Police-related statements during the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong—“laying hands down” or an attempt at discursive formation
CHOW Pok-yin Adrian
AbstractIn September 2014, a large scale unprecedented democratic movement commonly called the “Umbrella Revolution / Movement” broke out in Hong Kong and its occupying phase lasted for 79 days. During this period, police intervened violently in numerous occasions. Being an active participant in this movement who experienced police violence, got arrested and was conditionally released afterwards, the author selected 39 police-related statements uttered by various parties during the movement and attempts to conduct a preliminary discourse analysis analyzing their relationships (including their objects, sites of utterance, speakers’ positions in relation to listeners, sequence, mutual response, and thematic choices), thereby exhibiting Hong Kong’s discursive formation which renders those statements possible. As the analysis unfolds, one will notice how the extreme imbalance of power between the establishment and the people can help produce discourses so twisted as to reach the point of defying logic and common sense. In spite of the weak voices of resistance the utterance of which is the inevitable result of such imbalance, pro-establishment voices are just too overwhelming, shocking and disorienting the senses of ordinary Hong Kong citizens. By this analysis, the author is also making a desperate appeal to the intellectual community for continuing their concern for Hong Kong and its people, especially on Hong Kong’s progress of political reform and human rights conditions.
Keywords:Discourse analysis, discursive formation, police, police violence, rule of law, 7-Policement Incident, statements, Umbrella Movement, Umbrella Revolution.
Chow, Pok-yin Adrian is a producer of pop songs, albums and concerts in HK. He specializes in melody/lyrics writing and music arrangement. His independent music label Ban Ban Music Ltd is the manager of one of the leading HK female artists Ms. Kay Tse, having released more than 10 of her albums. Well-known for his lyrics with social concern, he also writes newspaper columns and hosts radio programs on current affairs. Chow has been a qualified but non-practicing solicitor of HK since 1994. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong with LL.B, P.C.LL and LL.M, and also from York University (Toronto) with B.F.A (Music) (Summa Cum Laude). He is currently a final year student of the Master of Cultural Studies program with the Lingnan University, Hong Kong.