Tiananmen Square crackdown

Protester manages to disrupt Hu's speech

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 July, 2012, 12:00am

President Hu Jintao had a rare direct encounter with a protester yesterday when a pan-democrat was able to disrupt the leader's speech at the inauguration ceremony for the new government.

Ken Tsang Kin-chiu was ejected from the Convention and Exhibition Centre by security guards after loudly demanding the vindication of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement and the end of one-party rule, soon after Hu began his speech.

Tsang, invited to the event in his capacity as a member of the welfare subsector of the committee that elected Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, shouted: 'Vindicate the June 4 incident. End one-party rule' as he stood up and displayed posters. Guards reacted within seconds, pushing down the posters. Around a dozen shaven-headed police officers wearing business suits took Tsang away from the venue.

Hu continued his speech but was seen to glance in the direction of Tsang.

'They covered up my mouth when they took me away from the ceremony venue. Fortunately I was released shortly after leaving the venue,' said Tsang, a member of the Civic Party.

'Although my poster was pushed down within two seconds and the whole action lasted for only 10 seconds, it was a success as I think it has insulted Hu to some extent.'

It was a rare breach in the steel ring of security that has separated Hu from protesters who had followed him around the city during his three-day visit. The security arrangements have drawn heavy criticism from activists.

Tsang said he had made his protest 'in his personal capacity without sending prior notice to the party' and had expected swift police action.

'I was dressed relatively casually compared with the other guests. I folded my posters to bring them into the venue. With my pan-democratic background, I was surrounded by some 20 to 30 security officers even before I took action,' said Tsang.