Fear spreads through Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement after security law imposed by China

A woman in Hong Kong frantically pulls down posters for the pro-democracy movement on June 30. (Photo: Arman Dzidzovic/Twitter)
A woman in Hong Kong frantically pulls down posters for the pro-democracy movement on June 30. (Photo: Arman Dzidzovic/Twitter)

A viral video filmed on June 30 shows a woman in Hong Kong frantically ripping down pro-democracy posters and flyers from the front window of the restaurant where she works. The footage is illustrative of the panic that has spread through the anti-government protesters after the implementation of a controversial new security law imposed upon Hong Kong by Beijing.

A documentary filmmaker filmed this video and posted it on Twitter on June 30. It shows a woman wearing a mask and gloves ripping down posters and flyers plastered on the front of the restaurant where she works. One of the handwritten flyers that she has in her hands says “Freedom”.

"I was walking around Mong Kok and came across a depressing scene of this Hong Kong diner removing protest art and signs stuck to the outside just hours after the national security law [was] passed, HK's freedoms are dying in real time", tweeted documentary filmmaker Arman Dzidzovic.

The restaurant was probably part of the “yellow economic circle”, made up of businesses that openly support the pro-democracy movement and help protesters by, for example, providing them with free meals.

On Tuesday, the well-known restaurant chain Lung Mun Café, which used to provide protesters with free meals, announced that they would no longer be affiliated with the circle because of the new national security law.


A law seen as freedom-destroying 

The law, which was passed by Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 30, criminalizes secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and collusion with foreign entities-- carrying a penalty of up to life in prison. The law reignited the anger of pro-democracy protesters, a year after massive protests against the president of Hong Kong and China’s push to tighten its grip on the semi-autonomous territory.

A protest against this law was organised for July 1; however, overall, pro-democracy activists, frightened of repression, seemed to be retreating. The Hong Kong political organization Demosisto, which was founded by pro-democracy activists, announced that it would disband.

"After many internal deliberations, we’ve decided to disband and end all activity as a group, considering the circumstances.”