Chairman of the Standing Committee of the People’s National Congress, Zhang Dejiang spent three days in Hong Kong, between May 17th and May 19th.
Zhang is a member of the Chinese Politburo (the central governing organization of the CCP and therefore the country), and chief official in affairs related to both Macau and Hong Kong.
Zhang was met with some resistance from democracy advocates, including the youth led organization Demosistō.
Activists took actions to voice their displeasure with Zhang, such as displaying large banners with pro democratic messages.
Large scale protests were largely foiled by the impressive security measures taken, which ranged from utilizing divers and scores of police, to confiscating yellow towels and umbrellas; symbols of the 2014 Occupy Movement that gripped Hong Kong.
The most dramatic of these protests was a premeditated “ambush” of Zhang’s convoy outside his hotel.
Several Demosistō members took part in the attempt, standing on the side of the highway or in the median. The police response was swift.
— Joshua Wong Chi-fung (@joshuawongcf) May 17, 2016
The activists were detained for a short while, reportedly receiving further abuse, as shown below.
They brought Wong (who earlier told me they were trying to stage ‘HK’s Tank Man’) to the ground after this pic.twitter.com/TRSlJDUXH8
— Nash Jenkins (@pnashjenkins) May 19, 2016
Though all the activists were released today, the trouble seems to have not ended in relation to this incident.
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Demosistō’s Facebook page reports that five activists related to this display had their residences raided by police.
Zhang has been described as a rising star of the CCP by the Brookings Institute, having studied at Kim Il-Sung University, and been integral in Chinese policy towards that country in the early 1990s.
During Zhang’s visit, he made claims that the CCP was not attempting to subvert Hong Kong’s unique identity, or the principle of “one country, two systems”.
Despite these reassurances to the group of banquet invitees, security officials do not seem to think these arguments are compelling to a significant number of Hong Kongers, due to the significant police presence, and the gluing of bricks to the sidewalk to prevent their use as improvised weapons.
Are you in Hong Kong and have a tip about this story? Send us an email to [email protected]
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: 羅冠聰 Nathan Law/ Facebook Video (Screengrab)
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About the Author"John Massey has a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Alabama. His primary interest is in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but he also finds time to study French and political theory. "
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-The Street 98 project needs volunteers to help finish the street mural all day Friday. You can sign up online to help.
-Over 30 volunteers helped paint 10 intersecting pineapples between Miami Shores Auto Repair on the South side of NE 98th St. to Miami Theater Center on the North.
-There will be a kickoff party on November 11 from 5 PM to 9 PM.
-Some think that Plaza 98 could be a key element in the development of NE 2nd Ave as a viable downtown area for Miami Shores.
Miami Shores is not exactly known as a center for artistic expression in Miami-Dade County.
But some residents would like to see that change, as the Village’s downtown on NE 2nd Ave continues to develop.
That’s the spirit behind the Plaza 98 project, an ambitious but simple idea to turn a small section of NE 98th St into a “pedestrian friendly” gathering place for the community.
The project will prepare Miami Shores Village to turn the street into a programmable space that will host periodic community events, and a new destination for Downtown Miami Shores Village.
Throughout the day on Thursday, volunteers from the community could be seen painting a large mural on the street.
That mural is of 10 multi-colored intersecting pineapple’s that stretch across the road from Miami Shores Auto Repair on the South side of NE 98th St to Miami Theater Center on the North.
The project has been in the works for months and has backing from a core group of committed Miami Shores residents.
Among that group is Joe Clark.
An architect who has lived a few houses down from the Plaza 98 project, Clark came up with the street painting design.
Clark worked closely with the rest of the team to get a design approved with Miami-Dade County.
It was not the easiest feat in the world.
Clark said that he had to submit numerous versions of the design to the county before they accepted one.
The original design was to be a large yellow pineapple in the middle of the street.
But Tony Garcia, the principal of the urban design firm Street Plans said that the county rejected it because it would be “too distracting” to people on the road.
Officially, Plaza 98 is a collaboration between Miami Shores Village, the Greater Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce, Miami REALTORS, and Street Plans.
Garcia and his small team at Street Plans have helped to usher in a new urbanism across the county.
Working through Miami-Dade’s Quick-Build Transportation Program, Street Plans has been given the go ahead to create 18 “short-term, low-cost” transportation improvements to neighborhoods across the county.
Over 60 different projects were considered and Plaza 98 made the final cut.
“The Village was proactive about it,” Garcia told RISE NEWS while he surveyed progress on the project with a paintbrush in his hand. “This is about getting the county to understand that doing something like this doesn’t cost very much or take very long.
Other projects being taken on by Street Plans include bike lanes, bus lanes, murals and crosswalks.
Dana Wall is the project manager for Street Plans.
She said that the goal of Plaza 98 is to become Downtown Miami Shores’ main, central pedestrian space.
They see the mural as the first step in a process that will lead to period when traffic will be closed down on the street for food and art events.
“It is an effort to reimagine how the streets in Miami Shores can be used for more than just moving cars,” Wall said.
Ines Hegedus-Garcia is a local realtor who has been very active in the Plaza 98 project.
