In order to continue their fight for democracy, two Hong Kong politicians are accepting bitcoin donations. Leung Chung-Hang and Yau Wai-Ching were disqualified by the High Court over their oath-taking debacle last month, but plan to appeal.
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The duo are not giving up their quest for democratic rights — at least not without a fight. They are seeking funds to appeal for the resumption of their seats for their political party called ‘Youngspiration’.
“Hong Kong Is Not China”
Yau and Leung are advocates who have called for a ‘complete split‘ away from mainland China. Prior to taking their seats in parliament, the duo trotted out flags that stated “Hong Kong is not China” during their oath-taking session.
The action enraged officials in Beijing, and allegedly led Hong Kong’s Chief Executive to “throw in everything“ to launch a legal challenge to remove the duo from office.
Beijing’s controversial intervention has come as a shock to many Hong Kongers. Barrister and former lawmaker Margaret Ng suggested that such intervention has violated multiple provisions of the Basic Law.
Hong Kong Under British Rule
When Hong Kong was under British rule, freedom (of speech) was applauded. However after Hong Kong’s return to mainland China in 1997, the “One Country. Two Systems” policy seems to be increasingly restrictive as Beijing has interfered in Hong Kong’s ruling systems by removing “troublemakers” — and a wide range of other political issues.
Yau’s is standing firm, stating that:
“We didn’t do anything wrong,” she said in an interview in the parliamentary office she must now vacate. “This is just what China must do to maintain their dictatorship, so we don’t think it is our fault.”
Some think the two have only themselves to blame for losing their seats, through their provocative action during the oath-taking. Others say Hong Kong has already “gone under” the communist ruling style after Beijing interfered in legal procedures.
According to a CNN report:
“By preventing the two pro-independence politicians from taking office, the Chinese government has opened the door to disqualify anyone from Hong Kong’s government if they are determined to not be loyal to Beijing,” pro-democrat lawmaker Claudia Mo wrote in an op-ed after the ruling.”
Politicians Accept Bitcoin to Crowdfund for Democracy
The duo are seeking donations of HK$5 million (USD 650,000) from the public to fund an appeal to fight against the ruling.
Youngspiration also had one of their PayPal accounts frozen. Hence they are left with four other options — checks, electronic checks, bank transfers… and bitcoin. The politicians chose to accept bitcoin, as it encourages contributors to support their movement anonymously.
When it comes to appealing a controversial legal decision, the risks associated with the other remaining funding methods are highly plausible. In such a case, bitcoin funding may well be the last method standing.
If democracy is a game, bitcoin is a kind of rule. What are your thoughts when politicians accept bitcoin for these purposes? Let us know in the comments.
Images via Youngspiration Facebook Page, REUTERS/Bobby Yip, HKFP- Facebook.
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