20 January 2019
Some protesters hold Hong Kong colonial flags during Sunday's march. Photo: AFP
Some protesters hold Hong Kong colonial flags during Sunday's march. Photo: AFP

‘HK independence’ banners seen at pro-democracy rally

About 13,000 Hongkongers calling for genuine universal suffrage in the 2017 election for chief executive took to the streets Sunday, a few holding banners advocating independence for the city.

Most of the protesters held yellow signs bearing the slogan “I want genuine universal suffrage” and an umbrella symbol.

The march, organized by the Civil Human Rights Front, was the first large rally since the 79-day Occupy movement ended last month.

About 10 protesters showed up with banners saying “HK independence” or held Hong Kong flags from the British colonial era. Some protesters held made-up “Hong Kong flags” as a symbol of the city’s autonomy.

One of those with a “HK independence” banner said he had joined the rally as an individual, and his action should not have a negative impact on the theme of the demonstration, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying recently warned Hongkongers that they must be vigilant against any attempt to advocate independence for the city.

Daisy Chan Sin-ying, convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, told the newspaper the group’s focus is human rights, and its principles do not conflict with the thoughts represented by any flag.

She stressed that the group does not hold any particular stance on independence for Hong Kong.

The organizers said the number of protesters was a little more than a quarter of the 50,000 they had hoped for.

Police estimated 8,800 people took part in the march at its peak, the report said.

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The Hong Kong Autonomy Movement seeks "True Autonomy within the constitutional framework of the Basic Law". Photo: EJ Insight

Nation Building for Hong Kong City-State promotes the idea of transforming Hong Kong into a state. Photo: EJ Insight

Self-Determination Party of Tibet and Hong Kong promotes the use of Hong Kong’s colonial flag and Tibet’s snow lion flag. Photo: EJ Insight

A group who joined Sunday’s march said Hong Kong people should be allowed to choose whether to be under Britain, just like Gibraltar and the Falklands. Photo: EJ Insight

A man waves the colonial flag in Sunday’s march. Photo: EJ Insight

Hong Kong colonial flags and T-shirts are for sale during the protest. Photo: EJ Insight

"To build a Hong Kong nation" is printed on Chinese-style red banners being distributed by a group for the Lunar New Year. Photo: EJ Insight

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