Hundreds of protestors dressed in bras took to the streets of Hong Kong yesterday to protest the conviction of a woman who was jailed for assaulting a senior police officer with her breast.
Ng Lai-ying, 30, claimed that Chief Inspector Chan Ka-po had touched her left breast during a protest against parallel trading on March 1.
Deputy Magistrate Michael Chan Pik-kiu of Tuen Mun Court, however, accused the woman of “using her female identity to trump up the allegation” and convicted her of assaulting the police officer using her breast on July 16. She was sentenced to three months and 15 days in jail at a court hearing on July 30.
The verdict prompted outrage among Hong Kong web users, who over the weekend shared photos of their own “weapons” (yenno, their breasts) to vent their anger.
Yesterday, over 100 activists took it a step further and gathered for a “breast walk” outside of police headquarters in the Wan Chai district. Both men and women joined in the march, some waving bras in the air and others wearing the lingerie over their shirts or heads while chanting that a “breast is not a weapon”.
A retired teacher, who noted that this was his first time ever wearing a bra, told AFP that “We have come to this rather odd method to tell the world how ridiculous it is”.
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“It is very shocking and regrettable when a woman who says she’s been molested is interpreted as causing chaos,” Luk Kit-ling, one of the organizers of the event, said in an SCMP report. “It will deter women from taking part in social movements and deprive them of the right to take part in political activities.”
Magistrate Chan said that he’d gotten personal threats after the verdict, but stressed that had he not “[handed] down a deterring sentence, the public might mistakenly think it is a trivial matter to assault police officers during protests”.
“We better watch out as one day police might accuse us of attacking with our penis or buttock,” a male activist donning a black bra told the crowds yesterday, before the unlawful gathering was broken up by police.