Take a look at the following poster. How convenient is it that this concert is being held at the exact same time as the annual July 1 march?
Sponsors include a number of property companies, widely seen as in bed with the Beijing government. Furthermore, the deep discount offered to local patrons adds to the perception that this concert is being used as a way to draw Hong Kongers away from the July 1 rally being held at the same time.
The drummer of RubberBand, MW Lai, has expressed that he wants nothing to do with the event despite being drafted to attend, and is encouraging people to attend the march instead. On his Facebook, he posted:
I feel ashamed and upset for being raped.
(Body at Cao’s camp; heart with the Han! At Cao’s camp to play music, but will rejoin my troops when done! Comrades, forgive me!)
身在曹營心在漢 is an idiom meaning “the body is in one place, while the heart is in another.” The idiom stems from the Three Kingdoms era (AD 220-280) where two of the states where called Cao Wei and Shu Han (曹魏 and 蜀漢).
For those who aren’t into K-Pop, there’s always shopping. According to SCMP:
Businesses including second-hand bag retailer Milan Station, herbal tea specialist Hoi Tin Tong and Macau Koi Kei Bakery, will give discounts of up to 50 per cent or other offers from 2pm to 5pm.
Lee Yuk-lun, president of the Hong Kong Commerce and Industry Association, said: “People have been viewing July 1 as a demonstration day,” he said. “We want to change this and make it a shopping day.”
Is the Hong Kong government and its allies so scared of a large turnout on July 1 that they must resort to such dirty tactics to stop people from showing up? At least there are no signs (yet) of them bribing people directly, like they did to draw people to the Jan. 1 pro-government counter-rallies:
The pro-Beijing camp also showed no hesitation in using the “silent majority” fallacy. The Standard states:
“The highest turnout for the July 1 march was 500,000,” Lee said.
“We want to take care of the remaining 6.5 million Hongkongers and arrange something for them for the holiday.”
So there you have it. Unless you show up this July 1, you are automatically pro-government. Unless you’re happy with that accusation, see you at Victoria Park.
Personally, I think turnout will be good this year. The Public Sentiment Index is at the lowest it’s been since 2003, the year of SARS and Article 23. Numerous officials have become embroiled in scandals over the past year, including the former head of the freaking ICAC! Meanwhile, cross-border tensions are hitting a new high, and a record low 13.3% of young Hong Kongers aged 18-29 view themselves as “Chinese people” with even less (5.1%) viewing themselves as “Chinese citizens”. The Police this year have even opened up the tram tracks ahead of time in anticipation of a high turnout.
Edward Snowden chose Hong Kong for its “spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.” Let’s show the world exactly what he was talking about.
- July 1 (ycc1988.wordpress.com)
- ‘Silent majority’ reluctant to say why they back CY amid report of handout (SCMP, 2 Jan 2013)
- Boycott HK DOME Festival (Facebook)