加拿大將於本月21日舉行大選。當地時間周一傍晚（香港時間今晨），英屬哥倫比亞大學（UBC）關注香港事務的學生組織「繫港學民」在溫哥華舉行集會，聲援香港的反修例抗爭、譴責特首林鄭月娥引《緊急法》推行《禁蒙面法》，並敦促加拿大政治領袖採取實際行動，應對香港的人道危機。「繫港學民」估計約100人出席，多人蒙面或戴口罩，部份人手持「GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH」、「香港人加油」、「Fight for freedom Stand with HK」等標語。
黃程鋒說，他自6月9日一直在香港，惟因他和家人面對的白色恐怖及威脅，他其後被迫辭任港大學生會署理會長一職，並逃往加拿大。他表示，加拿大的政黨領袖在Twitter說關注香港，但實際上並不打算為香港做任何事情，令他感到非常生氣。他提到，加拿大應該關心香港，不僅因為香港示威者正在爭取自由和權利、與恐懼搏鬥，還因為有多達30萬名加拿大人在香港生活，香港是加拿大人最大的海外社區之一，這令加拿大對香港負有特殊的道義責任。「我只是面對香港政府及警察威脅的30萬名加拿大人之一，30萬加拿大人的生命都受到威脅。政治領袖，你們在做什麼？ 你們打算做什麼？ 我們討厭你的政治術語，我們想要真正的計劃、真正的行動。這是選舉月，領袖辯論快將開始。政黨領袖，你會怎樣做？」
Good afternoon, before the start of the rally, we would like to acknowledge that our rally is holding on the traditional, ancestral, unceded, and occupied territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nation.
I am Davin Wong, the spokesperson of UBC’s the Enlightenment of Hong Kong, also known as UBCEHK. UBCEHK is formed by a group of UBC students from different regions, but we all care about what is happening in Hong Kong, for we believe that victory will eventually belong to those who stand up for freedom and dignity! And we want you, UBC students and people in Canada, to join us in line with Hong Kong protestors. Therefore, thank you very much for joining us this afternoon.
It is a frequently asked question: “Why should Canadians care about Hong Kong?” Not only because Hong Kong protestors are fighting for freedom and rights, fighting against fear, what put Canada with a special moral duty are the lives of 300,000 Canadians in the city, including myself. Hong Kong has been one of the largest Canadian communities abroad, that means our people, they are struggling and suffering for something we are enjoying on this piece of land.
Apart from being the spokesperson of UBCEHK, I was also formerly the President of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union. I was there from the very beginning, from the 9th of June, from the point where Carrie Lam insisted to bring the bill to the Legislative Council after the first million-protest. However, I was forced to resign and flee to Canada because of the white terror and threats me and my family were facing back in Hong Kong. I was very angry when those party leaders said they care, and they concern about Hong Kong on Twitter and turned out they did not plan to do anything. Do they know that at least one of their citizens was forced to flee to Canada because of the threat and white terror in the city? And I was only one of the 300.000 Canadians facing the threats by the government and the police force. There are 300,000 Canadians’ lives on the line. Political leaders, what are you doing? Do you plan to do anything? We are sick of your political jargons and we want real plans, real actions. This is election month, and the leaders’ debate will start very soon. Party leaders, what will you do?
To mark the official beginning of the rally, please allow me to read out the statement from UBCEHK on the Emergency Regulations Ordinance:
UBC’s The Enlightenment of Hong Kong (hereinafter UBC EHK) strongly condemns Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong Chief Executive, for invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (Cap. 241, Laws of Hong Kong) (hereinafter ERO), and introducing a blanket ban on wearing masks through making a subsidiary regulation under the ERO.
The ERO was a draconian colonial law and was legislated in 1922, which the colonial government used to encounter the Seamen's strike back then. The ERO confers on the Chief Executive power to make regulations, which may provide for various aspects, including but not limited to
(1) censorship, control and suppression of publications;
(2) arrest, detention, exclusion and deportation;
(4) appropriation, control, forfeiture and disposition of property and
(5) amending any enactment, suspending the operation of any enactment and applying any enactment with or without modification.
Hence, the Chief Executive may make any legislation without the approval or discussion by the Legislative Council. During the Hong Kong 1967 Leftist Riot, the colonial government granted the police special powers in an attempt to quell the unrest. The colonial government also banned leftists newspapers from publishing; forced leftist schools to shut down; arrested and detained many leftist leaders, and some of them were later deported to the PRC. Professor Michael Davis, a former law professor at the University of Hong Kong, called the ERO “a nuclear option” which “can literally run a dictatorship and suspend most rights.”
The invocation of the ERO suspends the legislature, regardless of the fact that the Legislative Council is not a democratically elected legislative body. The invocation of the ERO is also a complete manipulation of the judiciary and turns Hong Kong into an absolute authoritarian and police state. UBC EHK deems the invocation of ERO a mockery to the principle of separation of powers. The Hong Kong government completely undermined values that Hongkongers hold dear and illustrate the incapability of Carrie Lam in serving Hongkongers.
Through gazetting a subsidiary regulation on 5 October 2019, protestors will no longer be allowed to wear any face mask, regardless whether the assembly or demonstration is legal or illegal, authorized or unauthorized. The ban on face mask was more than a violation of freedom of expression, but a clear attempt to put Hongkongers in greater danger. In the case of Villeneuve c. Montreal (City of), The Superior Court of Québec ruled section 3.2 of the Regulation respecting the prevention of disturbances of peace, security and public order, and the use of the public domain, which bans anyone participating in meetings and demonstrations from having their faces covered, unconstitutional on the existence of risk of abuse. The Court held that police officer could not have had sufficient guidance to determine whether one has reasonable ground to cover their faces in exercising this section, and thus the section is “overbroad, unreasonable and arbitrary in the sense of administrative law,” and is likely a violation of freedom of expression. A mask has been a symbol and protection against the intensifying police brutality, including the thousands of rounds of tear gas in the past few months, and indiscriminate arrests. The ban on face masks only exacerbates the violence against citizens by the police. The regime is putting Hongkongers to death.
The reckless ban on face masks was only the first attempt of Carrie Lam exercising her dictating power under the ERO. As long as the ERO is in effect, Hong Kong is still exposed to the threat of dictatorship and further police brutality. UBC EHK is calling Carrie Lam to immediately revoke the ERO and the ban on face masks.
We are also calling party leaders in Canada to address the humanitarian crisis in Hong Kong, introducing substantive actions to support protestors who are fighting for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. As a country where we hold freedom and democracy as our principles, we shall support protestors who are fighting for the values we hold dear. Canada should stand in line with Hong Kong in this battle against tyranny.