Diary Sunday 11/12, 2005


Today was supposed to be the big day that we had all been waiting for, as we would erect the sculptures at Victoria Park before the demonstration at 2pm. It did, as we had feared, not run that smooth. We got to the park at 9am, just to find out that yesterdays work to please the Park Manager, still wasn’t enough to do the trick. It appeared that he did not want anything in to the park, including the whole arrangement of toilets, stages etc. At the Park chaos ruled, while the trucks with all the equipment circulated the area to great confusion for all. In the end The People’s Alliance called the police and told them the reality of thousands of demonstrators (thereof 1,500 potentially militant Koreans) roaming the streets of Hong Kong as there would be no central places gather. Soon after the Park manager gave up and accepted that an alternative NGO-meeting was in fact going to be held in Victoria Park!

However, we found out, the permit did not include our sculptures. As we had given the Park Manager a Danish - and a Hong Kong- guarantee that the sculptures were safe. Now the problem a appeared to be the insurance of the sculptures (in case for example a Hungerboy of 1.7 meters should severely injure or maybe even kill several demonstrators if it tipped over). We had, as we had seen it coming, already the day before had a 10,000,000 DKK (about 12,000,000 $HK) insurance made from Denmark. At first the problem was that it was not in English - which we fixed. Then they wondered if it was valid globally – which it was. But where on the contract did it, then, say that that meant Hong Kong as well??? Well in Denmark we consider Hong Kong a part of the globe and we were seriously sorry to realize, that they did not possess the same self esteem.

As it was Sunday we could not have these changes made from Denmark and we had to accept to lay the sculptures down, which they could not deny us. At this point the Park Managers superiors had gathered at the office to “help us” get it all sorted out. This did, however, not speed things up. The clock was ticking and the time for the demonstration came closer. At first it took some half an hour for them to comply and say that if we laid them down there should be no problems whatsoever. They would just have to meet shortly in the next door office and we would get to enter with the truck. Apparently “shortly” is not that short in Hong Kong. For the 45 minutes to come they staid in there. Once in a while one of them would come out, telling us “five more minutes” and “just ten more minutes”, changing to “just go back to the square, we’ll contact you in just a moment” which we declined, as we could without a doubt wait five more minutes. After that they did not leave the office to tell us anything, and we were not allowed in there. (Thinking it over, off cause you can not play west more than four people) 

In the end, the demonstration came to close. We left the office without getting any final reply. We had the container stop a few streets away, went there, took out the “Hungerboys” and the stuffed cow of the “Mad Cow Decease”-sculpture, and drove the whole bunch to the Victoria Park on trolleys, which no one could object to. Less than ten minutes after this event the Park Management called us, telling us that we could enter with the truck. But at that time we had sent the container truck and the crane back and the demonstration was to close.

When the thousands of people from around the park got together to form the demonstration, we did not feel sad about the situation. The row of starving black kids left no eye dry and the real size cow behind them on a trolley, two coffins and madras was really effect full even though it should not originally have “participated” in the march.

The first of the three marches went on perfectly and did not bring any violence of any sort. Of the at least 7,000 people marching all of Asia was represented in a mosaic of cultures.

When we got to our final destination of “The Central Government Office” we got a warm welcome from no other than Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (former Social Democrate Prime Minister of Denmark – Now chairman of The European Socialist Group in the EU parliament). He is in Hong Kong to participate in the official WTO-summit and he had heard about our problems in the news all day long.

After an hour or so of speeches and singing, the demonstrators dispersed. We loaded the sculptures on to a truck and got back to Victoria Park, where the alternative WTO-forum served food and several cultural arrangements. We however had to meet with our Danish friends from “Danish Association for International Cooperation” (MS), who had just arrived few ours before. We got together over a cup of well deserved coffee discussing the events of the day, and explaining our friends how to use the excellent Hong Kong Metro.

Leaving the cultural arrangements to the ever enthusiastic and dynamic Asian NGO’s, we left Victoria Park to go straight to bed.

Relevant documents
  • 2005.12.11: First Sunday demonstration to the  version of this document  
  • Survival of the Fattest - a sculpture about the world's imbalance to the  version of this document  
  • new-struct/Happenings-and-Projects/Happenings/Mad-cow/Diary/12.htm


    Level Up


    2005.12.09-10: First days in Hong Kong with bother about obstruction to the English version of this document   2005: Diary from Hong Kong 2005.12.12: Sculptures finally put up to the English version of this document  
    Additional Information:
    Categories: 2005: Diary from Hong Kong | 2005: Mad Cow Disease in Hong Kong
    Themes: Agricultural subsidies | Criticism of governments | Ecology - sustainable development | Globalisation | Imbalanced wealth distribution | NGO activities | World trade
    Sculptures: Hunger Boys | Mad Cow Disease | Survival of the Fattest
    Type: Documents
    Dates: 13th December 2005
    Locations: Victoria Park, Hong Kong, China
    Co-operators and Helpers: Colette Markus | Hong Kong People´s Alliance | Jun Feng | Lasse Markus | Martin Craggs | Niller Madsen | Werner Breitung, Esperanto Association of Hong Kong
    Partners: Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke (Danish Association for International Co-operation)
    Related Persons and Entities: Hing-keung Yuen, Park Manager, Victoria Park, Hong Kong | WTO - World Trade Organization
    Sponsors: 3F - Trade Union | LO - Association of Danish Trade Unions | Socialpædagogernes Landsforbund / National Federation of Social Educators