The Tab meets NottsStandsWithHK
The group is campaigning against the Hong Kong Government’s controversial actions.
After nearly 23 weeks of protests, many feel that despite concessions being made by the Hong Kong government, action is still needed. We spoke to a group of Nottingham students who are taking actions into their own hands. NottsStandsWithHK are protestesting, organising a campaign of resistance and putting pressure on Universities and the government.
The group leaders have requested to remain anonymous.
What does your group stand for and what type of members do you have?
As a group we stand for and solidarity to the Hong Kong movement which is happening in Hong Kong right now. Initially the movement solely demanded the withdrawal of the extradition bill but following an escalation in the severity of policing tactics against demonstrators, the objective of the movement has been requesting the following five demands:
What do you hope to achieve?
Complete withdrawal of the extradition bill from the legislative process
Retraction of the ‘riot’ characterisation
Release and exoneration of arrested protesters
Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into police conduct and use of force during the protests
Resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the implementation of universal suffrage for Legislative Council and Chief Executive elections.
What kind of people make up your group, and how many member sdo you have?
We, as a group, consist mostly students and young adults, but there are also Hong Kong immigrants who live in Nottingham participated in our demonstrations.
There are around 20 members who are the main organisers for demos and around 150 members in the NottsStandWithHK telegram group, which is a messaging app that provide a channel allowing members to involve in discussion anonymously.
The NottsStandWithHK group ultimately wants to achieve eight demands:
We demand that the British government make a clear and unequivocal statement that China has contravened the Sino-British Joint Declaration from 1984 and that, as such, it is in breach of international law.
We demand, as a minimum , the assurances given in the Sino-British agreement to the Hong Kong people:
a. Freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of travel, of movement, of correspondence, of strike, of choice of occupation, of academic research and of religious belief.
b. The autonomy of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
a. The police repression in Hong Kong and the invocation of riot charges on street protestors.
b. The threats by companies, in compliance with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime, of dismissal or any punishment on workers in order to silence political dissent.
An end to the training of and provision of equipment to the Hong Kong police by the British government, institutions and companies;
Active solidarity with workers sacked for their support for the democracy movement and demand their reinstatement. We call for international action against companies using this form of ‘white terror’ to intimidate their staff.
We demand freedom of movement between Hong Kong and the UK:
With the full rights for all moving here to have the same rights as any other British national (rights to vote, work etc);
This right should be respected for those arrested, detained or convicted in the course of the democratic movement in Hong Kong.
In UK universities, we call on staff, student and workers unions to join us in demanding:
Freedom of speech for both Hong Kong and mainland Chinese students studying at British universities;
No toleration of any individual or organisation which incites or organises intimidation on any Hong Kong or mainland Chinese student;
No facilities to be granted to agencies such as Confucius Institutes (CI) or China Student and Scholars Associations (CSSA) both of which rely on CCP patronage.
We call on financial, travel and political sanctions against those (especially British nationals) responsible for the repression in Hong Kong.
We call for an ethical foreign policy in relation to mainland China and Hong Kong, prohibiting the sale of UK-manufactured lethal and so-called 'non-lethal' weapons as well as dual use technology.
By protesting in Nottingham, are you hoping to raise awareness of what’s happening? Or force the council to act?
Demonstrations in Nottingham not only want to raise awareness of what’s happening in Hong Kong right now, we also hope that voters can vote for those who are willing to help and give assistance to Hong Kongers so that they can put stress onto the parliament.
Do you work with other groups and university societies?
The NottsStandWithHK has also actively communicated with similar voluntarily groups in other cities such as Birmingham and Sheffield, we have yet organised any cooperate events but we are looking forward to host one in the near future.
Do you think student bodies have a responsibility to Hong Kong students?
We believe, not only student bodies, have a responsibility to Hong Kong students as the suppression from the Hong Kong government or Chinese government have violated the basic human right, and the freedom of speech and protests, which are some core values in western countries.
The University of Nottingham, has strong connections with Mainland China, with a large Chinese Student disporia, a chinese campus. Meaning Mainland China financially supports the University significantly. Do you think the University’s strong relationship has led them to shy away from addressing the issues facing Hong Kong?
We have noticed that The University of Nottingham does have strong connection with the Chinese government. The University has not yet responded regarding the current situation and we know it is a rather controversial issue. However we as a group will not back down as we strongly believe what we are doing have reasonable grounds and expressing our wills and opinions through peaceful protests are absolutely legal therefore the University do not have any valid reasons to stop us doing so.
If anyone wants to be involved with your actions how can they do so?
For anyone wants to join our action please follow our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NottsStandsWithHK/ , or Instagram page : https://www.instagram.com/nottsstandwithhk/ .