“This is a project by the community for the community,” Hegedus-Garcia said. “This is one of those true community building projects where everyone that wants to help is welcomed and encouraged.”
You can help finish painting the Plaza 98 mural on Friday between 8 AM and 6 PM.
You can sign up for a shift online.
RISE NEWS is Miami Shores’ hometown news-source… and South Florida’s digital magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!
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“Geris Hilton:” Man At Center Of Racist Facebook Thread Speaks Exclusively To Rise News, Feels VictimizedBy Contributor
By KC Mason
Gerod Roth, more commonly known as Geris Hilton, became arguably one of the most hated men on the Internet this past week for a Facebook thread that went down a dark, racist path. He spoke to Rise News in an exclusive interview about what happened and why he believes he is a victim.
To sum up the social media firestorm: Roth took a photo with Cayden, the three year old son of one of his coworkers Sydney Jade. Roth made the photo his profile picture on Facebook and his Facebook friends started to make racially charged comments about Cayden. Roth did not remove the comments and added to the conversation that the child was “feral.” Weeks later, the post went viral and Roth was forced out of his job. While his former company said they fired him, Roth said that he quit before the controversy. While Roth claims some of the screenshots of the conversation circulating are photoshopped, he admits that he did make the comment calling the child “feral.”
The questions for this interview are based in part on the public statement Roth posted to his Facebook account on October 6th.
Q: You said that you feel that you were targeted, what do you think caused you to be targeted in this way?
Roth: Awhile back I went on this huge rant on Facebook, and part of the rant was that, ‘it’s not just black lives that matter; all lives matter.’ I went on to kind of elaborate in the comments section and I was like, ‘I don’t mean that black lives don’t matter; I support the movement and I support #BlackLivesMatter, I just don’t like that the message has been misconstrued by some people to advocate killing cops and white people in protest.’ That’s not what it means and that’s not what it’s about. I support the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole; police brutality is a real issue. It’s a very real problem in our modern day society. I agree that these issues need to be addressed, but I don’t agree with some skewed interpretations of the movement. That’s exactly where I think this whole ordeal derived from. I think that someone in my friends network did not like my opinion on the matter, and then saw an opportunity in my profile picture and took advantage of it.
Q: People online have been shaming you for comments that your Facebook friends made on your profile picture. You admitted in your public statement on Facebook that you did consider some of those people to be friends and have since unfriended them, but how many of your Facebook friends do you know and consider friends in real life?
Roth: 90 percent of the people on my Facebook are people that I’ve never met in person. I cannot vouch for their character and I definitely don’t condone or support everything they post. They’re just networking and EDM industry connections.
Q: Do you know when the comments on your profile originally took a racist turn?
Roth: Unfortunately, no. When looking back at the screen caps, they all just say ‘September 16’ so there’s no way for me to track the time stamp on them. I wasn’t watching as it was happening. I’m very infrequent with my actual Facebooking, even though my work does deal with Facebook. Most of the time I’m involved in messages back in forth with people trying to set up and conduct interviews and stuff like that. When I did finally look at my notifications that’s when I saw the [racist] remarks and I told people, ‘you guys need to stop. This is my public profile. Stop. Cayden’s mom is on this page. Stop.’
Q: Can you explain why you didn’t delete the racist comments after asking people to stop?
Roth: Personally for me, looking back at it, I just didn’t think to actually delete the comments. That’s the honest to God truth. It was just a lackadaisical moment. I’m very busy, I’m in my office dealing with stuff in my professional job with PMG, I was just busy and I overlooked it. I sent the comment out asking people to stop; I didn’t really have time to go through and delete all the comments.
Q: Do you know as of yet who originally photoshopped the screenshot that went viral?*
Roth: I’ve been looking everywhere. I literally have a brigade of people on Facebook and Twitter looking for it. I’m going through Facebook customer service, trying to find and verify the origin of the photoshopped screenshot, but to no avail whatsoever.
Q: You’ve mentioned that there’s ongoing investigations into this issue, what can you tell us about that?
Roth: I could say that there is an investigation, although I’m not sure if that’s the proper or legal term for it. I don’t know if it’s even at a legal level yet, but there’s a lot of research being done by many individuals and organizations. Right now they’re just collecting data- screenshots, tweets, Facebook posts, everything.
Q: There are many other offensive screenshots/posts coming out from Twitter and Facebook accounts that all claim to be you but that have been called fake by you and your supporters. Do you have any information on these fake accounts?
Roth: The posts coming from these fake accounts are ridiculous. Honestly, me and my friends have shut down at least 10 fake accounts at this point. That’s across platforms. I never knew how hard it is to monitor people on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all at once.
When asked about this post:
Q: What about that Twitter account that made a joke about Cayden’s mom being mad that you turned her down?
Roth: I can most definitely attest to the fact that that is not my account.
At this point I think the public is really looking at, you know, my Facebook account. That’s where everything originated; it’s the root of the problem. I feel like everyone’s just looking at that Facebook account, especially after I released my public statement. I made everything public. Everyone’s able to comment and say a piece of their mind.
Q: You said that news outlets and PMG falsely reported the reasons for your leaving PMG. Could you elaborate on that?
