Groups stage anti-parallel trading protest after six-month break

September 07, 2015 10:29
A protester carries a Hong Kong colonial flag during a demonstration against mainland traders in Sheung Shui. Photo: Reuters

Some "localist" groups staged a protest Sunday against the so-called parallel-goods traders from the mainland, resuming a controversial campaign after a break of about six months.

The protest took place at Sheung Shui, with demonstrators chanting slogans such as "Tackle parallel trading, return my peaceful homeland" and "Protect livelihoods, reclaim Hong Kong", Apple Daily reported.

Police detained at least one activist as the protest forced some shops in the area to pull down their shutters.

Leung Chi-han, a member of the Local League and the organizer of the protest, said parallel-trading activities have revived in Sheung Shui in the run-up to the mid-Autumn festival.

Many drugstores sell mooncakes manufactured and branded by local hotels, attracting a lot of parallel traders.

Fresh activities by parallel traders have affected the lives of local people, protesters say.

According to the police, about 150 people took part in the demonstration Sunday.

As the protesters marched near San Kung Street and Hong Chai Street, where most drugstores are located, police set up a cordon to prevent the demonstrators from getting too near.

Some shops downed shutters for the whole day while some re-opened after the protesters passed.

A Sheung Shui resident surnamed Fok, who didn’t join the protest himself, said parallel-trading activities have been getting more serious recently.

The traders throw rubbish such as cardboards and lunchboxes everywhere, and some would even urinate in the streets, Fok was quoted as saying.

There were some conflicts, verbal as well as physical, between the protestors and supporters of the pro-establishment camp.

Ray Wong Toi-yeung, a spokesperson for the group Hong Kong Indigenous, alleged that a person from a pro-establishment group had laid his hand on a volunteers’ neck. He wondered if the police would arrest that person.

Wong himself was involved in a skirmish with the police, an incident which led to Wong and a police officer falling to the ground.

Wong was later arrested on charge of assaulting the officer.

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