Jimmy Sham

Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit (Chinese: 岑子杰; Jyutping: Sam4 Zi2 Git6; born 29 June 1987) is a Hong Kong political and LGBT rights activist. He serves as convener of pro-democracy organisation Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF)[2] and as a secretary for LGBT rights organisation Rainbow of Hong Kong.[3] He is a longtime member of the League of Social Democrats. In 2019 he was elected to the Sha Tin District Council by residents of Lek Yuen constituency.

Jimmy Sham
岑子杰
香港民陣再發動4-28反引渡條例大遊行 03 (cropped).jpg
Member of the Sha Tin District Council
Assumed office
1 January 2020
Preceded byWong Yue-hon
ConstituencyLek Yuen
Convener of Civil Human Rights Front[1]
Assumed office
October 2018
Preceded bySammy Ip
In office
October 2015 – October 2016
Preceded byDaisy Chan [zh]
Succeeded byAu Nok-hin
Personal details
Born (1987-06-29) 29 June 1987 (age 33)
British Hong Kong
Political partyLeague of Social Democrats
EducationHong Kong Community College

BiographyEdit

Sham grew up in a single-parent family and completed secondary school in 2006.[4] He worked as a legislative assistant for a period after graduating from secondary school. He later joined Rainbow Action, a member organisation of Civil Human Rights Front that advocates for LGBT rights. He started assisting with CHRF's work in 2008, hosting events and managing affairs with human and police rights. He occupied Connaught Road Central along with other protesters after the 1 July march in 2011, after which he was arrested for unlawful assembly. He participated in the 2014 Hong Kong protests and became CHRF's convener in 2015, for one year.[2]

After Sham left the post of convener, he studied at the Hong Kong Community College, graduating in October 2018 with a higher diploma in social work.[5] He immediately rejoined CHRF, again as convener. This came at a difficult time for the organisation, as it had only HK$300,000 in funding with a monthly expenditure of HK$20,000. He is a longtime member of the League of Social Democrats and joined its executive committee in 2018. He first joined the party because it was the first in Hong Kong to include LGBT issues in its platform.[2]

In 2020, Time magazine named Sham one of "20 people to watch", the only Hong Kong citizen on the list. He responded, "Hong Kong people deserve more attention from the outside world than themselves."[6]

SexualityEdit

Sham is openly gay; he married his husband, a flight attendant, in New York in 2014.[2][7] He is an active campaigner for LGBT rights in Hong Kong. As a secretary, he manages daily operations for Rainbow of Hong Kong, helps organise annual LGBT rallies and hosted an LGBT programme on Citizens' Radio.[3] Sham was also the spokesperson for the 2018 Hong Kong Pride Parade, which drew 12,000 people, a record high.[8]

2019–20 Hong Kong protestsEdit

As convener of Civil Human Rights Front, Sham helped organise the first and second protest marches against the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill on 31 March and 28 April, and helped organise the protest march against the bill on 9 June.[2] The number of participants at this march exceeded his expectations: CHRF set a target of 300,000 protesters, and he estimated that more than a million people participated. On 13 June, after the Hong Kong government's announcement of its intention to restart debating the bill, as well as the clashes at the Legislative Council (LegCo), Sham decided to organize another protest march on 16 June, which meant they had only four days to advertise it. He estimated that there were close to two million participants at the 16 June protest. Sham noted that CHRF is unable to mobilise large numbers of people to participate in protests, and that the high number of protesters in the 2019 protests was caused by public awareness and poor governance by the Hong Kong government. He described CHRF's role in the protests as providing a platform for citizens to express their views. He said that CHRF estimates participants at protests by counting the participants from footbridges. Sham organised the 1 July march in 2019, demanding a full retraction of the amendment bill and for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to step down.[2]

2019 District Council electionsEdit

 
Sham speaking to the press after winning his seat on the Sha Tin District Council.

Sham was elected to the Sha Tin District Council during the 2019 District Council elections. He represents the pro-democracy League of Social Democrats in Lek Yuen constituency. His campaign activities were temporarily disrupted by the October 2019 attack, but he returned to the streets to campaign on crutches. Sham was elected on 24 November 2019, unseating incumbent Michael Wong Yue-hon of the pro-Beijing Civil Force.[9]

2020 pro-democracy primariesEdit

Sham ran as a candidate of the League of Social Democrats for Kowloon West during the pro-democracy primaries of July 2020 and won the election with 24,144 votes, 31.82% of the electorate.[10][11][12]

