By 2020, Liber Research Community will have reached their ten-year mark in Hong Kong, thanks to the continuous support of Hongkongers. We want to continue with our five research avenues that are crucial to Hong Kong today. That is why we are launching a month-long Crowdfunding Campaign 2020 today. 

Our local research has always managed to unsettle dominant public discourse, or, as the Cantonese saying goes, to “cut down a tree with a tiny saw”. Against such a rigid, if not shamelessly stubborn administration, we have wielded the power of knowledge and local research to provide critical facts and arguments to dispel official narratives on various policies. To continuously counter the government’s discourse critically, we present problems in a fresh way, engage teenagers to take part in policy research, and insist on crowdfunding to maintain our research independence. As a result, we have had significant results throughout the years.

We are aware of the many urgent and timely needs for donations in times like this. Therefore, we hope that it is a mild target to gather monthly donations of HKD$100 from 500 supporters. (Though, of course, the more the merrier.)

The five research avenues for Liber Research Community in 2020 are as below (not one less!):

  1. Land--Click here for more details

We have all along produced in-depth research on the so-called deep-seated problems of land issues by making hidden land information public, digging out and mapping out the structure of vested interest of village thugs and rural land. Our researchers are looking to extend our research to introduce new visions of our land systems and urban planning and follow up more closely on forthcoming controversial development projects.

  1. Housing--Click here for more details

Housing issue in Hong Kong has always been framed as a demand for home ownership — to the profit of the real estate market. In view of this, housing policy researchers are obliged to dispel the myth of the ownership-led discourse on housing. We are determined to forge a new path in housing policy for the new generations by exploring new issues related to housing and establishing databases of the civil society, in addition to those created by the government and developers.

  1. Hong Kong-China Relation--Click here for more details 

Recent years have seen the government integrating into the Greater Bay Area planning in all aspects. Plans and projects have either been passively initiated like the extradition bill or simply been passively notified of its plans in the last moments. The future of Hong Kong has always been on the underside in the narrative warfare of Hong Kong-China relation. We will not shy away from research tasks much-needed in this era, which include looking at how Hong Kong has been passively planned, mapping out the activities of Chinese capital in Hong Kong, scrutinizing the potential Xinjiang-ization of Hong Kong and contextualizing Hong Kong-China relation with archival studies of declassified official records.

  1. Food Safety--Click here for more details

It is unimaginable for citizens living in a metropolis like Hong Kong to worry about the safety of every sip of water we drink and every bite of pork we eat. The gradual integration into Greater Bay Area puts our food safety at increasing risk. Therefore, we have formed a team of food safety researchers of different professional backgrounds. We hope to substantiate the food supply autonomy in Hong Kong through research that traces the origins of Hong Kong food supply, defends and improves food safety standards, and dispels the myth of the so-called regional division of labour.

  1. Open Government--Click here for more details 

Freedom of information forms the basis of all social policy discussions, and thus is the cornerstone of truth, historical justice and the Rule of Law. The 8.31 incident in Prince Edward Station and the unknown composition of the ten thousand shots of tear gas are painful reminders of the importance of being able to request official data and agenda from the authorities. Our group of researchers are doing their best to carry out research using the scarce official records and documents we have and to continuously advocate and archive law and freedom of information law.

When we first started Liber, we did not think to have weathered difficulties ranging from organizational restructuring, strategies re-navigation, to head-to-head debates, slurs and suppression in various forms…… But here we are at our ten-year mark. It is not easy, but we are determined to walk down the road.

On top of the salaries for 6 researchers, our expenses include searches on Land Registry and Company Registry, rent, administration, water and electricity, design, fieldworks, activities and workshops, which add up to HKD$170,000 of regular monthly expenses. But the monthly donations we have currently only amount to HKD$120,000 with which we are burdened with a debt of HKD$50,000 every month.

Therefore, if we had the pleasure to reach our new crowdfunding target, we would be able to continue with our work on five research avenues in a more assured manner, which would in turn produce more hard-hitting, in-depth, critical research for you and for Hong Kong.