Pro-Beijing radicals in weapons protest

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 June, 2014, 3:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 June, 2014, 3:03am

Members of a radical political group sneaked weapons in as they joined the audience for a popular political debate programme in a protest against the broadcaster's choice of guests.

Members of the Beijing-loyalist Defend Hong Kong campaign revealed barbecue forks and a cutter as they complained about public broadcaster RTHK's decision to invite only pan-democrats for the latest City Forum, which discussed the 25th anniversary of the June 4 crackdown.

Panellists said they did not feel threatened but questioned why the government condemned radicals fighting for democracy yet remained silent on its supporters' behaviour.

Members of the group used the forks to hoist a banner attacking RTHK's impartiality, while campaigner Fu Chun-chung waved his cutter in the public gallery in Victoria Park.

Police confirmed they worked with programme staff to advise the group to give up their weapons. No arrests were made.

Panel member Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, drew a contrast with the attitude officials showed to Occupy Central, threatening to block streets to press for democracy.

"It is ridiculous for senior officials to label Occupy Central, which has yet to take place, an unlawful movement while they don't say a word about all the unruly behaviour of anti-democracy radicals." Lee said. "This shows the government has double standards in handling people of different political affiliations."

City Forum recordings are often lively, even rowdy. The "Victoria Park uncles" - a group of ageing Beijing-loyalists - have become something of a local institution for heckling pan-democrats during the outdoor filming.