Manual of Disobedience

Civil disobedience

(1) Philosophy  

1. Civil disobedience refers to acts of opposing injustice through refusing to comply with a law, decree or order. The participants will not resort to violence. Rather, they will proactively accept the due legal consequences. The acts have to display not only civility but also a disobedient attitude in refusing to cooperate with the unjust authorities, and to strive for societal changes through continuous protest. Genuine pacifism does not mean not to resist against evils, but to fight against evils squarely with non-violent means.

2. Using violence against violence will only intensify bias and fear, provide the government the excuse for suppression, and further empower the suppressors. Civil disobedience is to win over hatred with love. The participants should face sufferings with dignified attitude, so as to summon the conscience of the suppressors and to minimize the hatred underlying the acts of suppression. More importantly, non-violence will win over the empathy of by-standers, and expose the complete lack of legitimacy of the institutional violence applied to us by the suppressor. The self-sacrifice can arouse the awakening of the public.

3. The ultimate aim of the campaign is to establish a society embracing equality, tolerance, love and care. We fight against the unjust system, not individuals. We are not to destroy or humiliate the law enforcers, rather we are to win over their understanding and respect. Not only do we need to avoid physical confrontation, but also to avoid developing hatred in heart.

4. Occupy Central participants must strictly follow the principle of non-violence if we are to gain the understanding and support of the public. Protesters must not engage in physical or verbal conflicts with law enforcers, nor damage any public properties. When facing brutal force, you can act to protect your body but not fighting back. When facing arrest, protesters can form a human chain and lie down so as to make the arrest more difficult but not to struggle hard. Protestors should display a peaceful and rational attitude with dignity. They should keep reminding themselves to demonstrate virtues of higher standard than those of the suppressors, so as to gain the support of the society.

(2) Rules for Non-Violent Protest

1. Insist on the use of non-violence means. In the face of law enforcers and anti-Occupy Central demonstrators, never hurt anyone physically or mentally, or damage any properties.

2. Be brave in facing the authorities and accept the responsibilities of civil disobedience. Do not use any masks to cover faces.

3. Do not bring any weapons or anything that can be used as weapons.

4. When facing arrest, form a human chain and lie down to show our non-cooperation. Do not struggle hard so as to avoid injury.

5. Be bold in the face of violence. Do not try to hit back. Move to a safe place and ask for the help from the picket or medical team.

6. For the sake of consistent crowd control information, no one except designated personnel should use any loudspeakers. Do not put up any long flags or large posters that will block the views.

7. Leaders of the operation could be arrested anytime. Be prepared for changes in leadership and try to maintain good order all along.

8. Respect the decisions of OCLP. Any disagreements should only be reviewed after the operation. Avoid any action that may disrupt the operation.


Legal Issues

(1) Guidance Note on Legal Matters

OCLP is a peaceful movement of civil disobedience, the purpose of which is to inspire other people in the society, to let them see some of the injustices in the law or the current system, and to motivate them to support correcting all the injustices.  Those participating in civil disobedience are going to challenge the injustices in the law or the system by means of a restricted scope of unlawful conducts and will bear the legal consequences of their unlawful conducts.  This is to demonstrate the commitment of Hong Kong citizens to fight for universal suffrage even in the face of bearing legal liabilities, as well as to galvanize the rest of the society.  Although we are willing to bear the legal consequences of our conduct, we must also understand the relevant sections of the law, protect individual as well as collective rights, and be cautious in our actions, so as to prevent unnecessary liabilities and conflicts.

1.1 Sections the Prosecution may use against the Rally

1) Obstruction of public places: Section 4A of the Summary Offences Ordinance, Cap. 228 of the Laws of Hong Kong

2) Unauthorized assembly: Section 17A of the Public Order Ordinance, Cap. 245 of the Laws of Hong Kong

3)* Unlawful assembly: Section 18 of the Public Order Ordinance, Cap. 245 of the Laws of Hong Kong

4)* Disorder in public places: Section 17B of the Public Order Ordinance, Cap. 245 of the Laws of Hong Kong

*: Participants will not contravene these sections if they are able to uphold OCLP’s conviction of non-violence

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