|Who's afraid of Ai Weiwei? Apparently the PLA is...|
The amusement over the Ai Weiwei images around Hong Kong continues as an artist who goes by the name Cpak Ming projected images of Ai Weiwei on government buildings including the police headquarters in Admiralty, City Hall, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin and even the People's Liberation Army barracks in Admiralty.
And now the PLA in Hong Kong is not happy about being taunted. It usually keeps a low key in the city, but after the release of the Ai Weiwei images, the PLA said it "reserves its legal right" to act over what it claims was a breach of Hong Kong law when the images were projected on the PLA barracks wall.
While Hong Kong police say projecting images is not illegal, a spokesman for the PLA said: "Military facilities of the garrison and walls are not usual public areas but military restricted zones or protected areas according to the Hong Kong law. No one can paint or project images onto the outer wall of the barracks without the garrison's permission. Such an offence is a breach of Hong Kong law. The PLA reserves its legal rights," he said.
Meanwhile the Garrison Law states that no person, vehicle, ship or aircraft other than ones belonging to the garrison shall enter the military restricted zones. Garrison guards have the right to stop any act "which damages or endangers military facilities." There is nothing in there about projecting images.
Also Hong Kong politicians, some of whom are lawyers also say what Cpak Ming has done is not illegal however, one did think it was possible the Chinese government may amend the Garrison Law if projecting images was a huge issue.
Political commentator Ma Ngok of Chinese University said the PLA's response revealed how it was "politically embarrassed".
"It is technically very easy to make such projection and no one can prevent it. The army cannot say which ordinance was breached. More people will challenge them if they continue to make such a big reaction."
And in keeping with his cheekiness Cpak Ming has also uploaded onto Facebook a tutorial on how to make the flash projector using cardboard and a camera magnifier that can be bought on the popular mainland auction website for HK$200 ($25.75).
The PLA are riled up that they can't punish anyone for expressing their support for Ai Weiwei. Welcome to Hong Kong where we practice freedom of speech, expression, press and protest.
It's very simple folks -- let Ai go and those artists will stop the graffiti and projecting images.
While the government's detention of him is illegal, projecting images of him is completely above board.
The score: Chinese government 0, Hong Kong artists 2.