TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In response to Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam imposing a ban on protesters wearing masks at all public gatherings on Friday (Oct. 4), thousands of Hong Kong protesters read aloud a manifesto declaring a provisional government.
Thousands gathered at the New Hong Kong City Centre in Ma On Shan on Friday and read aloud the "Hong Kong Provisional Government Manifesto." The 900-word declaration rejects the current "troglodytic and authoritarian" government and calls for a new form of leadership that provides "freedom, democracy, and human rights."
The manifesto draws from the second paragraph of the American Declaration of Independence, which uttered the famous line of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," emphasizing that governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed." The document states the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government is "under the influence of the Chinese Communist Party," and that "there is no longer any Separation of Powers nor rule of law in Hong Kong."
The writers of the manifesto go on to state that because they no longer have faith in the SAR government, they have officially "unseated and dismissed" Lam and her administration "in effect immediately."
The following is the full text of the manifesto:
In order for mankind to continually improve and evolve, changes to the old system must be made, or even overthrown. This is the same for governments that are troglodytic and authoritarian. Hence, we the Hong Kongers hereby establish the Hong Kong Provisional Government, a government that pledges to give its people freedom, democracy, and human rights. We solemnly swear that this government is a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
We the Hong Kongers strongly believe in the following lines, which are enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” These are doctrines that shall not be trampled upon by anyone, or anything.
"The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is now under the influence of The Chinese Communist Party. The Hong Kong SAR Government has continually failed to listen to its people’s demands and has stripped its people of their rights. The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, enacted the “Anti-mask law” by use of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, in order to bypass all regular legislative procedures. There is no doubt that there is no longer any Separation of Powers nor rule of law in Hong Kong.
We the Hong Kongers no longer have any faith in the SAR Government, and we do not recognise it as the governing body of Hong Kong. We hereby announce the Chief Executive and all her Secretaries, Chief Secretaries for Administration, and heads of all departments unseated and dismissed, in effect immediately."
The document then details the steps that are to follow, including an immediate end to the current Hong Kong government and implementation of procedures to select a democratically elected provisional government. Among the points mentioned, the provisional government is to have a five-year term, mention is made of a "president" and an election for a provisional legislative council is slated for March, presumably of next year.
The following are seven key points announced by the Hong Kong Provisional Government:
1. All departments originally belonging to the SAR Government shall be taken over by the Hong Kong Provisional Government.
2. The positions of Chief Executive, Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries for Administration shall be vacant indefinitely, until replacements are democratically elected.
3. All policies enacted by the SAR Government from 2018 onwards shall be indefinitely suspended. Employees of government departments shall ensure that the departments run smoothly, until further notice.
4. The Hong Kong Provisional Government shall be in term for five years or when a resident and officials are nominated and elected by the public. The Hong Kong Provisional Government must start organising an election of the basis of universal suffrage within one year of its establishment, and the election shall be completed within three years.
5. Officials of The Hong Kong Provisional Government shall not be allowed to take up any other governing roles in the Hong Kong Government once their term ends.
6. All current Hong Kong laws shall be effective until a new set of laws are introduced by The Hong Kong Provisional Government.
7. The Hong Kong SAR Legislative Council shall be dismissed immediately. An election shall be held in March to elect the Hong Kong Provisional Legislative Council. The Hong Kong Legislative Council shall be elected within a year. The Hong Kong Provisional Legislative Council shall have seventy seats; Hong Kong Island and Kowloon West shall have twelve seats, Kowloon East ten seats, New Territories West and East shall have eighteen seats.
Videos showed thousands reading the interim government declaration aloud in Cantonese: