Activism

Pro-Democracy Hong Kong Shop Serves “Tear Gas” Flavored Ice Cream

The pungent, peppery ice cream is supposed to be reminiscent of the tear gas authorities fired at pro-democracy demonstrators last year during the months-long series of protests.

AP

An ice cream shop in Hong Kong is serving tear gas flavored ice cream in support of the country’s pro-democracy movement, which is trying to regain momentum amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press (AP) reported

“We would like to make a flavor that reminds people that they still have to persist in the protest movement and don’t lose their passion,” the shop’s owner, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of persecution from the pro-Beijing government, told AP.

Black peppercorns were used to create the ice cream’s pungent peppery flavor, which is supposed to be reminiscent of the tear gas authorities fired at pro-democracy demonstrators during protests against an extradition bill introduced in March 2019. The protests swelled to include more than 1 million people in the summer and police used increasingly harsh tactics to try to disperse the crowds. 

The bill, which would have allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China under certain circumstances, was formally withdrawn in September. But pro-democracy protests continued around Hong Kong to demand more reforms, and the increased tension between citizens and authorities caused several chaotic standoffs and critical injuries. 

In November 2019, Hong Kong held elections for 452 district council seats, and pro-democracy candidates won almost 90% of them. Though the seats mostly deal with neighborhood needs and community matters, their victory showed widespread pro-democracy support after the many months of protests.

According to AP’s report, the coronavirus outbreak has halted most demonstrations, but  “there are widespread expectations that larger actions may emerge during the summer.” In a Monday court appearance related to last year’s anti-government protests, fifteen opposition leaders also vowed to keep fighting for Hong Kong’s rights despite prosecutors calling for more severe charges. 

A scuffle also broke out among pro-Beijing and pro-democracy lawmakers on Monday after a pro-Beijing lawmaker was elected chairman of a key committee that assesses proposed legislation.