After Christmas and New Year in the bosom of Hong Kong's criminal justice system, 11 of the remaining 14 anti-WTO protesters charged with illegal assembly have been released. That leaves three Koreans who, authorities insist, will face prosecution for their part in the mass demonstrations against the ministerial on Dec 17.
Peasants groups are still holding rallies outside police headquarters demanding the release of their comrades. And, for all the denunciations of thundering police chief Alfred Ma, oD hears the protesters have won the battle for hearts and minds. More and more Hong Kong locals are joining the marches.
As Edmond Ng, 43, a local businessman who looked on from the flyover where the last of the teargas was dispersing as the first of the Koreans were rounded up, said: “They’re just fighting for their rights. That’s OK. They have no choice but to protest.”