Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu organized a protest at Tamar Park in Admiralty, urging the University of Hong Kong (HKU) to sack its associate professor of law Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of the three architects of the 2014 Occupy Movement, Apple Daily reports.
Ho and his supporters also called for a ban on any discussions on Hong Kong independence on local university campuses.
Among the protesters on Sunday were rural leader Tsang Shu-wo, who was heard chanting that anyone advocating Hong Kong independence should be “slaughtered”.
Tsang stressed that whoever attempts to commit treason should pay a high price.
Those calling for Hong Kong independence are naive and “powerless” as they do not have guns, he added.
It was observed that most of the protest participants at Tamar Park were relatively older or at least middle-aged.
A woman wearing a red cap told Apple Daily reporters that she does not know why she was at the event. Another woman wearing a similar cap, who identified herself as Zhang, said they joined the protest to oppose Hong Kong independence.
When asked if they were to force Benny Tai out of HKU, the woman said they were only present to make up the numbers.
Legislators Ben Chan Han-pan, Holden Chow Ho-ding and Peter Shiu Ka-fai as well as writer Chris Wat were also at the event.
Wat described the posters proclaiming HK independence at CUHK as a “lead pipe” pumping poisonous water into Hong Kong, and they must be removed.
Speaking in a forum, Tai said many organizations are planning to gather outside the government headquarters in Admiralty next Thursday to mark the third anniversary of the Occupy Movement, although none of the planned activities was organized by the actual leaders of the 2014 protests.
He urged citizens to bring out yellow flags as a sign of support even if the political atmosphere is still strained.
There are also plans to hold a protest on Oct. 1 to condemn the “political prosecution” of prominent pro-democracy activists. Activist Avery Ng Man-yuen advised all those joining the demonstration to wear black.
Tai and two other co-founders of the Occupy Movement, Dr. Chan Kin-man and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, are facing public nuisance charges in connection with the 2014 protests.
Tai said he would plead not guilty during a pre-trial on Tuesday.
He said the protest leaders they are not going against the idea of civil disobedience even if they plead not guilty to the charges as they had not shirked from any public appearance or hidden themselves during the protests.
Besides, he said, the prosecution had not proposed a proper crime to charge them with.
Meanwhile, a fund to support jailed activists is nearing its initial target of raising HK$4 million, according to the fund’s trustee Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee.
She said more money may be needed as there are more activists facing prosecution.
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