onsdag 11. november 2020

Grandma Wong was a key figure in Hong Kong's protest movement -- until she disappeared

With her gray hair and huge British flag, 64-year-old Alexandra Wong was a striking figure on the frontlines of last year's pro-democracy protests -- until she disappeared. Affectionately nicknamed Grandma Wong by other protesters, she attended nearly every demonstration last year, commuting from the nearby mainland city of Shenzhen, where she moved to 14 years ago.

Her presence for many symbolized how political dissatisfaction in Hong Kong cut across age groups, even if those on the streets were most often young people dressed in black. Her flag was an incendiary taunt implying to many that the city was governed better under British colonial rule than Chinese.

Last month after a long absence, Wong resurfaced in Hong Kong, alleging that she had been detained in mainland China for 14 months by the authorities there. She says that late one night in August last year, after being discharged from a Hong Kong hospital where she was treated for injuries sustained when riot police stormed a subway station, she was prevented from entering Shenzhen. "I (was) frightened, I feel my hand was shaking," she says.