09/29/2016, 09.50
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Card. Zen to Umbrellas Movement: The Church must denounce injustice. Undeterred

by Lucia Leung

A Mass in front of Hong Kong parliament to commemorate the pro-democracy demonstrations two years ago. In the city and in particular in Admiralty (where hundreds of thousands of people gathered) another moment with Benny Tai. All demonstrations were conducted at 6 pm, when two years ago the police first launched tear gas. Hopes for the future.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - "We must remember that the task of the Church is also to denounce injustices. And without being discouraged” said Card. Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, yesterday during a Mass in memory of the second anniversary of the beginning of the events that gave rise to the Occupy Central and the "Umbrellas movement".

Mass was presided over by Fr. Stephan Chan, OFM, and was attended by about 200 people, with members of the Catholic communities at the base of the Umbrella Movement and the Justice and Peace Commission of the diocese.

The people gathered for the ceremony in front of the complex of the Legislative Council (Hong Kong parliament), an expression of democracy. The “desire” must be to keep democracy alive, said Card. Zen, "with persistence, peace, love."

The Occupy Central protests emerged at the end of September 2014, after China decided to again postpone the idea of ​​full democracy for the territory, excluding the universal suffrage for the election of the Chief Executive and remaining indifferent the democratic demands of the majority of the population.

The protests became known as "the umbrellas movement" because the demonstrators (mostly teenagers and college students) used umbrellas to defend themselves from the stinging spray and from hydrants used by the police to disperse them. After a disproportionate use of violence by security forces, hundreds of thousands of people flooded some areas of the center (in particular Admiralty and Mong Kok) and the occupation lasted until December.

The movement ended without any political victory, and China even accused the youth of being manipulated by "hostile foreign forces."

Along with the Mass in the Central neighborhood, in different parts of the city demonstrations in memory of the umbrellas movement were held. All events began at 6 pm, the time when two years ago the first tear gas was fired on protesters by police.

About 1000 people gathered in Admiralty, the center of past demonstrations. There Professor. Benny Tai, a Protestant, one of the trio who launched the campaign Occupy Central, addressed the crowd, asking them not to forget what had brought them to Admiralty two years earlier. "Two years ago - he said - we came here to fight for democracy in Hong Kong."

He noted that with the elections to the Legislative Council a few weeks ago, several members of Occupy Central were elected, and this is a hope for the future of the pro-democracy movement.

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