This was the sight yesterday in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai…
and no, these are not shoppers queuing up for overpriced luxury items. These are people braving hot temperatures, humidity and then also heavy rain (it was a T3 storm warning with heavy rain showers yesterday afternoon) to demand universal suffrage and the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chung-ying, exactly a year after he took office.
The 16th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was celebrated in all kind of different ways yesterday. Pro-democratic groups marched the streets (numbers range from a police estimate of 66,000 to 430,000 which is a number quoted by the Civil Human Rights Front), pro-government groups joined events and celebrations at Tamar park and other locations (about 225,000 according to the news papers) and about 18,000 young fans attended a concert with Korean and local pop stars at the old Kai Tak airport.
The concert was criticised for trying to take young people away from the streets (so they would not participate in the march). But then RubberBand put on a political theme and both RubberBand and Mr joined the march later in the evening.
Also shops and restaurants that offered discounts to shoppers were criticised – but some of the smaller businesses probably just wanted to ensure that they made some business on this rainy day.
Interestingly, Beijing’s top officials commented on the march as an evidence that the city’s freedoms had been maintained – true, but I find this a peculiar thing to say. A lot of things that people were demonstrating for e.g. human rights, gay love, animal protection, are not things that China is well-known for.
Clearly, the people of Hong Kong have their own opinions about what they want – and CY Leung does not seem to give that to them.