2020 legislative council electionEdit

On 30 July 2020, 12 candidates were disqualified by the Hong Kong government,[13] and it was also announced that the rest of the candidacies were still being reviewed,[13] with some saying that most of the pro-democracy camp were to be disqualified.[14][15]

On 31 July, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong, the elections would be postponed for a year without setting a new date.[16]

On 3 August, HK01 reported that Sham and other four others had also been disqualified.[17] Sham said that he was not afraid of disqualification and that he would continue his protests against the national security law.[17] He also received a letter from the electoral commission telling him his nomination was being reviewed.[17]

Harassment and physical attacksEdit

Attack over sexual orientationEdit

On 7 July 2019, DAB politician and LegCo member Ann Chiang uploaded a video to Facebook slamming Sham for being gay and alleging that he intentionally concealed his sexuality to gain status with the pan-democracy camp in Hong Kong.[18] The video showed him in drag at an event, with captions "Deliberately concealing that, for power, money or fame?" and "Corrupting social morals, just disgusting."[19] Sham is openly gay and participates in LGBT rights organisations. He responded on social media, criticizing Chiang's attacks and encouraging those remaining in the closet not to feel ashamed of their sexualiity.[18] The video was instantly criticized by gay groups and was removed by Facebook for violating its community standards. On 19 July, Sham and LegCo member Raymond Chan Chi-chuen protested in front of the Equal Opportunities Commission together with a number of LGBT rights organisations. The pair submitted a petition with more than 2,000 signatures demanding that EOC chairman Ricky Chu Man-kin condemn Chiang's statements.[20] Chiang later accused Sham of not being "ready" if he considered her comments to be an attack.[19]

Sham was one of the coordinators of a demonstration on 8 December 2019. His attempts to communicate with the Hong Kong Police Force about the demonstration were rejected by the police, who called him a "damn gay man" (死基佬).[21][22]

Attacks during the 2019–20 Hong Kong protestsEdit

On 29 August, around 30 people gathered near Rainbow of Hong Kong's headquarters in Jordan, Hong Kong at 11 a.m. for a "Denounce Civil Human Rights Front" demonstration. Sham said the organisers wrongly listed CHRF's address as Rainbow of Hong Kong, and arrived at the venue 10 minutes earlier to talk to the protesters. Some protesters said they were there to oppose CHRF and scolded Sham using foul language. They also pushed apart and scolded reporters there, saying reporters at the scene were "fake". Some supporters of Sham were at the scene as well. During the chaos, several plainclothes law enforcement officers who attempted to separate the two groups of people were also scolded. A group of protesters continued to chant slogans after Sham left the premises, and stopped only after passersby shouted at them to leave. Sham later explained that Rainbow of Hong Kong was not a member organisation of CHRF, and he thought it was funny that protesters insisted on staying there.[23][24] At 12:50 p.m. that day, Sham and his friend Lo were assaulted by two masked men in a restaurant in Jordan with a softball bat and an iron tube. Sham's friend was hit three times in his arm resulting in swelling, and was sent to hospital; Sham was unharmed.[25] Two men, aged 15 and 44, were later arrested over the attack.[26]

On 16 October, while on the way to a CHRF meeting, Sham was attacked on the street with a hammer by four to five people in Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon. He was taken, bleeding heavily, to Kwong Wah Hospital.[27][28]

