06/06/2023, 15.33
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The government goes to court to ban protest anthem

The authorities are seeking an injunction to ban the song that has come to symbolise the 2019 protest movement. "Glory to Hong Kong" is more popular than the Chinese anthem and is often mistakenly played at sporting events. The ban includes adaptations and covers.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The Hong Kong government is seeking a court order to ban the broadcasting, performing, printing and citing of a song that has become since 2019 the symbol of the struggle for rights and freedoms in the former British colony.

The musical piece has become an anthem against China’s stifling grip, especially since Beijing imposed its infamous national security law, cracking down on the pro-democracy movement and arresting its members.

The High Court now has to consider  the Justice Secretary's unprecedented request for a permanent injunction against “Glory to Hong Kong”.

The writ, filed yesterday, asks the court to stop anyone with criminal intent to use the anti-government song to promote Hong Kong’s secession from mainland China. The injunction also targets anyone who intends to insult the national anthem, “March of the Volunteers”.

No date has been set for the hearing, but the case has already proven controversial in Hong Kong.

The injunction also covers any adaptation of the song in terms of both music and lyrics, and anyone who encourages others to participate in any of the stipulated actions.

The court document listed YouTube videos of 32 versions of the protest song that could be found in breach under the intended injunction, including instrumental covers of the song as well as versions sung in Mandarin, English, German, Dutch, Japanese and Korean.

It highlighted recent incidents in which “Glory to Hong Kong” was repeatedly mistakenly presented as the city’s national anthem, especially in search engines.

The lyrics urge the people of Hong Kong to fight for freedom and liberation, in a sort of "revolution of our times". In particular, the latter is perceived as secessionist and a call to rebel against Beijing and its rule.

The song gave rise to other versions, including one with altered lyrics attacking the "rebels" who started the 2019 protests.

A busker was busted for violating social distancing regulations while playing the song during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was later acquitted for lack of evidence.

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