Hong Kong Letter – Friday 1 July, Hong Kong, annual march for democracy when the former British colony celebrates the 14th anniversary of its handover to China. The Hong Kong police instructions were very clear: to show, that’s okay, but it will do so quietly, without slogans or music. Violators will be arrested, as well as those who fail to disperse at the end of the march. Memory seasoned protesters, it would be the first time that Hong Kong police imposed such measures seem all the more incongruous that the Hong Kong people are the vast majority of demonstrators best: quiet, tidy, friendly and clean …
Since 1 July 1997, when the handover of Hong Kong to China the day is a holiday. Has consistently held a demonstration in the afternoon on a journey of several miles, known to all. The quiet years, walking can take the air walking in town, but no one has forgotten 2003, when half a million people, almost one in ten at the time, took to the street, then not only scary local government but also the supervisory authority, Beijing.
Marc Mo, a political science student in California was 11 in 2003. He had helped his father from the participants. Friday, he walked a lot of anger and government which, he said, “only trying to please Beijing, and is unable even.” He added: “If you want my impression: people are getting really tired.”
Being clearly ignored the instructions of police, some 150,000 people (51,000 according to police) marched with great fanfare of drums of all kinds, whistles, metal lids or authentic cymbals, loudspeakers and megaphones.
The spirit of this event is from 1997 to demand democracy promised by the “Basic Law” or mini-constitution of Hong Kong (that the former British colony is governed under the principle of “one country, two systems”) but it also has a role in stress relief of all discontent. The cry of the demonstrators was based in fact simply “Down with the government.” The ongoing outbreak of house prices, rising inequality, the Hong Kong government’s indecision on the issue of elections and his awkwardness on other sensitive social issues, such as treatment “unfair” of pregnant mainland Chinese have exasperated the public.
Hours before the start of the great march of the protesters in Victoria Park, a show of folk dances celebrating “14 years of reunification” was held at the old colonial building of the parliament, by an organization in Central “pro Beijing” none of which participants seemed to know the name to “insist on the right side of the return” as a volunteer service order. Despite a large number of people brought by bus to fill the assembly, the rows of plastic chairs were still sparse.
This event had it been subject to any restrictions by, say, the fashionable politics. According to the organizers of the event of the afternoon is the illustration of blatant double standards and “double standards” practiced by Hong Kong authorities. Despite their right to the noise and the presence of temporary head of government Hong Kong, Donald Tsang, the show was a flop absolute proof perhaps of the political maturity of Hong Kong public.
Even if there are more frequent arrests during demonstrations and a less tolerant attitude of the Hong Kong police against the protesters, Hong Kong is fully committed its place and role of Civil Liberties Island across China.