Long Hair blames orange juice for the protest that went awry

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 June, 2006, 12:00am

There's no use crying over spilt milk, as the saying goes - but yesterday 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung was crying over spilt orange juice.

That and mistaken tactics cost him the opportunity to shout down state leader Jia Qinglin at a reception at the Island Shangri-La hotel, the veteran protester lamented last night.

His original plan was to get into the venue, lie low and wait for the moment Mr Jia spoke.

But even with his legislator's VIP pass, he had problems.

Police would not allow him in until he turned his T-shirt - displaying slogans calling for vindication of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protesters - inside out.

Then he found he had been given a seat near the entrance, well away from journalists and television crews. He was also surrounded by security guards.

Mr Leung tried to reach the journalists and in the scuffle that followed, his glass of orange juice spilled on the shirt of one of the guards.

'They immediately jumped on me, saying I had done something inappropriate, then escorted me out,' he said. 'It shows how barbaric the police were. I should have sat tight and waited until [Mr Jia] came. It was all the fault of the orange juice.'

Outside the hotel, more than 200 protesters, including Mr Leung's ally Koo Sze-yiu shouted slogans and waved banners to greet Mr Jia. Carrying a wooden coffin, some protesters demanded a reversal of the Tiananmen Square verdict and release of detained Hong Kong journalist Ching Cheong.

They also demanded the introduction of universal suffrage.

Police clashed with some protesters trying to storm the hotel. Journalists waiting in the lobby were led by security guards into a room and they were not allowed to speak to guests at the function.



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