Clusters of protests have been taking place across the city on Chinese National Day, many of which are against what they describe as a growing Chinese influence in Hong Kong.
A handful of protesters gathered in Wan Chai on Thursday morning to rally against the annual flag raising ceremony in Golden Bauhinia Square.
Civic Passion and Hong Kong Localism Power were among the groups that showed up ahead of the 8:00am ceremony. However, the groups were not allowed near the square as police blockades kept them a block away. Hong Kong Hermit, present at the morning rallies, described the police’s designated protest area as “cattle pens.”
Near the entrance of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Cheng Chung-tai, a member of Civic Passion, made a speech about Hong Kong’s current political turmoil. He said that recent controversial comments made by China Liaison Office Director Zhang Xiaoming and former top Beijing official Chen Zuoer were “obviously trying to suppress the spread of localist ideals.”
Cheng added that arbitrary arrests by police, parallel trading and schools teaching Chinese in Mandarin showed that “the Chinese Communist Party is colonising Hong Kong in every aspect.”
The group mostly dispersed after Cheng announced the end of their rally at 8:40am.
Some protesters also waved the former Hong Kong colonial flag. Other banners and flags read “Hong Kong Independence” and “Stop Chinese Colonization in Hong Kong.”
— Hong Kong Hermit (@HongKongHermit) October 1, 2015
Lawmaker ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung also protested near the square as he was not invited to the flag raising ceremony and the national day reception.
Accompanied by around 20 protesters, he marched from Wan Chai MTR station to the protest site to demand for the official rehabilitation of those involved with the Tiananmen movement in China in 1989, Soc Rec reported.
Another group of protesters with former Hong Kong flags shouted at the group with Leung, saying they were not Chinese and did not want to fight for democracy in China.
Posted by SocREC 社會記錄頻道 on Wednesday, 30 September 2015
“The fight for democracy in Hong Kong is related to the party-state system in China, people should unite to end the system,” Leung said.
He added that it was within the rights of lawmakers to attend the flag raising ceremony, and the government should not infringe on this. By excluding groups with different political views from the reception, the government’s promotion of social harmony, which they had been advocating since last year’s pro-democracy Occupy protests, was a lie.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his administration attended the flag raising ceremony and the reception, with former Chief Executives Tung Chee-hwa and Donald Tsang present.
Leung also marched from Western Police Station to the China Liaison Office with Albert Ho and the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China to mourn the passing of Jiang Peikun, husband of Tiananmen Mothers leader Ding Zilin.
On the other side of the harbour more than a hundred people attended a rally at the Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower in black shirts with yellow umbrellas to “uphold Hong Kong’s core values.”
A World War II themed firework show is set to take place on Thursday night over Victoria Harbour. However, one controversial part of the pyrotechnic display which was intended to run was cancelled.
The segment was to feature sirens and exploding missiles to “create a war-like atmosphere” to commemorate World War II, but it was dropped with the sponsor apologising and replacing it instead with a Cantonese song by singer Michael Kwan Ching-kit and heart-shaped patterns.