City Forum

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Where the forum is held
City Forum in 2010

City Forum(Chinese: 城市論壇) is a public forum held on Sunday weekly in Victoria Park, Hong Kong. This forum brings together politicians, academics and prominent public figures to discuss current issues, and also allow the public to participate in a Q&A session. Each week, a number of secondary schools are invited to bring students to the forum to ask questions. This is a rare program in Hong Kong due to its relevance to current events and also to its true nature, being the only non-censured live television program in Hong Kong.

Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) hold live broadcasts every Sunday at 12:05. TVB, a Hong Kong television company, broadcasts the program on live TV for 55mins (12:05-13:00), together with RTHK TV 31. (Except August each year)

Brothers and Uncles[edit]

Uncles of Victoria park[edit]

Uncles of Victoria Park yell outside the forum venue

Uncles of Victoria Park (Chinese: 維園阿伯, with "維園" being the short form of "維多利亞公園") is a colloquial term referring to a special group of people in Hong Kong. These people are usually retired pro-Beijing aged men, also known as indigenous communists. They gather in Victoria Park on Sundays at noon, when City Forum - a public forum which is sponsored and broadcast to the public by Radio Television Hong Kong - is held. Whenever pro-democratic politicians speak at the forum, they would yell outside the forum venue, so their voices cover the speaker's. The most well-known slogan that they usually chant during the forum is "stray dogs!". However "Uncles of Victoria Park" is not a name of a total group of people. There are also conflicts among the "Uncles of Victoria Park" during the forum.

Conflicts with democrats[edit]

The old Uncles would take the democratic parties in the forum as targets of their backlashes. Sometimes they would attempt to physically attack the politicians with their water bottles and canes. Legislative Councillors Emily Lau and Leung Kwok Hung were once nearly assaulted by the Uncles, and the latter one even had talk-wars with the elderly protesters involving foul languages.

Popular culture[edit]

In the late 1990s, there was a television commercial of VITA lemon tea, which is a beverage, shown on the local television channels in Hong Kong. The commercial featured an Uncle of Victoria Park, who yells at the City Forum. Inarguably, the Uncles have become a distinctive icon of Victoria Park, who have a fondness to furiously shout out their complaints in public.

The forum attracts tens of pro-Beijing old men yelling constant expletives outside the venue, especially when there are pro-Democratic politicians participating.

In 2010, due to the negative public sentiment aroused by the legislative reforms and from the lack of progress in universal suffrage in Hong Kong, there has been increased interest in the discussion of public issues. This resulted in heightened interest in the City Forum. There is an emergence of a new class of participants who is passionate about the current affairs, and predominantly male in the age category around 20s-30s, called "Brothers of Victoria Park" (維園阿哥). Even though the title is very similar, their political agenda is at the opposite of the spectrum.