Hong Kong Protests Against Israel in Lebanon
This particular report belongs to the category: "If the mainstream media did not report on an incident, then did it actually occur according to history?" The sole mainstream media report on this event appeared on page 6 of am730 (July 25, 2006) in a small box on the top right-hand corner ( see photograph).
This type of coverage is also indicative of Jimmy Lai's assertion in Facts and Prejudices that unless things occur close by, there is no emotional resonance (or at least the media will decide that such is the case and give it little or no coverage). In the absence of mainstream media reporting, the sole information comes from independent citizen media.
(Shangri La/InMediaHK) By Fred Lam Fai. July 25, 2006.
The demosntration took off on the basis of a few angry words from Chu Hoidick and within two days, the members of InMediaHK mobilized and created banners, slogans and other preparations for today's demonstration.
The original route of the demonstration march was as follows: Assemble at the Admiralty MTR station and march to the Israeli consulate at Phase Two of Admiralty Centre. Then Hoidick, Oiwan, Bobo and "Long Hair" would represent the group to hand a protest letter over at the consulate on the seventh floor while the rest of the people sit outside the shopping center in silence. Afterwards, we would march to the American consulate at Number 26, Garden Road.
There were about 30 friends who showed up, and we were happy to see that number because it was more than our expectations. We sat down at the Admiralty Centre to wait while we played our musical instruments and waved our large peace sign. Meanwhile, we handed fliers to passing citizens and used the megaphone to express our protests against Israel attacking Lebanon using the kidnapping of their soldiers by the Hizhollah as the reason and leading to numerous casualties among the citizens of Lebanon. As of now, the reports say that more than 300 Lebanese citizens have been killed, more than 1,000 injured and more than 500,000 made homeless. Many Lebanese basic infrastructure facilities such as the Beirut airport and electricity generator plant have been destroyed. The insane and disproportionate response received the blessings of the United States so that Israel is encouraged to incur into Lebanon without restraint.
We sat for more than half an hour and then we got the news that the four-person team was unable to go up to the Israeli consulate on the seventh floor. The Israeli consulate did not want them to come up and therefore the security company had their men surround our four unarmed people. The police also came. So they were gathered in the first floor lobby negotiating. According to Chu Hoidick, the consulate said they would permit one of us to go up there but only to leave the letter at the security desk as nobody will come out to accept the letter. This suggestion was obviously unacceptable. So our people who were waiting at the ground floor entrance decided to go and offer our support, but we were clumsily stopped by the security company.
It was clumsy because the security guards stopped us from using one of the escalators to ascend to meet the four-person team. But they left another escalator completely unguarded. So some of the demonstrators quietly took the other escalator up and then turned around to the blocked escalator. So now the security company employees were surrounded on both sides. Finally, we were able to meet up with the four-person team.
We re-iterated to the security company that we only wanted the Israeli consulate to receive the letter peacefully. Once that is done, we will leave even if they want us to stay. That being the case, why were we wasting each other's time? But the security company just ignored us and they shut down the elevators and brought out the barriers as if we were hostile forces. Someone joked to the security company employees: "We are here to demonstrate peacefully. We are quite peaceful, unlike Israel which drops bombs on people at the slightest pretext!"
After this went on for half an hour, the Israeli consulate conceded and permitted the four-person team and the reporter to proceed to the seventh floor in the company of the police and the security guards. We continued to chant our slogans, but nobody ever came out to accept the letter. In the end, we left the letter at the security desk.
The next stop was the American consulate. We marched from Admiralty to Central and we got the perfect treatment from the police along the way. We chanted slogans that included "Israeli military is killing civilians indiscriminately and the USA is abetting them. Shame!" "Withdraw from Lebanon now!" "Shame on Israel! Shame on USA! Shame on war-makers!" "No war is a just war" and so on. This was accompanied by the beat of many percussion instruments. Although we were not too many, we were very lively.
When we reached the American consulate, it began to drizzle while thunder rumbled in the skies. We took out the prepared American and Israeli flags and set them on fire together with the statement about today's demonstration in order to protest against these two countries. Long Hair said that he wanted to organize an even larger anti-war rally on Sunday and hope that the people of Hong Kong will continue to pay attention to this matter. So will all the friends who could not come today look for the details!