The pro-democracy Demosisto party has hung three large black banners from a building in Wan Chai to protest the disqualification of candidates from the upcoming Legislative Council election in March.
One banner said “No to DQ [disqualification] Give back our election rights” and two others which featured signatures and comments collected from the public during a rally protesting the disqualification of party member Agnes Chow.
Chow was barred for her affiliation with Demosisto, which advocates self-determination. The idea is treated by Beijing as equal to advocating Hong Kong independence.
“This action is intended to remind Hong Kong people that, even though the election is ongoing, the government’s political screening and thought policing have unreasonably cancelled the eligibility of many political figures to run,” the party said. “The signatures on the black cloths represent the free will of the public and its clear opposition to the government’s disqualification.”
Demosisto said it gained the approval of all tenants and owners of the Foo Tak Building when hanging its banner. The building is home to independent media, book stores, art spaces and civil groups, among others.
The government has said that election officers were independently responsible for the disqualifications and that there was no interference in the process. “This [decision] is made in accordance with the law. It is not… as foreign organisations say, stripping one’s right to run because of their political affiliation,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters last week.
A commentator wrote on the party’s Facebook post: “We should have such banner for each of the 18 districts.”