A pro-democracy party has claimed responsibility for a unfurling an enormous banner from a prominent hillside in Hong Kong calling on the city’s leader to resign.
The banner — 80 feet by 10 feet — reads “Carrie Lam, you better resign,” and was spotted hanging from Beacon Hill in Kowloon at 8pm on Thursday evening.
The League of Social Democrats posted on Facebook this morning that they were the ones behind the banner, also claiming responsibility for two banners bearing the words “Oppose the Evil Send-to-China Law” — a reference to a controversial extradition bill currently before the Legislative Council — that appeared on Beacon Hill and Lion Rock on Sunday.
Apple Daily reports that firefighters managed to remove the banner at around 10:40am today.
The bill at the center of the furor would allow, for the first time since the handover, case-by-case extraditions to mainland China, Macau, and Taiwan, which are explicitly forbidden under the city’s current extradition laws.
The plan has sparked huge protests, with activists, businesspeople, and foreign governments expressing fears that permitting such extraditions would further erode Hong Kong’s much-lauded rule of law, and subject both pro-democracy dissenters and unwitting white-collar suspects alike to China’s notoriously opaque court system.
The widespread opposition to the bill, which has dominated headlines since it was first suggested, appears to have taken a toll on Chief Executive Lam’s polling numbers. According to the latest figures from the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme, Lam’s popularity is at an all-time low, with 56 percent of respondents saying they had no confidence in her leadership.
Despite the bill’s unpopularity, Lam’s pro-Beijing allies in the legislature have steadfastly persisted in pushing it through the Legislative Council, over the increasingly vehement protests of the LegCo’s pro-democracy camp, culminating in a melee on the floor of the LegCo last Saturday.
On Wednesday, a prominent US senator announced plans to introduce a bill empowering US officials to take action against individuals identified as “suppressing basic freedoms” in the SAR — including by freezing US-based assets — a move prompted in part by the extradition bill.