A lengthy jail term sends a message to Hong Kong’s rebellious youth

A philosopher given time to think

IN 1967 Mao’s tumultuous Cultural Revolution washed into Hong Kong, stirring anti-colonial riots and bombings. The territory’s British rulers decided to restore order by imposing tougher legislation aimed at preventing crowds from assembling. A new Public Order Ordinance required permission for a public gathering of three or more people. If an illegal assembly resulted in a breach of the peace, each participant could be convicted of rioting.

That sweeping law has been used by the post-colonial government to deter further outbreaks of unrest such as occurred in 2014 when pro-democracy protesters occupied busy streets for weeks, and in 2016 when rioting broke out following officials’ efforts to clear away food stalls selling traditional snacks (the violence was joined by young people who were enraged by the deployment of large numbers of police). On June 11th a well-known activist, Edward Leung, was jailed under the Public Order…Continue reading


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