Roth: I was their Director of Operations, the HR manager, but I got a letter of termination on the 29th [of September] and this story came out around the 1st or 2nd [of October]. Basically they got that completely turned around. PMG kinda turned on me and slandered my name.
Q: So if you weren’t fired due to racism, why did you get terminated?
Roth: It was a mutual decision. I left with a full severance package due to organizational restructuring.
Q: Did they withdraw the severance package?
Roth: No, I received the severance package on Friday [October 2nd] this last week when they were already aware of what was going on.
Q: You said they withdrew their original statement and released another, did they ever admit to misrepresenting you and the reasons you left the company?
Roth: They never admitted to it, but they told Fox 5 yesterday [October 5th] that I left of my own accord/ for different reasons. That’s the only place they’ve said anything [like that].
Q: It’s been reported that, in addition to losing your job with PMG, you also lost your job with Your EDM. What can you tell us about that situation?
Roth: Unfortunately I’m officially terminated from Your EDM.
Q: In conclusion, is there anything else you’d like to say?
Roth: I’m so floored right now. I really cannot comprehend what has been going on the last few days with people only getting one side of the story and people blindly going off of doctored screenshots. The media is guilty of blowing things out of proportion, taking a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ approach and it’s ruining journalism.
Disclaimer: KC Mason is a friend of Roth’s. However we felt it appropriate for their Q&A session to be published publicly.
*Rise News could not authenticate whether some images circulating on social media were photoshopped or not. This question was asked in direct response to a prior statement by Roth.
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By Marcus Frias
This story was originally published in May of 2015.
Getting high grades and being involved is a necessity for this generation as gaining acceptance to college is getting harder and harder.
For some students, though, their hard work and commitment to their education could fall flat due to their citizenship status.
“At school, I didn’t talk about my citizenship status,” Giancarlo Tejeda, a senior at Miami Lakes Educational Center said. “It wasn’t something that I wanted to define me and it wasn’t something that could be fixed by complaining about it so I just kept quiet.”
Giancarlo and his family left their native town of Bucaramanga, Colombia in December of 2000, when he was just three years old.
His parents left behind noble careers to pursue a new life in Miami, Florida.
“My parents had to give up their careers in Colombia to become simple laborers. My father was a college professor and my mother was a primary school teacher,” Tejeda said.
In America, his father found jobs in construction and his mother often found herself cleaning houses.
They applied for asylum in the United States, but to no avail, and thus became undocumented immigrants.
According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, unauthorized immigrants comprised 4.8% of Florida’s population in 2012 and in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the foreign-born share of Florida’s population rose to 19.4%.
It is no question that the state of Florida is home to many immigrants—many of which are hard workers like Tejeda and his family.
Giancarlo’s Advanced Placement Literature teacher, Neyda Borges, makes it known that these students are not just a number through her work and advocacy for immigrant students.
“We need to see and hear the human stories. We need to meet these children and these parents,” Borges said. “People need to see that these undocumented immigrants are not monsters or criminals, but that they are our friends and neighbors.“
Determined to be more than just a number and his legal standing- a DREAMer with deferred action status- Tejeda focuses on his studies and extracurricular activities. Giancarlo challenged himself with a full schedule of college level courses and excelled.
As an aspiring biomedical engineer- a career that merges his natural altruism and love for the sciences- Tejeda recently committed to the University of Florida.
Through local and even national support he has raised enough money to attend UF for the first year.
His teacher, Borges helped him create a page where the community could chip in at https://www.gofundme.com/rb6p5dtg.
He’s excited, but he says that he still feels frustrated about his legal status.
“Despite not being considered legal in the eyes of the United States Government, we are still part of the communities that we live in. I feel as I always have felt about my legal status – frustrated,” Tejeda said.
Borges’ admits that she’s learned of many activists groups and organizations that are out there to support DREAMers like Tejeda.
“There is a lot being done; but, is it enough? I don’t know how to answer that,” Borges said. “That’s a political question. Luckily, I am not a politician. So, as a teacher, the answer is that it is never enough.”
Students like Giancarlo are eligible for in-state tuition to UF or any other state university thanks to a correction by the Florida Legislature in 2014, but many like the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Schools who is no stranger to advocating for high achieving immigrant students, remain adamant in their quest to make sure that change happens sooner than later.
“A bright student like Giancarlo deserves the chance to fulfill his college dreams,” Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho said. “Like many of us, his family came here for better opportunities. We must enact reform immediately.”
Giancarlo and his family are thankful for the support from political leaders and local and national media, but remain aware that the future is untold.
They hope that an easier route to citizenship will one day be a reality and that their obstacles may serve as inspiration to others.
The Miami-Dade County Public School system has almost 350,000 active students and inevitably there are more students like Tejeda who haven’t spoken out yet.
Tejeda said that his message to them is important.
“Don’t be afraid. There is a whole community out there supporting you,” the 18- year old Tejeda said. “You will find that many people will support you if you speak out and make your situation known. If enough of us speak out, our voices will be heard everywhere and it will incite change.”
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Giancarlo Tejeda/ FacebookPost Views: 743
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