The Mid-Autumn Festival illuminated by Hong Kong protests
by Bernardo Cervellera

Thousands of the pro-democracy movement climb the Lion Rock and Victoria Peak, hanging a banner and singing the hymn "Glory to Hong Kong". Card. Joseph Zen among participants. Lanterns with the message: "Five demands, not one less". The police deny permission for a demonstration, organized by the Civil Front for Human Rights, to be held tomorrow. So far, 1,200 protesters have been arrested.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Thousands of people celebrated the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival in a different way last night, illuminating the path of the Lion Rock in the Shatin area and the Victoria Peak on Hong Kong, chanting pro-democracy slogans and singing the anthem of extradition protests, the "Glory to Hong Kong".

Usually the party takes place at home, with the united family, or with friends outside, contemplating the full moon and cooking the barbecue. This year, thousands of people from the pro-democracy movement have walked the path to the Lion Rock illuminating the night with smartphones and laser pens. They also hung a long banner on the rock calling for "double democracy", referring to requests for universal suffrage for the Hong Kong parliamentary elections and for the direct election of the chief executive, both present under the strong influence of Beijing.

Yesterday, Card. Joseph Zen was also among those climbing the path of the Lion Rock (see photo 2).

Smartphone and laser lights were light on the walk around the Peak, the hill overlooking the island of Hong Kong. Thousands of others met at Victoria Park and in the evening and sang the "Glory to Hong Kong", chanting slogans. Peaceful gatherings to sing have become common these days after the tensions and violence in clashes with the police, in which the policemen exerted a disproportionate use of force. Singing gatherings took place near the subway stations at Quarry Bay, Sham Shui Po, Hung Hom, Tsing Yi, Sha Tin, Yuen Long, Prince Edward and Lai Chi Kok, in front of the Reception Center, where some demonstrators are being held.

Since June, since the protests against the extradition law began, almost 1200 people have been arrested, accused of a series of crimes including revolt, unauthorized gathering, vandalism, assault against the police.

In the Mid-Autumn Festival, it is customary to decorate the rooms and release lanterns. Many demonstrators held lanterns with the words "Five demands, not one less" (photo 3), referring to the five demands that require government response: cancel the extradition law; not to characterize violent confrontations as "revolts"; remove the accusations against the demonstrators arrested during the clashes and free them unconditionally; a full and independent investigation into the actions of the police and their collusion with mafia groups; implement universal suffrage.

On September 4th, Carrie Lam, the head of the executive, agreed to cancel the extradition law, but the other demands remain unanswered.

For tomorrow, the Civil Front for Human Rights, which brings together dozens of pro-democracy groups, had requested permission to hold a demonstration at Victoria Park. The police, fearing riots and violence, did not give permission. The Front - which had organized peaceful demonstrations on 18 and 31 August, attended by millions of people - had to cancel the event.

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