Hong Kong—Groups of people wearing masks have gathered at Admiralty and Central to support the democracy protests here during the annual global movement, the Million Mask March.
Since the afternoon, the number of people with a uniformed mask on their faces has begun to increase in the streets and many of them have been on their way to Central, one of the main spots of the recent democracy protest for universal suffrage in Hong Kong.
A popular facebook account called Hong Kong V Club said that a march would officially begin on seven p.m. and participants were required to wear masks and to gather at Central. “People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their PEOPLE,” read a banner on the page.
“Everyone wearing this mask shares the same pursuit of freedom and shoulder the same responsibility to fight against dictatorships,” said Mr. Chan who works at the Central Ferry Piers and did not want to tell his full name. Preferring to be called as “Anons”, Chan and his groups of peers wearing masks are members of the Million Mask March, and calling themselves “Anons” is a way they hail to their enlightener V.
Inspired by a British movie V for Vendatta, in which a masked man known as V urges his fellow citizens to rise up on Nov. 5th to go against tyranny and oppression, the Million Mask March encourages people around the world to join peaceful marches each year, with aims to shed light on corrupt government and to set citizens free from oppression.
This year’s march happens to meet with the democracy protest in Hong Kong. Saying that the Hong Kong government has changed a lot during the recent decade, Chan took now as the very moment to hold the march. “The (Hong Kong) government’s control over freedom of speech is becoming tighter and tighter. I think I should stand out and protect my freedom as a citizen,” said Chan.
Another “Anons” Lee Ming Wah who works at a hotel near Admiralty said, “I just want to do anything I can to support protestors, even what I can do is as small as wearing a mask and show what I stand for. “ The back of his black cloak reads, “Universal Suffrage”.
On Aug. 31, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, ignoring popular pressure in Hong Kong for “one man, one vote”, passed a resolution saying that no more than three candidates, selected by Beijing’s carefully vetted nominating committee, will be allowed to run for chief executive in 2017. The decision prompted a boycott of university classes, and triggered the start of a long-planned campaign of civil disobedience to press for full democracy.
In the latest press conference, the Chief Superintendent Hui Chun Tak was asked about the Million Mask March issue and said, ”Being anonymous does not mean that one can avoid taking legal responsibilities.”
He also said that more police have been sent out and they will do their duty.