Date
23 May 2017
The democracy banner reappeared, not on Lion Rock where police officers are camped out, but on Beacon Hill, two kilometers away. Photo: Commercial Radio
The democracy banner reappeared, not on Lion Rock where police officers are camped out, but on Beacon Hill, two kilometers away. Photo: Commercial Radio

Democracy banner reappears near Lion Rock before Zhang arrives

Look familiar? Yes, the elusive yellow banner saying “I want genuine universal suffrage” is back.

At about 8 a.m. Tuesday, the banner, which first appeared on Lion Rock in October 2014 during the Occupy movement, was seen again on Beacon Hill, two kilometers away from the iconic Hong Kong landmark, Commercial Radio reported.

Firefighters were sent to remove the banner at about 10:30 a.m.

The banner reappeared just hours before Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, was to arrive in Hong Kong at around noon to begin a three-day visit.

In a post titled “Get out of Hong Kong, Zhang Dejiang” on its Facebook page, the League of Social Democrats admitted later that it was responsible for putting up the banner, which it said was to show Zhang the determination of Hongkongers to pursue democracy.

The putting up of the banner on Beacon Hill probably came as a surprise to the police force, which said earlier that it would increase the frequency of patrols at the peak of Lion Rock to keep people from physical harm if they planned to hang up a banner there demanding democracy.

The deployment of police there was also aimed at preventing Zhang from having to encounter embarrassing situations, Apple Daily quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The stationing of officers at the top of Lion Rock is expected to last until Friday, one day after Zhang leaves, the report said.

Meanwhile, the force, which said Sunday that counterterrorism security measures will be taken during Zhang’s visit to ensure his safety, has set up water safety barriers and metal barricades around the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where the summit is being held, and the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where Zhang will stay.

Calling the measures implemented for Zhang’s visit “ridiculous”, Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun said police are, in fact, trying to suppress the freedom of speech in the name of counterterrorism.

– Contact us at [email protected]

TL/AC/FL

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe