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Hong Kong: erasing history, demolition of Star ferry and Queen's pier

The protest against the demolition of Star Ferry has been going on for four days. After the violent crack down by the police, protesters are now launching hunger strike.

In December 14, at the eve of the Ferry's 49 years old birthday, the demonstrators organized a peaceful candle night. When they moved to the front gate of the construction site, the police surrounded dozen of them with iron bar and arrested 11 of them under minor charges within the Police force ordinance, such as “obstructing public officers”.

A latest statement has been released at to protest against the police action in repressing peaceful demonstration and demand the SAR government to drop all the charges:


First of all, the government claims that it is a decision made ten years ago and it has already consulted the department dealing with historical preservation. However, the media found out that the report by the historical preservation department had reminded the government that the demolition of Star Ferry would cause public discontent and conflicts. The government insisted on its decision in building the central highway and commercial building, prioritizing the interest of corporation and hided up the report of the historical preservation department. It shows that the consultation is faking in nature.

我們這個行動,實在是民主參與規劃的一個方式。於12月13日,警方欺騙示威者,謂立會討論期間絕不行動,期後又於立會討論期間清場,更拒捕一人。昨日, 12月14日,又包圍十三人,六小時不准上廁所,迫得示威者唯有在封鎖線裡用遮蓋物如廁時,更以攝錄機強行拍下示威者如廁,嚴重侵犯示威者私隱。

Our action is a way to engage with democratic participation in city planning. On 13 December, the police had cheated the protesters saying that they wouldn't take action during the Legislative Council debate. In the end they arrested a protester and cleared the construction areas during the Legislative Council negotiation. Yesterday (14 December), the police detained 13 people, did not allow them to go to toilet for 6 hours, the protesters were forced to go to toilet on the site, in front of the police camera! It is a serious offence against human rights and privacy.

The protesters’ demands are:

1) 拆卸工程馬上停工;

2) 孫明楊馬上與關注的團體及市民會面,商討既可發展,又可保留天星碼頭的另類規劃方案,在此期間,拆卸工程須停工;

3) 馬上釋放被捕人士,撤銷所有控罪;

4) 洗去在12月15日凌晨強行攝下示威者如廁的錄影帶;

5) 採取切實可行方式,向市民開放所有與未來規劃有關之文件,設法讓不同教育程度的市民皆可以容易獲得資訊及參與討論;

6) 停止官商勾結的發展,尊重歷史及文化。

1. stop the demolition of the Star Ferry
2. The head of Planning and Lands Department, Michael Suen Ming-yeung to meet the concern groups to discuss about alternative planning proposal that can accommodate development and preservation of the Star Ferry. Within the negotiation period, the construction should be suspended.
3. drop all charges and release all the protesters.
4. delete the video tap that contains the shot of protesters going to toilet
5. the future city planning should be opened to citizens, so that all citizens with different background can get access to the information and participate in the discussion.
6. stop the government and corporate collusion model in development, respect history and culture.

Citizens are using the comments section of the latest citizen reports to update each others on the situation:


警方一直表示可以放走包圍的示威者, 但要抄其中一人的身份證(亦有說是起訴/拘捕其中一人), 示威者堅拒。被圍的示威者要求警察行開。

2:30左右內圍有示威者要求放行上廁所, 警方不許, 該示威者無奈要在眾人面前解手, 而警方的攝影機亦不停地影著(!!!), 這使內外圍的示威者均極度憤怒。外圍示威者企圖衝過防線與內圍的示威者會合, 成功搶去兩三個鐵欄, 但始終無法衝過防線。

– 林輝 fred 於 December 15, 2006 02:46 AM

Toilet conflicts

The police said that they could let go of the detainee but had to copy one of the protester's ID number (some said it was for future charge / arrest), protesters refused and demanded the police to let them go.

Around 2:30am, a protester demanded to go to toilet, police refused to let go, the protester had to piss in front of everyone against his will. And the police camera kept video taping the whole process (!!!), it made supporting protesters from outside the detained circle very angry. They tried to break the blockade and joined the detainees, took away three iron bars, but failed to get through.

– fred at December 15, 2006 02:46 AM



– gutfei 於 December 15, 2006 03:31 AM

Connaught Road Middle

The police van ran over a protester, protesters reported to the police to stop the van, but the van did not stop immediately. When the protester was pull out, the van continued to drive on, the protester was still lying on the road and there are tie marks in his body.

– gutfei at December 15, 2006 03:31 AM



– ahchoii 於 December 15, 2006 06:35 AM

The Wounded protester's surname is Lee, he had been sent to the Mary Hospital, had X-ray. Need to stay but didn't know how serious his condition was. The doctor refused to say anything. I did not see the exact situation when Mr. Lee was injuried, but I heard from other protesters that he rolled under the police van suddenly, and then another policeman went under the van to pull him out. I went with Mr. Lee to the hospital, when i was waiting, a police van also sent some police, one of them had a dark mark on his right face, I didn't know whether it was bruise or stain. He told his colleague that the dark mark could not be wiped out, and said he saw someone rolled under the van and he pulled him out immediately. I asked whether the protester he rescued was a guy. He said yes. I guessed he was talking about Mr. Lee. I said thank you to this police for saving the protester's life. I asked Mr. Lee whether he had actually been run over by the van, he answered no.

I am really thankful to this policeman and hope that he is alright. I only hope that the high ranking police officers and government officials could really reflect on what they have been doing, why they have to risk the life of frontline police and protester? Why can't they just postpone the demolition of Star Ferry and let all Hong Kong citizens discuss the whole issue? What's the rush?

One bean wrote about the cultural and political background of this demolition of Star ferry and Queen’s pier, the latter is the most significant symbolic site of British colonial history in Hong Kong.


The Queen’s pier had been a place for the colonial governor to take up or leave his position during the British colonial period. In 1975, when Queen Elizabeth II visited Hong Kong, she anchored in the Queen’s pier. In 1997 when the last governor Patten left, he also departed from the pier.


Taking away signpost from the colonial era is not de-colonization, it is simply de-historicalization.

The protesters are launching hunger strike today
, here is part of their hunger strike statement:




In April 4, 1966, a youth So Sao Chung stood in front of Central Star ferry and started his hunger strike; the clock tower at his back, at this moment is being destroyed, and we start our hunger strike.

Ironically, So was fighting against the colonial power at that time, while today we are fighting this so called “Hong Kong people self-governing” and “people oriented” SAR government.

Some people said that we are too late for our struggle, we answered, the protest against demolition has been going on for long. We have the professional alternative plan, but the government refused to listen; our bodies are protecting in the street, we use our bodies to stop the construction machine, we use our bodies to break the police line. However, the demolition hasn't been stopped, and is even speeding up! We can only use our bodies once more to continue the protest.

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