USC welcomes Joshua Wong, student leader of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement!
A Film Screening of “Lessons in Dissent” and Q&A with Joshua Wong and Matthew Torne
The USC College Republicans and USC for Democracy in Hong Kong welcome Joshua Wong, student leader of the Hong Kong’s 2014 protests and Umbrella Movement, and Matthew Torne, Director/Filmmaker, to USC!
Friday, February 20
University of Southern California
Mudd Hall 101
Free donuts will be served!
Please RSVP on the Facebook event ticket tab at www.facebook.com/811125568923697
Named as one of TIME Magazine’s Most Influential Teenager of 2014 and nominated for TIME Magazine’s 2014 Person of the Year, Joshua Wong was propelled into international attention during Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement when his arrest and the police’s use of pepper spray against the non-violent protesters galvanized the citizens of Hong Kong in demanding the right to nominate and elect the chief executive of Hong Kong.
Matthew Torne’s interest in Hong Kong began in 2003 when he had to leave his teaching post in China to go to Hong Kong when the SARS epidemic broke out in Beijing. While in Hong Kong he became fascinated by the 2003 protest against the proposed Hong Kong Article 23 sedition law. After returning to England, he took Cantonese lessons and worked toward a Masters degree in Modern Chinese studies at Oxford University. Upon finishing his thesis on Hong Kong post-1997 development and options for democratic reform, he went to Hong Kong in 2011 with the goal of making a documentary. “Lessons in Dissent” is the result.
About the film: Lessons in Dissent
Lessons in Dissent is a vivid portrait of Hong Kong’s young generation who demand to forge their own future in Hong Kong.
Before the Umbrella Movement of 2014, in 2012, 15 year old Joshua Wong led a campaign group of high school students, Scholarism, to oppose the government’s introduction of brainwashing via a “National Education” program with the slogan, “I want independent thinking, not brainwashing”. 17 year old Ma Jai, quit school to join a pro-democracy political party in support of a candidate for the legislature to push for political reform.
Filmed over 18 months, the film is a study of the passion, sweat and tears of the struggles of Hong Kong’s youth, knowing that their fight is now, before Hong Kong completely loses its status of “One Country, Two Systems” in 2047.
Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement
In 1997, Hong Kong, a British colony, was returned to China under the Sino-British Joint Declaration with the condition that Hong Kong would be able to maintain its state of autonomy for 50 years.
In 2007, the Beijing government agreed that there will be universal suffrage allowing all of the Hong Kong citizens to elect their chief executive (the highest office in Hong Kong) by the year 2017; however in August last year, Beijing announced that candidates for Hong Kong chief executive must be first nominated by a committee of 1200 appointed people and the nominees must also be approved by Beijing.
The people in Hong Kong felt that they have been betrayed. In late September of 2014, students started their protest. When Hong Kong’s police began using tear gas and pepper spray against the peaceful demonstrators, it galvanized the people of Hong Kong to join the protest.
In more than 11 weeks of protests, no one car has been overturned and no one store window has been broken except for one door of the Legislative building which was deliberately broken by several masked men probably to discredit the peaceful movement. Dubbed the most civil of civil disobedience, protesters used umbrellas to shield themselves from the tear gas; thus the “Umbrella Movement” was born.