Pro-democracy party Demosisto escorted “Xi the Pooh” through Mong Kok on Sunday to warn Hongkongers about the upcoming national anthem law.

Under a draft framework of the law, anyone who publicly and wilfully alters the lyrics or the score of the Chinese national anthem, performs or sings the national anthem in a distorted or derogatory manner, or insults the national anthem in any other manner will be committing an offence. The maximum penalty is an HK$50,000 fine and up to three years’ imprisonment.

Demosisto activists marched with a protestor in a Winnie the Pooh costume whilst playing the national anthem. The character is often used to mock Chinese President Xi Jinping due to their supposed resemblance to each other.

Photo: Screenshot.

Other activists were dressed in suits and sunglasses with cardboard rifles. One held a flag with Winnie the Pooh on it.

“Today Emperor Xi is here to tell us about the national anthem law – stop taking photos, stop laughing, show some respect. You will be sent to jail if you laugh,” one of the activists said into a megaphone.

#行動即時✊【習維尼🐻國歌打橫行大行動🇨🇳🎶】🕴🏼#國歌法 十月殺到,習維尼率先帶住成隊保鏢,示範你睇國歌惡法點樣橫行霸道👿 仲周圍派發習語錄📕,指示香港蟻民係國歌法之下,點樣俯首稱臣🙇🏻‍♂️一旦立左國歌法,任何對國歌「不敬」嘅行為,尤其係抗議行為,都會被判坐監😰 國歌法扼殺表達自由,大家務必提防⚠️

Posted by 香港眾志 Demosistō on Sunday, 9 September 2018

They handed out leaflets entitled “Quotations from Xi.”

It was not the first time the pro-democracy group has conducted creative protests against the controversial law. In April, they gathered at Langham Place in Mong Kok and at an intersection between Sai Yeung Choi Street South and Soy Street, and the group froze for around a minute as the Chinese national anthem was played.

The Hong Kong Journalists’ Association has said that the draft legislation of the national anthem law was unconstitutional and will lead to a chilling effect on free speech.

It also said that Hong Kong’s draft version was even stricter than its mainland counterpart.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.