HK’s leader was repeatedly humiliated yesterday at a Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts graduation ceremony…
Students held up placards demanding genuine democracy whilst others receiving their degrees refused to bow, gave CY the thumbs-down or crossed their arms above their heads – an action referencing last year’s national education protests (coverage: part 1, 2 and 3).
One student, Ng Ka-chun, bowed three times (a tribute to the dead), saying later that “he’s not elected by the people… he’s controlled by the central government. He’s like a dead person”
Leung responded by stating that “different students have their own ways of expression“, before assuring reporters of the government’s “sincerity” in making full democracy a reality.
In the run-up to Monday’s pro-democracy rally, Leung released a 29-page document detailing his government’s supposed achievements.
A record turnout is expected. Since last year’s march, Leung has had to contend with last summer’s national education protests, a record poverty gap and a dismal approval rating. HK’s first Chief Executive, Tung Chee Hwa, attracted similar levels of disdain and was ousted after the 2003 rally. According to a new Chinese University poll, 46% of people have no confidence in Leung’s leadership.
Suspicion of the mainland remains at an all-time high with many Hong Kongers still angry about ‘mainland mother‘ and parallel trader controversies which spawned an ‘anti-locust’ movement against visitors from China. Furthermore, the administration has been embroiled in scandal after the arrest of development chief Mak Chai-kwong and corruption allegations within HK’s own anti-corruption agency.
Livelihood issues are also likely to dominate this year’s protest with out-of-control rents and inflation affecting ordinary Hong Kongers. However, there have also been unprecedented attempts to dampen this year’s turnout with suspiciously timed shopping festivals and a cheap music festival at the old Kai Tak site (which is attracting boycott calls). Meanwhile, some ‘astro-turf’ mainland-backed groups are staging counter-rallies in Tsim Sha Tsui in support of the government.
The July 1st march begins at Victoria Park on Monday at 2:30pm and is organised by the Civil Human Rights Front.
Know your rights before attending a demonstration in HK by downloading this Hong Kong Civil Liberties Union English leaflet or seeing our blog post here…
Below is a video of the incident at the Performing Arts academy yesterday…