Attitudes / Culture / Hong Kong

Layer upon Layer of protest

Causeway Bay is always an interesting place. For quite some time Falun Gong had had an all but permanent display set up in front of SOGO. More recently an Anti-Falun Gong group had also set up a protest display directly opposite.

Aside from being an annoyance, I have no opinion either way on Falun Gong. Hong Kong is a free society so everyone is entitled to express their opinions. In fact, if it wasn’t for the interesting protesting tactics that have taken place I wouldn’t have even noticed the events that ravelled out in front of SOGO.

 

I happened to be walking past the display, ignoring it as most locals do, until I noticed a couple of people yelling at a pair of poor police officers. Their falun gong display had been completely surrounded on all sides by anti-falun gong signage. The anti-falun gong people were also there yelling that their signs weren’t allowed to be taken down.

The yellow signs poked out over the top of the anti-falun gong protest (at least in part), while most of their signage was completely incased.

The police had their hands tied, as the white signs had been placed in such a way with enough distance that they weren’t breaking any real laws. It was rather amusing really.

A week later the falun gong display was still encased, but they had set up more signs outside the anti-falun gong signs. And so once again, anti-falan gong encased it.

At this point, as you can appreciate, the postulating of new signage one layer on top of the other spreading out like a cancer on the footpath started to compromise pedestrians in this extremely high traffic area of Causeway Bay.

Only then did authorities have to step in and surgically untangle the debate to allow pedestrians to flow reasonably through the area again. I would have hated to be the mediators in that debate. Certainly an interesting tactic to use the law to the letter to encase a protest in such a way that it had to be escalated and enter into the public news.

 

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