Hundreds of Hong Kong residents rallied on Saturday to express support for U. S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, marching to the U. S. consulate flanked by tens of police.
The protesters shouted slogans demanding the Hong Kong government protect Mr. Snowden and criticizing the U. S. government for its PRISM scheme of mass surveillance of worldwide electronic communications, which Mr. Snowden revealed in Hong Kong on June 9, 2013.
One banner read, “No Big Brother, no to US spying”. Many blew whistles, a nod to Mr. Snowden’s role in exposing PRISM.
The crowd, estimated by police at 300 people, was made up of local residents and expatriates. Local pro-democracy politicians Albert Ho and Claudia Mo were among those taking part.
After arriving at the U. S. consulate, the demonstrators continued on, marching to the nearby headquarters of the Hong Kong government, where they handed over a letter to the territory’s chief executive, CY Leung.
The protest took place as a poll commissioned by the South China Morning Post newspaper suggested that half of Hong Kong residents opposed handing over Mr. Snowden to US authorities, should they ask for him.
Formerly a British colony, Hong Kong has been a special administrative region of China since 1997, retaining British-era rights to free speech and assembly.