On 27 July 2020, the trial for the first attack began. The 15-year-old boy charged with attacking Sham and his friend in the first incident told the court that he was given HK$3,000 to attack him while the other defendant, a 29-year-old man, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause bodily harm.[29] On 29 July, the 29-year-old said in court that a HK$2 million bounty was offered to "cripple" Sham saying that "some Hongkonger in Tuen Mun wanted to cripple his leg".[30]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "歷屆召集人及小組召集人名單". Civil Human Rights Front (in Chinese). Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f 莊, 曉彤 (29 June 2019). "兩度捱義氣做民陣召集人 岑子杰:搞遊行,要放下人數包袱". Hong Kong Citizen News (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 11 August 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b Wong, Sherman (13 January 2013). "〔人物特寫〕為公義而反叛的同志 — 岑子杰" (in Chinese). VJMedia. Archived from the original on 22 June 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  4. ^ "【反送中的香港人2】岑子杰:同志沒有悲觀的權利" (in Chinese). Mirror Media. 25 June 2019. Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  5. ^ "聯校畢業典禮2018" (PDF). 香港理工大學. 20 October 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  6. ^ "入選《泰晤士報》 全球 20 名值得關注人物 民陣召集人岑子杰:好多港人比我優秀". The Stand News (in Chinese). 4 January 2020. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  7. ^ 朱, 雋穎 (6 November 2015). "【有人喜歡男】社運男空少拋開枷鎖紐約註冊成「夫夫」". Apple Daily (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 10 September 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  8. ^ 胡, 家欣 (17 November 2018). "【同志遊行】1.2萬人創新高 黃耀明:大眾勿避談同性婚姻". HK01 (in Chinese). Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Early results suggest landslide win for pan-dems". RTHK. 25 November 2019.
  10. ^ Wong, Rachel (12 July 2020). "'Hong Kong people made history again': Over 600,000 vote in democrats' primaries as co-organiser hails 'miracle' turnout". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  11. ^ Kawase, Kenji (14 July 2020). "Young activists dominate Hong Kong opposition primary victors". Asia Nikkei. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  12. ^ Huang, Claire (13 July 2020). "Joshua Wong among candidates leading Hong Kong unofficial primaries". Strait Times. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  13. ^ a b Griffiths, James (30 July 2020). "Joshua Wong among multiple Hong Kong pro-democracy candidates disqualified from upcoming election". CNN International. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  14. ^ Tan, Huileng; Ng, Abigail (30 July 2020). "Critics slam Hong Kong's move to disqualify pro-democracy candidates from September election". CNBC. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  15. ^ @nathanlawkc (30 July 2020). "Nathan Law on Twitter" (Tweet). Retrieved 31 July 2020 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ Zhou, Joyce; Chow, Yanni; Mang, Carol; Shen, Meg (31 July 2020). "Hong Kong leader says key election postponed, blow to pro-democracy camp". Reuters. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  17. ^ a b c "政圈風聲│消息:許智峯岑子杰等5人本亦遭DQ 民主黨非必然過關". HK01 (in Chinese). 3 August 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  18. ^ a b "【誰令人作嘔?】蔣麗芸發佈針對同志身份影片 民陣岑子杰:無力的攻擊". TheStandNews.com (in Chinese). 6 July 2019. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  19. ^ a b Lum, Alvin (20 July 2019). "Hong Kong lawmaker Ann Chiang and Civil Human Rights Front convenor Jimmy Sham locked in heated Facebook row over his sexual orientation". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  20. ^ "蔣麗芸攻擊岑子杰同志身份 團體要求平機會跟進". TheStandNews.com (in Chinese). 19 July 2019. Archived from the original on 14 August 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  21. ^ "80萬人潮再現香港街頭,遊行大致和平,警方未有發射催淚彈". theinitium.com. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  22. ^ "【瘋警失控實錄】擎槍嚇阿婆 罵岑子杰「死gay佬」 鬧路人曱甴 粗口辱議員". Apple Daily 蘋果日報. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  23. ^ "政Whats噏:網民去錯地方示威 岑子杰送上門遭挑機". Oriental Daily News (in Chinese). 29 August 2019. Archived from the original on 29 August 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  24. ^ "【逃犯條例】「聲討民陣」集會 岑子杰被斥「暴徒」". Ming Pao (in Chinese). 29 August 2019. Archived from the original on 29 August 2019. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  25. ^ "岑子杰鍾健平遇襲 警稱無收情報 遊行發起人質疑「槍打出頭鳥」製造恐懼". Ming Pao (in Chinese). 30 August 2019.
  26. ^ Leung, Christy (5 September 2019). "Fifteen-year-old boy arrested over attack on Hong Kong rights activist Jimmy Sham and his assistant". South China Morning Post.
  27. ^ "民陣召集人岑子杰遇襲 民陣強烈譴責批評製造寒蟬效應". RTHK News (in Chinese). 16 October 2019."民陣召集人岑子杰遇襲 民陣強烈譴責批評製造寒蟬效應". RTHK News (in Chinese). 16 October 2019.
  28. ^ Regan, Helen (17 October 2019). "Hong Kong protest organizer attacked with hammers and knives". CNN International. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  29. ^ Siu, Jasmine (27 July 2020). "Teen tells Hong Kong court only involvement in September restaurant assault was tailing rights activist, driving attackers". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  30. ^ Siu, Jasmine (29 July 2020). "HK$2 million bounty was offered to cripple Hong Kong protest organiser Jimmy Sham, court hears". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
Political offices
Preceded by
Daisy Chan
Convenor of Civil Human Rights Front
2015–2016
Succeeded by
Au Nok-hin
Preceded by
Sammy Ip
Convenor of Civil Human Rights Front
2018–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Wong Yue-hon
Member of Sha Tin District Council
Representative for Lek Yuen
2020–present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jaco Chow
Vice Chairman of League of Social Democrats
2020–present
Incumbent