Finn Lau

Finn Lau (Chinese: 劉祖廸; born 25 October 1993) is a political activist from Hong Kong known for popularising a protesting strategy coined "Lam Chau" and being the founder of Hong Kong Liberty and Stand with Hong Kong. He was previously only known as the LIHKG user with the username “I want Lam Chau“. On 5 October 2020, he publicized his real identity as Finn Lau and announced that he, as the founder of both teams, would split Hong Kong Liberty and Stand with Hong Kong. The two organizations are currently operating separately.

Finn Lau
Finn Lau.png
Born (1993-10-25) 25 October 1993 (age 27)
Other namesI want Lam Chau (Chinese: 我要攬炒)
OccupationPolitical Activist (Former: Chartered Surveyor)
OrganizationFounder of Hong Kong Liberty and Stand with Hong Kong
Known forPopularising the doctrine Lam Chau

Early life and surveyor careerEdit

Finn Lau was originally a surveyor who claimed to have no political background or association with any political parties at all, and said that he was “only a Hong Konger who loves Hong Kong”.[1] He qualified as a surveyor and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. He has been based in London, UK since 2019.[2]

2019-20 protestsEdit

Lam Chau strategyEdit

During the early stage of the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests, he suggested the strategy Lam Chau as the user “I want Lam Chau” on the forum LIHKG and gained attention for it. He called for the citizens to request foreign governments to cancel the passports of Hong Kong government officials, pro-China personnel, and their families.[3] He reasoned that as many of the Hong Kong government officials and pro-China legislators were holding foreign passports, they would be able to disregard the long term effects their policies may have on Hong Kong, thus cancelling their passports would force them to reconsider the potential harm in legislating the anti-extradition bill.[4] The concept of Lam Chau since then went popular among protesters,[5] with many citing the line in The Hunger Games “If we burn, you burn with us” to rally for the concept. The line later became a popular slogan in the movement, often appearing on different Lennon Walls.[4][6]

Founding Stand with Hong KongEdit

After gaining widespread support on the forum LIHKG, Finn proposed and founded Hong Kong Liberty on 10 June 2019 and Stand with Hong Kong in early July 2019, recruiting its members on the forum and Telegram, with himself aiming to implement the doctrine of Lam Chau. The team later launched a series of campaigns throughout the anti-extradition movement, seeking to rally the international community to support the protest in Hong Kong.[4] Some of the team's more prominent campaigns including the global rally across 15 countries in August 2019, advertisements on the headlines of popular newspapers such as the Guardian or the Spectator,[7] and the sanction report in November 2019 that proposed a name list of human right abusers to be sanctioned by the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.[8]

Arrest and self-exileEdit

On 1 January 2020, Finn was arrested in the 2020 New Year's Day March but was released after being detained for 48 hours, as the police did not know at that time that he was a member of Stand with Hong Kong but thought he was a common protester. After being released, Finn returned to London, where he was working as a surveyor, and continued his activism there.[1] In August 2020, an arrest warrant for Lau was issued under the newly promulgated Hong Kong National Security Law.[2]

Hong Kong LibertyEdit

On 5 October 2020, Finn publicized his real identity in a video, as he was only previously known by his online alias “I want Lam Chau”. He also announced that he will split the "Hong Kong Liberty" team and "Stand with Hong Kong" team, and continue to lead the former. The two organizations will operate separately with different focuses. He stated that his future work to liberate Hong Kong will revolve around four axes:[9]

  1. To act as an intermediary between activist groups, frontline support workers in Hong Kong, foreign government, and overseas lawmakers
  2. To perfect the doctrine of Lam Chau and lobby the international community against the CCP
  3. To push for Hong Kong's autonomy under international jurisdiction like the UN, G7, or D10. And to push the British government to open up the disputes on the Sino-British Joint Declaration at the International Court of Justice.
  4. To join forces with international allies to push for the right of national self-determination as a basic human right, starting with formally engaging with the UNPO.

Lau revealed that he was assaulted by a gang of three people in London in late 2020, and believed that the attack was politically motivated.[2] Critics initially disputed the authenticity of his assault claim, to which Lau responded by publishing a photograph of his bludgeoned face on the day of his attack, and the medical certificate confirming his injury, treatment, and police report.[10]

In April 2021, Lau announced that he would take a break from his surveyor career for "at least one or two years" and become a full-time political activist focusing on Hong Kong issues.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b 立場新聞 (5 October 2020). "「攬炒巴」劉祖廸拍片現真身 透露曾於元旦遊行被捕 冀成地下抗爭組織及外國政府溝通橋樑" (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 5 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Wanted Hong Kong activist Finn Lau - behind the faceless 'Laam Caau' persona - says he will seize any 'chance of survival and give back'". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 25 October 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  3. ^ "「攬炒」一詞源於撲克牌遊戲 Ben Sir教路泛民迎戰建制炮轟". 香港01 (in Chinese). 7 May 2020. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "【連登動員.上】專訪「我要攬炒」真身:香港人未放棄,我們也不放棄". 立場新聞 (in Chinese). 18 July 2019. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  5. ^ "【逃犯條例】延綿半年的街頭衝突 追溯十大新興「關鍵詞」源由". 香港01 (in Chinese). 9 December 2019. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  6. ^ "彈弓、防毒面具對抗警察 反送中出現港版飢餓遊戲女神" (in Chinese). 新頭殼. 6 August 2019. Archived from the original on 7 August 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  7. ^ "連登「我要攬炒」發起 今起英報登廣告 控訴中國違反聯合聲明 冀英港「同行作戰」". 立場新聞 (in Chinese). 24 July 2019. Archived from the original on 14 August 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  8. ^ "攬炒巴、學界代表團製建議制裁名單 林鄭、李家超、何君堯等逾百人上榜". 立場新聞 (in Chinese). 21 December 2019. Archived from the original on 26 May 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  9. ^ "無懼通緝現真身 攬炒巴:相搏到底". 蘋果日報 (in Chinese). 5 October 2020.
  10. ^ Kong, Dimsumdaily Hong (4 January 2021). "Finn Lau who is in exile in U.K. reveals photo of his head injury after being beaten". Dimsum Daily. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  11. ^ "攬炒巴:辭測量師工作全職為港服務 擬辦 2021.6.12 全球行動企劃 | 立場報道 | 立場新聞". 立場新聞 Stand News. Retrieved 6 May 2021.