Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Continuing the Fight

Today marks the 12th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China.

Chinese state media are trying to spin the city's return to the mainland as a good thing economically, as Hong Kong has learned its lessons from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

But earlier today tens of thousands of people, from blue-collar workers to professionals marched from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Central's Legco building.

They held black banners with white characters, voicing a variety of grievances from democracy to unemployment, to demanding the government push the banks that sold people financial products related to Lehman Brothers to compensate them all their losses, not just part of it.

While the chances of getting all their money back is slim, the chances of full democracy seem even more remote after the Chinese government said it could possibly happen in 2017, not 2012, the year most Hong Kongers were hoping for.

At the march, veteran democrat Martin Lee declared, "Hong Kong people will always fight for democracy and never give up, no matter what."

Earlier this year Chief Executive Donald Tsang angered democrats when he delayed a highly anticipated consultation on tweaking the electoral process for its leader and legislature in 2012, saying the government needed to focus on the economy.

While police estimate some 26,000 people took to the streets today, unlike the half million who protested July 1, 2003 against Article 23, it still shows Hong Kongers are still passionate about fighting for what they believe in, and why not when they can in a peaceful manner and not be arrested?

Some may think it's a lost cause protesting in Hong Kong, but it's really an exercise of freedoms that need to be preserved too.

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