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Guildford’s Hong Kongers Throw Spotlight on Brutal 2019 Attack

Published on: 23 Jul, 2022
Updated on: 25 Jul, 2022

Protestors with faces pixillated because of fears of reprisals against their families still in Hong Kong are determined to remind those here of the plight of their fellow Hong Kongers. Picture provided by protest group.

By David Reading

A group of more than 100 Hong Kongers living in the Guildford area conducted their second peaceful protest in the town centre on Thursday evening – the third anniversary of the Yuen Long Attack.

On July 21, 2019, nearly 200 people armed with wooden sticks and metal rods viciously beat unarmed civilians in black outfits who they saw as pro-democracy supporters. About 50 people were badly injured in the attack, which happened at the Yuen Long Railway Station in Hong Kong.

See also: Hong Kongers in Guildford Say: ‘We Dream Of Freedom’

Pro-democracy protesters say the armed attackers were local supporters of the Chinese government and claim the delayed arrival by the police suggests they are colluding with the assailants. The incident is regarded by some as a terrorist attack.

The peaceful protest took place at the Rotunda at the bottom of North Street. Picture provided by protest group.

Thursday’s protest took place at the bottom of North Street. The participants wore face masks – not because of Covid, they said, but because they do not want to be identified for fear of reprisals against their families back in Hong Kong.

A spokesperson said: “Three years on, there is still much public anger over the attacks and the fact that justice has not been done.”

Although some of the Yuen Long attackers have been arrested, many are said to be still at large. A leaflet handed out by the protesters in Guildford says: “Those armed locals believed that whoever was in black outfits had supported the pro-democracy demonstration and should be repressed and quashed for standing against the government.”

Fundamentally the protest is focused on the lack of democracy in Hong Kong, which was transferred to Chinese rule in 1997.  In June 2020 China imposed the National Security Law in Hong Kong and this is considered to have seriously violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration and damaged the high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong.

The protestors’ message in Chinese and English. Picture provided by protest group.

A large group of Hong Kongers recently immigrated and settled in Guildford but are adamant they will not ignore what is happening in their home country.

The spokesperson said: “We want to pass on the truth to our descendants about the Yuen Long attack, until one day, justice has come.”

A previous protest was held in Guildford in June, when a spokesperson told The Dragon: “We sadly left our beloved home because Hong Kong is no longer the place we used to live in. No more freedom of speech or protesting.

“We Hong Kongers, although living abroad now, will never forget the pain deep inside. We will never stop fighting for justice, freedom and democracy.”

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