Hong Kong police on Monday banned a pro-democracy rally planned for July 1, the anniversary of the island’s handover to China by the United Kingdom, supposedly because pandemic restrictions on gatherings of more than four people are still in effect.
At the same time, officials of the Beijing-controlled island government gleefully announced over a hundred massive public events to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The contrast between the two announcements came as no surprise to the viciously suppressed pro-democracy movement, which just watched Hong Kong police cancel the huge annual Tiananmen Square vigil in Victoria Park and then crush Apple Daily, the leading pro-democracy newspaper.
As with the June 4 Tiananmen vigil, Hong Kong police used the coronavirus as an excuse to cancel the July 1 rally in Victoria Park for the second year in a row. The police were unmoved by promises from rally organizers to maintain social distancing rules. Hong Kong has virtually no coronavirus cases to speak of, with only a handful of reported infections currently under investigation.
July 1 also happens to mark the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party’s founding – and for that event, all pandemic restrictions have been thrown to the winds.
China’s state-run Global Times boasted on Monday that Hong Kong will hold “over 100 activities” to celebrate both the communist anniversary and the return of Hong Kong to Chinese control 24 years ago, making it clear that only events critical of the handover are considered risks to public health.
The first event touted by the Global Times was “a photo exhibition focusing on Chinese women and their outstanding deeds over the past century at the Xiqu Center in West Kowloon,” prompting frustrated organizers of the banned July 1 pro-democracy rally to wonder how indoor superspreader events could be considered safe, while their outdoor rally with full social distancing was blocked as a coronavirus threat.
Hong Kong’s puppet administrator Carrie Lam burbled at the photo exhibit that the Communist Party “has been doing an excellent job in achieving gender equality, and has been working to protect women’s rights.”
“We can see a significant improvement in women’s position in politics, in which the proportion of deputies to the National People’s Congress and members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference has increased a great deal over the decades,” Lam claimed.
In truth, the National People’s Congress (NPC) – a symbolic rubber-stamp legislature with no real policy-making power – is only about 25 percent female and 14.5 percent minority. Women and minorities are completely frozen out of top leadership positions in the legislature.
As for “working to protect women’s rights,” women from the Uyghur Muslim minority have reported sexual abuse at the concentration camps China herded them into, and they have been forcibly sterilized to keep their population down.
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