Sunday, 30 June 2019

Police Supporters Lash Out

Thousands came out with blue signs in support of the Hong Kong police

Today people in support of the Hong Kong police force came out to Tamar for a rally, with organizers saying 165,000 attended. Many were middle-aged and elderly, holding placards that read, "we support HK police" and chanted slogans.

The rally, organized by pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, had some star power attached, with actors Tony Leung Ka-fai, Philip Chan Yan-kin and singer Alan Tam Wing-lun on stage. Guess they have lost some fans for good now.

Tony Leung Ka-fai and Philip Chan Yan-kin at the rally
Also making speeches were former police chief Tang King-shing and Basic Law vice-chairwoman Maria Tam Wai-chu.

Speaking onstage, Tang said he was "disheartened that Hong Kong police, which are the best in Asia, had their efforts completely disregarded".

"Over the past few weeks, Hong Kong police, working in extremely difficult environments and facing investigation, still remain very tolerant," Tang said.

He led the crowds in shouting" "Sir, madam, we support you! Sir, madam, thank you!"

However, this was far from a peaceful rally. Supporters for the police harassed reporters and anyone dressed in black, assuming they were an anti-extradition bill protester. Some people were manhandled and/or had abuse shouted at them. The police had to intervene.

Police supporters seen ripping signs off "Lennon Wall"
Tensions surged higher when police supporters went around, tearing down posters that protesters had put up, ripping up messages of support that were posted on "Lennon Wall", a concrete stairwell area that had been the site of many messages in 2014.

This led to more shouting matches. One Caucasian man confronted a middle-aged woman for desecrating a memorial for one protester who fell to his death on June 15 at Pacific Place. She ignored him and then turned around saying as a Hong Kong person he should speak Cantonese. He replied English is also an official language in the city.

Others desecrate a memorial
Hong Kong seems more divided than ever -- and the government has already picked sides.

If anything today's event has only inspired more people to come out tomorrow for the annual July 1 march. Perhaps this is the government's bizarre way of getting people to do more physical exercise?

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