Police fears over second anti-mainland protest

Organisers have been told to contact police after details of the protest emerged on social media

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 3:55am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 10:29am

Police have expressed concern about apparent efforts to organise a second anti-mainlander protest tomorrow and have vowed not to tolerate any violence or illegal activity.

The force called for organisers to contact them following calls on Facebook and online forums for a second protest to take place in Mong Kok, similar to the one in TST last Sunday.

This came as legal experts debated how or whether mainlanders could be included in the anti-race-hate law after Equal Opportunities Commission chairman York Chow Yat-ngok said he would review the law.

The Tsim Sha Tsui protest saw participants yelling derogatory comments, such as "go back home", at families of mainland tourists in one of Hong Kong's most popular shopping districts.

The protest sparked condemnation from Chow and top government officials, including Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

In a statement last night, police said organisers of any new protest should contact them "as soon as possible" to enable the event to be conducted "in a lawful and orderly manner".

The initiator of last Sunday's demonstration, Ronald Leung Kam-shing, said he did not know anything about the Mong Kok event and had no intention of joining.

Assistant professor of law at the University of Hong Kong Puja Kapai said the existing Race Discrimination Ordinance could arguably be extended to cover mainlanders.

She said Section 4 of the ordinance did not specify the race of the discriminator.

"Differential treatment on the basis of a person's race could still be regarded as discrimination," she said. If a case was taken to court, the ordinance could be up for interpretation.

University of Hong Kong law lecturer Eric Cheung Tat-ming said that when the ordinance was under discussion, one of the most controversial topics was whether or not to include mainlanders.

Many had wanted the definition of race to include locality - discrimination against a person due to cultural differences seen in different areas - but the government would not accept this.

"For the EOC to bring this up again is apt," he said. "Now it depends on whether the government is willing to expand the definition of race."



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