Years ago I had a poster hanging in my room that said: “When you’re being run out of town, get in front and make it look like a parade.”
I thought of that this morning when I read an article in the People’s Daily (Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece) that referenced the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets of Hong Kong on July 1. It was a demonstration to demand more political autonomy from Beijing, but you’d never know that from this statement by China’s Vice-President (they have one?):
“On Tuesday, the Hong Kong government and residents held more than 200 activities to mark the return of the special administrative region to China 17 years ago, including flag-raisings and visits to the garrison of the Chinese army. Organizers estimated that 450,000 attended these activities.”
There you have it! It wasn’t a demonstration; it was a PARADE!
Here’s an amazing time-lapse video of the “parade:”
(if you receive this post by email and cannot view the video, go here)
Here’s how The New York Times reported on the demonstration:
The appeal of democratic ideas drew thousands of protesters into the streets of Hong Kong on Tuesday in a defiant but largely peaceful march advocating free and open elections for the territory’s chief executive.
A nearly solid river of protesters, most of them young, poured out of Victoria Park through the afternoon and into the evening, heading for the skyscraper-lined canyons of downtown Hong Kong, Asia’s top financial center.
The article provides an excellent overview of the historical background and issues involved, as well as a short video about one of the 17-year old organizers.
More photos of the demonstration can be found here. (Huffington Post)