立場新聞 Stand News

The Courage of Ordinary People

2015/4/9 — 10:27

【 By Wilson Leung, Convenor of Progressive Lawyers Group / 文:梁允信,《法政匯思》召集人 】

編按:本文的中文版刊於文末 

The Progressive Lawyers Group (法政匯思) (PLG) was formed in January 2015, shortly after the end of the Umbrella Movement. We are a group of lawyers and law students who strive to protect Hong Kong’s core values such as rule of law, judicial independence, human rights, and freedom.

廣告

Since its formation, PLG has issued statements on a variety of topics, including the Chief Executive election in 2017, the Government’s political advertising, and attacks against the Judiciary.

We are extremely grateful and fortunate to have received a positive reception from many members of the public and from other civil society groups. We are deeply thankful for all the encouraging comments and invaluable guidance that have been given to us.

廣告

However, as PLG’s public profile has started to develop, we have also begun to experience various attacks.

Recently, there have been an increasing number of offensive comments posted on our Facebook page. Although we are most happy to hear different viewpoints and receive constructive criticism, unfortunately, many of these comments rely on insulting language and do not contain any reasoning or analysis. 

PLG has also been the target of false allegations that are not supported by any evidence (such as the untrue suggestion, made by some pro-Beijing media, that PLG is in fact a puppet organisation of the pan-democrat parties).

Undeniably, these attacks have been disturbing and uncomfortable to us. After all, the majority of PLG members are junior practitioners in their twenties or early thirties. We are not political veterans: most of us have no experience in public affairs. We are not used to being the target of public attacks. We are just a group of ordinary lawyers – and ordinary Hong Kong people. 

However, we are determined not to be silenced by these types of unfair and low-grade attacks. Instead, these attacks will strengthen our resolve, and make us redouble our efforts, to speak out on important topics that affect Hong Kong’s core values. 

Although we are merely a group of ordinary lawyers, it is our firm belief that progress is achieved by the courage of ordinary people. It is usually the great leaders who are commemorated in the history books, but it is the acts of countless ordinary men and women, each playing their own small part, that create change in the world.

Take the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. is rightly celebrated for his role as a key leader in that movement. But none of its success could have been achieved without the courage of innumerable ordinary people who stood up in the face of harassment, hostility, and physical violence.

There was, for example, the ‘Little Rock Nine’. These were nine black teenagers who, in 1957, sought to attend an all-white high school. Even though a court had ordered the school to admit black students, the state governor ignored the court order and deployed soldiers to prevent the nine students from entering the school. Eventually, the federal government intervened and sent troops to escort the students – who encountered verbal abuse and angry threats from the mob outside – into the school. But their ordeal was far from over. Throughout the school year, the nine students were subjected to bullying, threats, and discrimination by their classmates and teachers. This was bravely endured by the students, eight of whom successfully completed the school year – the first black students ever to do so in that school.

There was also the ‘Greensboro Four’: four black university students who, in 1960, sat down at a ‘whites-only’ restaurant and asked to be served. The restaurant refused. They returned the next day with 20 other students and were again denied service. However, their bold actions inspired similar sit-ins across the US; within 2 months, the movement had spread to 55 cities. Although many participants encountered insults, abuse, arrests, and violence, their brave actions drew much attention to the struggle for equal rights for African-Americans. By the summer of 1960, many segregated restaurants across the US South had become open to black customers.

We are not suggesting, by any means, that our efforts are on par with the brave actions of the Little Rock Nine and the Greensboro Four. Further, we are keenly aware that there are many others, in Hong Kong, who have experienced far greater threats than we have in the struggle for freedom and democracy.

Our point is simply this: that we will do our best to stand firm in the face of vicious attacks, and hope that other Hong Kongers will join us in doing the same. It is only through such courage – the courage of ordinary people – that we can create a better future for Hong Kong and protect its core values.

