Labor Day news on Hong Kong television would typically show scenes of protesters marching down the streets, one of them being former Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan. His son used to spend the day trying to spot him in the crowds on TV.
This year is different. Wan is among 32 defendants remanded in custody, out of 47 who are awaiting trial on charges of subverting state power after participating in an unofficial primary of the democracy camp last summer. He has been in detention since the police’s mass arrests in early January.
His boy, while still too young to understand what the Labor Day rallies meant, knew that Dad was “helping people in need.” He also knew he would not see his father on TV this year because “there is a high wall separating him and his dad.”
The comments of the child were posted on Wan’s Facebook page on Saturday to mark the annual Labor Day holiday. Accompanying the words was his drawing of the father, standing behind a banner amid a mass of faceless protesters in a march.
The post was titled: “Looking forward to spending Labor Day with Dad.”
“Such a good kid,” Wan’s Facebook administrator wrote. “What I see in the picture is an important report card for Ah Wan, and a sense of pride you have for what your father has done.”
Unions and activist groups from across rival camps conventionally hold demonstrations on Labor Day to demand better workers’ rights. The government has rejected applications to hold the rally in two consecutive years due to social distancing regulations.
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