A large banner displaying Cantonese profanity was unfurled on the side of a prominent rock face in Hong Kong this morning in the run-up to two big rallies expected in the coming days.
The black banner — 40 meters by 3 meters — encouraging people to “celebrate their mom” in a very rude way come China National Day on Tuesday, was draped on the side of Beacon Hill in Kowloon at 6am, Apple Daily reports.
Hong Kong usually marks the day with a flag-raising ceremony, fireworks display — which has been canceled — and big rally on Hong Kong Island from Causeway Bay to Admiralty that is usually used to raise awareness of pro-democracy issues.
“Their mom,” or keui lo mo, is shorthand for diu lei lo mo, which is Cantonese for “fuck your mom.” So in this context, the banner basically reads: Fuck the National Day celebrations.
The Civil Human Rights Front — the organizers behind record-breaking marches that have drawn hundreds of thousands of people to the streets — are currently awaiting approval from the police for what are expected to be large rallies Tuesday.
The group announced Wednesday that they would cancel the rally if police refuse to grant permission.
However, the past few months have shown that even when police ban a rally from taking place, people tend to still turn up in huge numbers, such as the July 27 rally in Yuen Long and Aug. 31 event marking the fifth anniversary of Beijing’s rejection of universal suffrage.
The use of “your mom” has been embraced by demonstrators since the extradition bill protests began, most notably on June 12, when a riot police officer shouted “journalist you motherfucker!” at a reporter who protested being struck.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the banner, and it wasn’t immediately clear when emergency services would arrive to take it down.
Unfurling massive political banners from Hong Kong’s many prominent hillsides has long been a favored tactic of pro-democracy activists. The first was in 2014, when a massive yellow banner reading “I want genuine universal suffrage” — the right to directly nominate and elect the chief executive — was unfurled on Lion Rock, and the practice has only picked up steam with the current pro-democracy movement rocking the city.
In recent months, there have been banners calling for the dissolution of the police force, for Carrie Lam’s resignation, for the controversial extradition bill to be withdrawn, and for people to not forget the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
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