 

普通人的勇氣

「法政匯思」於2015年1月雨傘運動結束後不久組成。 我們是一群致力捍衛法治、司法獨立、人權及自由等香港核心價值的律師和法律學生。

「法政匯思」 自成立起,多次就不同議題發表聲明,其中包括2017年的特首選舉模式、政府的政治廣告及針對司法機關的攻擊等。

我們非常幸運地獲得社會各界及其它公民社會團體正面的迴響,亦同時衷心感謝大家對我們的鼓勵和寶貴的指導。

可是,正當「法政匯思」正開始於市民大眾前建立起形象時,我們亦開始遭受到攻擊。

最近,我們的臉書專頁上出現越來越多具有攻擊性的評語。雖然我們樂於聆聽出自不同觀點的意見及接受建設性的批評,但這類評語絕大部分只有侮辱性的語言,並沒有理性的討論和分析。

「法政匯思」亦曾在沒有任何證據的情況下遭受不實的指控,如被某些親中媒體誣陷為泛民主派政黨的傀儡組織。

無可否認,我們對此等攻擊感到困擾及不安。 畢竟「法政匯思」的大部分成員只是二十至三十多歲的年輕法律界從業員。 我們並不是富有參政經驗的人士: 我們大部分的成員甚至沒有參與公共事務的經驗。 我們並不習慣成為公開攻擊的目標。 我們只是一群普通的律師 - 及普通的香港人。

可是,我們堅決地不會被此等不公平及低俗的攻擊噤聲。反之,此等攻擊將使我們更有決心,並促使我們加倍努力地,就關乎香港核心價值的重大議題發聲。

雖然我們只是一群普通的律師,但我們堅定地相信進展是由普通人的勇氣所達成的。 歷史書歌頌偉大的領袖,但改變世界的奇蹟其實是由無數的普通人,不輪男女,各在其位各司其職所帶來的。

美國的民權運動便是一個例子。 馬丁路德金在該運動中的主要領導角色為人所稱頌,但沒有無數普通人不怕騷擾、敵意及暴力挺身站出來的勇氣,運動便無法取得成功。

例如運動期間發生的 “Little Rock Nine” 事件。1957年,九名十多歲的黑人少年報讀一家只取錄白人的中學。雖然法庭頒令學校必須取錄黑人學生,州長漠視法庭命令並派遣士兵阻止該九名學生進入學校。該九名學生亦遭受校外的暴民辱罵及恐嚇,導致美國聯邦政府最終介入並出動軍人護送學生進入學校。儘管如此,九名學生的噩夢並未完結。在該學年期間,該九名學生不斷遭受同學及老師的欺凌、威嚇及歧視,卻勇敢地堅持着。最終八名黑人學生成功完成該學年,而且成為該校首批成功完成學年的黑人學生。

除了"Little Rock Nine"以外,"Greensboro Four"也值得一談:於1960年,四名黑人大學生在一家「白人專用」的餐館要求餐館為他們提供服務並遭受餐館拒絕。他們於第二天連同其他20多個學生返回餐館,並再次被拒絕服務。然而,他們無畏的行為啟發了在美國各地類似的靜坐。在短短兩個月內,該運動已蔓延到55個城市。雖然許多參與者在運動中遇到侮辱、虐待、逮捕及暴力對待,他們勇敢的行動得到各界對給予非洲裔美國人平等權利的關注。到了1960年的夏天,許多在美國南部執行種族隔離的餐館也開始開放给黑人顧客。

在此要澄清一點,我們並不是認為「法政匯思」的工作與 "Little Rock Nine" 和 "Greensboro Four" 的勇敢行為相稱。此外,我們也深切地明白到很多正在爭取民主自由的香港人,其實比「法政匯思」承受着更大的威脅。

我們的觀點很簡單:面對有惡意的攻擊,我們將盡最大努力維持堅定立場,並希望其他香港人和我們攜手採取同樣行動。只有透過此份勇氣 - 即普通人的勇氣 - 我們才可保護香港的核心價值,並為香港創造更美好的未來。

發表意見