Candlelight vigil in support of rebel Chinese village
MORE than 100 people attended a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong to protest a violent crackdown on protestors during tense clashes last week in the rebel Chinese village of Wukan.
The 13,000-strong fishing village in southern Guangdong province became a symbol of resistance against corruption in 2011 after a mass uprising over land grabs propelled it onto global front pages and led to landmark elections.
Wukan was back in the headlines after Lin Zulian, who played a key role in the 2011 protests, was sentenced to three years in prison last week, triggering protests.
Chinese authorities last week said they had detained 13 residents for “disturbing public order”, which set off a fresh round of protests.
Bloodied villagers threw bricks and stones at riot police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, according to local media.
It is important for Hong Kong to show solidarity for Wukan, organisers said of the virgil, which was staged just outside China’s representative office in the city.
“Today we have Wukan, tomorrow this sort of violence may occur in Hong Kong,” lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki told the crowd, who chanted, “Release Lin Zulian and all Wukan villagers”.
Veteran pro-democracy protester Lee Cheuk-yan said the violence deployed in Wukan was not so different from the crackdown in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.
“This incident serves as a reminder to our youth that China’s nature has not changed,” Mr Lee said.
Hong Kong was returned from Britain to China in 1997 under a deal that guaranteed its freedoms for 50 years, but there are fears those liberties are being eroded. –
Protesters attend a candlelight vigil for the southern Chinese village of Wukan outside the Chinese Liason Office in Hong Kong on September 17.