HK democracy activists unfurl 'souvenir' for visiting China official Zhang Dejiang

A giant yellow banner bearing the words "I want genuine universal suffrage" was unfurled on a hill early Tuesday (May 17) by pro-democracy activists, South China Morning Post reported.
A giant yellow banner bearing the words "I want genuine universal suffrage" was unfurled on a hill early Tuesday (May 17) by pro-democracy activists, South China Morning Post reported. PHOTO: LEAGUE OF SOCIAL DEMOCRATS / FACEBOOK

HONG KONG - A giant yellow banner bearing the words "I want genuine universal suffrage" was unfurled on a hill early Tuesday (May 17) by pro-democracy activists ahead of a the arrival of a senior Beijing official in the city for a highly-guarded visit, South China Morning Post reported.

Mr Raphael Wong, vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats, was quoted as saying the group's volunteers draped the banner on Beacon Hill in Lion Rock Country Park despite police keeping the area under guard overnight.

Wong said the move was aimed at the central government and Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee and visiting the city for three days from Tuesday.

"This is a souvenir from the League of Social Democrats to Zhang Dejiang," the league said in its Facebook post.

"The purpose is to show Hongkongers' determination in pursuing democracy and freedom. This is to tell the visiting state leaders that they cannot pretend to be blind."

A police spokesman confirmed the force was aware of the banner and that firefighters had been instructed to remove it, SCMP reported.

Lion Rock has long been associated with Hong Kongers' aspiration for a better life, as embodied in the 1970s RTHK drama Under the Lion Rock and its title song.

The place became a site of protest during the Occupy movement in 2014 when a group of rock climbers hung a large yellow banner reading "I want real universal suffrage" on the mountain to show support for the pro-democracy movement.