Halloween has come to Hong Kong, wth characters like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a Maoist red guard bringing humor to pro-democracy protesters occupying the central business district. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Although Halloween is not widely celebrated in Hong Kong, the festival on Friday (October 31) inspired a number of pro-democracy protesters to unleash their creativity to send a political message. The large-scale demonstrations kicked off a month ago to protest against Beijing's decision to pre-screen candidates for the upcoming 2017 elections. Among the costume-clad protesters was 35-year-old Kim Jong Un look-a-like, Howard, who wouldn't reveal his last name. The Australian Chinese, who closely resembles the North Korean dictator, added a cane to his costume on Friday (October 31). The real North Korean leader re-appeared with a cane in state media in mid October after a lengthy public absence. A resident of Hong Kong, Howard said the Chinese Communist Party's decision was insulting to Hong Kong people. "The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has given Hong Kong an option that is quite insulting to the population. You can vote for whoever we choose. I mean, do you think a city such as Hong Kong and as cultured as Hong Kong is going to accept something so ridiculous? So I'd like to come here in character just to remind people why people are here and why people are so angry," he added. Apart from Howard, a number of other protesters in costume were also seen in the main admiralty protest site filled with tents. John Chan, whose cheeks were dabbed red and clad in a Maoist red guard costume, posed for photos in front of a cardboard cut-out of Chinese President Xi Jinping holding a yellow umbrella. Chan said he would not have chosen a political motif for this year's Halloween if it was not for the month-long protest. "Half-half. If I only dress up for Halloween I can just pretend to be a ghost or anything scary, but I want to dress something special to have more meaning for this place and also this movement," Chan said. A Jack-o-lantern, cut in the shape of the city's unpopular Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, also attracted protesters and passers-by alike to take photos of it. The protests drew well over 100,000 at their peak, though hundreds still persisted in camping out every night on the blocked thoroughfares in several major districts.