Justice, Truth and Peace

Saturday Struggle

It was a cold morning, about 9 deg and windy, I struggle to get out of my warm bed on a Saturday morning, what was I thinking? If I find it hard to wake up early to attend a rally, who else will do so? Students? Working class? Families? Just for that few little islands far far away from Australia? I kept thinking about it during the journey to the city, could there be 30, 300 or 3000 protestors? Let’s be realistic, 300 will be an ideal number, 3000 is purely exaggeration. 

As I make my way to Queens Victoria Garden from Flinders Street Station, I saw a group of young Chinese walking ahead of me. Could they be joining the protest? I hope they do. Younger people are more emotional and expressive, good photography subject for such event. Once I entered the garden, I saw a huge crowd from a distance, with red and blue flags everywhere, WOW! Not that bad after all. But as I moved closer and did a rough head count, I would say 200+, definitely less than 300 for sure. But what surprise me was actually the participants. Have a look at the following images.

Age is just a number

For a moment, forget about the number of attendees, just take a look at the age group. I would say 80% of the participants were at the average age of 50-60. With some who looks like they might have been part of the Chinese Communist Revolution or even participated in the Long March. There were probably some students, even young children, but they were not the active one in the crowd. The active one giving instructions to everyone are those marshals with a red armband, similar to the one you seen during the revolution.

Supports from the top

There were rumours that the Chinese embassy gave the approval for the protest to go ahead, organised by business associations and various Chinese community groups with close ties to the regime. Flags, placards, banners and leaflets were provided by the organiser. Just like when President Xi Jinping visited UK in 2015, boxes and boxes of pro-Chinese merchandise like caps, shirts, banners and flags were shipped to all visiting location from China and distributed to thousand of supporters. You can click here to watch the video by BBC.

Speeches were delivered before the march and it was understood that the embassy did send “someone” to the protest. However, I could barely hear the speeches because the whole place sounds like a carnival.

All set to go

As the speeches ended, marshals were trying to get everyone into various formation. These groups could be separated by their respective community groups or associations. They were ushered to stand behind long banners and little flags were given out to everyone. Cartons of bottled water were seen arranged orderly at a table set up by organiser, it was free for all.

A few marshals were seen having a discussion with police officers on the scene about the route while others were edging closer to the main road getting ready to march off. This could be history in making, first ever Chinese protest march through the city of Melbourne, will there be any trouble along the way?

To be continued…………………….

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