The League of Social Democrats say they have hoisted a “I want genuine universal suffrage” banner on Beacon Hill, a hillside near Lion Rock, ahead of the visit of Chinese state leader Zhang Dejiang to the city. The stunt came despite police officers being stationed atop Lion Rock to prevent such action.
A similar banner was first seen hanging from the highest point of Lion Rock during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests. It was quickly removed by authorities. However, other activists soon began hanging similar banners across bridges and at other locations. It is largely seen as a symbol of the Umbrella Movement.
Police officers remained stationed on top of Kowloon’s Lion Rock overnight on Monday. Its Public Relations Bureau admitted that officers were stationed there for public safety and to prevent the public from hanging protest banners. Previous attempts had attracted crowds and reporters, prompting safety concerns.
The stunt took place ahead of a three-day visit by Chinese state leader Zhang Dejiang, who is in charge of Hong Kong affairs. Zhang is set to arrive at noon on Tuesday amid a high level of security.
At the top of the banner were the characters “LSD”. Vice-chairman of the pro-democracy League of Social Democrats Raphael Wong Ho-ming has claimed on Facebook that the party was responsible for the banner.
“We have not forgotten about genuine universal suffrage,” Wong said. “We need to tell the Chinese Communist Party and ourselves again and again, that we want genuine universal suffrage.”
He also joked that police officers “guarded the hilltop but did not guard the hillside” and “did nothing despite being paid well”.
By Tuesday morning, officers had already arrived at the banner – it is expected to be taken down.
Update: 1:40pm – The Fire Services Department were notified of the incident by the police at around 8am. They arrived on the scene an hour later and removed the banner shortly after 10am. The case will be dealt with by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.