就是不問憑什麼對方要理睬你,而只希冀一己的真誠能打動對方。當中的赤誠之心,有如在信訪局前跪地痛哭的農民。

這次政改諮詢,再次彰顯此路不通。民主派求路線圖,叫價很低。我懷疑部分人其實只求一個不參加公投的下台階。但最後阿爺連下台階也不給,可說是對他們打下狠狠的一巴掌。奇就奇在,他們在捱了一巴掌之後,竟然還可以繼續哀求與中央對話。我反覆思量,想理解他們的心境,不禁聯想起上海八十後作家,被人形容為當代魯迅的韓寒前一陣子評《建國大業》的一番話:

「從另外一方面來講,《建國大業》是一部愛情文藝片,它委婉的講述了窮小子追求富家女的故事,當時的共產黨就是窮小子,新中國是待嫁的富家女……窮小子成功的秘訣就是一開始要有理想,談未來,許承諾,拉攏朋友,亂開空頭支票,當然,會打架是排在第一位的。最終終於成功的娶了新中國。當然婚後的生活就和在座的各位當年花言巧語的男同志們的婚後生活差不多。你們泡妞時的承諾都做到了嗎?」

用這段話來形容北京與香港民主派的歷史關係,也十分恰當。1980年代初,中共在本地進步青年面前,不也是那個「有理想,談未來,許承諾」的窮小子麼?那年頭的民主派,哪位不對民主回歸有無限憧憬?

20 多年後,物換星移,當年的進步青年嫁給窮小子後,不單承諾沒有兌現,還發現對方原來有不時發飈罵人打人的脾性。窮小子發財後,就更是有恃無恐。不過很多受虐者在每次受辱後,都會回憶起婚前的甜蜜時光,然後抱着對方其實深愛自己這一信念,忍氣吞聲,靜待伴侶有一天會自動變回當初的善類。

這次有人提出5區公投引起泛民激辯,就有如家裏有剛長大的小孩終於受不了父親的暴力,也看不過母親的懦弱,主張要報警,或起碼作勢報警。但這位母親不單不接受孩子建議,反而往孩子的死裏打,罵他大逆不道,說報警無用、會搞到「無彎轉」、「個家會散」,更「會刺激老竇打得仲勁」。

繼續忍氣吞聲的後果

不講也知道,繼續忍氣吞聲的後果是什麼。相反,若真的有人報警或作勢報警,卻可能讓施暴者下次落手前顧忌三分。施暴者的一點畏懼,或會轉化成尊重,最後反而可以帶來真正的大和諧、大團圓。

有人認為變相公投無法律效力,贏了也只是拿回5席,所以沒用。這種論調,正體現不少民主派只將民主運動簡單地等同於選舉議席得失的加減算術,而不諳群眾力量的動態力學微積分。

中央若對現任民主派議員廢除功能組別的要求視而不見,不對話、不還價,最多只是向23位議員各打一巴掌。2008年因為各種不同原因投票給這23位議員的選民,最多只是同情這些議員,替他們不值而已。

但當數以十萬、百萬計的選民在變相公投中明確、直接地投票支持廢除功能組別後,就算民主派的議席不變,甚至少了一兩席,事情卻已經起了質的變化。到時若中央仍對要求視而不見,繼續不對話、不還價,中央便是向幾十萬投了票的選民每人打一巴掌。這樣做會引發什麼後續發展,誰也說不準,但懂政治的中共,是不會不認真考慮箇中風險的。這也是為什麼當年民主派在議會內怎樣力抗23條都無力轉勢,但50萬人一上街,23條即被擱置,至今北京仍不敢再提的原因。

再者,由變相公投量化出來的民意力量,恐怕比50萬人上街還要大。因為就算50萬人上街,建制派也可以詭辯沒有上街的其他600多萬人,是贊成23條的。但在變相公投中,持反對意見的選民,也有同等機會表態,而建制派亦已擺出了全力應戰的態勢。最後的投票結果,誰是多數,誰是少數,一目了然,無法抵賴。

當然,萬一公投投票人數太少或不過半怎辦,乃民主派不得不認真思考的問題。但也請反對公投的朋友,不要再將輸了公投的負面衝擊不斷誇大來嚇人。若公投失敗,最壞情況莫過於政府保守方案獲通過,政制原地踏步。這跟民主派不搞公投,在議會等運到的結果,相差不遠。若政府敢在公投失敗後乘勝囂張,引來倒退,選民也必會在2012年的選舉中反制。

最重要的是,變相公投先例一開,等於是讓市民手中多了一道板斧。大家在第一次使用時就算有所閃失,以後也能在更多的實踐中學習,慢慢上手,最後成為能運用自如的有力武器。

當年蔣介石開始清黨之後,中共在各大城市土崩瓦解。不少中共領導想不出辦法,仍堅持留守大城市,以及一廂情願在國民黨內尋求同情者之老路、死路。後來毛澤東頂住黨中央的反對,開拓出組織農民、以農村包圍城市的新路,開始時也是不斷吃敗仗、不被看好。但老毛一面失敗,一面學習,最後還是帶領中共反敗為勝。

公社兩黨開新路 港人福分

所謂的「不爭朝夕」,並非是要不冒險、等運到,而是要在勇於探索新路的同時,不只眼於一場戰役的成敗,或一兩個席位的得失,也要着眼整場戰爭、整個運動的長遠佈局。中共在1934年棄守瑞金、1947年撤離延安時,並無人嘮嘮叨叨着「不撤退、不倒退」之類,拖泥帶水。因為他們知道,今天暫時退下,為的就是明天的強勢回歸。

現在公、社兩黨願意放下意識形態分歧、冰釋前嫌,並肩走進凶險的曠野,為我們披荊斬棘、開闢新路,這是香港人的福分。若民主黨最後決定不參加,公投支持者應該體諒,不要再謾罵了。畢竟民主黨包袱多、體積大,要轉向並不容易,就像鐵達尼號遇上冰山,硬轉也轉不來。但反對公投者,不論是多麼滿腹經綸,多麼不甘寂寞,是否也應該暫時沉默退場,靜待實踐去檢驗真理呢?

作者是美國印第安那大學布魯明頓校區社會學系助理教授