Protest seems to be taking hold of the world. While Americans protest the election of Donald Trump, South Koreans rally to put pressure on President Park Geun-Hye to resign, and people in Hong Kong protest the mainland’s intervention in their legal system.
Published on 20th November, this image shows tens of thousands of protesters walking towards the South Korean President’s Blue House, hoping to pressure Park Geun-Hye to step down in the wake of a major corruption scandal. This wave of demonstrations is by all accounts the largest since pro-democracy marches of the 1980s. Reports estimate 170,000 protesters turned out to march the streets of Seoul on Saturday, ending in the candle-lit rally shown above.
Some 2087 kilometres south, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Zone of the People’s Republic of China is in uproar. Two newly-elected politicians,Yau Wai-ching (25) and Baggio ‘Sixtus’ Leung (30), changed the wording of their standardised oaths at their swearing-in to Hong Kong’s 70-member legislative council (Legco).
Both young politicians displayed banners saying ‘Hong Kong is NOT China’, while Yau caused particular outrage by pledging several times to defend part of the “People’s ref**king of Shina”.’Shina’ is an outdated derogatory word for China in Japanese, now considered a slur due to its use in the second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45). Both oaths were rejected, and the question of the politicians’ entry into Legco was turned to Hong Kong’s legal system.
Beijing brought on much of the unrest by stepping in to bar the young law-makers from political power, instead of allowing Hong Kong’s prided legal system to deal with it independently. The mainland intervention is viewed by many as negating many of the city-state’s freedoms, including that of an independent judiciary, under the structure of “one country, two systems” which was established in 1997. However, thousands are glad of the decision, with another politician referring to pro-independence activists as ‘cancer cells’.