Protest to clear cardboard gran

Local | Phoenix Un Jun 19, 2017
Dozens of netizens protested against the prosecution of a grandma was collecting cardboard to sell. About 30 citizens joined a protest at the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's office on the 10th floor of the Sheung Wan Municipal Services Building against its handling of 75-year-old Chu, who faces one count of unlicensed hawking.

Chu said she could be fined HK$5,000 and jailed for a month for hawking that earned her just HK$1. Protesters brought four kilograms of cardboard - worth HK$2 - covered with the slogans "FEHD is cold-blooded", "Withdraw the prosecution" and "The government has no conscience." They stuck the cardboard on the office door.

They demanded the department withdraw the prosecution against Chu, return the trolley they confiscated, and stop similar law enforcement actions against grassroots residents.

"The cardboard looks like it occupies lots of space, but it's just one- tenth of the total the grandma collected in one day," said a protester named Au.

"It's not sufficient to describe such law enforcement as cold-blooded, heartless and ruthless. It's just ridiculous, it's like murder."

Chu was on the streets collecting cardboard to sell last Sunday as usual, when a domestic worker asked for a piece to sit on, and gave her HK$1 as thanks. As soon as Chu received the coin, six public hygiene officers surrounded her and, ignoring her pleas for leniency, first took her to the Sheung Wan office of the FEHD then a nearby police station. At the police station she was given a prosecution notice and asked to put down bail money of HK$30.

As she had only HK$34 on her, the officers there said she could keep HK$4 for transport as senior citizens enjoy HK$2 concession fares.

Protesters called for citizens to show up at Eastern Magistrates' Courts on Wednesday to show support for Chu, or protest at FEHD offices in different districts.

Legislators Leung Kwok-hung and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick also joined the protest, with Leung saying he was enraged and criticized Hong Kong as a "city of beasts." He believed the government should withdraw the prosecution for public interest reasons "if Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor or Leung Chun-ying has a bit of benevolence."

About 12,000 people have signed a Civic Party online petition demanding the government withdraw the prosecution.

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June 2017