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Hong Kong localism and independence

Elderly woman carried away from official residence of Hong Kong leader over protest T-shirt

It bore words calling for a full account of the Tiananmen Square crackdown and urging universal suffrage in the city

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 March, 2018, 6:34pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 March, 2018, 7:48pm

Security guards carried away an elderly woman holding protest props who tried to enter the official residence of Hong Kong’s leader on its open day.

Alexandra Wong Fung-yiu, 61 and known as “Wong Po Po,” was earlier convicted of contempt of court for wearing a scarf that read “reclaim Hong Kong” whilst attending a court hearing involving localist Edward Leung Tin-kei.

Hundreds of people queued alongside Wong outside Government House – the official residence of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor – on its open day on Sunday before the gates were thrown wide at 10am.

She was dressed in a black T-shirt bearing words calling for a full account of Beijing’s crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters on June 4, 1989, and urging universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

Under a gloomy sky, Wong also held a yellow umbrella – a symbol of the pro-democracy Occupy movement of 2014 – decorated with Union Jacks, as well as material calling for the release of “political prisoners”.

I don’t want to take off my clothes
Alexandra Wong, protester

When she reached the security checkpoint, she was asked by a male staff member to put away her props as well as her T-shirt.

“If you want to enter, please put the items away,” he said, to which Wong replied: “I don’t want to take off my clothes.”

She instead offered to cover up her T-shirt with a jacket, but the staff member did not let her pass.

Wong then sat down at the checkpoint in protest before she was carried away without incident by officers from the Civil Aid Service.

A police spokesman said she was removed because she was chanting and displaying slogans, thus putting her own safety at risk and obstructing other visitors.

Wong left the scene on her own and was unharmed.

It was not the first time she had been denied entry to the residence on Upper Albert Road.

During an open day in November 2016, Wong was seen with protest props and similarly stopped.

Authorities did not respond to questions about the incident on Sunday, including the reasons for barring her.

According to an official guide for Government House, visitors may be refused entry if they carry items that could “disturb public order or cause a nuisance to other people”.

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The guide contains a list of prohibited items, which include banners, flags, petition-related items, and potentially dangerous substances.

“Visitors who insist on carrying any of the above items will not be admitted,” it read.

Those who shout and chant could also be ejected from the premises.

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On Sunday, visitors were invited to view more than 40 species of plants, including a rare tree known as the Rose of Venezuela.

The open day also featured musical performances by the Hong Kong Police Band, and visitors were able to join guided tours to learn about the residence’s history.

Meanwhile, Wong’s sentencing for the contempt of court conviction is scheduled for March 29 at the High Court.