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Protests dominate China's National Day in Hong Kong

Tibetan Review
October 03, 2009

Several groups held protests in Hong Kong on China’s National Day of Oct 1. While in Beijing, China showcased its might and pride with the 10-yearly grand military parade to marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, participation, including live viewing of the spectacle was reserved only for those chosen for the total of 200,000 purpose. The rest of China, including the capital’s 17 million, had to content with watching the two-hour event on television.

The protests in Hong Kong began with a group of some 500 Falun Gong practitioners marching from North Point to the central government’s Liaison Office, reported UPI Oct 1. They held banners saying "Dissolve the Chinese Communist Party" and "Get rid of the red menace".

At noon, members of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China began a 60-hour hunger strike on Times Square to draw attention to human rights abuses in China. The alliance also led a march by some 200 people to the Liaison Office, asking supporters to dress in black to symbolize the dark situation of human rights in China, and to provide a contrast to the bright red flags put up by the Hong Kong administration.

And in the evening, a coalition of civil groups planned a candlelight vigil to underscore the absence of human rights protections and democratic practices in the mainland.

The Democratic Party of Hong Kong held a seminar Saturday, inviting political figures, academics, legal experts and others to reflect on China’s political, economic and social developments over the past 60 years. Exile dissidents Wei Jingsheng and Wang Dan addressed participants through taped speeches.

Wei criticized China’s of aspiring to a “peaceful rise” in the international community. “There is no peace inside China, so how would it be possible to accomplish a so-called ‘peaceful rise’?” he questioned. Wang said that 80 million Chinese had died in political campaigns orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party since it took power 60 years ago. He criticized the CCP for failing to apologize for these lives lost in the name of political struggle.

Szeto Wah, chairman of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said the tight security measures on Oct 1 indicated that the communist party’s hold on power was unstable.

During the military parade in Beijing, a banner was raised with the words, “The Chinese people have stood up” lifted high above the crowd. In Hong Kong, human rights groups erected a banner asking, “Have the Chinese people stood up for their human rights in the past 60 years?”

The Hong Kong Journalists Association issued a declaration signed by 1,350 journalists, university faculty and students and published in four major newspapers, requesting the Chinese authorities to ensure press freedom on the mainland, and to clarify the truth regarding the arrest and beatings of Hong Kong reporters while covering events in mainland China.

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