Activists in Hong Kong Demonstrate on China’s National Day
Created: 2012-10-01 12:35 EST
Protesters gathered outside Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong today (October 1), the site of a flag raising celebration for Chinese National Day.
The 50-some protesters are continuing to show discontent at a proposed national education course. Demonstrators say it glorifies the violent and often blody history of the Chinese regime and promotes communist ideas. Hong Kong officials say they will no longer make the course mandatory, but have refused to withdraw it completely from the education system.
Head of student group Scholarism, Joshua Wong says making the course optional is still not good enough. He sees it as an issue of patriotism and sovereignty to keep the course from being taught in Hong Kong.
[Joshua Wong, Co-Founder of Student Group Scholarism]:
"We, Scholarism and a group of Hong Kong citizens, are very patriotic. Because we are patriotic, this is why we don't want the next generation in Hong Kong and China to lose their ability to think independently and to lose their freedom to think. So we choose this patriotic day, because we love our country, to protest during the flag-raising ceremony and to look for Leung Chun-ying, our chief executive, because Leung Chun-ying still has not responded to the citizens' demand to withdraw the national education curriculum."
The League of Social Democrats joined the student group. They’re a part of a pro-democracy political party. Their grievances are different but their message is the same: keep Hong Kong free from communist control.
[Leung Kwok-Hung, Founding Member of League of Social Democrats]:
"China didn't change very much from the June 4 Incident (Tiananmen Square Massacre) 23 years ago. The situation in China, the human rights situation in China, is worse than before, so we demand the Chinese government to release all political prisoners, and end the one-party rule."
A small scuffle took place outside Victoria Harbour as the demonstrators tried to get closer to the site where the flag raising ceremony was taking place. Joshua Wong told reporters that a protester was taken away for wearing anti-China slogans on his shirt a few blocks from the ceremony. Police warned protesters that they could be prosecuted for demonstrating without a permit.