Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Must-Have Item for Chinese New Year

Massive crowds descend on Victoria Park to check out Chinese New Year items
Today is the start of the Chinese New Year fair at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and the stalls are typically selling decorations, home ware, toys, silly items, flowers, and food.

But this year's must-have item is a copy of the so-called banned books from Causeway Bay Books that is still closed and its five booksellers still missing and presumed on the mainland.

Political parties use the fair as a chance to meet the public and solicit for donations, and this time the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China has stocked its stall with more than 1,000 copies of titles from the bookstore, that specializes in politically sensitive titles banned on the mainland.

Albert Ho's party is selling books from Causeway Bay Books
"These kinds of books have been sold in Hong Kong for decades... The free flow of information is a vital part of the city's way of life... We have to defend this freedom. Localist sentiment has been gaining prominence in Hong Kong, but it's still important to understand the mainland's political landscape," explained Alliance chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan.

He said the alliance decided to sell the books because the store's warehouse was being forced to relocate and the books would have been thrown away if they weren't sold.

It's very interesting how the political party got access to the books. Who gave them permission to sell them? Nevertheless, the books will probably sell well as a symbol of support for the missing booksellers.

Perhaps someone across the border thinks that as time goes by, the story of the five will fade, but not for Hong Kong people. As each day passes, their hopes fade a bit more and worries about their own safety increase.

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