Approximately 47,000 people participated in a march on July 1 in Hong Kong — the only Chinese territory where a public demonstration is allowed. Local residents, as well as mainland Chinese from Shanghai, Hunan, and many other cities also came to take part in the march in spite of the heat wave.
The participants demanded for a general election, disintegration of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and improvement of human rights. Some point out that only through the “quit the CCP” movement would Hong Kong achieve genuine freedom and democracy.
The march started at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay at 3:15 p.m., lead by people holding large banners emphasizing the inseparable nature between people's livelihood and democracy. Protesters shouted slogans like, “The same dream, the same human rights, return power to the people, and improve people's livelihood.”
The march was initiated in 1997 when Hong Kong's sovereignty transferred to Beijing, and gained a large following in 2003 for opposing Article 23. Though its annual theme varies slightly each year, its main objective has remained the same, which is for Hong Kong's “one man one vote.”
General Election to Balance the Government's Power
Mrs. Anson Chan, former head of Hong Kong's civil service and current member of the Legislative Council, once again participated in the march, but this time accompanied by her family. She says, “We see that without democracy, there is no balance in the government's power. The authority becomes self assertive and dictatorial.”
Former Deputy of National People's Congress in Hong Kong Allen Lee participated in the march for the first time. He criticized Chief Executive Donald Tsang for overlooking people's suffering under the plight of inflation. Mr. Lee said, “The governing is for the people. I hope he will fulfill that as his duty. His plummeted reputation is not simply an issue for the mis-appointment of the Deputy Secretary or Assistant.”
Many groups in the march also protested the CCP's failure to improve human rights as host of the Olympic Games.
Hong Kong Alliance chairman Szeto Wah says, “We have seen the arrest and sentence of Huang Qi, the founder of the June 4 Taianwan Website. We have also seen Guizhou villagers being suppressed by the CCP. These latest news clearly show that the human rights issues in China has made no progress.”
Cai Yongmei, member of Independent Chinese Writers' Association, said, “Earthquake parents, who protested for their children buried by the poorly constructed buildings during the earthquake and demanded justice, have also been arrested. The censorship of online publication is further tightened. Many websites, even the ones not associated with human rights, have been banned or controlled by the CCP. No voice can be heard.”
Falun Gong practitioners also participated in the march with a drum performance, and banners to encourage people to quit the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations.
Miss Zhu, a volunteer at the Service Center said, “I believe that only when everyone denounces the CCP will the people of Hong Kong truly exercise freedom and general election.”
Mr. Zhang, a local resident, joined the demonstration to demand a general election. He said, “The CCP is afraid that the mainlanders will learn from examples. I read in the news yesterday that a play entitled, 'Please vote for me to be the leader' was banned. The CCP is obviously afraid.”
Mr. Zhang said he has heard of the “quit the CCP” movement in China. He believes the reported number of people quitting the Party is true, and he is supportive of this movement. “I want it to collapse and die. This Party will never seek happiness for people. I am lucky that no one in my family nor myself have joined the CCP because I was one of the five categories of disgraced people during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
“The CCP will never improve. Demanding general election is just as if asking a tiger for its skin. It is expecting the CCP to act against its interest. Why would it be possible? Only when the CCP is gone will the Chinese people regain their true happiness,” Mr. Zhang added.
He also emphasized that the CCP is in fact very fragile, despite how strong it might appear. Mr. Zhang wishes the Chinese people will work together to peacefully disintegrate the CCP.
“When people criticize the Falun Gong practitioners, I would tell them one fact. That is whoever the CCP condemns is definitely a good person, and whoever the CCP praises is a genuinely bad person. Martin Lee and Szeto Wah, for example, are so-called traitors according to the CCP. In fact, Jiang Zemin of the CCP is the real traitor.”