Protesters say sorry after mocking ex-labor leader at funeral

June 15, 2015 14:22
Hong Kong Indigenous members, holding pictures of those killed in the 1967 riots, stage a protest outside the funeral home on Sunday. Photo: USP

A spokesman for the political group Hong Kong Indigenous offered an apology to the family of former communist labor leader Yeung Kwong after holding a protest at the latter's funeral on Sunday.

Ray Wong Toi-yeung said his group did not mean to offend Yeung's family and relatives but staged the protest to assail the government for heaping praises on the late unionist who led the 1967 leftist riots that killed scores of Hong Kong people, Ming Pao Daily reported on Monday.

Yeung was a former chairman of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU).

In Sunday's protest, activists brought pineapples to symbolize home-made bombs used by rioters in 1967 and mock at Yeung's memory for his role in the turmoil. 

Wong also uncorked a bottle of champagne to mark Yeung's death.

Those who attended the funeral were Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, and former secretary for justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie.

When CY Leung walked out of the funeral home, several protesters attempted to climb over the barricades but were stopped by police officers.

Paying tribute to Yeung, current HKFTU chief Lam Shuk-yee said Yeung was instrumental in introducing water supply from Dongjiang River in Guangdong to Hong Kong in the 1960s and exemplified bravery in leading the protests in 1967 to fight for better benefits for the working class.

Hong Kong Indigenous was one of the groups that joined the pro-democracy Occupy Movement last year and the protests against mainland parallel traders earlier this year.

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