Hong Kong marching for democracy: Too much interference by Beijing

Yesterday the traditional pro-democracy march was held in Hong Kong, now in its 21st edition. So many fears among the protesters who see the Chinese threat looming increasingly large. Criticism of Chief of Executive Carrie Lam, elected a year ago, and accused of being "only a Beijing spokeswoman".

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The traditional pro-democracy march organized by the Civil Front for Human Rights was held yesterday in the streets of Hong Kong. This event has been held since 1997, when the return of the former British colony to the motherland took place. The main slogan of the march this year was: " End one-party dictatorship, ­reject the fall of Hong Kong ".

About 15 thousand took part in the event. As every year the estimates of the demonstrators and those of the police do not converge. The organizers emphasize that the real numbers are higher, since many people joined halfway through the course. The event began with Victoria Park, marched through the streets of the city center and arrived at the government building.

Although the numbers have dropped compared to previous editions, the organizers are satisfied: "No matter the turnout, there remains the desire to continue the march," said Sammy Ip Chi-hin spokesman for the Civil Front for Human Rights.

People of all ages attended the event. One high school student declared: " If we are not coming out now, maybe when I grow up, I might not have the chance to have a similar march again". Sit Chun-hang, 18, a student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, explains: " Since Hong Kong was returned to China 21 years ago, democracy, freedom, and social policies have been deteriorating. I wish to voice out our opinions and demands." Some Chinese youth from the Guandong Province also joined the march:" We cannot bring democracy to China, but we hope that the citizens of Hong Kong can achieve this goal, "one of them said.

Some protesters accused the police of using intimidation tactics to discourage the march. Dr Chan Kin-man, one of the main leaders of the Occupy general movement, said he was irritated by the police attitude: "In the past I used to bring a group of Chinese people to observe the July 1 march to show them how the police Hong Kong watch the march instead of suppressing it as happens in China. But now the police are using tactics to scare people and take away our fundamental rights".

In this edition, the criticism against Hong Kong Chief of Executive Carrie Lam, elected a year ago and accused of being "a Beijing spokeswoman", was strong. Lam, on the one hand, has had some success with the recent reform of the real estate market, while on the other hand,  she estranged a large part of the population after having imposed a more aggressive censorship regime. She is also backing a law that would cede a part of Hong Kong jurisdiction to the Chinese.