This photo gallery of the anti-national education protest in Hong Kong is by Danwei contributor Hudson C. Lockett IV, a Beijing-based freelance writer and photographer. His last article for Danwei was on ecologist Xie Yan’s fight against bad conservation laws in China. Follow him on Twitter here.
On Sunday July 29 tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents turned out to protest implementation of a new patriotic education initiative — the police said there were 32,000 people, while organizers estimated a total of about 90,000. The protest began at Victoria Park and wound its way through the middle of the island to the Central Government Complex across town. There, parents, grandparents, children and teachers demonstrated for hours in opposition to what they viewed as the imminent brainwashing of Hong Kong’s students by Chinese Communist Party propaganda.
In response to the march–and much to the protestors’ outrage — the government said that it would not delay or cancel the new curriculum slated for the coming fall term, but pledged instead to form a committee to provide some form of oversight for the implementation of the curriculum. Protestors numbered far too many to fit in the Central Government Complex’s courtyard at once, and continued to stream through the final gathering place as organizers encouraged the crowd.
Hong Kong’s gadget saturation meant the march was covered from every angle by the media, onlookers, and the protestors themselves.
Police were stationed extensively along the march’s route and at the Central Government Complex, as were emergency medical teams in case the heat became too much for some marchers.
The march caught some trams off guard, leaving passengers with little to do but watch and wait.
Bus routes downtown were suspended along the city’s main thoroughfare for much of the day. Traffic was backed up on either side of the road with frustrated taxis and not a few luxury cars.
Marchers, numbering over 32,000 according to police, make their way towards the city’s government offices.
Protestors take up both sides of the highway as they march on the elaborate Central Government Complex, completed last year.
As local media reported a continuous stream of supporters made their way through the complex while organizers rallied protestors from the main stage.
Protestors at the Central Government Complex cross their arms for the media to show their opposition.
Organizers rallied protestors with chants and a satirical version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
Banners from all corners called for the government to halt implementation of patriotic education courses, with most arguing the new curriculum was essentially a brainwashing effort by the CCP.
A protestor wears a cardboard washing machine emblazoned with slogans equating patriotic education with love for the CCP.
An artist captures the protest on canvas.
The line of tens of thousands of protestors continued to make its way across town for hours even after its front reached the Central Government Complex.
When the protest finally ended organizers themselves were mobbed themselves by local media.
A protestor in Victoria Park holds up a sign saying the next generation won’t be part of the Communist Party, along with a red balloon bearing a “hope” sticker popular with many protestors.
Links and sources
Thousands Protest China’s Plans for Hong Kong Schools