Solidarity in Hong Kong, and from overseas, last Sunday
Veteran rally attendees come equipped with portable stools!
A rally took place last Sunday that was intended to be a warm-up event for a march planned for this Sunday, January 19th. Late last night, however, came news that the police had refused to issue a letter of no objection for the planned march: making it the first protest march since November 2nd -- probably the worst day for tear gas for me personally since I ended up inhaling it both on my way to and from protest events (which ended up being prematurely broken up) -- that the police have decided to effectively outright ban; though it also could be said to not have been entirely unexpected since the local constabulary have tried to stop 19 protest events from happening in the past few months.
As a consolation of sorts, the police are allowing the organizers to hold a protest rally on Sunday instead. Still, make no mistake that this is yet another attempt to clamp down on the pro-democracy/anti-government protests, which now includes arrests of people -- including at least one police officer, his girlfriend and her parents! -- for constructing Lennon Walls as well as continued witch hunts against key figures of the 2014 Occupy phase of the Umbrella Movement's such as lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun (who was informed today by Hong Kong Baptist University that he's been relieved of his teaching duties there) and Benny Tai (who the University of Hong Kong has initiated procedures to fire).
Make no mistake though that people are continuing to resist. In addition to the public protests (including one this evening in Tai Po, whose attendees included Doraemon!), today's news includes Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui taking the police to court in an attempt to force them to reveal the chemical content of the tear gas they have been firing at protestors and sacked flight attendants union chief Rebecca Sy going to the Labour Tribunal to demand that she get her job back and compensation from her former employers.
Finally, it's lovely to learn that actual, wild dolphins still are willing to visit Hong Kong (with a pod of upwards to 100 of them spotted swimming in Victoria harbour earlier today)! It's like word spread to them of the announcement earlier this week that Ocean Park will be axeing its dolphin shows after years of pressure from activists and they're not only celebrating but also lending support to help publicize the fact that (persistent) protests do pay off (eventually)!