Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Black Protest of 1997

Bright and early local activists drape the Golden Bauhinia sculpture in black
Yesterday just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong back to China, three local activist groups covered the Golden Bauhinia sculpture next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre where celebrations will be held with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Protesters included Demosisto secretary-general Joshua Wong Chi-fung, People Power's Tam Tak-chi and representatives from the League of Social Democrats.

The black cloth represents the authoritarianism of China
At around 6am, the activists, dressed in black, covered the golden statue -- a gift from the central government to mark the 1997 handover -- in black fabric.

Security guards tried to stop them but failed.

"The black-cloaked statue symbolizes the hard-line rule of the authoritarian regime over the past 20 years, meaning that the Chinese government failed to honour the promises made in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, depriving Hong Kong people of civil and political rights to free elections and democracy," the groups said in a statement.

They said their move was meant to express anger and disappointment at the administration for political blunders since 1997.

"The grip on civil society has been tightened since the 'umbrella movement'. China also interferes with the internal affairs of Hong Kong through various means. Our confidence in 'one country, two systems' has waned and has been replaced by the fear of it becoming 'one country, one system'." the statement said.

Police were called in to remove the black cloth afterwards
Police were called after 6pm and they removed the cloth from the sculpture. The authorities classified the incident as a "nuisance complaint".

Pro-establishment lawmakers condemned the protest. Luk Chung-hung of the Federation of Trade Unions said it was not an appropriate way to express discontent.

"It did not respect 'one country, two systems' and national sovereignty," Luk said.

The activist groups probably did the stunt now fearing their chances of trying to get anywhere near the venue on July 1 would be impossible.

They really know how to rile up pro-Beijing groups!

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