Hong Kong police thwart Handover anniversary demos

hongkong leaflet

Hong Kong police arrested 11 people for distributing “seditious publications”¬†on July 1, as the force erected tight cordons across the city on the 24th anniversary of its handover to China. Citing pandemic restrictions, the Security Bureau warned that those taking part in unauthorized demonstrations may face jail. Police pre-emptively sealed off Victoria Park‚ÄĒthe traditional starting point for pro-democracy¬†marches on that date‚ÄĒsaying there had been calls online for people to join an unauthorized assembly there. But there were¬†scattered small gatherings at other points around the city. The 11 arrests took place in Mong Kok commercial district, where a group of activists distributed¬†leaflets. They were detained under the Crimes Ordinance, which dates to¬†the British colonial era. Those arrested¬†include¬†Student Politicism¬†leaders Wong Yat-chin and Chan Chi-sum.

In Causeway Bay, police also took away renowned activist Alexandra “Grandma”¬†Wong after she waved a large Union Jack.¬†Police have yet to confirm whether Wong was arrested.

Also in Causeway Bay, a man stabbed himself to death immediately after stabbing a police officer, leaving him injured in the shoulder. (HKFP, HKFP, RTHK)

Meanwhile in Beijing, President Xi Jinping uncharacteristically donned a Mao suit as he presided over a massive rally in Tiananmen Square celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding the Chinese Communist Party. In a speech laden with revanchist grievances, he warned that foreign powers¬†will “get their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people” if they attempt bully China.

“We have never bullied, oppressed or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will,” he added, seemingly without intentional irony,¬†before warning of the party’s “unshakeable commitment”¬†to resolving the “Taiwan question.” (BBC News, Newsweek, Reuters)

July 1 marked the anniversary of the 1921 founding of the CCP, the 1997 Handover of Hong Kong, and the passage of the National Security Law last year.

Photo: HKFP

  1. Maoists detained ahead of CCP centenary celebrations

    Radio Free Asia, citing¬†Taiwan’s Central News Agency, reports that authorities in China carried out a sweep of Maoist dissidents ahead of the CCP¬†centenary celebrations, in a bid to “maintain stability.” Several are being held¬†incommunicado, with no¬†information given to detainees’¬†families. Most prominent among the detained is¬†Ma Houzhi, 77, who was released from a 10-year prison term in 2019. But several of his young followers were also swept up. The secretive operation was centered on¬†Shandong province, where he lives.

    So as Xi Jinping plays to Mao-nostalgia, actual Maoists are “disappeared.” We have noted before that the general crackdown on dissent under Xi has particularly targeted revolutionary Marxists and independent labor activists.¬†

    But it gets even better. When¬†Ma Houzhi was released from prison in 2016 (he appears to have completed his sentence¬†under Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location), Radio Free Asia offered a profile which reveals he was¬†imprisoned for founding an unauthorized “Maoist Communist Party”‚ÄĒand that the arrest took place in¬†Chongqing, where he’d convened a meeting of the new party.¬†Chongqing was¬†then under the rule of party boss Bo Xilai, who would himself later be purged for taking the Mao-nostalgia cult to unacceptable excesses. So even the most immoderate of the faux-Mao-nostalgists among the CCP elite are threatened by actual Maoists.

    And this (very real) persecution of ultra-leftists is seized upon by Radio Free Asia, basically a propaganda arm of the US State Department.

    Another one to file under #OrwellWouldShit