Can­dle­light vigil in sup­port of rebel Chi­nese vil­lage

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

Photo: AFP

Protesters at­tend a can­dle­light vigil for the south­ern Chi­nese vil­lage of Wukan out­side the Chi­nese Li­a­son Of­fice in Hong Kong on Septem­ber 17.

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