fredag 16. april 2021

Hong Kong marks National Security Education Day with goose-stepping police and souvenirs

Riot police, heavily armored, their faces concealed behind masks, holding signs reading "Disperse or We Fire" and "Warning, Tear Smoke." It's an image that has become synonymous with Hong Kong, a vision of the city which emerged from a summer of violent protests and a year of tightening political restrictions and mass arrests in the name of national security. It's also an image that's indicative of a divided Hong Kong, evoking memories of police opening fire with thousands of rounds of tear gas, dousing protests with water cannon, and on several occasions, using live ammunition in response to often violent unrest.

For many, the sight of riot police represents a failed fight for greater autonomy and democracy under Chinese rule. On Thursday, these images were on sale as a souvenir, and pricey ones at that: $120 (880 HKD) for a pack of eight riot police figurines, replete with banners and weapons, released as the city marks the inaugural National Security Education Day.