Hong Kong’s Eleventh-Hour Protest

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9:03 AM

HONG KONG: With only 26 days of free speech remaining before China takes control of Hong Kong, protesters erected a 26-foot statue in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park depicting a heap of 50 contorted human bodies, their eyes filled with terror. An inscription on the base of the statue, which honors the hundreds of activists killed eight years ago on June 4 in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square protests, reads: “The old cannot kill the young forever.” City Hall had rejected an application from Democratic leaders to display the statue, saying it was contrary to what the government calls the celebratory spirit of China's impending takeover. Incoming leader C.H. Tung also criticized the planned protest, asking people to drop “the baggage of June 4” and try to achieve a smooth transition to Chinese rule. While China has stayed out of the controversy so far, Tung is reluctant to provoke Beijing. Which means that when June 4 rolls around next year, there probably won't be any candlelight vigils in what will then be called Central Park.