09/05/2012, 00.00
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Loud cheers for Goddess of Democracy erected to oppose national education in Admiralty

Protesters continue their peaceful siege of government headquarters. They want new course imposed by Beijing scrapped as pro-Communist brainwashing. A woman shaves her in a sign of protest as students continue their hunger strike. Tiananmen protest symbol reappears.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Hong Kongers are still protesting against the 'national education' course imposed by Beijing on the former British colony. The latter is meant to praise the mainland's progress but it also papers over the thornier aspects of its recent history, like the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square massacre. In addition to strikes and demonstrations, protesters have come with new forms of opposition; one is the appearance of the Goddess of Democracy that was raised for the first time in 1989 in Tiananmen Square.

Today, a middle-aged woman joined the students "occupying" the area outside government headquarters in the Admiralty. The woman, who identified herself only as Linda, shaved her head in a sign of solidarity. She explained that in Cantonese the phrase for 'no hair,' 'mou fat,' sounds like "lawlessness".

She did not remove all the hair on her head. What was left spelled out the characters "anti-wash," words that are a clear reference to the national education course that Card Joseph Zen described as brainwashing.

Last night, the hunger strikers erected a replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue outside government headquarters, drawing loud cheers from the 8,000 people gathered there. The statue was removed on Wednesday morning.

Increasingly, Hong Kong authorities are being drawn into the affair; for protesters, they are too acquiescent towards Beijing's wishes.

For Protesters, the course itself must be changed; they also consider the committee supervising implementation unbalanced, i.e. too pro-Beijing,

Rev Peter Tsui, General Secretary of the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong, told protesters that the government "should withdraw the national education course."

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