Hong Kong Politics & Protest

‘The Hong Kong spirit can never be imprisoned’: Joshua Wong leads ‘anti-authoritarian’ march

Around 1,000 people marched through Hong Kong Sunday, led by some of the city’s high-profile democracy campaigners including Joshua Wong, in what they billed an “anti-authoritarian” protest.

hong kong spirit autonomy one country two systems

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Activists say Hong Kong is at risk of losing its rights and liberties in the face of growing Chinese pressure on the semi-autonomous city.

democracy protest

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The jailing of campaigners following court hearings, and fears that Hong Kong will introduce an anti-subversion law, are among the key concerns in the pro-democracy camp.

democracy protest

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Wong, 21, was jailed in August over his role in the Umbrella Movement mass pro-democracy protests of 2014 and is on bail pending an appeal.

He will be sentenced on another protest-related charge Thursday, which could mean more jail time.

tram protest

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

“No one likes to serve a prison sentence, (but) if it can mobilise more people to care about justice and democracy in Hong Kong, I think it’s valuable and I will pay this price,” Wong told AFP.

Protesters carried placards reading: “The Hong Kong spirit can never be imprisoned” and “Walk with the resisters, fight authoritarian rule”.

democracy protest

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Some held up caricatures of city leaders.

Others played a recording of China’s national anthem and paraded a doll bearing the sign: “When you hear the national anthem, don’t eat. Stand up immediately.” A new law introduced by Beijing against disrespecting the anthem will also be applied to Hong Kong.

democracy protest

“No fear in the authoritarian era oppose political persecution.” Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The city was handed back to China by Britain in 1997 and is governed under a “one country, two systems” deal which grants it freedoms unseen on the mainland.

democracy protest

“Retract NENT planning” Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

But with the emergence of a fledgling pro-independence movement, Beijing is pushing a tougher line on Hong Kong.

Raphael Wong

Raphael Wong. Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

There are also concerns about  a new express railway to the mainland, which will mean that parts of the train terminus come under Chinese jurisdiction.

tram protest

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Student Kelvin Muk, 20, said he had joined the march because he feared he may eventually lose the right to do so.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

“We are increasingly coming out to protest because we want to at least hold on to the last remaining freedoms we have,” he said.

democracy protest  people power

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Text: AFP.

'The Hong Kong spirit can never be imprisoned': Joshua Wong leads 'anti-authoritarian' march