Celebrities Mourn Death of Hong Kong Extradition Protester

Hong Kong is experiencing the city’s largest protest movement in history as locals voice their rejection of a proposed extradition bill, which is seen to threaten judicial independence from Mainland China. On June 15, one man fell to his death trying to fix a protest banner making him “the martyr” in recent protests. For a second Sunday on June 16, approximately two million demonstrators took to the streets to protest the extradition bill and demand Chief Executive Carrie Lam to step down from her position.

During the protests, many Hong Kong celebrities chose to remain silent during the sensitive time, afraid of backlash from Mainland China. Originally, Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) supported the rally by liking posts related to the protest. Incurring anger from Mainland fans, Charmaine later changed her position to “loving this country and loving Hong Kong”.

Like Charmaine, many Hong Kong celebrities were afraid to take a clear stance over the political issue. However, the death of the protester shocked the entire city and finally, more celebrities broke their silence.

Many posted black-and-white photos with the caption “RIP” as they mourned the death of the protester, known as Mr. Leung. Even though it was Joey Yung’s (容祖兒) birthday, she also posted a photo indicating her inability to sleep during this time. As for Hins Cheung (張敬軒), he took a picture of some pills as a symbol of sleepless nights.

Though Sammi Cheng (鄭秀文) is preparing for her concert, she has been praying constantly for Hong Kong, and posted a photo of a pair of clasped hands on social media. Although Linda Chung (鍾嘉欣) has already moved back to Vancouver, she posted a photo of her daughter praying for Hong Kong. Miriam Yeung (楊千嬅), who is hosting her concert in China, also mourned over the protester’s death.

Sammy Leung (森美) reminded locals to register as voters and cast their votes in the upcoming July 2nd election, and to select officials who truly represent the voices of Hong Kong people.

Perhaps the most vocal statement came from Anthony Wong (黃秋生), who is known to defend Hong Kong’s autonomy. Like many residents, Anthony was angered by the police’s recent use of tear gas against the protesters. “If the [government] uses a forceful manner and is unwilling to listen to the people’s voices, then the situation will continue to worsen.”

Some locals felt that the majority of these celebrities’ support came too late, and they are only speaking up after there has been a death in the extradition protests.

Sources: Yahoo HK, HK01, hket

This article is written by Hailey for JayneStars.com.

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  1. HK cops are relatively gentle compared to those in the US. Cops there don’t hesitate to use blunt force and real bullets.

    University of California Davis spent an exorbitant amount of money to make everyone forget that one of its officers pepper-sprayed a bunch of students for protesting tuition hikes.
    Then the school spent even more to whitewash negative search results about the 2011 incident and the lawsuits and resignations that followed. (from Huffington Post)

    1. @msxie0714 That’s true, but I think that’s why the reaction has been so huge, because HK people are not used to seeing that kind of violence from their police force (it’s easy for those of us who grew up in the West to scoff at Hong Kongers for “overreacting” since we see that kind of stuff all the time over here). To put things in perspective though….one of the biggest reasons for the outcry over police use of force in Wednesday’s protest wasn’t just because they used tear gas and rubber bullets against unarmed protestors (yes, there were a few protestors at the front of the crowd who had bricks and iron rods that they were wielding at police, so the use of force against those people were justified, but vast majority of the protestors were unarmed)….people are also upset at how the police treated journalists and members of the media who were merely trying to do their jobs at the frontline. There’s a video where a reporter (who was decked out in the reflective vest and hard hat with the word “media” on it which all journalists have to wear) had their hands up and even shouted at the police “I am a reporter” to identify herself, but the police replied with a Cantonese curse word (the “xx your mother” curse word for those who understand Cantonese) and proceeded to shoot the reporter with tear gas….alot of reporters got hurt, to the point that they felt like police were deliberately targeting reporters to prevent them from reporting on how bad things were getting (the HK Journalists Association ended up filing a complaint against the police for their actions). And then after all that, the HK police tried to classify the protests as a “riot”(which has certain legal implication), only to back down later after massive backlash and claim that the “riot” reference was only towards the select few who had thrown bricks and iron rods – everyone else participated in “peaceful protest”.

      So the point I’m trying to get at is that it’s one thing to compare what they are experiencing in HK and say police brutality is even worse in the West, but at the end of the day, that’s an unfair comparison because the scenarios aren’t exactly the same.

  2. Actually, most of these celebrities’ responses can’t really be seen as “supporting” the protests or even “mourning” the protestor who died, since everything they posted was vague (which of course makes sense given the political climate and them not wanting to affect their careers). The only celebrity mentioned in the article who truly did take a stance was Anthony Wong (who actually said much more than what was mentioned here)….oh and of course the celebrities who actually participated in the protests, though none of them were mentioned in this article.

    Judging by the reaction to Carrie Lam’s second insincere apology in yesterday’s news conference (plus her joke of a speech where she pretty much said the exact same thing as she’s been saying, except in a less harsh tone), looks like we can expect to see more protests throughout this week and over the weekend….

  3. No excuse for celebrities to keep quite about the protest. If they truly love HK, then they should join forces and stand-up for HK and Hong Kongers who have been supporting their careers.

    Don’t be insincere like Carrie Lam. If you say you love HK and your HK fans, then action speaks louder than sweet words that mean you are sitting on the fence.

    If there are no HK supporters, what kind of a career will these HK celebrities have? Might as well go to Mainland to earn your money if you are not prepared to stand side-by-side with your HK supporters.

    Unity is strength, so don’t sit back and wait for the general public to defend your rice bowl!

    Talk is cheap, action speaks louder than words in this unfair and undermined situation.

    1. @stars1 Ironically, that is the exact same reasoning that Mainland audiences have been giving for why HK celebrities should stay quiet and not bad mouth China in any way, shape, or form. The “argument” I hear most from Mainland audiences is that by going to Mainland to work, they are earning Mainland money and it is Mainland audiences supporting their rice bowls…therefore, if they want to say anything bad about Mainland, then don’t expect to earn Mainland money. That’s the reality of the environment most of these celebrities are working under unfortunately…

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