Flying in the Face of the Flags

November 8, 2005 Updated: August 21, 2015

London’s streets were host to a march calling for the end of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Sunday — a day before being adorned with CCP flags in advance of the visit of the Chinese leader, Hu Jintao.

The parade followed a press conference opposite the Chinese Embassy where speakers condemned China’s human rights abuses and urged further withdrawals from the party.

The event was organised by the Federation of Saying “Goodbye” to the CCP, an international group, and follows the news last month that the wave of communist party withdrawals, which began last autumn, has passed the 5 million mark.

Over 100 people attended the peaceful protest, and speakers included democracy activists and representatives of persecuted groups, including Falun Gong. The speakers said that they wanted Tony Blair to take the opportunity that Hu Jintao’s visit presented to raise the issue of human rights in China openly.

Hu Jintao is visiting the UK this week, but the official visit — complete with room at Buckingham Palace, CCP flags and royal welcome — has drawn sharp criticism from rights groups and other quarters.

A troupe of Chinese drummers broke the serious mood of the conference, leading the parade up through Regent Street, where shoppers stopped to watch and express support.