To mark National Day in China, small groups of Hong Kong protesters gathered yesterday morning around the city to ask for greater autonomy and even to call for full independence.
Protesters were seen carrying iconic (and practical) yellow umbrellas, waving Hong Kong’s blue colonial-era flag and holding banners with sentiments like “Hong Kong Independence,” “Stop Chinese Colonization of Hong Kong” and “Hong Kong is Not China.”
The rallies drew a significantly thinner crowd than protests on National Day the year before when Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement was still in full swing with thousands of protesters demanding the right to freely nominate and vote for candidates for chief executive.
Earlier this week, Hongkongers took to the streets to mark the first anniversary of the Occupy Central movement. At the height of the protests in 2014, which lasted for 79 days, tens of thousands regularly gathered to demand political reform. Yet despite the unprecedented rallies, which made headlines around the world, Beijing remains firmly in charge and Chief Executive CY Leung is still in office with possibly unprecedented powers.
Which is a deep concern for some hoping to preserve Hong Kong’s deep tradition of… Hey! Look, fireworks!
The National Day fireworks celebration was actually canceled last year to teach Hong Kong a lesson. Guess it was brought back for good behavior.
[Images via Facebook // CCTV]