Show of force by China supporters

Top News | Phoenix Un 14 Nov 2016

Tens of thousands of people rallied in front of the Legislative Council Building, waving Chinese and SAR flags to support Beijing's interpretation of Basic Law's Article 104.

The organizer - Anti-Independence, Support Basic Law Interpretation Alliance - said more than 40,000 joined the assembly, while police said there were 28,500 people at its peak.

More than a dozen buses were seen bringing protesters to Lung Wui Road, a street away from the venue.

Some buses, with names of pro- government groups like Sha Tin Rural Committee and the New Territories Association of Societies, stopped on Lung Wo Road and Performing Arts Avenue, where protesters disembarked.

Protesters on Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar Park, and some sections of Lung Wui Road and Lung Wo Road held large national and SAR flags, as well as slogans such as "Kick away independence scum" and "Chop [Sixtus] Leung and Yau [Wai-ching]."

Before the assembly, organizers played Leung and Yau's October 12 oath-taking - where they pronounced China as "Shi-na" - on giant screens.

A 70-year-old protester said: "They are not Chinese. If they were Chinese they wouldn't say such things. They should get out of Hong Kong."

A 60-year-old decorations worker, said it was intolerable that Leung and Yau insulted China.

Speaking onstage, Basic Law Committee member Maria Tam Wai-chu led the crowd to shout slogans "proud to be Chinese" and "peaceful unification of China."

Former Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong legislator Tam Yiu-chung invoked a quote from President Xi Jinping that "no party can split a piece of land from China."

DAB legislator Starry Lee Wai-king warned people to be wary of independence advocates.

"Some pursue independence explicitly, while some do so secretly, and some others spread independence in places we don't know, thus we have to be very careful," she said.

Priscilla Leung Mei-fun of the Business and Professionals Alliance criticized legal experts who disagreed with the interpretation, saying they were deceiving people.

Michael Tien Puk-sun of New People's Party called independence advocates "cancer cells," and said his party would "risk their lives against them."

After the 90-minute rally, alliance spokesman Stanley Ng Chau-pei said that apart from the 40,000 people in the assembly location, another 10,000 stood on the footbridge on Tim Mei Avenue and pavements outside.

He denied an Apple Daily report that some protesters received HK$300 each to join the assembly. "Such rumors are fabricating facts," he said.

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