Hong Kong: Protests Scheduled Before Chinese National Day

  • Both anti-Beijing and pro-Beijing groups are planning to march in Hong Kong to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the PRC.
  • One of the most prominent leaders of the Umbrella Movement, Joshua Wong, 22, is scheduled to announce his candidacy Saturday in November's district council election.
  • Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, urged people to give her government an opportunity in an open dialogue Thursday.

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have set themselves a busy schedule for Saturday, Sept. 28, according to Reuters. These schedules include restoring the “Lennon Walls” and celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Golden Umbrella movement. Thousands of protesters gathered in the harbor area on Friday, chanting slogans accusing police brutality of protesters for more than three months of unrest in Hong Kong.

Lennon Walls originally referred to the mosaic wall created during the Umbrella Movement, located at Central Government Complex, Harcourt Road, Admiralty. During the 2019 Hong Kong protests, new Lennon Walls appeared in numerous locations across the territory, typically near transport interchanges.

These activities took place before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Tuesday, October 1. Both anti-Beijing and pro-Beijing groups are planning to march in Hong Kong, including marching through the British Consulate. Saturday is also the fifth anniversary of the Golden Umbrella movement, with student protests in 2014 demanding universal suffrage. This movement has so far failed.

One of the most prominent leaders of the Umbrella Movement, Joshua Wong, 22, is scheduled to announce his candidacy Saturday in November’s district council election. Wong was released on bail after being charged with inciting and participating in illegal gatherings outside police headquarters on June 21.

Thousands are also expected to gather in central Hong Kong on Saturday night. The biggest protests could take place on October 1, to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Protesters say they plan to use the holiday to promote calls for greater democracy. Activists plan a headlining rally from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Chater Garden, a baseball field built during the British colonial era, where the Hong Kong Baseball Club is located, in downtown.

Official festivals to celebrate the National Day have been scaled down because officials wanted to avoid embarrassment for Beijing at a time when President Xi Jinping was trying to display a picture of power and national unity. The protests in Hong Kong were sparked in June by the Extradition bill, which allows the extradition of suspects to mainland China. They have now turned into a broader democracy movement. Protesters have created Lennon Walls, which are plastered with messages calling for democracy in flyover areas, pedestrian crossings, outside shopping centers, bus stops, universities, and other places in Hong Kong. Some of the Lennon walls were removed by pro-Beijing activists last weekend.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, urged people to give her government an opportunity. Speaking Thursday in the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, built during British colonial rule, Ms. Lam stressed that Hong Kong still has a bright future and a strong rule of law.

At least 150 people are said to have been randomly selected from the community to participate in this open dialogue. Ms. Lam started the conversation by saying that her administration was most responsible for resolving the crisis in Hong Kong. However, she stressed once again that she felt it was not necessary to conduct an independent investigation in to police actions, and said the police complaint mechanism is now sufficient to respond to public concerns.

Joshua Wong Chi-fung is a Hong Kong student activist and politician who serves as secretary-general of pro-democracy party Demosistō. Wong first rose to international prominence during the 2014 Hong Kong protests, and his pivotal role in the Umbrella Movement.

On September 27, Wong wrote on Twitter appealing to the world for protests on Saturday and Sunday. “Stay with Hong Kong against tyranny: Global protests on September 28 and 29,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, many people accused Ms. Lam of ignoring the public and exacerbating an unending crisis at her public dialogue. The speakers criticized her for obstructing the rights to vote, ignoring public opinion, and refusing to allow an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality.

More than four hours after the conversation ended, Ms. Lam and other senior officials left the building under police escort. Outside, a lot of protesters wore black shirts, chanting anti-government slogans. The police warned that they would use force but did not intervene.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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