Saturday, January 22, 2022

HK protesters to mark festival with peaceful demonstrations

By IANS Updated: Sep 13, 2019 9:26 pm

Hong Kong, Sep. 13 (IANS): Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists on Friday celebrated one of the most important days on the Chinese calendar with a variety of peaceful activities across the city that have been rocked by anti-government protests since June.

Following four relatively quiet days, the anti-government protesters have come up with an array of plans to get their messages across while marking the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, Efe news reported.

The Moon Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month and is an occasion for Hong Kong residents to get together with their families for dinner at home or outdoors under the moonlight.

As the anti-government protest movement sparked by a contentious bill is still roiling the city, protesters decided to celebrate the day by engaging in alternative activities.

These include rallies on two of the city’s most famous hills, the 552-metre Peak and Lion Rock, where protesters planned to hold hands to form human chains, shine lights, chant slogans and sing protest songs in the evening.

An anti-government rally entitled “No white terror, no Chinazi” will also be held Friday night in a park in Central, the business district of Hong Kong, to protest against the police’s alleged arbitrary arrest of citizens in the movement. “Chinazi” is a combination of “China” and “Nazi” coined by protesters.

Meanwhile, small businesses have come up with creative products related to the festival, including lanterns and mooncakes printed with protest slogans such as “Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, which has been resonating with discontented residents over the past months.

The planned events are a continuation of the peaceful momentum gained over the past few days after 14 weeks of often-violent protests, in which both the police and demonstrators have upped the ante against each other.

Following a march that drew 250,000 demonstrators on September 8, the anti-government protest movement that has plunged Hong Kong into its biggest political crisis in decades took a peaceful turn.

On September 11, demonstrators declared that all forms of protest would be suspended for a day to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the Twin Towers attacks in the US.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill on September 4, but it has failed to mollify discontented citizens who insist the authorities respond to all five demands, which include introducing universal suffrage and setting up an independent body as an inquiry into alleged police brutality.

By IANS Updated: Sep 13, 2019 9:26:16 pm